This is where ISKL's Get Real! series comes into play. Get Real! is where our High School students have the opportunity to explore university options with their predecessors, the ISKL Alumni. The fifth installment of the series took place in person, with Class of 2021 alumni Molly Godde and Hina Singh, who shared their experiences- from the admissions process to university life as an undergraduate.
When selecting universities, Hina, who is attending the University of Chicago, shared that the best strategy for her was to research different universities and attend events to understand the school better. "In COVID, it's difficult to visit schools, but virtual events also gauge how the universities and student body look. They helped me decide which university I wanted to apply to."
Molly, who had her eyes set on Melbourne University but decided to go for La Trobe University, said the decision came after thorough research and learning more about other universities. She explains, "Look at universities not based on their reputation. I did some digging and looked at what was important to me, and that was my course. Melbourne University had always been my dream university, but I had to let that go."
After selecting your choices, the next step would be to impress your university's admission officers with a fantastic application essay. Hina's advice? Stay true to yourself. "I got an email from my admissions officer, who read my essay and felt like she was speaking to me. Keeping that authenticity alive was essential in my application."
"You can do a bunch of activities in High School, but if you're doing it to fill up your resume, I feel like admissions officers will see through that. The ability to make those experiences meaningful and being able to write about them makes so much more sense."
One of the questions by students was about transitioning to university life as a third culture kid (TCK), as it is normal for TCKs to feel a sense of rootlessness, even as they head off to university. Molly echoes the sentiment and thinks that the way to combat this is to keep doing what you love. "I think it's important to continue or maintain the things that you love and the things that relax you and make you comfortable."
Hina adds that she found it easier when there is a sense of familiarity in keeping to who you are as a person; for her, that was touch rugby and singing. "I played touch rugby throughout High School and Middle School, and UChicago had a rugby team, so I joined the team. I am also in an acapella group. Those two things grounded me, rooted me in the university, and made me feel at home. I found a community and a support system. That was very important to me."
"I feel like the best way for me to be able to give back to my High School is to offer some advice that I would have appreciated when I was in High School as well."
One of the most rewarding ways for alumni to give back is by imparting valuable wisdom, which rings true for Hina, who was part of the inaugural Get Real! session with Professor Birdthistle when she was in ISKL and is now a mentor herself.
Are you interested to learn more? We invite you to watch the full video where Molly and Hina gave more insights on university life in Melbourne and Chicago! Want to become a mentor? Let us know at [email protected]skl.edu.my.
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