Wednesday, August 20, 2014

// new school

So this has been the fifth week of school in NAFA and here are some take-aways I've had being a transfer student to a new school.

Quick background to my entrance to NAFA

I graduated from School Of The Arts (SOTA) with my IB Diploma last year 2013, yes I completed the full 6 years of the course. 

I was recommended strongly by my violin teacher to get into NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts) as they offered Royal College of Music Degree courses and syllabus. 

She also recommended me to one of the violin teachers at NAFA, so that she was sure I am well taken care of. I got through the audition and got the news of my acceptance on April. There was a special admission exception for SOTA students (or all other IB schools) that I could be exempted from the first year of study and get a direct admission to the second year. I was very happy to hear that I was given this privilege. On top of this, I was even awarded a full scholarship by NAFA for a full exemption of my school fees. That was double the good news!

However, with that news, I was worried that I will not be able to make friends as there will surely be existing cliques from the former year. What if I can't make any friends?!  I will lose out on so much. I was legitimately scared and worried. 

The light: Orientation week

Some of you might not fancy orientation camps due to its super hyper/enthusiastic/ so-not-me atmosphere. But take my word for this: Orientation camps DO help you build your social circle (and thus your performance in school in general), regardless if you are a fresh first year student or a transfer student like me. I got to meet many of the seniors, who are from year 2 onwards. So this naturally allowed me to meet my potential classmates!

But of course, to build a wider social circle, don't forget about the first year students as well! This will really help in the inter-years social aspect. 

The start of the term

Since I knew one or two year 2 students, they naturally introduced me to their group of friends. From then on, it was my turn to work hard and BE one of them. I threw jokes once in awhile and had lunch with them. I did not shy away but became more vocal. In a blink of an eye, I made 7 new friends just like this! They are wonderful people, by the way, very fun to be with! 

Other than this, I also made friends in the orchestra. School naturally became a fun place to be in with all the new friends I made. 

Get used to the school system

The school system was a culture shock to me, but I'm slowly getting used to it. Firstly, familiarise yourself with the blueprint of the school. Know where the important places are; for example the student affairs office, the different campuses, the school library, the sick bays, student lounges and classrooms. Then, get the scoop of the secret beautiful places in the school. Trust me, you'll need them from time to time to just sit there and watch the world go by and relax!

Then, get to know about the different school policies and rules. Like classroom rules, dress codes, minimal attendance and codes of conduct. Stay safe by being on the good side of the school system (safe meaning avoiding unnecessary deduction of points in your overall results).

Catching up

If you are a transfer student; chances are you have missed some syllabus went through in the previous year(s). This would be your responsibilities to know what you have missed. Consult your teachers and friends. Do some self catching-up through reading some textbooks and making your own notes. Personalising your own notes makes it easier for you to learn, colour code them, draw some pictures or diagrams. Have fun with it!

I hope these would help in your new school term! Good luck and have fun.

Keep musing,

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