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Follow me on my gap year adventure (aka why does my title suck) Watch

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    Hey everyone, so I have never done anything like this before so please excuse my poor extended writing skills, I haven't wrote an essay in over two years :laugh:. I'll start with some background information, here goes;

    GCSEs

    We will start here i guess as primary school and junior school was pretty insignificant, so during my GCSE years I would say that I didn't respect other subjects nearly as much as Maths and science, as they were what I wanted to do at alevel and probably at university so why should I care about humanities, immature mindset, and I paid for it with some mediocre results;

    3 A*s - Maths, Additional Maths, Double award science (1)
    4 As - DA Science (2), Economics, Spanish, R.E.
    3 Bs - English, Technology, History

    AS Level

    Okay so I started AS in September doing Maths, Physics, Economics and Computing however I was hesitant on Economics because of the extended writing/essays which I hated oh so much. I talked to the Head Of Department in Maths about doing Further Maths A2 however the school didnt offer it and I was advised against it, so I continued with these 4 subjects until around Halloween, I was staying in for UKMT maths challenge practice when I asked a maths teacher about complex numbers, she responded by handing me a FP1 book, I spent halloween holidays learning about complex numbers and parabolas and it was terrific. So that's when I went to the principal and asked to drop Economics as I intended to Self teach* Further Maths. This went ahead and I finished AS with AAAA in maths, further maths, physics and computing

    *self teach meaning I taught myself the content, I still had some occasional FM class when i was free and the referred to above maths teacher was free, she went over things I wasn't sure about etc

    A2 Level

    Okay this year started with another important decision, physics or computer science? I enjoyed the computing class much more and programming was lots of fun but I would have to repeat a theory paper as I didnt do so well. Physics was a much higher UMS mark however it was kind of boring, after some talk with my parents I decided to do physics as further maths was my fun subject and I should do the subject ill have an easier time getting an A or better in. So I studied Maths, Further Maths and Physics. Around January time I decided I would sit STEP 1 and 2 for the challenge in June and had a lot of fun practicing for that. Not much else happened during my A2s, everything was rather normal. Finished A2s with A*A*A in Maths, FM and Physics and a 1,3 in STEP 1 and 2, not too bad.

    (module results are here under the About Me tab if you are curious; http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/member.php?u=1663781 )

    UCAS and applying to University

    This time last year I applied to university for straight Maths, it was decent and I got 3 offers, Bristol, Bath and Queens Belfast. Rejected from Oxford and St.Andrews. I went to visit Bristol/Bath and thought they were honestly lovely places, the city of Bristol looked great and the Bath campus was amazing (the lakeside grass seems like such a peaceful place to sit on warm days). I decided to firm Bath and I was 90% sure I would go (i had the odd thought of a gap year).

    This Summer - what happened

    So my summer started very slow, only really seen friends twice a week and although i played games online with them I spent a lot of time on my own, so to keep me occupied I started following tutorials online to make my own game in java, something I loved doing so much during AS computing. There's something about sitting at 3am trying to code a rubbish 2d game that you would never look near if it wasnt yours that made me question whether I should give coding and computer science (/computing) another thought. I spent a lot of nights and lost a lot of sleep thinking about it but eventually decided that I wanted to study Mathematics with Computer Science since coding was so enjoyable for me and I spend lots of time on my computer and am quite interested in how they work.

    This then made me think a lot more about talking a gap year as my plans about the future were being shaken up (I originally planned to PhD in Maths and do nothing but maths, maths and more maths forever) so I could take it all in. So here we are!

    My Plans and why make a blog?

    I hope to get a job soon in order to save up some money for University.

    I am also doing Add. Further Maths and I'm going keep coding and reading book to get more in depth with that, especially Java.

    For about a year now i have wanted to learn piano but just never started. I dont own a piano (slight problem) so I'll be digging my brother's old keyboard out from the attic and learning to play it, using online tutorials etc.

    MAT will be taken and STEP preparation will be done to keep me sharp, dont know if I'll bother sitting STEP again though. Also might look at BMO stuff if I ever find myself wanting some new maths to do

    Finally my brother is starting AS FM (self taught) so I'll be helping him if he needs it.

    I decided a blog would be useful as it will keep me motivated and working hard if I physically have to type and read about how much work I've done in a day. Also depending on my job I manage I will get quite lonely with my friends having left for university, I guess this will be somewhere to express my thoughts and finally hopefully it will help others decide whether they want to gap year if they can read my real time views and opinions on it, plus ill be help to answer any of your questions as the year goes on!

