Results Day 2018 (+ A Level recap!)

Right. I’ve already written this post out TWICE but somehow managed to lose the drafts?? (WordPress is CLEARLY conspiring against me!!!!!!!!). So now I’m handwriting it up in a notebook to type up later because I don’t trust technology anymore!!

As it was A Level results day last week, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on the past two years now that this chapter in my education has come to a close. I don’t know if this will be interesting but I like reflecting on things and can’t really believe A Levels are over???

For context, in the UK after you finish secondary school at 15/16, it is compulsory to staying education until you are 18 and one pathway you can choose to go down is studying A Levels and that is what I’ve been doing for the past two years. After having a bit of difficulty trying to narrow down which 3 (or 4) subjects I wanted to study, I finally settled on geography, history and French as these had been the subjects I enjoyed most at GCSE. I did contemplate taking law as well but decided to drop it on enrolment day as I wasn’t really interested in it. Even though the college tried to force me to take four A Levels due to my GCSE results claiming I’d “get better results” if I did four as it would “make me work harder” (I ranted about this here lol), I was happy with the three I chose.

I think it took me the best of September to December of Year 12 to settle in at college. Everything was new to me. I had to take an hour bus journey instead of a short walk, my timetable was very different with lots of free time that I had to learn to manage effectively, the workload was very demanding and I was surrounded my so many new people. However, all of these new experiences have really helped me to become a lot more independent and confident.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably read my various rants about my different A Level subjects (perhaps I’ll link some of my A Level related posts at the bottom of this one in case they’re useful to someone??). I think when you study subjects in such a level of depth as you do at A level, you soon discover what you’re most interested in and best at. Although I loved geography at GCSE, the A Level really was an uphill battle. I definitely enjoyed most of what we were learning and the broader perspective it gave me on global issues, however the scientific and geological aspects really weren’t my strong points, not to mention the maths! I probably did the most independent work for geography as well as it just took me forever to get my head around things. At the end of Year 12, I kind of wished I could drop geography as I didn’t know how I would cope with another year of it, but I persevered and I’m so glad I did. In my exam recap, I explained how badly I thought the geography exams went. I feel like I never really understood how to do the geography exams?? Or answer the questions?? I think my brain just works differently to how a geographers brain should, and it didn’t help that my teacher didn’t really understand what the examiners wanted from us and didn’t like marking our work. Either way, geography was definitely my hardest subject. I’m just so glad I spent so many hours writing and re-writing my coursework because my results last week confirmed that the exams didn’t go too well, especially Paper 1 and 2, so my coursework really saved me there! (And thank goodness for low grade boundaries!!!!!!!).

As for history, I didn’t really enjoy the course as much as I’d hoped. History had always been my favourite subject and I was sure I wanted to study it at uni but I just?? I don’t know what it was but I just didn’t love it that much. It’s not that the content wasn’t interesting as I did like the paper about changing democracy in Britain in the 20th century and the coursework on the origins of the Holocaust,  I think I just realised it wasn’t for me anymore and I wanted to broaden my mind and knowledge in other ways. I still worked really hard for history though, and the exams went really well so the hard work really paid off!!

French was the subject I was most apprehensive about because back in Year 11 when I chose my A Levels, I was very quiet and wouldn’t contribute in class, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do a subject that depended so heavily on speaking and having confidence. However taking French has been the best thing I’ve ever done. It really has changed me and I have so much more confidence now!! Languages are so rewarding to study and out of all of my subjects, I made the most progress in French across the two years. I barely knew French grammar or could string more than a sentence together when I started, and somehow I managed to do a 20 minute speaking exam, write essays on a book and film and complete translations with decent accuracy???? I was just SO SHOCKED when I opened my results because I couldn’t believe how much progress I’d made??? It’s so hard to maintain a constant grade in languages as it really depends on the paper and what comes up. Literally the week before my final French exam – the literature/film essays – we did a mock and I got a D which really threw my confidence as I’d been getting As and Bs all year, but I worked so, so hard after that and managed to write the best essays I’ve ever written in the final exam??? I just CAN’T believe that I did it and got the grade that I wanted????!!?! AHHHH.

