Scotland (Glasgow, Orkney, Inverness & Edinburgh)

After Ireland, we spent 4 days around Scotland.

Glasgow

I have had a fascination with Glasgow for a little while and wanted to go there so it was a good experience to actually be in the city.

Places visited and what I did

  • The ship docked in Greenock and we took a bus from there into Glasgow. The city seems like it has a younger population and felt hip with lots of cute trendy looking cafes and thrift shops which the tour guide said most of the kids get their clothing from.
  • We drove by the University of Glasgow which looks like something straight out of Harry Potter. It was used for filming the show Outlander.
  • The tour took us to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The building itself was unlike any other I have seen. The museum was very diverse, rooms filled with artefacts from Ancient Egypt, another room with things from the Vikings, the halls were filled with paintings and statues/sculptures. Downstairs also had a natural history area with many animals.
  • The bus drove through George Square and off to Glasgow Cathedral, St. Mungo’s Museum of Religous Life and Art (I didn’t go in here, I don’t think there was enough time), Provand’s Lordship (which had very nice gardens), and Glasgow Necropolis. Everything was so old, it was crazy to be there and think about how long that area of Glasgow had been there.

Photojournal

Orkney

The cruise ship we were on had a population almost the size (or maybe even bigger) of all of Kirkwall, which is the main city in Orkney.

Places visited and what I did

  • I took a bus tour to one of the beaches. Orkney has a very empty feeling to it. It’s not very populated, it’s very windy so there are no trees, there aren’t very many buildings. It’s sort of peaceful. The beach is sandy but there are also rocky cliffs. Some of the very small islands have sidewalks between them and people get caught when the tide is in.
  • After visiting the coast, the tour headed into the town of Stromness. It was very cute and had a little harbour.
  • From Stromness, we went to Neolithic Orkney. The bus drove by The Standing Stones Streness and we stopped at the Ring of Brodgar. It was crazy to stand there by the ring of stones and see how vast the sky is at that point and imagine how long they’ve been there. On one side of the Ring the water is from the sea and on the other side, it is fresh water. This place was very purposeful. It’s crazy. There was also wild cotton in the fields which looked like pompoms.
  • After the tours, we ventured out into Kirkwall for free wifi at the library. There was a church from 1100 AD that we couldn’t go in because a concert was taking place. The town is very well kept and filled with small shops.

Photojournal

Loch Ness & Inverness

This day was spent looking for Nessie on the lake. It was also very cold and I wasn’t prepared for that.

Places visited and what I did

  • We drove through a little town and the countryside to get to Loch Ness. It was so lush and the colours of everything very intense. Again, it was a great day for weather besides being a bit chilly.
  • At Loch Ness, there is a little inn and gift shops. As part of the tour, we boarded a boat to take us along the Loch. The lake itself is very deep (and dark, it’s easy to see how they don’t know if Nessie is there or not) about 750 feet at its deepest point. It’s also very foggy, making it super mysterious looking.
  • The boat went to Urquhart Castle. Some passengers got off here but we took the ride back to the inn.
  • Next stop was Inverness. It was very pretty. There were flowers everywhere and the River Ness runs through the city. We went into the Inverness Cathedral which seemed so modern compared to the previous cathedrals on the trip. Still, it was very old.

Photojournal

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is everyone who is on Amazing Race’s worst fear. It is like one giant maze. I could spend much more than a day in Edinburgh. The city looked stereotypically medieval.

Places visited and what I did

  • The ship had to dock in South Queensferry so it was a bit of a drive out to Edinburgh. It was much darker than other cities, not because of the weather but the difference in architecture. It was more ominous than London or the other bigger cities.
  • We went down the Royal Mile which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace where the Queen stays when she’s visiting. They were setting up for the Queen’s garden party so it was difficult to get photos of Holyrood. The Mile is filled with cashmere, sweets and other little shops like that for tourists.
  • In what seems like the middle of the city there is suddenly mountains and a park? Where people were rock climbing, hiking and walking their dogs.
  • After the drive around the city, we stopped at the National Museum of Scotland. A. Great. Museum. It was super diverse, ranging from animals to furniture. It’s also the home to the first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep. There was a fashion exhibit on so that’s where my time was spent. The museum itself is also very beautiful.

Photojournal

Next post will be the last day of the trip which was spent in France.

