Saturday, 24 August 2013

What to do after year 13?

Last June this was the closest I thought I would ever come to Alaska.

Alaska The Puppy
My Dad and I have a pair of Border Collies and every litter we have has a theme. Last year on my mind was what to do after I left high school.  With nothing set in concrete at this point I really wanted to swim and go to college in the USA. These bunch of cuties were named: Carolina, Georgia, Idaho, Missippi, Nebraska, Dakota and Alaska (you figure out the theme!).
Even thought she was the cutest (don't tell the others) at the time I was still dreaming of sun and surf somewhere on the west coast. So through my seventh form I battled past many a hurdle. A quick checklist of things I had to do before you get started:

  • Study for and sit SATs. A three and a half hour multi choice exam with sections on reading, writing and math. Many hours, studying the meaning of words like Ambivalence and Cantankerous, 2 trips to Wanganui later and I had a reasonable score to report back to potential coaches.
  • Converting NCEA into GPA using WES. Having to send high school transcripts to everywhere that asks when the is NOTHING in common between our two educational systems.
  • The NCAA and being eligible to play college sport. This a basically the governing body that makes sure the American football players have actually passed high school and that all athletes are still amateurs. I can say I have passed high school now (not that they understood I had graduated in December when they graduate in May) and that I am definitely an amateur ( Mum and Dad's bank account can verify that)
  • Filling out forms, communicating with coaches and schools, filling out forms and filling out more forms. To find the best fit school academically and for my swimming first I would check the swim team. Their times, the coach, who they race, where they race, do they have a spot for me and will this team be a fit for me to improve over the next four years? Next check out the academics. Do they have a course I want to study? Will the degree transfer back to New Zealand? I had a short list of dream schools and starting sending out emails.... and filling in forms.

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