I can remember in first year being very nervous before our fortnightly speaking sessions or before reading passages in class, even translations were scary when we first started doing them and now they’ve become something that I love. I’m so, so glad that I’ve had such a good teacher over the past two years and supportive classmates. Some of my best memories from college come from French and I’d love to do it all over again.

As you can probably tell, I am most happy about my French result because I just fell in love with subject and when you do well at something you love, it’s such an amazing feeling. I am proud of my other results too though. I know I could’ve gotten better results in different circumstances but there’s always more work you can do but that doesn’t mean you need to (this me is attempting to deal with perfectionist part of my brain lol). I still can’t believe my friends and I have made it through A Levels and are now going on to the next stages of our lives. It’s a very surreal feeling.

I know this has been a bit rambly, but as you can probably tell I’m just a liiiiittle bit emotional after results day. I’m so happy with what I achieved and it feels SO STRANGE that I never have to do A Levels again?? I’m a bit sad about finishing college in a way because although it had it’s fair share of drama, stress and tears, I feel like the struggle of A Levels really has shaped me as a person. I can’t quite put my finger on it but reading back through some of my posts from Year 12 and 13 just feels so weird?? Like, I can’t believe how much my friends and I have changed. I will definitely cherish the good memories!! I didn’t miss secondary school after I left, but I will definitely miss college.

I sincerely hope that everyone who received A Level results last week got the grades that they needed to progress onto their next step. You should be so proud of yourselves for making it through and I hope you can look back on A Levels with some good memories in spite of the all the stress!! Good luck to anyone collecting GCSE results this week too 🙂

I’ve linked some previous posts about A Levels from the past two years in case they might be helpful! This will be the last post I ever write about A Levels so from now on you are free from my rants haha 😂

A Level study/revision tips  (this is from Year 12 so by Year 13 I’d developed a few new ways of studying but these tips may still be useful!!)

A big thread of A Level advice

My French journey including thoughts about A Level French!!

My experience of Year 12 and what going to college is like

Summer between Year 12 and 13 study goals

Tips for starting sixth form

Sixth form stationary haul

The School Routine Tag

Study with me: Year 13 revision edition

Study with me: Easter revision edition

Exam season thoughts 2018

A Levels are over!! Exam recap

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The A Level Days Are Over!!

Hey! Here I am, re-emerging from the depths of exam woes to tell you that I am DONE with Sixth Form! I had my last exam yesterday morning. The relief hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I thought I’d give you all a little update (*cough cough* RANT) about how I found this exam season.

This exam season has without doubt been the hardest exam season ever. Of course, I knew A Levels were going to be hard but these exams really did push me to breaking point. Unfortunately, I have had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life throughout exams, which has been inconvenient to say the least. It really has been a struggle just to motivate myself to study or even turn up to exams because to be honest they felt insignificant whilst it felt like my life was crumbling around me. I do feel like this has affected by exam performance (I mean, I turned up to history Tuesday morning after having a massive breakdown at 1am so y’know) and honestly, I am a bit disappointed with myself, because I’ve worked so hard over these past two years and I feel like I majorly underperformed in some exams, however I know that most of the things that have been going on are outside of my control so I shouldn’t be to hard on myself. Anyway, I thought I’d do a little breakdown of how each of my subjects went, if anyone is interested, probably more for self-reflection on results day so I can see if the exams went as badly as I thought!
Geography

Argh geography! I’ve probably ranted about geography on here before. It’s been the subject I’ve struggled the most with during A Levels I think. There’s just so much content??? Everyone says geography is just colouring in maps but in reality learning about the world involves aspects of several different subjects, like biology, politics, history, maths etc. You need so many skills to do geography and questions range from statistical tests to long essays to analysing English language in one paper (I’m looking at you, human geog paper…why did we have to analyse the negative tone of a blog post!??). I feel like I never really mastered exam technique for geography, some of the questions are so vague you have no idea what the examiner wants from you. 

