Leaving School Thoughts | CharlotteBehappy

Hello everyone, I hope you're well.
If you weren't already aware, I've been pretty absent on this blog for a while, mostly because I've been doing my A levels which are pretty important exams some people sit at 18 which mark the end of formal education. As of the 27th of June, I've now officially left school and I am now awaiting my results before going to university in October.
I thought today I would just reflect on my A level experience and the last two years as w whole.

So, in short, A levels (particularly year 13) has been one of the absolute worst years of my life. At the start of the year I really struggled to get into revision mode and I found that the workload had really tripled. I found Maths, I subject I previously found okay, a complete struggle this year. I also took up AS further maths and I was definitely Maths-ed out. I also found Chemistry didn't get off to a particularly great start, and anyone who's studied Biology will know the struggles of photosynthesis and respiration. I also visited a lot of universities and the pressure of getting A*s and trying to get the predicted grades really hit me. I got 4As last year and naively I assumed I would get the predictions I wanted and obviously now, looking back, I was definitely getting upset over nothing but honestly it really upset me that I had to fight to get an A* prediction in Chemistry and Maths. The one university visit that really upset me was Durham. Durham had initially been my first choice but at the open the day they essentially said you need A*A*A minimum. Eventually I managed to get those predictions but with that comes a crippling amount of pressure which has still not left me.

After the mocks in January I really struggled to keep motivated. I'd fortunately heard back from Bath and Nottingham with an offer of A*AA to do Natural Sciences and also from Lancaster with an offer of AAA which then became an unconditional offer. However I hadn't heard back from Durham, or UEA (although I wasn't seriously considering them). From January to April I honestly struggled. I still felt so behind everyone else and to be honest I just couldn't be arsed. In March I found out I got rejected from Durham, and this really hurt my pride. I hadn't heard of anyone else getting rejections and I was so embarrassed. I felt like all the stress of trying to get my predicted grades had been an absolute waste of time.

The last term was the actual worst. Although I finally got into the swing of revision, my mental health honestly deteriorated. I don't know if it was solely due to A levels or maybe it was something else. I really struggled to leave the house, whether going to school or to appointments or even just Tesco. I had four migraines within two months (I rarely get more than two a year). I had loads of struggle sleeping and I had to use meditation apps to get to sleep (like Beditations which I'd really recommend) and I completely lost my appetite (but unfortunately not a lot of weight).  I managed to get through my exams somehow and they were definitely a mixed bag. Looking back I really feel as though A levels ask far too much of students. I have no clue how anyone managed to learn the entire specifications or manage to do all the past papers possible. I honestly don't know anyone who hasn't found A levels absolutely horrific. The amount of pressure put on young people is ridiculous, and I don't know why exam boards feel the need to trick or catch out students as oppose to just testing understanding. Many times during exams I honestly questioned whether any of this was even worth sacrificing my mental health. I mean I'm here just complaining without any solutions really because I don't have any.

Another thing I wanted to mention was from about April to the end of my exams I deleted all my social media (just the apps). I initially thought it was be difficult but it was actually pretty easy and in the long term I think it was a great idea. I find that I personally become quite affected by seeing people revise or not revise on social media. Obviously there's no reason for me to care, but I do and it's unhealthy. I feel like deleting my social media was really an eye opener and I found that I wasn't really too interested in getting it back. I found that I cared a lot less about others and what they were doing, meaning I could just focus on my revision. I'd recommend everyone to try it, and honestly I didn't feel out of the loop at all, because really when you're watching peoples stories or reading their posts, you're not in the loop. You're just observing. I have my apps back now and I've just been using them exactly the same as before, so clearly all of that was for nothing but it's just making me question  how I use and view myself and others on social media.

Anyway, that's all for now, I'll hopefully be back to posting as normal although I don't want to commit to any schedule. I'll also be doing some maintenance on this blog.