P.S. It’s Peri

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Scholarship Update

Several months ago I posted about struggling to find scholarships I qualified for. 

Update on my scholarship experience

After starting online school courses, I found out that made me eligible for automatic entrance scholarships at schools.  These are awarded upon admission when your average grade is 85% or higher. Usually, they are one time awards that will be taken off of tuition pricing. At the school I applied for, they range from $1,000 to $2,000 plus money off if you do a semester abroad. These awards are great because you don’t have to do anything extra to apply for them.

Thankfully, my grades were high enough to qualify for one of these entrance scholarships! I still haven’t found any others to apply to but that’s not going to stop me in future years.

Coming up soon will be a post on how I am trying to get through university debt free!

P.S. It’s Peri

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Exams With Online School

In order to fully complete my online courses, I had to take final exams.

The experience & what was required

I had never taken an official exam before this, besides the SATs but it turns out those were different. The SATs had set studying (Khan Academy SAT Practice) so I didn’t have to figure out how to study. All I needed to do was go through the SAT Practice. This time I was rather unprepared even though they provided a practice exam. The stress to finish fast and effectively took over in the first exam. Luckily by the last exam, it was not half as nervewracking.

The exam took place at a library with a proctor. Some online school exams can be proctored through a program and completed online, or with an in-person proctor you provide but still taken online. There were other students there taking other exams. You had to show photo ID to ensure you didn’t just get someone else to write the test (a very smart identical twin would be handy) and sign that you had taken the test. Each test was 2 hours. After the tests were completed they were sent to the ILC’s main office and it took about a week until I got my grades back.

Study method

Eventually, after several of the tests, I figured out a study method that seemed to work well.

  • If the practice exam is given, go through the questions and the answers to figure out what kind of questions are going to be asked and where you may struggle.
  • Review every lesson, concept, practice questions in the lesson and assignments. Especially the questions that are similar to the practice exam ones.
  • Ask yourself questions, Google to find extra questions on those topics, do questions out of the textbook. This ensures you know the topics. You could also teach concepts to someone else.
  • Take the practice exam mimicking the conditions you’ll be taking the real exam in.
  • Final review of everything before taking the test. Plus remain calm before the test, you’re almost finished!

I have learnt exam taking is not my strongest skill and I am working to get better at it! Do you have any study method that works best for you?

P.S. It’s Peri

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Boulder, Colorado Travel

If you’ve noticed I’ve been a little M.I.A on the blog this is the explanation why. I’ve been in Colorado and it’s time for the second (read the first travel-ish post here!) travel post here! I’m still a newbie for writing travel so eventually, it’ll find its grove.

Travelling

I haven’t been on a plane in 9 years and was a little too freaked out by the fact that I was flying (and it wasn’t a pleasant flight in general then) to actually appreciate how cool airports and flying are. Airports early in the morning are especially cool because it’s very quiet and people are sleeping on benches and reality feels altered. And with flying, YOU ARE IN THE SKY!! That’s crazy.

Sunrise over the runway while waiting for my flight. Featuring somebody’s juice bottle in the window??

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Food eaten, places visited and what I did

Between the 9 days (I think?) of travel, I have been to Toronto, Denver and Boulder. Also between the 9-ish days, food was eaten, things were done or not done at all I did lay on the floor staring at the ceiling for a bit. So I will condense it all down into points to avoid this post going on forever.

  • Stayed in an Airbnb. Benefits of this are that we had a kitchen, (didn’t have to eat out every meal), felt more local and had a backyard which seemed to be a lure to wild animals and a random poodle.
  • Went up Flagstaff Mountain. The mountains are just *there* and they’re beautiful. It makes you feel very small when something so big exists. Travelling up the mountain was slightly terrifying because heights, but spectacular to see the views from so high up.
  • Walked down Pearl Street Mall, ate at Locale,  Next Door and had coffee at The Cup. I didn’t take pictures of any of the food somehow. But I took pictures of basically everything else. Pearl Street Mall had many performers and always had lots of people wandering through.
  • Everything is organic, everyone rides bikes (legitimately bikes EVERYWHERE), the city is super pedestrian friendly. This was good so one doesn’t require a car while staying there. It’s stereotypically hippie and healthy and it’s kind of funny. This might be why National Geographic called Boulder the Happiest City in the USA. 
  • I was able to meet another one of my online friends on this trip which was exciting and another accomplishment! It’s one of my goals to visit as many of my friends as possible.
  • The weather was super dry compared to Canada. Which was nice but also not. Not nice because felt a bit like a dried up raisin and nice because it didn’t feel so hot out since there was pretty much no humidity.
  • Ran on trails through the mountains which was super peaceful and meditative.
  • Also enjoyed Amercian things like Dunkin Donuts (I hadn’t had a doughnut in 5 years), Cheez-its, Target and discount shopping. I impulse bought dresses at H&M. If you’ve read my Summer Clothes Haul you know I like H&M but the one in the US is even cheaper and has more selection.

