Monday, 25 February 2013

why speech therapy?

When I was younger I wanted to be a singer or an actress. When I got to secondary school I wanted to be a pediatric surgeon (put secretly preferred the idea of being an actress) but when it came to my GCSEs I knew I wasn't going to be strong enough in Chemistry to become a real life doctor.
My school gave me the option to take a text called a Morrisby test which is a series of verbal and non-verbal tests designed to give you an option of 12 different careers that you may be interested in. When i got the results, I was given 11 random careers/degrees which I looked into but wan't impressed by, and then the 12th was Speech and Language Therapy. I had never considered it as an option before but I looked into it and by the age of 15, I knew that was what I wanted to do. 

To get on the course you need a hell of a lot of work experience and every summer (and 6 months of my gap year) for the past 5 years I've been volunteering in a wide range of capacities. By far my favorite time volunteering was during my gap year working twice a week in a primary school shadowing a SLT and helping the kids in class. I was at the school when I got the message I had an unconditional offer from Manchester Metropolitan University, and although at the time I was sure I wanted to go to Reading I was over the moon and they were all so happy for me. 
Speech Therapy is a difficult profession to get into, both at Undergrad and Postgrad. There are only a handful of Universities that teach the course and that made it a lot harder to narrow it down to four options. I guess it completely depends on what kind of person and learner you are but MMu is the perfect place for me. I originally had my heart set of Uni of Manchester, then Reading, but I see know that I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I am enjoying MMU. 

The course itself is 3 and a half years (strange but it works out really well) and is full of placement weeks - being thrown in the deep end in a nursery school in week 6 was not great but in the end it was so much fun. The course tuition fees are paid by the NHS which is a plus for my parents but I don't really care about that, although I am grateful, i'm just glad I am on a course I love. 

Here is a link to the University page for SPT if anyone is interested in perusing a career in Speech Therapy/Pathology -

Thanks for reading, 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

gap yah

This is a subject that I will more than happily go on about for hours and hours on end. It's one of the best things I have ever done without a doubt and I would recommend it to anyone. As soon as I didn't get a place at university in 2011 and thought that was it, my life and future career was over. I can't say my parents we're happy about it but they were very supportive and as my best friend Charlie was in the same situation as me, we started to plan our great adventure. We were both sure we wanted to go to Thailand but with input from other friends and our families we decided to go to Malaysia and Indonesia too. 

Of course, a trip like this doesn't come cheap and we both worked our arses off for 8 months (with plenty of tears and tantrums) and by the time April 2012 rolled round we we're on a flight to Bangkok. Leaving our Mum's at the airport (more tears) we set off for the second time by ourselves - we'd had a test run to Copenhagen to visit our friend Josephine in January to check we were compatible! 

It's easier to explain our travels by breaking it into three sections -

  • Bangkok where we realised alcohol and piercing shops probably aren't the best mix but you can make any space into a bar (including someones spare room in a third floor apartment on Khao San Road)
  • Hua Hin - don't go to the beach at 2am. You will get bitten by sand flies and it's horrible. We stayed here for Thai New Year which was hilarious. Massive water and clay fights.
  • Krabi where we climbed 1237 steps up Tiger Temple, rode mopeds and met some of the greatest people on earth (if you ever get the chance, stay at Pak-Up Hostel and join in with the limbo)
  • Phi Phi where it rained a lot and to be honest, wasn't the greatest 2 days we've ever had.
  • Krabi again...
  • Koh Tao which was one of my favourite places, beautiful beaches and a brilliant bar crawl. Koh Tao Backpackers was where we met some of the funniest girls and Koh Tao is great for a PADI course. 
  • Koh Phangan where we met up with four of our guy friends from home and bumped into many people we'd already met during the mad week of the full moon. Safe to say I don't remember much. 
  • Koh Samui where we relaxed for a few days and watched a lot of American crime dramas. Giving backpackers a room with a television is such a bad idea. 
  • Krabi again... Oooops, climbed Tiger Temple again and ate a lot of market food.
riding and elephant in koh phangan
  • Penang not going to lie, I don't remember much from our three days here. I slept a lot of it as a lovely German man had given me some  sleeping pills for the journey down from Thailand and they worked...
  • Kuala Lumpur has to be one of the cleanest cities in the world. It was beautiful. We visited the aquarium,  china town, went up the Patronus Towers at night (amazing) and played stupid drinking games in our hostel's roof top bar - Reggae Mansion by the way was the nicest hostel I have ever stayed in. Insane.
charlie and i in the patronus tower, kl
  • The Gilli Islands (we only visited Gilli T) although you pay a fortune for the long boat ride to get to the Gilli Islands, it's well worth it. We had one whole week of relaxation with amazing weather and snorkeling. It's not brilliant if you're looking for nightlife but you can still have fun. Gilli T only takes about 1.5 hours to walk around the whole island! 
  • Bali was completely different to Gilli. We stayed mainly in Kuta which is like an Australian's Magaluf. It was hilarious and good to let go but by the time we'd gone out and drunk double doubles every night in Alley Cats, I was ready to go back to England. 
charlie and i on the beach, gilli t
2012 was the best year ever for me. I gained confidence and I grew up and I knew after this experience that I was ready to go to university. Ideally I would love to go travelling again after my degree. I'd like to see Northern Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and parts of Australia. Hopefully one day I will be able to. 

gilli t

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

university so far

So I am one of those 'gap year-ers'; One of the people who didn't get into university the first time round (mainly due to laziness, also due to the influx of applications as tuition fees rose) but who had a second chance. I reapplied, worked for 6 months, re-sat some exams and went travelling in SE Asia. It was the best year of my life and I almost didn't make it to university. As results day came around I was accepted into Reading University to study Psychology but on the day I changed my mind and went with my heart, Speech and Language Pathology at Manchester Metropolitan University. 
Me (in the middle) and my flat mates
As MMU was my insurance choice, I didn't get into the MMU halls of residence. At the time I thought it would be the end of the world but now I realise that everything happens for a reason. I have met the two best friends I could have ever asked for, I love my course and all my course mates and I am in the best city ever (bar London) so what do I have to complain about? 

Things may not have been plain sailing for me with University but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

it's a student's life

As students we have an act to live up to. We're meant to live on a diet of bacon, beer and smiley potato faces. We're meant to be out every night till 4 am and wake up the next morning in the same clothes with no recollection of what happened. We get given a student loan and spend all of it within the first 2 weeks when we suddenly realise we have absolutely no money for the next 8 weeks. We go to about 30% of scheduled lectures and we go home with masses of washing for our loving parents. 

With this blog I'm going to document my time as a student. Hopefully i'll talk a bit about my course, my experiences, the amazing friends I have, the nightlife and most importantly FOOD.