Following interviews of numerous Year 11’s we saw that many were suffering the symptoms from pre-personal-project deadlines. It is a diagnosis many of us Year 12s are extremely familiar with, having suffered breakdowns and meltdowns the last days before the “Viva Voce”. Here we have written a few tips which we hope may be of help, but don’t forget , your personal project does NOT determine the rest of your life, so stay relaxed, keep calm and enjoy the joys of finally figuring out what the ATL skills are!
1. Chose a topic you enjoy. As cliché as this might sound, it is a true statement. You will be stuck with your project for a whole four months, with weekly meetings with your supervisors (hopefully…), therefore a topic which interests you will ensure that your product is the best it can be!
2. Meetings! As boring as they may be, your supervisors are extremely experienced in dealing with personal projects and their advice will be precious.
3. External workload. Unfortunately, the rest of your academic life does not freeze due to your personal project. Teachers will be giving homework and tests so at times, you will need to determine what to prioritise. However, don’t hesitate in contacting your teachers, they will be sure to be understanding (as long as your excuse is better than “my dog ate my homework...”)
4. Process journal. The much dreaded process journal… In true honesty, I myself did not invest much time in my process journal in the few months which was a huge mistake as the last two weeks before the Viva Voce, I spent my time looking through emails and trying to remember what I had done…
5. Viva Voce. This is an opportunity for you to showcase all your hard work to family, friends and teachers. Do invest time in making a stall attractive to the eye, to draw a crowd. During the Viva Voce, stay calm, prepare a small presentation on what you project is, why you chose it, your product and other informations which may influence your personal project.
6. Report. Do focus on your product but do not forget that it is your report that will receive an official grade. In therms of the report, follow the guidelines that can be found on the PP website. Do not go over the word count as points will be deducted for the latter.
7. Finally, enjoy the PP and enjoy year 11, because it is simply an appetizer for the joys of year 12!!