Today I am going to be writing a post about how I survived sixth form...or at least tried to! I have just finished my second year of sixth form and I have just picked up my results (last Thursday; 17th August).I took three A Levels in history, English literature and philosophy and ethics as well as a BTEC subsidiary diploma in performing arts. I worked extremely hard over the course of two years in all of my subjects, and I am very happy with the results I came out with. Anyway, this post is going to be about some hints and tips to help you get through two years of sixth form! Enjoy!
1 - STAY ORGANISED!
I cannot stress this enough, staying organised will make or break you. I have always loved stationary and so I found this step relatively easy. I would highly recommend buying an academic planner, through this you will be able to write down when pieces of homework or coursework etc are due and the deadlines for projects etc. For the two years I was at sixth form I dedicated one notebook to write down to-do lists in. Every day when I got home from sixth form I made myself a to-do list and this encouraged me to get the tasks on this list done. Planning my evenings out like this really helped me establish what I had left to revise or work on for class.I also found that having a wall planner also helped with this because I was able to see a whole month at a time and what i needed to prepare for throughout that month, this came in especially handy during exam season when I needed to work out how much I had to revise and in what space of time I had to revise it.
2 - Make sure you choose subjects you enjoy as well as ones that you are good at.
This is more of a tip for those of you who are choosing what to study at A level. An essential tip for this is to choose subjects that you do well at GCSE at, as well as subjects that you will enjoy for the next two years. In my history and English literature GCSE I got two As, I also got a B in religious studies (which is the closest thing to my philosophy and ethics course). As well as an A* in my GCSE in performing arts. I knew I wanted to take history at A level because I knew already that I wanted to study history at university. I also planned to take performing arts and philosophy as well because I enjoyed them both. However, I didn't choose to take English literature until my GCSE results day because I didn't expect to do as well in this subject! As it goes, English was the one of the subjects I enjoyed the most out of all of my A level choices.
3 - Use your free periods effectively form the start of the year!
This tip is essential! Using your free periods to complete pieces of work and do extra revision etc from the very start of the year will have such a positive impact on your grades at sixth form. Through doing this you won't have to go home each night and have a massive list of tasks to complete, whether this be homework, coursework or revision etc. You will also be able to open up more time to complete further reading and extra revision and tasks. Even though it may be considered 'nerdy' by others, shutting yourself away from others who could distract you will benefit you so much!
4 - Don't let sixth form rule your whole life!
Even though sixth form and your A levels are very important, you shouldn't let them control every aspect of your life. I am not entirely guilt-free on this count as I would often become very stressed over revision and getting tasks complete. In an attempt to stop myself from worrying, I would often try to dedicate at least one day per week were I would do no sixth form work at all; this day would often fall on a Saturday and on this day I would usually see my boyfriend and we would try to go out in order to take my mind off sixth form. Doing this helped me relax and I would often still be thinking of revision on this day but it definitely had a positive impact on my mental health and mindset during the two years of sixth form.
5 - Remember that it is possible!
Mental health and well being are a large part of getting through sixth form, remember to look after yourself even during exam periods and periods of stress throughout the year, such as deadlines. There were times throughout my sixth form life that I felt completely shitty about myself and how I was achieving in each of my subjects, this worry would sometimes go away quite quickly after a phone call with my boyfriend or talk with my mum.Although other times, it would linger for a week +. During these moments, I found it useful to remember why I am taking the subjects I did. Personally, I am going to university in September and this is what I was working towards. I needed to get the grades to get into my first choice university and the excitement of being able to study the subject I love at an incredible university often helped with these feelings of stress(...as well as a hot bubble bath and a relaxed pamper evening binge watching Netflix!).
I hope you all enjoyed this post about how to survive sixth form and I hope that if you are just about to start your A Levels, college, GCSEs etc that you found this helpful and good luck to anyone picking up exam results any time soon!
Love Amy xxx