Paper 1 (physical geography) was probably my best paper, although at the time I thought it went badly because I did 40 marks worth of questions in 15 minutes because I was running out of time. The following papers however, were much MUCH worse. Paper 2 (human geography) was just??? I can’t even explain. Was it even geography?? Edexcel what WERE you thinking?? Why are we analysing postage stamps and the case study of Hull (which wasn’t even on the spec)? Also (I could have a whole rant about this but I’ll spare you the misery) my college really messed up with exam invigilators. I mean, they only had enough for one per exam, which is against the rules anyway, so in my Paper 2 exams our invigilator had to make two phone calls IN THE EXAM HALL to ask for extra paper and because someone needed escorting to the toilet. I was so annoyed I couldn’t concentrate and shortly after that, I asked for extra paper and the invigilator gave me a paper someone had already written in for a different subject?! It was A Mess™. But at least everyone found it hard so it wasn’t entirely my fault that I felt like I did badly. Paper 3, on the otherhand, that was entirely my fault. I was so tired and not in the right mindset to be sitting an exam. This paper is synoptic so it aims to cover all of the compulsory units from the other two papers. The actual case study that the resource booklet focused on was decent and I knew some stuff about it, and the questions weren’t awful, but my exam technique just went out the window and I felt like everything I wrote was a load of waffle. Oh well. So, I don’t think I’ve done as well in geography as I was hoping, which is frustrating.
History

History has always been the subject that I just sort of seem to be able to do without spending hours and hours on it. I was a bit nervous about the exams because I hadn’t revised for them as much as geography (and look what use that was. Ha!) but thankfully Edexcel were kind to us and gave us three really nice papers!!!!!! In total, I wrote 8 essays – 3 on the transformation of Britain’s democracy in the 20th century, 2 on USA boom, bust and recovery 1920-1955 and 3 on the 16th-17th century witchcraze.

Most of the questions which came up I’d actually seen before (or seen a version of) in the example questions in text books and revision guides (because we don’t have past papers), so that was great! In the Britain paper, we had a source essay on Thatcher’s economic policy which was something I was really confident on so hopefully that went well. And in the USA paper, the source question was on the KKK and was almost identical to one I had written and sent to my teacher a few days before!! And one of the sources was exactly the same!! So luck was definitely on my side for that exam. The witchcraft exam surprisingly went well too, even though it was my least favourite topic and I barely had any sleep before hand. 
French

The first exam I did this year was my French speaking, over a month ago now! I can’t remember exactly how it went to be honest. It consisted of two parts – talking about 1 of 12 topics we studied over the past two years (I had the choice of family or diverse society so went with the latter) and then our individual research presentation, which I can’t really describe other than being a spoken version of coursework?? I had to do a lot of research for my chosen topic – the Calais jungle. Both elements of the exam are followed by a spontaneous discussion and in total it lasted around 20 minutes I think?? I feel like the research project definitely went better than the card on diverse society, I almost had too much to say about Calais and my teacher had to cut me off! But overall I think it was okay?? I managed to use complex phrases and idioms, but whether my grammar was accurate is another question!

My other two French exams I did this week – paper 1 on Monday and paper 2 today. Paper 1 was reading, writing, listening and translation and makes up 50% of my grade. It was my longest exam and definitely the most tiring – foreign languages take so much concentration and effort! After I came out, I realised I made a few stupid mistakes, which is inevitable I guess. I can’t really tell how well I’ve done though, because a lot of the questions seemed as if they were trying to catch me out, particularly multiple choice. It wasn’t the hardest paper I’ve done, but it wasn’t the easiest either. Who knows!

Paper 2 this morning was an essay on the book and film we study – Un Sac de Billes and La Haine. I did a mock for this two weeks ago, and it went really badly, mainly because I chose the wrong question (it appeared easier at first but turns out I had no ideas after I started writing it oops) so I was so stressed about this exam. However I think it went okay?? I mean, my film easy was definitely worse than my book essay, which is sort of normal for me anyway, but I do feel like I didn’t mess up the film essay as badly as in the mock, my ideas were just a bit wishy-washy. I tried really hard to use complex phrases and grammar and a variety of vocab, so hopefully that paid off! I kind of wish I could have kept that paper because I was so happy with my Un Sac de Billes essay (the book) lol.

Overall, I’m not really sure how French went. I really, really wanted to get an A in French because it is my favourite subject and I’m going to be carrying it on at uni. Also I’ve been getting A’s all year so I hope I haven’t let myself down at the last hurdle with a load of silly mistakes! I guess only time will tell, but I am slightly more hopeful about French than geography.

