Thursday, 25 February 2016

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A-Levels

6th Form is stressful, I'm not going to lie. My school didn't tell any of us what to really expect from A-Levels when we start them, so I went into heavily coursework based subjects completely oblivious to the impending stress ahead. Here are a few things I wish I knew before starting them!

1. It's much harder than GCSE;
We were told it was harder to an extent, but I had no idea that it was going to be just as tasking as it was.

2. English Language is nothing like GCSE;
I took English Language at A-Level because I thoroughly enjoyed studying it at GCSE. I finished in year 11 with a B grade, however when I got into 6th form, I lost my love for the subject, and didn't understand the work we were completing. I quickly lost interest, however, now I'm trying to pull myself round to finish the year with at least a pass!

3. Teachers are less likely to help you (in my case anyway);
I attend 6th form in the same school I studied my secondary, GCSE subjects in. Without my change of scenery, I felt like a lot of the independence that should come with studying A-Levels wasn't there for me and I started relying on my teachers for lots of help and for my coursework deadlines to be extended. It doesn't work like that when studying a levels, and in hindsight, I should've moved to a college with no link to my old school, as I think I may have done much better in the subjects than I have been doing at my current 6th form with a little change of scenery.

4. University isn't the be all and end all;
I went into A-Levels with dreams of studying primary education at a university away from home. After a while, I changed my mind and decided I wanted to study media production at Salford uni (about 2-3 hours away from home). I then changed my mind once more and decided I wanted to study mass communication at Northumbria. About a week before the UCAS uni application deadline, I had a little breakdown, completely gave up with trying to improve my ever so low grades in psychology, and decided I was going to drop the subject. My school still wanted me to apply for uni, but I came to the realisation that it just wasn't for me, and thus didn't apply. I wanted to seek the independence coming from a full time job, and so am applying for jobs after I finish my exams.

5. Organisation is key;
Like I mentioned in my '3 Ways I am Going to Stay Happy' post, I am possibly one of the most unorganised person ever. I lose notes for my subject and end up having to re-compile a whole set of notes when the exams come around. I mean, this kind of is common sense, but I had no idea of just how many notes, and pieces of notes I would need.  Over the next week or so, I am going to be sorting all of my revision notes into subjects and units, so I can keep track of what I have revised, and what I need to revise.

This all being said, please don't be put off A-Levels or Uni. If you really want to follow a dream, then go for it! Just do some research beforehand, which is where I slipped up!


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