Otago halls of residence

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by Pineapple, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. frootloop

    frootloop Otago Trainee Intern (MBChB VI) Moderator

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    Some colleges have second and third year medical/dental/pharmacy students who do tutorials, but as I've said above, for most subjects tutorials are of debatable value anyway.

    If you do happen to need tutorials on a specific subject, there are almost 600 preclinical med students in Dunedin, and a ridiculous number of them put fliers up offering solo tutes for reasonable prices. One of my current registrars (NZ is a very small place, especially wrt med) was my physics/chemistry tutor in semester one of HSFY, and from memory I paid her like a total of $150 over a semester to teach me the few bits I couldn't have understood anyway. I failed high school chemistry and physics pretty badly, so was playing catch-up. Most people have fewer issues understanding those subjects than I did.

    The HSFY content is pretty straightforward, by and large. If you've done ok at school, you likely won't need someone to walk you through it anyway. So the hall you go to won't affect your odds of getting into your chosen course all that much. As I've said above, your own internal motivation matters far more.
     
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  2. Quacks

    Quacks Otago MBChB II

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    mso on a Friday night bro :p
     
  3. cereal

    cereal New Member

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    Hi-
    I'm hoping to go stay at Carrington next year. Just wondering what they might look for in applicants other than academic ability? I'm not worried about my level 2 results (E endorsement) but I suffer a bit in my extra curriculars. Just wondering how important that is?? :/

    Also- do the residential colleges look at level 3 results at all?
     
  4. frootloop

    frootloop Otago Trainee Intern (MBChB VI) Moderator

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    The uni-run halls* literally only know what they find out from the standardized application form (with the exception I think of St Margs, which might have some extra paperwork?).

    So like, in terms of things to differentiate you from other prospective HSFYs they have:
    1. The 20-word max. 'Why you preferenced those 3 colleges' statement.

    2. Your 300-word max. 'Tell us about yourself. Your interests and responsibilities' statement.

    3. Your NHI (which presumably they only/mainly use to look at your level 2 grades - would be pretty unfair on those taking predominantly external L3 papers for them to look at the L3 grades of those doing lots of internals).

    The rest will be mostly just for data collection purposes. Universities love having lots of data, so information about where you went to school and what subjects you studied is unlikely to be used in selection. They'd be more interested in having a certain balance in terms of what you will be studying (with some colleges probably wanting a greater proportion of HSFY students than others might) than what you studied at school.

    The 'why you want this college' thing would be difficult to really stand out in on the basis of only 20 words - especially considering 99% of applicants realistically don't know that much about what day to day life at each college is like. I'd imagine the responses to that question are pretty standard. So unless you have a really out-of-the-box reason which you can cram into 20 words, you're unlikely to stand out from the crowd much there.

    The second one probably counts for a bit more - although it probably depends just as much on how good you are at selling yourself as it does on how interesting you actually are. I wouldn't fret too much if you don't have stellar sporting, artistic *and* academic achievements in the bank. Very few people will stand out across multiple areas (you are all only just leaving high school, after all). Just be honest, talk about what you're passionate about/good at, and if possible try to tie that in to something your top couple of colleges say they're good at on their website. You don't even have to be super exceptional at the things you put down, just so long as they're things you enjoy. Like, if you're aiming for UniCol and you happen to love playing pool, you could mention that you'd love to unwind after lectures at the pool tables and would be looking forward to the pool tournament.
    As for 'responsibilities', those could be at school, in the community, at an after-school job, in your family, your friend group... just think about anywhere you've had responsibilities and talk about what those were.

    The key is to be honest and, if possible, interesting. The poor people who read the mountains of applications each year probably read hundreds of near-identical ones from high-achieving students, so try to find a way to spin your 'about me' section that'll grab their attention.

    It probably wouldn't hurt to briefly (briefly) mention how you think you could develop your interests/yourself as a person at that college and at uni generally.

    But it's important to remember that no matter how much effort you put into your application, these colleges see literally hundreds of well thought-out applications every year. My guess is that they're probably going to look at your academic record and then skim over your application to make sure you're an alright fit for them.


    *the private-r colleges (which may well have fallen into line with the rest of the uni since I was down there in '11) may well run things a little differently. Some of them are a little more like Hogwarts houses and probably do care a bit more about individual applications (and nepotism - if you're applying for Knox or Selwyn or something and had a relative go there, I'd mention that).
     
