Let's be honest, by the time we were nearing the end of year 11, and them doors to the 10 week summer holiday started to open, we all thought that we would be entering a new type of education where we would love the subjects that we're doing (because we got to bloody choose them) and that we'd be more relaxed and not have to get up 'till after 10 every day.

Oh how wrong we were.

A note to all current year 11s who have this mindset...change it, and quick.

Yes I'm in college only 4 days a week, and yes there is one day where I don't start until 11:30, but overshadowing all of that is the amount of work given and the pace at which the teachers (lecturers if you wanna be fancy) teach.

So for everyone nearing their GCSEs, and applying for college, here are 4 things that I've learnt since starting and what I think you should know.

It's Harder Than Expected

Like I explained earlier, we all get that feeling that we're going to be a lot more relaxed when we start college, and the work's going to be a lot less and possibly easier because we're doing subjects that we chose to do. Well let me tell you now, A levels, woah, they are hard. Even if you LOVE the subject, you're gonna have a mini breakdown every now and again. Be prepared to get homework nearly every day (yes you read right, every day), shocked me too. And that homework could possibly be due the next day, so be prepared to cancel whatever plans you made, the plans made because you thought you were going to be handed all this free time, there's weekends for that.

It's Not A Fashion Show

One thing college don't let you know about, is the amount of stress you're going to be under, having to wear something different EVERY DAY. As much as you probably hate your school uniform at the moment, oh how you're going to appreciate it when you start college. I absolutely do. Waking up every morning, not having to stare blankly at your wardrobe for a good 10 minutes looking at every item saying, "worn that", "that's boring", "too much", "doesn't go", and then slamming the doors and accepting the fact that you're going to end up going in your comfy clothes. This isn't me telling you to go and raid every high street and online store there is, just don't worry and stress about what you're going to rock up in, because believe me, by the end of the first month, go one gives a s*** about what they wear.

The Teachers Are Basically Students   

Bit of a weird one, but remember at high school when you were queuing up to pay for food, and then a teacher would just barge in front to pay for theirs and then walk off without saying thanks for waiting? Anyone else? Well now, not only do the teachers queue up with the students but they also eat in the same dining areas, well in my college they do, and I'm gonna be honest, it's a bit odd. You know, you sit down with your friends, about to eat, and then you look around and you've got your teachers there probably judging you in some way. To add another bit on this, the relationship between student and teacher is a lot more relaxed. As there is no detention or discipline action (thank god), and it's just all round a lot less strict. So that's something to look forward to I guess.

You Are Less Of A 'Family' 

You know that cringe thing that all teachers say in school, that you're all a family, and then you wanting to vomit every time it was mentioned, you get me? However, with college, that slowly starts to disappear, which if I'm honest is quite sad in a sense. As much as it was a bit much now and again, the whole 'family' thing brought the whole year together, and made everyone feel as if they were a part of something and belonged somewhere, even though 90% of the time nobody actually wanted to be there, including me. So the fact that college feels less of a 'family', means you don't get to know everyone in your year, and being honest, I don't know over half of my year, and feel as though I'm still at high school, what a feeling eh.

To all the year 11s starting college later this year, good luck, make friends, but most importantly enjoy it, you only get this experience once. 

(Is it just me, or should I be a motivational speaker? Possible future career move.) 


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