Sunday, 28 August 2016

Tips on NUS Appeal Essay for Undergraduate Admission

Hey there!

I'm still trying to work on blogging more actively on here, but I've realised that I'm only really that motivated if I have a purpose/goal when blogging. In this case, I just thought I would offer some tips on trying to write an appeal "essay" of sorts, if you get rejected on your first try by the big three (local universities): NUS/NTU/SMU.

I've recently started school at NUS FASS, which is a dream faculty of mine to be in, since I've always been more interested in the Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences-- and many of my lecturers/advisors back in poly have always recommended NUS' regime for such type of uni education.

So, a little background: I graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Mass Communication (MCM) earlier this year, and was awarded with Diploma with Merit upon graduation. I won't be revealing my cumulative final GPA on here, but if you're really interested in it, do ask me personally if you're a poly student who is concerned over your standing/chances on getting into NUS FASS as well. :)

Obviously, my GPA wasn't outstanding *enough* to be admitted into NUS FASS on my first try (otherwise I wouldn't be making this post to offer tips on appeal essays), but I do also think that local universities tend to give priority to the JC students, thus in the first round they may have allocated more spaces to JC kids, and in the second round they may have realised they've more space than they thought they would've (due to people freeing up their spots and choosing other unis etc)! I've been frequenting forums and realised that this year's A levels results have been said to be verrry outstanding, much more so than the previous years, so I was paranoid for a bit. NUS FASS sent out rejection emails to plenty of people (including JC students) quite early on in the application process-- I think from early May onwards! So a lot of people were worried that the standards were upp-ed quite a bit this year (2016).

However, towards end May/early June, NUS FASS started retracting a lot of those rejection emails and sent acceptance emails out to those they rejected before instead. So perhaps the available spaces > demand, and people were much more interested in other faculties this year. It all varies from year to year, so this is just the pattern I noticed for this year!

Unfortunately for me, and another friend of mine (from NP MCM as well), we didn't get "retraction of rejection" letters. (I had the slightest inkling it's 'cause we were poly kids...) But since our GPAs were within the range of NUS FASS' 2015/2016 intake, we still went ahead to appeal anyway in the second round.

I understand that different universities have different appeal essay word limits, and NTU's one is much shorter than NUS's, so perhaps this may not be as applicable for NTU kids! (by the way, I also had an offer for NTU Sociology which I was prepared to take up in the end if I did not get my NUS FASS placing.)

I also understand a lot of people's strategy is to keep their appeal essays short and simple, and to just request for an interview in their appeal essay, but frankly (in my opinion) that's a waste of one extra sentence and space. If they're keen on you, they will ask you for an interview of their own accord. You don't have to "show your initiative" in a way and use a sentence to *have* to request for it. Use the space given to you wisely and maximise every inch of it to "show off" your credentials.

This is my appeal essay:

Having graduated with a Diploma with Merit from Mass Communication, I have always had a great passion for writing and designing. My fondness for mass media in secondary school translated into an award for topping my school cohort for GCE O Level subject 'Media Studies'. With internship experience from multi-national media group Dentsu Aegis Network under my belt, I assumed the role as a media planner and worked with clients such as Resorts World Sentosa and National Heritage Board for many of their advertising campaigns. If given a chance to enter FASS, I intend to read Sociology. In today's rapidly changing society, I believe a sociological perspective and strong data literacy will further equip me for a career in the media industry. Studying at FASS will provide me with a comprehensive education unattainable elsewhere. I am confident that I have the aptitude and drive necessary to strive in FASS' environment and would greatly appreciate an opportunity to study in FASS.