Photo journal

Visiting poodle.
Overlooking Boulder from Flagstaff Mountain.

Pearl Street Mall.
View from The Cup cafe.
Latte from The Cup because latte art makes me very happy.

All photos and videos were shot with my iPhone 6 S. Photos were edited in VSCO.

First vlog (ish) video!

Should I make more Youtube videos? Would you like to see vlogs of future travels and other things?

P.S. It’s Peri

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May Goals Completed

May was the last month of serious school time constraints so those were the major goals. Over the summer the goals will be much less time-dependent.

Goals completed this month

Blog

  • Continue to monetize the blog. There will be posts on how I am working on monetizing the blog in the future!
  • Have over 1,000 followers. There are currently about 1,200. Very exciting!

School

  • Finish the current courses. Finally finished them :’)
  • Hear back from the university on my application. You can read about the school’s response here!
  • Get ready for finals and complete as soon as possible. Currently working on studying for the finals, but have to wait to complete the tests.

Fitness

  • Start lifting. It’s so satisfying to lift and now my favourite workout. My current weightlifting routine is Ashley Conrad’s 21 Day Clutch but only the lifting part.
  • Begin running outside. It’s so different?! It’s not my favourite but it’s good to get outside and fresh air and enjoy the weather.
  • More yoga!! I HAVE NOT BEEN STRETCHING. But now that it’s warmer it’s much easier to stretch since muscles are not constantly cold.

Fun and random

  • Make a summer bucket list so I won’t be too bored. The Summer Bucket List can be found here!
  • Start drawing more. I have drawn twice (I think???) but that’s much more than before so I’m looking forward to drawing more and improving my technique.

 

This is also the 100th post on the blog!! Thank you for following everyone!

P.S It’s Peri

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Accepted!!

After a few setbacks and much work, I was accepted into my top choice university!!

Finding out

University Number 1 only did admissions throughout the month of May. So, I was expecting to have to wait towards the end of the month or at least later on to hear back from the school. The first day of May I didn’t even check the application centre. But, the next morning I did and it read that there was an offer of admission! I thought that the school would have emailed right away, but they ended up sending an email more than a week later so I was glad I checked the application centre. Later on, the sent a letter in the mail letting me know as well as a handwritten letter from the academic advisor welcoming me to the school.

I revoked my applications to the other two schools and accepted this offer. Along with the offer of admission I was also awarded a scholarship for high marks, which will further help my goal of I  debt free.

I’m so relieved that the school accepted and that they accepted early on so the suspense was finally over. Also, that I get a backpack for school for the first time.

What now?

Just because I was accepted it does not mean I’m done!  The first step is to finish the coursework with marks that align with the admission offer conditions. Step 2, write the final exams for the courses. More on the experience of this later, after I actually take the exams! Exams will have to be graded and sent back to me before the school’s document deadline. Currently, I am working on studying and preparing for the finals, then I will be done!

Because of choosing to live at home during university there is less to prepare for, which is also much less stressful!

P.S. It’s Peri

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Liebster Award Number 2

I was nominated for The Liebster Award by Brad and just now getting around to the questions!

The rules:

  • Acknowledge the blog that gave you the award – send them some love!
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their achievement.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself.

Brad’s questions:

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING? 

I have been blogging since December 2016! So, almost a year and a half.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS FROM NOW?

Hopefully graduating from university.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

Usually, I get kind of lost as to what to do when I have spare time. I like trying to learn different types of dance, running, lifting, or drawing! Those are my favourite things to do.

HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED?

I’m not entirely sure about this one. I believe 4. Canada, The United States, The Caribbean Islands and Mexico. More to come, though!!

DO YOU ENJOY SPORTS? IF SO, WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE?

I haven’t played that many sports but hope to try some and find one that I like soon! Besides dance, of course. That would be my favourite.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?

