Seeing as I’ve made it through the first term of A-Levels (just about), I thought it might be useful for some of you who may not be in 6th Form/College yet, or those of you who are at the same point as me but you’re just freaking out about everything…
I’d just like to mention that I go to a 6th Form so I can’t say much about surviving College, but I’m sure it’s a similar thing. Either way I’ll try and make it useful for everyone, so here we go…
The first thing, which I’m sure you’ve all heard before, is that you have to stay on top of your work. And I’m not even joking. The step-up from GCSE’s to A-levels is pretty big. I think for a lot of subjects, the leap is bigger than in others, but as long as you have chosen subjects that a) you enjoy, and b) you know will benefit your future career, then you will be fine. It does take some time to get into a routine, and finding a way to get around the work but by this time in your educational journey, the teachers will (hopefully) treat you as adults. I always remember thinking that it was weird to be treated as an adult when I’m only 16 and there were times when I didn’t like the idea of that because I thought I’d have to be completely independent and that all my questions would be childish, because I’m sure many of you feel the same way when I say… I don’t think of myself as an adult yet. I’m not legally an adult and I don’t want to be treated like one just yet. But what they mean is, they treat you less like an eleven year old, and more like your actual age.
Use your study periods wisely. They have that name for a reason… to study. If you’re like me and have chosen subjects like Drama, Media, French and English Lit, then the problem I still find is that I don’t know how to revise all of my subjects. We didn’t do Media at GCSE’s, Drama is just learning lines and we don’t even have a script yet, and the other two… well English is mostly reading and taking notes about what you’ve just read and French is basically a harder version of GCSE French. You have to remember every single tense you learnt before, plus other ones that don’t make any sense because if you’re a lazy bum like me, I seem to learn one tense and understand it, and then when we go onto the next tense I forget the last one. French is hard. We have to do a listening, reading, writing and speaking exam, and with a language, the only way to get it is practicing, speaking and just going over it again and again, as boring as it sounds. SO with that in mind, Study periods are a really good way to get your work out of the way and you have less to do when you get home and all you want to do is sleep. Which leads me onto my next point.
Sleeping is good and don’t spend every night of the week staying up on Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook until 2am. It’s not a great routine to get into. I found that by the end of the first fortnight of 6th Form, I was exhausted and I just wanted to curl into a ball and hibernate for three months. Besides, I have a lot of things on outside of school, such as swimming five times a week, and I go to a drama group every Wednesday. Here’s a fun story about my Wednesdays.
I get up at 5:30am to go swimming at 6:00am, then I have a whole day at school, and sometimes I have hockey, then I have a few hours to spare before I have to go to StageCalls, which is from 8:00-9:45pm, so when people say they are tired on Thursday morning, they have nothing to complain about.
You need to prioritize the stuff in your life. I had to quit hockey for about two years because GCSE’s took up all of my time, and I became more serious with swimming. Even now, it might turn out that I have to go swimming less times per week because I’m doing a life-guarding course later this month which will mean that if I do, I’ll have to miss some sessions. Sport is a good thing to keep up, particularly for stress. A lot of people think that they should drop everything and study, especially when it comes to exam season, but that’s not true. Yes, revision is important but exercise is just as good. And apparently it helps you remember stuff so there we go.
Woah, this is a pretty full-on post. And I’ve only been in 6th Form for three months. The things you learn, eh?