So, that’s how my exams went. I had 9 in total, and although that seems like not many compared to GCSEs, most of them were over 2 hours long so I was absolutely shattered after finishing each exam. I am proud that I scraped through exams, with everything else going on, and I’ll just have to see what happens on results day. I know my place at uni is secured, unless I fail everything, so that’s some comfort at least!

I would just like to say to anyone that has been taking exams these past few weeks – or is not quite finished yet – I am so proud of you and you should be too! 

That’s all from me for now, I’ve got to sort through all my A Level notes and mounds of text books and paper, although I don’t think I can bring myself to recycle to years of hard work, stress and tears just yet!

Hopefully I’ll be back again soon with some more exciting posts now it’s summer. 🙂

(Featured photo is of the yellow roses in my garden which have been bringing me happiness throughout exams – THEY’RE SO PRETTY)

Exam Season Thoughts!!

Hello! As a lot of you will know (and as I keep going on about), it’s currently exam season here in the UK. I thought I’d take some time to check-in and share some thoughts with you I guess!

Exam season so far has been a bit of a mess for me. Firstly, I was ill for almost three weeks with a flu type thing. I’ve only just been feeling better this past week, which was lucky as I had my first exam on Wednesday (French speaking) and it would have been an absolute disaster if I still couldn’t speak properly. Being ill in exam time is really inconvenient. I had to take time off from college and revision and I felt really overwhelmed because I’d got so behind on work. Then once I started getting better, the stress hit me like a tonne of bricks and I found myself having almost daily breakdowns because everything was overwhelming and I just couldn’t cope.

However, I’ve managed to pick myself back up again and I’ve learnt a lot about the importance of finding a balance between studying and looking after my health. So I guess I feel like sharing it in case it helps anyone else – or my future self – out.

Personally, I have always been very organised when it comes to exam season, as in, I like to have my revision completely planned out so I know what I should be doing when and I’d make revision timetables months in advance. However this year, I’ve probably made about six different revision timetables and just haven’t been able to stick to a schedule. I’d end up missing revision one day because I was too tired or had other commitments then found myself constantly trying to catch up with all the stuff I’d missed as well as get all the stuff I’d scheduled for that day finished and quite frankly it just didn’t work and made me way more stressed out than I needed to be.

My teacher said to me a while ago that the secret to good revision is to stop planning and start doing, and I’m only know realising how right he was because I’d spend hours trying to figure out a revision timetable that worked, in the mean time getting frustrated and stressed about the amount of work I had to do and lack of time, then I’d be too worked up to actually do any work and before I knew it the day would be over and I hadn’t achieved anything. Now I’ve decided that revision timetables just don’t work for me anymore or with the demands of my A Level subjects, so I’ve developed a new, much better system.

Basically, I just write out a list of everything I need to do in the near future to feel confident for each of my exam papers, then each week/weekend I’ll choose the paper that I feel most concerned about at that moment and will focus on getting as far through the list as possible that week/weekend. That way, I’m not stressing myself out by saying I need to write so many essays on this day, instead I just get on with it and actually do some work. I can be a lot more productive if I’m not telling myself I will fail if I don’t get through a certain amount of work each day, and I feel like I’m learning and remembering a lot more because I’m less stressed. Revision is actually becoming a bit more enjoyable.

I know different revision techniques work better for different people, but I thought I’d found my ‘revision style’ after going through two GCSE exam seasons, but I guess they in which we study best changes when we grow and learn more. So the lesson I’ve learnt from this is that I should be more open-minded to shaking-up my revision and studying a bit and to not stress myself out by setting unrealistic goals!

Good luck to everyone doing exams at the moment, make sure you take time to take care of yourself too. 🙂

Study With Me: Easter Edition!!!

Hello! Although I – uncharacteristically – have lots of inspiration for blog  posts at the moment (namely philosophical musings about life inspired by public transport and weather and all sorts of other not-very-exciting-things-which-keep-leading-me-to-consider-deeper-meanings), I’ve decided to do another study with me, because I don’t have enough time to do any of these thoughts justice, but I still wanted to write a little update. Hope you enjoy 🙂

8:30 – Wake up (to the annoying sound of my alarm because otherwise I’d sleep until 10am lol). I had some breakfast, got ready and made my to-do list for the day.
Sticky note reading: USA flashcards and quizlet, geography coursework, la famille vocab and la famille speaking mock
I’m actually a day ahead with revision, because I did all of today’s scheduled revision yesterday, so I decided to do tomorrow’s today.