Biology!

WHAT IS ONE BLOGGING TIP YOU HAVE FOR FELLOW BLOGGERS?

Be friendly and supportive of other bloggers. It builds the community, helps you get more views, you can make new friends and reading other people’s blogs is often pretty inspiring.

WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR LIFE?

There are so many! I am going to be kind of cheesy and say to help others.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK?

Tea or coffee. Spiced teas are my favourite and just plain black coffee.

HOW MANY SIBLINGS DO YOU HAVE?

I have one sibling.

DO YOU PREFER PURCHASING THINGS ONLINE OR FROM A STORE?

Online for sure! I talk about purchasing clothes online vs in person in a post here.

My nominees

 

My questions

  • What is the most recent photo you’ve taken?
  • What is your favourite word?
  • Have you ever met anyone famous?
  • If you could live in any country, what would it be?
  • If you could time travel, what era would you go to?
  • Favourite TV series?
  • If you could give a TED talk, what would it be about?

 

Thank you for the nomination again, these were good questions!

P.S. It’s Peri

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Homeschool Vs Online Public School, My Experience

A little while ago I mentioned that I started online public school (read the post here!). At first, I was very unsure as to how I would find public school courses since I’ve never taken any before.

The online school curriculum

I enrolled in the four courses required for my application to the university, advanced functions, biology, chemistry and physics. Previously, I had just finished the homeschool chemistry course I was taking, had completed a bio course 2 years ago and taken similar math last year. This definitely helped out in the public school courses for 2 reasons. One – I still had my notes from previous courses and two – the concepts weren’t foreign to me. It was basically review for a lot of topics.

To be completely honest, I don’t know how people who hadn’t had previous experience in the same topics would get through the course. The textbooks were not always as informative as I would have liked, but luckily there are opportunities to research elsewhere.

Grading and assignments

The biggest things I’ve gotten out of this experience is that showing your work with attention to detail while making the assignments look clean and easy to read are very important! This allows teachers to see where you have gone wrong if there is a mistake and also overall makes it easier to grade. Being homeschooled, sometimes that attention to detail can be overlooked. I’m glad that I’ve learnt this now before entering university.

Receiving feedback and actual number grades were quite satisfying. Usually, in my homeschool curriculum, I learn subjects until I am confident in my knowledge and until mastery. Because of this, I didn’t really have any number grades. If it wasn’t 100%, I didn’t move on. So, it was interesting first, to see where I compared to public school kids (homeschool problems, always afraid you have completely messed up and can’t compare to public school courses!) and to receive quantitative grades. Thankfully, I have done quite well and was told that the grades I was receiving were above provincial average. I’m very relieved!

Deadlines

There are two different deadline topics to talk about, one having deadlines for turning work in and two, having an overall coursework deadline.

Being homeschooled, there hasn’t been many deadlines to get assignments and things finished. The online school I have been using does not impose deadlines either, besides the overall course deadline of 10 months. In order to complete all four courses in time, I had to set my own deadlines. I completed a few units and figured out about how much time it took me, then made a very fancy (not at all!) schedule to check off which lessons and units had been completed.

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A very dark picture of my very fancy school schedule. 

I also put the predicted days of when I would submit work into my phone calendar to ensure I was on track.

Without the short deadline for having mid-terms and final marks in, I would never be motivated enough to actually finish these courses. With the deadlines, it has taken me 9 weeks to complete all the coursework (should be finished all courses by tomorrow). The deadlines have been a great source of motivation and it hasn’t felt terribly overworked.

Since I am about to finish all of the coursework, I will have more posts on taking the final exam and other school things coming up soon!

Also be sure to vote on my Instagram story (link to my Instagram here!) about future post topics you would like to see! Voting only lasts for 24 hours.

P.S. It’s Peri

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School Mistakes Were Made

My school of choice starts admissions in May (fingers crossed for acceptance!!) so in mid-March, just before spring break, I emailed the admissions office to double check that everything was OK for applying. I highly recommend doing this, especially if you’re homeschooled, to ensure you have everything you need for the application process. Admissions wrote back and said that I would need to take the required courses for Kinesiology through an Ontario high school in order to be considered for admissions. In retrospect, this makes complete sense and they had said that in the requirements, but I assumed that it was just the school saying it was easier for them if you go to public school for grade 12. They want everyone to be evaluated as fairly as possible, so having homeschool applicants take at least the required courses through a public school takes everyone to a level playing field.