What I did basically was to highlight:

- The merit I graduated with in poly (my previous education institution)
- My passion for [particular subject]. In this case: media (supported and evidenced by an award for topping my cohort)
- Internship experience (very valuable!) + highlighted the clients of government associations like RWS, NHB etc that I thought would be appropriate for NUS' attention
- What I intend to read in NUS, and why. This shows you already have good head on your shoulders and a goal in mind! You're not just wandering into the faculty with no idea what you're doing. (Even if you really have no idea what you're doing, wayang a bit la. I'm also not 100% sure on Soci being my major, but I can say my interest in it is pretty high. So if you don't have a major you're set on yet, try to zoom in on a major that perks your interest, and give credible reasons for your interest in it. Chances are, it makes you look like you really know what you're doing and not some ~wishy-washy~ individual etc)
- Also, it'd be great if you already had a career goal in mind. To be honest, I'm also not 100% sure I will venture into the media industry after graduating from uni (because who can be 100% sure of everything in their life, right?) But showing that you have well-thought out a pathway for yourself in life, have goals and am seeking to achieve it, really speaks a lot about you in the little space you're allocated to write your appeal essay. :)
- Try to say that you're confident of being able to cope with NUS' environment as well, since I think they want to see you're really keen on education to have the drive to cope with it.

Disclaimer: I don't think my appeal essay is 100% bulletproof, and I don't think it's the BEST appeal essay out there. Perhaps it didn't even factor in much when it came to my admission and maybe there was just nice an empty slot for me in the second round, lol. But still, when it comes down to you and another person with the very same GPA fighting for that one last spot, they'll give it to someone they have more confidence in excelling in their uni education, right? :) So don't take your chances hor! Do put in effort in your essay! But also at the end of the day, your grades do still matter and are the uni's first priority la. But luck also plays a small part in it lol (see if your cohort in that year has a huge arts/social science demand or not!).

By the way, I was offered admission without needing an interview (as was my friend who appealed in the second round too!).

So if you feel that you are well within the range of NUS FASS (or any other faculty)'s IGP, and just need the *extra push* which is your appeal essay for the profs at NUS to grant you admission, then I do hope these tips help you at least a bit in trying to craft an appeal essay!

I wanted to do this post because I frantically googled tips on trying to craft appeal essays when applying for local universities, but there are really only quite few posts out there. I know how nerve-wrecking this whole process is, don't worry!

Also don't worry about your GPA-- it doesn't necessarily have to HIT the 10th percentile of the uni's IGP for them to consider you. As long as your GPA is 0.03+/- of the 10th percentile, give or take, I'd say you stand a chance of getting in. :) Of course this is for the verrry borderline cases la, like for e.g. if you're a 3.71 and the IGP is 3.74 for 10th percentile, I'd say you still stand a chance! Just try appealing! In the first round of uni offers being sent out, many people would have freed up their spots in your ideal uni, by choosing another uni instead. I'm pretty sure everyone will have applied to three, if not TWO, universities at the very least. So, in the next round, there will definitely be emptied spots for people like us who just need an extra push to get into our ideal universities.

Don't give up hope on your dream universities!

If anyone needs help with anything, do let me know :D

Friday, 1 January 2016

Updated Black Moral collection post! 1 Jan 2016

So uh. I really suck at blogging. XD I never really got around to blogging about that Tokyo trip, did I...

It's the first day of the New Year (2016), so I fiiinally got around to taking photos of my Black Moral collection! *A* I mean, if you're on this blog, it's pretty obvious to tell that I love the GazettE ^^" and I am a band merch whore, so yeah :D I'll reserve my non-merch gaze items for another time~

....also yes I noted that the photos on my old posts on this blog are all gone XD that's what happens when I c+p image links from Facebook. meh. I'm too lazy to replace all the links...

anyway. on to the photos...
(I didn't tag the photos with my name because I think it's ugly, so I'd really appreciate no one stealing them even w/o my username ^^" I'd recognise them anyway...)

