Just to pass the time...

Started this as when I used to get back from work, I was usually so hyped I couldn't sleep for a couple of hours. Now just sort of carried it on for the fun, I try to make it funny, if it isn't please don't hurt me... Anyway, try to enjoy :)

Saturday, 12 September 2015

A 6th Form Reality Check

So there's a common view of 6th formers created with admiration and aspiration by younger students in the school. I know this is a fact. I myself did the same thing.

Lower down the school you look up at 6th formers and think "one day, I want to be just as grown up and clever as they are".

Let's get one thing straight here: noooo you don't!

For starters, we don't have to wear a uniform. 

Great. Fantastic. Wonderful. 

So now I spend half an hour every evening in a pile of clothes and a puddle of tears trying to assess which of my clothes will be deemed suitable, fashionable, don't trigger an alarming sense of paranoia that I'll be sent home for indecent exposure because my shoulder is visible. 

I always looked up to those older kids with the big shiny badges embellished on their chests labelling them as "Area Prefects". I saw them as a figure of authority and hoped that one day I would be picked to be one.

Teacher: "Oh, before we pack up, does anyone mind being an area prefect for the English department? You get a nice badge..."

And it was as easy as that. 

You may think we are oh so lucky, with our free periods and endless amount of extra time. Lies. Again.

"Supervised Study Sessions", so called for the fact that there is never a teacher around for the entire duration of the lesson, are usually spent with people hunched over books desperately trying to keep up with the crashing wave of homework which has washed over the lot of us.

Luckily for me, I do better doing homework at home... So my study sessions usually result in me having what I like to call, "second breakfast".

What schools hide from the younger years is that once you reach the 6th Form, that school healthy regime you've always hated? Well that goes well and truly out of the window. They ensure that you're in great shape when you enter Year 12, but by the time you've reached the end of Year 13, chances are you're going to have Type 2 diabetes and will most likely be morbidly obese.

We all know why that is though. You get so stressed out and tense with all the work you get, they pump you full of endorphins and send you on your way to Happy Land. It keeps us awake so that we can be up until the dead of the night finishing that analytical critique on Pride And Prejudice. It's the only thing between a friendly working environment and 200 simultaneous mental breakdowns within school grounds.

So they make the 6th Form Common Room a feeding ground of pizza, ciabattas, toast, Nutella, brownies, cake, rocky road, Cadbury's hot chocolate, coffee. Like I said, it's the only thing keeping us sane.

While I admit I love the common room during study periods, with its comfy sofas, unwobbly tables, central heating and the pleasant smell of toast, come break and lunch, it becomes something quite different,

People come flocking in, tables fill up, and suddenly, loud, popular music (God forbid) is pouring out the speakers at a ridiculous volume while you try to not be knocked to the ground because, however hard I try, I always seem to be in someone's way. There's loud voices and it becomes in-navigable. You're trapped for eternity. Maybe longer.

Yet stubbornly I persist to go there at breaks and lunchtimes where I am actually free. The sole reasons for this are because a) that's where my friends are and b) tragically, I have nowhere else to go.

Your heart should bleed for me.

When I was in year 9, a little birdie told me that in the 6th form, you were able to access Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo Answers and many many more using the dreaded school WiFi.

Boy was I disappointed to find that the only change was that they'd also managed to make Snapchat inaccessible too.

If anyone ever tried to kid you that there's some sort of smooth transition between GCSE and A level, then honey, you've been lied to.

The transition is like having a carpet ripped out from under your feet and landing flat on your face, breaking every bone in your body in the process.

I wasn't expecting it to be easy, but I was at least expecting a bit of adjustment time....

The teachers also set homework just for the heck of setting homework. It's like they get kicks out of it...

Teacher: "We have a lesson tomorrow so I'll see you then. Oh! Homework! Hmmmm let's see....how about exercises 1-8 on pages 23, 24 and 25 and we'll mark it together next lesson!"

For German especially, it feels like I've gone from describing the weather to writing about things I don't even know in English. We did a translation of an advert about a child shoving porridge into a VCR player the other week. I'm not even kidding. I won't even mention the one about the elderly man driving through a shop window....

They expect us to do volunteering outside of class to show how caring we are for the local community. The past couple of weeks, all I've really cared about is my bed and when dinner is going to be ready. 

How are we meant to have time? They say that we have to spend 3 hours or so a day studying.... As kids we're meant to do an hour of exercise a day. We have school all day. We're meant to relax too. Parents expect us to help out a bit, we have to have dinner, shower, whilst getting 8 hours of sleep a night...

We also have to get jobs to fund our new-found obsessions with school rocky road. And university obviously. That's also pretty important.

I decided to skip out on the exercise bit in particular. Also the sleeping part. Sleep is for the weak.

Thankfully I already volunteer as a swim teacher, which I absolutely love so it's no biggie, but honestly, We're teenagers, not gods.

I still get told I'm not allowed to go to the toilet during a lesson when I'm about to throw up yet I'm expected to be a saint and manage my life spectacularly. 

(FYI, I just stormed out the classroom anyway).

So 6th Form....expectation vs. reality is quite a different tale. While I love my school (most of the time) and I especially love my subjects, I have definitely walked into this blindfolded and walked into several lamp posts.

I mean I'm most annoyed about the whole Snapchat thing but whatever. ;)