10:00-11:00 – History flashcards

I managed to get through half of the unit I’d planned to make flashcards on because it took a lot longer than expected, but that’s okay because I’ll finish them off tomorrow.

Flashcards
11:00-11:20 – History Quizlet

I typed up the key polices, dates and statistics from my history flashcards into Quizlet – which is quickly become one of my favourite revision resources. It basically allows you to create a virtual set of flashcards which you can complete various activities and games with to help you learn them, it’s particularly useful for language vocab but works for history too!

11:20-1:00 – Geography coursework

My coursework dealdine is in 8 days, so I’m trying to use any non-revision time to work on editing it. Somehow my word count keeps increasing even though I’m trying to make it shorter?? I’m already over the 4000 word limit so it’s going to take a lot of time to get it below that.

4:45-6:00 – French speaking practice

I had a bit of a break in revision for lunch then I had to go to town to do some shopping and visit the bank. When I got home I was so tired I had a nap (#studentstruggles). But! Once I started French revision I got a lot done. I went through all the vocab for “La Famille” unit on Quizlet, then read through all the key facts/statistics and responses to “unpredictable” questions for that unit. After that I did a mock exam using a speaking card like the one’s we are given in the first part of our exam. We get five minutes to prepare (hence my scruffy handwriting pictured below) then have to give our responses and answer a few unpredictable questions for a total of 6 minutes. I recorded myself speaking as well (although in hindsight this wasn’t a great idea – listening back to yourself trying to speak a foreign language is the worst thing ever).

French revision guide with annotations
6:45-8:15 – Geography coursework

After dinner I went back to my coursework and tried to make some progress. I did a bit of editing but mainly sorted out my bibliography and positioning of photos (because aesthetics are important clearly). In the end I was too tired and kept going round in circles so I gave up for revision for the day and did a bit of yoga to wind down.
Thank for reading and, as always, hope you are well! 🙂

Blissfully Happy

This morning I woke up and opened my curtains to the delight of blue sky and sun. I love this time of year when the weather’s getting warmer and the days are getting longer. After doing some work, I joined my parents in our garden and sat in the glorious sun, reminiscing about all the memories this garden holds. 

When I was younger, I remember running around making up elaborate fantasy games with my sister, or playing football and cricket with my dad. Those rare heat waves where it would be warm enough to get the paddling pool out are some of my favourite memories. As I’ve grown older, the garden has become more of a place of rest and studying. For the past few summers, I’ve spent my days revising in the garden surrounded by flowers and birdsong and the sound of mowing lawns and children playing outside as I once did. I love it. I love how seeing blue skies and sun reminds me of all of this.

Summertime in secondary was great, we used to sit out on the picnic tables and laugh lunchtime away, not to mention the after school water fights. Summer breaks we’d go away camping as a family together and explore the Great British Coast. 

I guess I’m feeling about nostalgic because this spring/summer will be my last summer at home, surrounded by my friends and family. The last time I can revise for exams in our garden, the last time I can make trips to the beach with my friends and revel in our lack of responsibility and being able to get away with acting a (little) bit childishly. 

I’m determined to make the most of my last few months at college though, surrounded by great friends who I hope I can stay in touch with and spend our last summer together with. Thinking about it, college has been the best few years of my life so far and I know I’ll cherish these memories forever. If I could go back and do it all again, I would definitely make sure I spent more time socialising and having fun with my friends instead of declining invitations in order to study like I did last year. If there’s one thing you should all take from reading this, it’s to cherish your teenage years and have fun whilst you can.