Black Moral bear key rings / usagi umbrella / bearbricks
Black Moral Tour T-Shirts
Black Moral / the GazettE parkas/hoodies/pullovers
Black Moral boston bags / purses / carry bags
Black Moral shopping bags / towels / studded slippers
Black Moral wallets / iPhone cases / pouches 
Black Moral tumblers / mugs / coin pouch / iPhone sticker 
Black Moral hair ties / scrunchies
Black Moral hooded towel / Heresy member privileges gifts / Aoi & Uruha member produce goods (13th Budokan)! I'm missing Kai's pasta sauce here, it's somewhere in my kitchen and already half-used for pasta... XD
Black Moral / the GazettE Rad Market carry on luggage
the GazettE luggage tag!

and also I recently got the GEMCERY x the GazettE music box that plays PLEDGE! <3 It's so pretty ;_;
That's it for now, I think! :D *snorts* until the GazettE release more goods in February and in subsequent tours, that is. XD

Peace out~

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Japan Trip 07 Mar '15 - 14 Mar '15: First Day

Hi! I'm such a lazy blogger, but I figured I would blog at least about my Japan trip, since I have a tooon of photos to share and I want to jot it all down when I can remember it the clearest. I'm a week late since I've started my work/internship, but meehhhh hopefully not too late!

So my one of my closest friends ever online, Mitti (you know her as Mittilla online/in this fandom), and I have been planning this lil trip for just over a year. At first we were trying to make it for the GazettE's Pulse Wriggling to Dim Scene lives in 2014, but both of us had school commitments at the time and couldn't make it. That was a real shame bc they played most of my favourite songs there and I was soooo sore I missed it. Then we discussed about Groan of Venomous Cell lives but that didn't fall nicely within our calendar either. Obviously, we all knew when GazettE's 13th anniversary would be, and we decided we'd just make it for the anniversary live in 2015 -- although we so badly wanted to attend the HERESY lives, too. But, well!

So towards the end of December we got most of the trip confirmed, I booked my plane tickets, bought the concert tickets, and I think for the next two months we just didn't do anything lol. Mitti was busy preparing her Aoi Zetsu cosplay to take with her to the live, and uh. We just focused on our lives, that's it. XD And kept counting down.

I was so happy to be able to arrange a meet-up and stay-over with Benj, another gaze online friend of mine (because the last time I saw her was in 2013 the GazettE's MELT live and that was soooo long ago!) and we had a ton of fun! Over the trip me and Mitti also spent alot of time with our friends, Chris and Jenny, and they'll be talked a lot about in the other blog posts, I'm sure.

For now, I'll be talking about what I did for the first day, I guess! :D

To prepare for my trip, I actually dyed my hair back to black + bleached 1/4 of my bangs lol. So from this, long af brown hair I had >>>> it became shorter, black, and bleached bangs ehehehe I got inspired from rinrindoll (an Angelic Pretty model)'s hair! :D

The pink dress OOTD photo was of me in Hong Kong, by the way. I went to Hong Kong just two weeks before Tokyo, I think. It was fun, but we'll leave another time to talk about that~

Here was some of the clothes I packed for Tokyo!

Clearly, a gazette fangirl...

On 7th March, I touched down in Narita airport. I reached around 2.30pm, and had made plans to meet Benj at the train station near her house so I could leave my luggage there lol.

This was me when I was still at the Singapore airport~

Once I reached the Narita airport, I went to grab my PASMO card and my Keisei Skyliner ticket to Nippori! It was my first time taking the Keisei Skyliner from Narita to Tokyo, so it was kinda exciting. It's very big & comfy, and you can store your luggage at the back!

The other times I came to Japan, I heard of PASMO & Suica but never thought of getting them. This time I'm sooo glad I got them! They came in really handy and are sooo much better than buying a train ticket each time you wanna go somewhere -__-

Very soon, I met Benj at her train station, and it was soooo good to see her again! In fact to me she's even prettier than I last remembered her-- but then again, I have the worst memory, lol. So we went to her apartment, left my luggage there, chit-chatted a lil, then had to make it in time for Lindsey Sterling's concert at Zepp Blue Theatre Roppongi Hills! (If you don't know who Lindsey is, youtube her. She's a really talented violinist!) The concert started at 6 in the evening, I think? And we were late. We were laaate. XD

Taking the subway lalala mooore selfies!!!