    You stayed?

    You read it all :eek: thank you for reading hopefully you find this blog useful and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
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    28/8/16

    First official day of my gap year, it still feels strange to think that i have almost 400 days until "proper" education starts again for me. Today was good, I got off to a good start, wrote my first draft of my new personal statement and found a few nearby jobs which I will be applying to over the next few days.

    Tomorrow and tuesday will probably just be used to go over Core modules (especially C1 and C2 as I will need to know them inside out for the MAT) and maybe some java work. Then on wednesday I will begin AFM.
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    29/8/16

    Today was a little less productive, woke up at 2:30pm... I did read through the C1 and C2 textbooks. I found the derivations of the sine and cosine rule pretty neat (I didnt know those before today). Spent some time on TSR and Youtube also. Will probably look at some Java related stuff later and maybe touch up my personal statement. C3 and C4 revision tomorrow then it'll be time to start Decision 1.
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    I guess I'll just update this every few days once I have enough to write about

    30/8/16

    Spent most of my day tidying my room (sorting old school books etc) and washing my car. Started some online lessons on piano which was fun, time signatures really confuse me though, hopefully they will make sense soon. Also started D1, I think my order will be Decision 1 and 2, S4 then mechanics modules 3,4 and 5 to finish. Didn't do any coding as I was occupied by TSR

    31/8/16

    Today was the opening day of my old school, I went in to talk about UCAS and also discuss a physics remark (got 265/300 ums, need 270 for A*). Came home and worked more on Decision 1, trace tables are a little tedious. Overall though it seems very straightforward so far. Will do some coding later after I go play games for a few hours
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    1/9/2016 - 4/9/2016

    A little more to write about now.

    I am already so bored of decision maths and im only on page 30, chapter 1 was honestly the most tedious and boring maths chapter ive ever done. Hopefully it'll pick up as I still have D1 and D2 to finish :afraid: .

    Completed my first BMO question on Friday which was fun, I really enjoy the style of questions however most of them are too hard, especially the geometry ones. They will be a nice challenge in the coming months.

    Coding is coming along well also, although I am constantly needing to google things that I dont understand. Beginning Java feels like I've been thrown into a huge ocean, there is just so much to know but it will feel great once I get good with it.

    Haven't done any MAT or piano since my last update, I'll do some of both tomorrow i think.

    Went out on Friday with my group of friends from school for maybe the last time for a long while since most are leaving soon for university, I think once they leave it will really hit me that my gap year has started.

    Applied to 5 jobs today so hopefully I hear back from at least 1 of them
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    great blog

    dont give up
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    (Original post by Blackstarr)
    great blog

    dont give up
    thank you

    ill try my best to make this year worthwhile
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    (Original post by DylanJ42)
    thank you

    ill try my best to make this year worthwhile
    Great
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    M.A.T. 2007

    Done my first MAT of the year today. Although it is an early paper and they will get a lot harder I now realise why people recommend looking at STEP in preparation for the MAT. Any manipulations of equations, expansions, spotting of patterns etc seem to come easier this year than it did last year and I really believe that is down to STEP. Also this year I have the maths w/ compsci benefit of not having to touch Q4

    My score was 92/100. I guess I will do a Zacken style analysis of my papers since they were interesting to read (at least to me) last year
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Q1: 40/40, nothing here too awkward. H was quite nice.

    Q2: 13/15, I couldn't believe how quickly I spotted the geo. sequence for the constant part of part ii), lost two marks for writing  \displaystyle x^2 instead of  \displaystyle x but nothing i didnt understand

    Q3: 15/15, graph sketching, integration and completing the square for 15 marks, yes please.

    Q5: 13/15, iv) and vi) I lost marks for my explanation, mines wasn't as clear as the one in the mark scheme

    Q6: 11/15 forgot about saying how the last person acts in both part i and part ii (-2 marks), part iii) I got the answer but my explanation was kind of sh*t (-2 marks)

    a good start, just need to read over the mark schemes explanations and work on how I word my own as they get very confusing and messy!
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    This is a really nice blog. I too am taking a gap year and sometimes I worry that I'll feel regretful of it, but reading the adventures of someone in the same position as me really does make me feel better, and really motivates me not to waste this year! For example, I really want to get back into writing, and now I have ample time to

    Keep it up
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    I'm taking a gap year too, haven't started studying again yet. I better get a move on though.

