This is a hard post for me to write but I feel in many ways I wasn’t prepare emotionally for year 12. I have friends in the year above me who gave me advice about year 12 but it’s hard to understand how different year 12 is until you go into it.
You have to realise GCSE’s are not the be all and end all! One of my history teachers told me to treat it as an a level mock of sorts, it’s not until after GCSE’s that you realise how much more weighting a levels are given. I did well at GCSE but I had a tough few months following results day.
The grade boundaries were changed in a few of my best subjects meaning I missed out on a few A* which isn’t the end of the world but is upsetting when I remember how hard I worked for my exams.
Loosing friends can be a very difficult situation. I lost some friends at the start of year 12, I fell out with one of my best friends in particular and drifted apart from a few others too. This made me more depressed which didn’t help my situation anymore. I met someone new friends in sixth form too through my a levels subjects and volunteering, it helps to try new activities!!
The standard of work was much harder which stressed me out a lot. Classics in particular I found very difficult, we were expected to get to the standard so quickly which I found a bit much. One of my teachers wasn’t very good at supporting us which didn’t help either.
Having new forms made me feel more anxious, when you are used to being in a form for a few years changing forms can be very new and unknown. I don’t like the form environment in my form and honestly I don’t see the point of our form times most of the time especially when they are clearly giving us things to do.
More responsibility and pressure. In sixth form, teachers expect you to take on more responsibility in running clubs and supporting other students which can be difficult when you feel anxious yourself but it does feel good to try and help others. There is also more pressure put on me in sixth form to get good grades, do a lot of extracurricular activities and go to lectures etc which all takes up so much time. I did eventually get up to a high year 12 standard but it took time for classics especially, it didn’t take too long with Rs and history.
UCAS application comes around quicker than you would expect!! It would be helpful to think about what course you want to apply for and what you want to put into your personal statement throughout year 12 rather than solely leaving it more towards summer time.
Advice I wish I knew before the start of a levels:
It isn’t going to be easy but if you work hard and concentrate you will get there in the end
It’s important to do enough activities to be able to write about on UCAS
There is so much information for a levels you can’t learn all of it, in some essay based subjects it’s more efficient to revise the key information and make lots of essay plans
Make a plan for what you are gonna do in frees whether that is seeing a teacher, doing work or getting a coffee
I hope you guys find this interesting and that it has helped you in some way. Let me know how sixth form or school in general is going for you guys in the comments below.
Sending you all good vibes, Larissa 🌸
P.s. Social media🌸🌻