Sunday, 21 October 2018

Sixth Form // I made it through the first term!

It is finally half term and I feel like I have never needed a week off more in my life. This first term of sixth form has been a whole mixture of emotions and so I wanted to write about all of it today. It is definitely going to be fairly long and chatty so I appologise now, but hopefully this could give you a little insight into what I'm currently doing at the moment. 
Starting from the beginning, I made a pretty rash decision, after results day, to stay at my high school for sixth form and so my initial subjects were maths, history, economics and fine art. The school year started with three days to get to know people and just get back into the habit of school so nothing happened that is really worth docummenting. 
However, the first full week was pretty intense to say the least. I definitely underestimated just how busy I was going to be and it is definitely true that the workload does get much bigger once you go to sixth form. Within the first week, I was super tired and I had already got my first cold, but I actually really loved being back and I realised that I made the right decision to stay at my sixth form. For the most part, I was loving my subjects too, apart from economics. Economics was such a last minute decision for me and when I was in the lessons, I was just waiting for it to end. It turned out to be the only thing I dredded about going into school so halfway through my second week, I dropped it and instead switched it with an extended project qualification, which my school offers as it is the equivalent to an AS. I know not all sixth forms/ colleges offer this qualification but you can google it and look into it yourself, but it was just something extra that I thought might benefit me in the future. 
I definitely found that even within the first week, my workload was huge and so it did take up a lot of my weekend, however, after dropping economics, I had a lot more free time within school hours and so my workload seemed more managable. The difficulty is definitely hightened which was expected but also the teachers expect a lot more from you. I quickly realised that if I wanted to do well in my subjects, I would have to put in a lot of extra time and extra reading to be successful.
I'm going to skip a bit now in time, just because my routine started to settle at this point but now I wanted to go into a bit more detail in terms of how I feel about sixth form now.
Just under two weeks ago, I felt like I had hit a bit of a plateau in terms of my subjects. I felt as though I wasn't 'doing the most' if you like, I felt like I was settling when instead, I could have been pushing myself and challenging myself further. It had also occured to me around this time, that my favourite subject was maths, I know it is not to everyone's taste but I would look forward to every lesson and I just really loved it. It had occured to me that I could have taken further maths as an alevel, but I was constantly convincing myself that I would have been incapable of taking it, until one of my really good friends made the switch from maths to further maths, which ended up giving me the boost I needed to make the switch myself. I have only been doing it for a little under two weeks, however, I already feel so much happier with my decision, and I really love that I now feel forfilled with everything I am doing. It definitely isn't a bad thing being indecisive like myself but I will say, go with your gut feeling because if I had done that, I would have taken further maths a lot earlier on and it would have saved me a lot of catching up. Saying that though, I don't regret a thing, and I am so super excited for what is to come.  
The sixth form I go to is linked with my old high school and so I knew majoirty of the people going. This definitely does have its pros and cons, which I soon came to discover. I found that I was slipping into old habbits with some people that really don't bring out the best in me. Clearly, not everyone was like that, I found that I was trying to spend a lot of time with the people I felt best with, but due to forms and lessons, I just didn't get to see them as much as what I would have liked. This made me start feeling super isolated and lonely as I just couldn't be with the people I wanted to for reasons I can't really mention, but it just wasn't a great time. It is definitely so much better now and all of my worries have started to iron themseleves out. Saying that, it didn't happen on its own, I definitely had to be selfish at times and do what I wanted to in order to get to this point, I will say though to just talk to someone about it, because I did and it definitely helped me to target what the issue was, and someone else's opinion can be very useful when it comes to friendship and all that. As for new people though, it is so refreshing. I am not a very outgoing and confident person, so I tend to find it difficult to make new friends but I definitely surprised myself and it has been so great to have some new people in my life.
Finally, the last thing I wanted to touch on was how I am doing mentally and although I could do an entire post on this, I wanted to breifly talk about it in terms of school. Obviously, things that happen outside of school do effect how I act once I am in school but as for the way the school system has effected me, it has been surprising in a good way. Year 11 was a very stressful and intense year for me, and probably most people, in terms of my mental state and I was scared that year 12 would make me feel similar. However, although the workload is a lot and intense, I feel more confident to reach out for help and I have found that I have gained a lot of confidence in terms of my actual ability also. I definitely do not have a lot of faith in myself most times but I am working on it, and right now, my school environment is helping me. Maybe I will talk about it another time but school definitely does help me tackle my mental state, and I know that sadly it is not the case for everyone, but I do think that it is so crutial that are in a safe and happy environment.

I really enjoyed writing this post and I might do a few more on my sixth form experience so do let me know in the comments if there is anything in particular you want to see. Thank you so much for sticking around, I know I have been very unpredictable recently but I am making steps everyday to get to where I want to be and hopefully you'll follow me on this journey. 
Grace xx