In order to be considered for Fall 2018, I had to submit progress grades within 2 weeks (hence the short hiatus) of having emailed the school. This meant that taking these required courses at a public school was not an option for the time crunch. So, I enrolled in an online public school that allows students to work at their own pace. In future posts, I will talk more about the experience of switching to an online public school. Progress grades were submitted within the short time limits and currently, I’m working on fully finishing the courses!

Some points if I were to do this again/tips

  • Email admissions early! About as soon as you apply, that way you have plenty of time to do whatever else may be required.
  • They only required 4 courses in the final year to be taken with a public school, so you do not need a whole year’s course load at a public school. Other schools may be different, though. I only double checked with my #1 school choice.
  • It was actually a benefit having a time crunch because it forced me to get lots of schoolwork done. Good motivation.
  • The first term of grade 12 can be homeschool courses (I would take things relating to the required public school courses because there would be less pressure initially and more time to fully learn concepts) and the second term can be public school courses.
  • Even though it’s been stressful, overall it’s not too bad. The more I work for this the better it will feel once it’s over and hopefully once they accept.

 

 

P.S. It’s Peri

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I Met An Online Friend And It Wasn’t Creepy + Niagara Falls Travel

This accidentally got posted on Tuesday, but I was busy and had forgotten to fill it in (AWKWARD) so now it’s the legit post! Sorry, about that! Now on to the actual post.

Homeschooling and online friends

Often with homeschooling, people are concerned about socializing and how it is done when kids are not in a traditional school. (you can read my post where I talk more about socializing here!) Just because it’s not the traditional way doesn’t mean we don’t make friends. We make friends everywhere from homeschool groups to communities classes, one just has to be creative.

A big source of friendships for me has been online. It allows for a broad range of friends and people around the world who you can interact with at any time (or not interact with if you don’t feel like it!) as opposed to if they were friends from school who you would just see during school hours or when you hang out after. This is good for homeschoolers, too, since they can interact during the day. I will definitely talk more about online friendships in the future, but for now, this is on meeting one of my close friends for the first time!

How we met online and meeting IRL

We met each other in 2016 (I think??) on a game and the first day she invited me to join in on a Skype call with a few others from the game to chat while we played. A little while later I created a group of a bunch of people that I liked and wanted to get to know better and since then we’ve had many calls where we do things like try to recreate makeup looks, watch movies (usually Disney Channel classics that I haven’t seen because I failed at Disney Channel watching besides Phineas and Ferb), cook or sometimes just talk. From calling and the amount of time spent together we had gotten to know each other for awhile before the meeting, just needed to get that in so it doesn’t sound too creepy. We found out we didn’t live too far away from each other and decided we would plan a trip to Niagara Falls together on my birthday!

  Niagara Falls has an amusement park where for a pretty good price (about $30) you get tickets to 6 attractions, which were a lot of fun. It’s a good idea to have something to do when meeting so it doesn’t become too boring or awkward, plus it’s in a public area for safety.

We found each other and took pictures right away and got some food before starting with the attractions. It would seem like meeting someone for the first time in person after years of knowing each other would be weird, but it felt pretty normal besides that fact that we were in an amusement park.

The first attraction we did was the Movieland Wax Museum, quite creepy to be honest, but fun to take pictures with all of the celebrities. There was a haunted hallway (I’m not actually sure what it was but it was like a haunted house as part of the museum) that we walked through and I was absolutely terrified and screamed like crazy when there was a loud noise. We tried to get out fast. Next was Ghost Blasters which was built into The Great Canadian Midway. It sort of reminded me of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyworld only in 3D. I did not win at that and also jumped at anything that was coming towards me in 3D. I have the best of nerves. After that, we rode the Wild West Coaster, which is a 3D movie in special chairs that make it feel like a roller coaster. With the Fun Pass, you get arcade tickets so we played there and won 2 matching bracelets (which we both ended up losing).

There is a giant Ferris wheel over the falls also included in the pass. It provides good photo opportunities of The Falls.

Next on the pass was glow in the dark mini golf which was very fun and a 6D zombie ride similar to the coaster but with lasers shooting the zombies. After we had finished the pass we walked down to the falls then got tea before heading off. All in all a very fun and memorable birthday.

Have you met any online friends before? Have you been to Niagara Falls before?

P.S. It’s Peri

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