I’ve completed my first 3 daunting weeks of A-levels at my local sixth form. It’s been a right roller coaster! The first week was hell, there is no easy way to put it! I absolutely hated it and quite literally cried my way through the first week. I guess the problem was with my subjects, I started off with 5 A-levels. It all got too much and I ended up dropping out of one to go down to 4 (the normal amount).
Then things did start to get better and I was able to settle down in the sixth form. Now I feel a bit better there, I have dedicated my self to my subjects and I am trying not to let other people get me down. I am currently studying Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology. Here is how I am finding my subjects:
My worst subject. I am not really a ‘mathsy’ person to be honest. I’ve always struggled with maths, but some how managed to get an A* at GCSE and an A in further maths. So I guess I’m supposedly quite good at maths, however I really don’t feel it. I struggle with maths and my mental arithmetic isn’t as good as everyone else. Sitting in maths, I feel like the stupidest one there. Everyone else is better than me and it shows. I guess it gets me down some times. My teachers do not believe in me and therefore I struggle to believe in myself. One of my teachers put me into extra maths help as she felt I was struggling with the basics and identified me as ‘one who is likely to fail maths.’
It’s hard, but I am enjoying it. I guess with chemistry I have perseverance, as I love it. I understand most of the concepts covered. My teachers are great and really supportive of me, which always helps. I guess I feel at home in chemistry, everyone there is of my ability. I am no better and no worse than the people in my class, I just fit in. So far I have learnt about atomic bonding including the iconic polar bonds and dipole-dipole bonds. Along with the ionisation enthalpy and the history of atomic structure.
I switched biology classes and it was the best decision I made. My new teachers are a lot better and explain things properly. I enjoy biology and so far we have conducted three successful practicals. One was about looking at onion cells under a microscope, one about testing sugars and the other on cell fractionation. We have been looking at microscopy and were able to play around with light microscopes. We have also learnt a lot about biochemistry and I have found it all very interesting.
We were not able to study psychology at GCSE, so we spent a lot of time looking at what psychology actually is and the methods used. We covered the basics and looked at the ethics behind modern day psychology. We were also able to conduct our own psychological study, where me and my partner looked at nervous traits. Which was all good fun and made a great introduction to the subject. We also began to start the topic ‘social psychology’ where we looked at the Milgram Study.
Overall sixth form and A-levels are hard, there is no doubt about it. However I know I have to keep going. The only thing I can say is I kind of miss my school uniform. It’s difficult waking up in the morning and working out what I am going to wear. Before I just put on my uniform and I was done, now I have to think about it!
My free periods are okay. I normal go to the library to study, but get distracted by friends most of the time. Frees are only great if you have work to do, otherwise they just get boring. So far the workload has been bearable, but I feel like it will ramp up soon. I just try and get my homework out of the way as quick as possible, even if it means I have to work in my lunch break.