    I've just been so stressed out about other things recently.
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    (Original post by Abcdefghijk123)
    This is a really nice blog. I too am taking a gap year and sometimes I worry that I'll feel regretful of it, but reading the adventures of someone in the same position as me really does make me feel better, and really motivates me not to waste this year! For example, I really want to get back into writing, and now I have ample time to

    Keep it up
    Thank you yea this site helps a lot with the scariness of a gap year since you can read about and talk to others who are taking a gap year, it makes it feel like a much more normal thing to do (I only know of 2 others from my school taking a year out, out of 110 or so). That's amazing, do you plan to start up a blog to share some of your writing?

    I will, gl this year
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    (Original post by TheonlyMrsHolmes)
    I'm taking a gap year too, haven't started studying again yet. I better get a move on though.

    I've just been so stressed out about other things recently.
    It's hard to work when friends are still on summer bc of starting university in late September, once they leave it'll probably be easier to focus and get work done (at least I'm hoping that's the case).

    stressed about alevels/gap year/university? or other things? I hope everything works out for you soon, being stressed/worried sucks
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    (Original post by DylanJ42)
    It's hard to work when friends are still on summer bc of starting university in late September, once they leave it'll probably be easier to focus and get work done (at least I'm hoping that's the case).

    stressed about alevels/gap year/university? or other things? I hope everything works out for you soon, being stressed/worried sucks
    I know, most of them are still here so I've been procrastinating by taking to them XD When they leave, and everyone goes back I feel like it will be easier.

    Other things I'm afraid Thankyou so much.

    Hopefully i'll be back on track asap.

    Good luck with everything though, sounds like you're off to a good start
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    5/9/16 - 11/9/16

    Literally just realised its been almost a week since I've updated this :laugh:

    I basically done nothing this week except sit on the computer since I've had a temperature as past 3 days

    Managed to do some Java work though which is good, the game creation is getting interesting now as the foundations are done so I'm looking forward to working on it tomorrow again

    D1 is going less well, im only on page 50 and I cant bring myself to do more, I cannot wait to finish it! and I still have D2 to do :cry:

    Haven't done any keyboard either. Damn this week has sucked!

    Will do another MAT on Monday or Tuesday once I am feeling good again I think. Ill try do 10 pages of D1 tomorrow and monday also.
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    M.A.T. 2008

    Quite annoyed with this one, I messed up Q5 a lot and missed out on 90+ :angry:

    Score: 86/100

    Q1: 40/40, my working for C was pretty unconvincing but still got it right, everything else was good here.

    Q2: 12/15, everything right except for iv). I got too caught up in the fact a and b values had to be considered, oh well

    Q3: 14/15, didnt really show the translation work as much as I should have. I just done it as a little scribble at the side so I deducted one mark

    Q5: 7/15, lol I changed locker states randomly and forgot about 40 as a factor of 1000 in part iv. Such a straightforward question too

    Q6: 13/15, this one was fine, my explanation in iii) was bad so i deducted 2 here
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    Great!
    Keep the post QAQ
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    (Original post by san Lai)
    Great!
    Keep the post QAQ
    thank you
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    12/9/16 - 18/9/16

    I always thought I was quite a productive guy but obviously not. Yesterday saw most of my friends leave for University so maybe ill have less distractions now and will be able to work.

    This week I have got myself up to page 100 of Decision 1 (I usually just do 10 pages per day so for most of the modules you'll probably find me going up in multiples of 10). Only about 50 to go

    I also spent a day doing a MAT and other general core maths work as a break from decision

    Done some Java work also and haven't done any keyboard, whoops.

    And i think that's all I've done, spent most of the week either out or playing games. :getmecoat:

    Targets for the end of September:

    Time to make some targets. I would like to have D1 finished and a past paper done. 2/3 more MAT papers done. Start consistently with keyboard and finally "finish" the java game I am working on and get starting on reading "Head First Java".
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    One of the big reasons for me having this blog is to make sure I don't get lazy and be productive. I guess that's working as I feel bad looking bad on how little work I've done as past week.

    So here is my 2 week planner to keep me on track (just made, thanks MS paint );

    Name:  2weekplanner.png
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Size:  16.5 KB
 
 
 
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