Study With Me: Last Week

Hello! Long time no blog right? I thought I’d try something different and try to document what I’ve studied this past week and for roughly how long. Partly to motivate me to study so I can actually write this, and partly because I’m curious as to how much time I spend studying each of my three subjects. College recommends we do at least 4 hours of independent study per subject per week, so it’ll be interesting to see if I actually stick to that in a typical week and whether I spend more time on some subjects over others. I’ll also include how much time I spend in lessons as well to give you an idea of what my timetable is like as an A Level student. This post is going to be a bit mathsy and probably not the most interesting, but bear with me here! I’ve been struggling with ideas lately 😝

Wednesday

3 hours French lessons

1 hour 30 minutes geography homework

1 hour 30 minutes history revision

Wednesday’s aren’t usually this productive for me, because I’m usually quite tired after I get home from college (gotta love getting up at 6:30) but yesterday I got given quite a bit of geography homework due in on Thursday so I had to spend a lot of time on that, and I skipped the history revision that I’d scheduled in for yesterday, so I had to catch up on that. For the history revision, I did some essay plans for the politics and economics unit (my fave and least fave – politics is cool but economics is SO CONFUSING) and I also made a flashcard set for the key policies and events from the unit on Quizlet (because they are a nightmare to learn). I wanted to find some sort of website where I could make a big interactive timeline sort of think to help with history, because the period we study is massive – 1918-1990 – and I can never remember which Prime Minister was in power when, what party they represent and what policies they enacted. It’s really difficult to write the essays without knowing who was in power, so if anyone has any tips for revising history I’d appreciate the help!

Thursday

3 hours geography lessons

1 hour 30 minutes history lessons

15 minutes geography homework

Today I wasn’t very productive outside of lessons. I had a 3 hour gap between geography and history as usual, but I only managed to do about 15 minutes of work before I got distracted by my friends. Then by the time I got home I was too tired to do anything but oh well, tomorrow us a new day!

Friday

30 minutes history homework

1 hour geography homework

30 minutes French revision

I never have lessons on a Friday, so you think I’d have plenty of time to do work right? Well, I slept in a bit too late this morning, then spent ages trying to fix my laptop and just generally got a bit distracted. Oops. I did manage to finish off some history and geography homework/classwork though and made some flashcards for French.

Saturday

1 hour 30 minutes rewriting geography notes

15 minutes rewriting history notes

45 minutes French homework

30 minutes geography revision

1 hour 30 minutes history coursework

The weekend is where I usually try to rewrite my notes from the past week, because often my class notes are messy and we miss out stuff from the text book so I just go back through each chapter and write my notes up nearly so they’re easier to revise from. I had to do two chapters of geography this morning which is why it took so long, and then had to file away various worksheets and assessments. I managed to do 45 minutes of speaking practice for my French speaking mock next week which basically just involved talking to myself and answering questions about the topic I’m being tested on. Then I worked on my history coursework as I have to have the final draft ready for next week.

Sunday

1 hour 30 minutes French homework

I cycled 15 miles. I am exhausted. I just want to sleep. It’s not even that far but I haven’t cycled in months. So therefore I have been very unproductive today.

Monday

3 hours history lessons

30 minutes geography revision lesson

1 hour 30 minutes geography revision

2 hours French homework

I managed to finish off the French homework I started yesterday, it took ages!! I had an extra geography lesson at college where we went over exam technique, so when I came home I did a bit more exam practice.

Tuesday

1 hour 30 minutes geography lesson

15 minutes French revision

1 hour geography revision

I went into college early before my  lesson to do some geography revision then because it was parents evening, my French lesson was cancelled this afternoon so I did a bit of revision for my French speaking test tomorrow, although I still don’t feel prepared 😂

Total:

12 hour 30 minutes of lessons

7 hours 15 minutes of geography homework/revision

3 hours 45 minutes of history homework/revision

5 hours of French homework/revision

Well…I’m pretty surprised at the totals to be honest! I didn’t realise I spent so much time studying – 16 hours in total – which is more hours than I spend in lessons. It just goes to show how much independent work A Levels require. It’s interesting to see that I spend the most time on geography, but I suppose it makes sense as we get a lot of homework and I do find it hardest so I spend more time trying to understand the content. History is my least favourite subject, so I don’t spend much time on it but I do enough to keep my grades up and although there is barely any content for French, it does require a lot of practice which is why I spend a lot of time on it.

So I met the recommended 4 hours a week of independent study for 2 out of 3 subjects last week, which isn’t bad! I think the amount of studying people do at A Level varies, depending on which subjects you find more difficult or which ones you want to prioritise – I know I wouldn’t meet my target grade for geography if I didn’t spend the most time on it. I hope this has been an interesting guide to those of thinking about A Levels or studying them currently. 🙂

An update: responsibility and partying??