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  5. Verdigris

    Verdigris Member

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    Margs is still privately owned, and does have an extra form to fill in :)
     
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  6. MatchaLava23

    MatchaLava23 Member

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    Hello, has anyone been to Toroa (or know of it well), and if so, would you reckon it's a good idea to put it as a 3rd choice hall? Or is that too risky? Cheers! :)
     
  7. Pine

    Pine Member

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    I've had people in my labs from Hayward, St Margs and Knox who put them down as their 2nd choice, so no they weren't 1st choice only halls this year.
     
  8. frootloop

    frootloop Otago Trainee Intern (MBChB VI) Moderator

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    I don't think any hall has ever really been 'first choice only' - although it's popularly believed by many HSFYs.

    Plenty of people end up in St Margs/Carrington/Knox etc who didn't preference them first. So unless things have gotten way stricter recently (which it doesn't sound like they have), then there's still plenty of point putting your actual second and third preferences down.


    Just my usual word of caution though:

    People make a huge fuss over residential halls, and it isn't really warranted. They're all warm, they all feed you, and they all offer social events and the chance to build good friendships. The academic side is up to you - regardless of how 'good' a hall's tutoring is or whatever, ultimately your success or failure in HSFY will be determined by you. Not your hall.

    So if you don't get the hall you wanted, it'll still be a fun place to live and everything will be fine (I wanted St Margs and got UniCol. Worked out fine).
     
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  9. Pine

    Pine Member

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    Oh yeah, about the 300 word max thing - you can write more than 300 words if u want.
     
  10. BJMC28

    BJMC28 New Member

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    Hi everyone!
    Like most other people here, I'm off to Otago next year for HSFY and am wondering about halls. At the moment, I am keen on both Arana and Carrington but am unsure what order to put them in or what to choose for my 3rd choice. I went to the open day and got shown around Arana by some friends from last year and was really impressed by the academic results on top of high social priority. From what I have heard, Carrington has a similar environment and so am also interested. Most of all, I am looking for a college where there will be hard working people to motivate me and lots of extra support (tutorials etc.) for HSFY, as well as lots of social opportunities as I am a very sporty person. I am not overly keen on colleges such as St Mags as when I was shown through it, there seemed to be no fun in the place and the sole focus was on study (no offence to anyone that goes/went there!) If anyone has any recommendations on what colleges to put/what order to do it in, I'd appreciate it greatly.
    Thanks!
     
  11. hopefulgal

    hopefulgal Member

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    I would absolutely recommend Arana and Carrington, you have a tough decision to make! Both have excellent tutorials and emphasis on academics. Carrington is primarily HSFY students whereas Arana is a greater mix of students studying various degrees (but then again this may be due to their size). Both have pretty good food and general facilities too :) You'd be pretty safe with either - I would make my final decision based on proximity to campus and what hall size you prefer. For second and third preferences I would recommend putting down Hayward and Cumberland respectively - they are halls with a great mix of people, pretty good rooms (especially Hayward's) and are in the perfect location between campus and town, plus there is a good academic/social balance. Good luck with your decision and feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the other halls - I've had friends go to nearly all of them!
     
  12. BJMC28

    BJMC28 New Member

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    Thank you for your reply!
    What would your thoughts be on putting Arana and Carrington down for 1st and 2nd respectively (I'm still trying to decide in what order :) ) Would there be a chance of getting into the other if I'm not successful in my first choice or are there generally too many first choice applicants for this to be worth it?
     
  13. hopefulgal

    hopefulgal Member

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    Based on my + friends experiences from applying last year for 2018, putting down 2 first-choice halls was a bit of a waste of a preference since they usually have more than enough applicants to consider. Funnily enough, it's easier to get into a 1st choice hall from the waitlist than by choosing it as a 2nd or 3rd choice so if you were really unhappy with getting into another hall, you could definitely opt to be put on the waitlist of your preferred halls instead. Perhaps someone else might know more about this process but this is just our experience this year. Generally if you have a good school reference, grades, and put a bit more than the bare minimum effort into your application you should be fine :)
     
  14. BJMC28

    BJMC28 New Member

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    Has anyone had experience of people getting into Carrington with it as their second choice? I've decided (mostly through word of mouth and a quick tour) that Arana will be my top choice but am worried as to whether or not I'll get in.
    Thanks!
     
  15. Pine

    Pine Member

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    Basically no - Carrington gets all its spots filled up in the first round of offers. There is a chance you could be offered a place off the general waitlist if people pull out, but that means you'd have to be turned down or reject your top 3.
     

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