Even though I've been to Tokyo three times prior to this trip, I had never explored Roppongi or Ginza before! So I was definitely excited to explore this part of Tokyo. I never had any reason to go to Roppongi or Ginza, sooo. They're more for working adults and are all branded goods like Dior, Chanel, etc? Well, places my parents would like, not me lol. (sticks to Shibuya & Harajuku >>)

We reached Roppongi around like, 6.30pm. XD I looked at Benj halfway our subway journey and was like, "HOLD UP. What time does the concert start?" <-- me who clearly had no idea about the concert details at all. And Benj casually replied, "Uh. 6?" And my face was like--- "....... WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE and you're so chill about all of this oMG" XD

Seriously, though. The walk from the train station was so far, and we had to walk up a high hill, I almost died. I was wearing my new high-heeled boots too T___T And Benj was wearing her Dr Martens, lol. Still, the walk to the concert was worth it! Lindsey Sterling was sooooooo good!

We got such good seats too. Row 5, by the way!

I'm emb-ing a new song of hers here so you guys can check it out. If you like what you hear, hopefully you can support her by attending one of her lives if possible *A*

So then we explored Roppongi a little! Here are some photos bc I'm too lazy to say anything lol. But the photos speak a thousand words, so. XD They're great!

View of Tokyo skytree from here!
After exploring a bit of Roppongi, we went to Ginza because we had made a prior dinner reservation at an Alice in Wonderland restaurant! Japan has a lot of themed restaurants, and Alice in Wonderland is just one of them. They have a TON of Alice in Wonderland restaurants, from Shibuya to Shinjuku to everywhere, but we chose the Ginza one because we thought the decor looked nice, hahaha.

And sooo, we explored Ginza a little~ (And got kinda lost on our way to the Alice in Wonderland restaurant lol, thank god for Google maps)

I have never seen a Uniqlo bigger than this. Ever. The WHOLE building is Uniqlo!!!

At long last we finally found the Alice in Wonderland restaurant >>

It was hiding in a tall building, and was on one of the levels! Once you step out of the lift, you see this:

We were soon served to our seat! I think because we made a reservation, we actually got a really good seat in a teacup! It's so pretty ;a; Plus, there was a mirror for us to camwhore at, so hey.

The interior was so cool ;a;

The waitresses and waiters were so cute too! They were dressed in Alice costumes and Mad hatter outfits. Upon sitting down, we were given a basket of head accessories to choose from (bunny ears, mad hats etc.) So of couuurse, it's the perfect opportunity to camwhore <3

We were given this box, along with our menus, at the same time :O I have no idea what this thing is? Some box to look pretty XD The waitress (dressed as Alice) even encouraged us to take photos of it! So we did :3

This was our table set-up! Soooo cute T__T

Our food soon came and um. We were too busy taking photos first to eat XD

We ordered a 5-course meal, and oh gosh, it was sooo filling. The food is OK for its presentation, but me and Benj both agreed it's not the best, lol. If you only want to come in for the environment and decor, it's totally worth it. SOO many things to take photos of. XD And the experience, too! The servers are all so cute. Food, on the other hand... Hmm. XD A 2/5, maybe?

Salad to start off our course!
Small slices of pizza next~
Cheshire cat passtaaaa!
Dessert to finish off the meal :)
Lol, the toilet was sooo cute too. I had to take a photo of it when I was inside!

I embed three instagram videos for you to get a feel of how it's like in the restaurant! :)
A video posted by Mokmok ♛ (@sweetlolixo) on

A video posted by Mokmok ♛ (@sweetlolixo) on
And then when we left the restaurant, it started raining T____T Drizzling, but still >>

We made our way back to Benj's apartment and stayed up watching TV/talking until we fell asleep, lol. And all of this took place in ONE day XD The day I flew in too. I was so tired. But it was sooo fun!

And I was so happy to have met Benj again after so long :)

I'll be blogging about Day two in another post!