Hello! Today I wanted to talk about something a bit more positive than my last post. For a bit of background, since starting college/sixth form last year, I gave up explorer scouts and volunteering at cub scouts – which was one of my absolute favourite things to do – for various reasons which je n’ai pas avoir les temps d’expliquer. So since starting year 12, I haven’t really had any hobbies, other than blogging, that I do outside of studying. I don’t have a part time job either, not that I haven’t considered it but in all honesty I don’t think it would be great for my mental health (neither is panicking that if I don’t get a job now, I won’t have enough experience to get a job later in life, but that’s just irrationality ahh). So all I do is go to college, come home and study and occasionally blog. Which… isn’t great. I mean, it’s good to have time to focus on my studies but I really don’t think it helps with the loneliness I touched on in my last post as I don’t have anything to distract me from the stresses of life.

However, I have recently taken on some more responsibilities in college, to give me something extra to do and get a bit more involved in the college community. I was elected student representative for A Level French, which isn’t really an achievement when your class contains less than ten people and none of them wanted to do it 😂, but either way I’m kind of proud of myself for putting myself out there and having the confidence to do something I wouldn’t have been able to do this time last year. My role as student rep basically means I have to hold forums within my class and get my fellow students feedback on the lessons as well as wider topics such as the college learning environment. Then we have to attend a sixthform-wide forum with heads of faculty and feedback to them. So sort of like student council I guess but with fancy pin badges and free buffets (gotta love a buffet right).

I’ve met some of the other student reps in training sessions we had, and it’s such a refreshing experience to meet new people at college who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. 

As well as being a student rep, I also worked as student ambassador last week at the college open day, which was actually quite fun. I only worked for half of the day, and I haven’t been paid (in chocolate) yet, but hopefully I’ll receive that this week. It was so interesting to meet year 11s who were thinking about studying the subjects I’m doing and to tell them a bit about the subjects (hopefully I didn’t scare them off!). Surprisingly a lot of the parents were interested in asking me about my plans for university which was…strange. Meeting the year 11s made me feel old though – I can remember going to open days at my college and thinking that the sixth formers seemed so grown up and wondering how I could ever seem as mature as them, and now it’s weird to think that I’ve changed so much since I was in year 11 trying to figure out what A Levels to pick.

The thing I love about volunteering is that it makes me discover more about myself. For example, I’ll quite often dismiss myself as being shy, awkward and un-confident, but helping out at the open day showed me that I can be confident when I need to be and that I actually enjoy meeting new people, like the various other student ambassadors I chatted to as we arrived early. Hopefully I’ll be able to carry on being a student ambassador and helping at further open days and events, because it did me good to do something different and give something back to the college who have been (mostly) supportive towards me.

And on the subject of discovering more about myself, I went to a party on Saturday for my friends 18th birthday that I was really dreading. I didn’t want to be pressured into drinking and I thought I’d feel out of place and not fit in with the people there, even though I was good friends with most of them, my brain has been telling me my friends hate me a lot lately so it’s fair to say I wasn’t feeling great about going. However, I did go and had a really good time. We had a rather competitive beer pong tournament and managed to break the wooden pole/stick thing before we broke the pinata (I mean, the pole ended up in several pieces – HOLD YOURSELF TOGETHER YOU BREAD STICK). I did end up having a couple of drinks, but not because I felt pressured to do so. I started out with the idea of only drinking if I felt comfortable, which worked well because I didn’t pressure myself into drinking or not drinking, if that makes sense, but I knew if I wanted to drink I could, but I wouldn’t force myself if I didn’t want to. I think I’ve learnt that I need to relax a bit more and not underestimate my ability to cope in social situations. Although it was a good night, I’ve been so tired today as I couldn’t sleep until 2am 😬 and then I’ve been feeling a bit lonely again, because I had such a good time surrounded by my friends that now I’ve been on my own all day it’s hard not win to wish I was still with them. But I’m sure I’ll get over it soon! I’m throwing my own party at the end of the month anyway for my birthday (I probably should start preparing that haha ha).

Anyway, that’s the end of this sort of ramble. I started off wanting to talk about responsibility and ended up talking about alcohol and parties but y’know tis life for you. (I really shouldn’t write when I’m tired, I’m even more strange than usual argh).