3 October 2016

Image of Some words of wisdom for new students from the year above

So, it's that time again. First year Sixth Form students have all arrived looking alert yet dazed, hurrying to lessons, clutching at folders and timetables like shields; while the A2 students have existential crises about revision and UCAS statements, usually bleary eyed and on autopilot. We’re all getting up early in the morning and are resiliently ploughing through our allotted lessons: either in a state of caffeinated-alertness (and therefore panic about our grades) or sleep-deprived-semi-consciousness (…yeah probably still panicking about our grades…) but we’re all here, and we’re all in the same boat. That boat may feel a little like the Titanic at the moment but things will calm down pretty soon. As normal and, actually, important as it is to feel a little bit stressed (because it motivates you to work), it’s also just as important to stop sometimes and remember that you need time to relax too, and that you’ll do fine as long as you’re putting the effort in to your lessons. If you let yourself get too worked up, it’s harder to concentrate and that’s not going to help you at all.

A lot of year 12s seems to think that it’s ‘better’ being a year 13. Well, I can honestly say that being a returning student does not make your lessons any easier, and I’m pretty sure that’s what a lot of people were referring to (yeeeah, sorry to burst that bubble; you’re always going to have to put in as much effort as you can). Like everything, there are pros and cons to being a year 13. Obviously, it’s great knowing where you are going and what is expected of you in your lessons (and outside of them), and you know more people so you’ll be more comfortable socially. When you first start College, it can be ever so slightly horror-inducing when you think of all the people and the maze-like corridors, but to be honest, things get worked out pretty quickly. As new students, you’ll probably already know that you end up making friends in no time and you only have to learn your way to five rooms to get your bearings pretty quickly. I can honestly say that it only took me a week to learn where my lessons and the Hub were in relation to each other, and that’s after going through five years of high school and STILL not knowing where the rooms were if someone asked me (I never did find room 23A).

I’d also say that going into second year is a lot more immediate: in your first year, you get eased in gently, but with A2, you come back on the first day and pick up right where you left off before summer. You can almost feel those long relaxing weeks condensing down until you feel like you never left. Revision is also something you have to start doing immediately, but that’s not something reserved entirely for A2. If you are a first year and you want my advice – I’m not just being nerdy- seriously, start revising now. I wished last year I’d have gone over everything I learned in my lessons each night, because it would have made everything so much easier to revise from and memorise (and this is bearing in mind I started revising in November!). This year, I’ve learned from my mistakes but it would have been great if someone had told me to start revision now so I didn’t have to make that mistake in the first place :P

The fact that A2 students have already sat one round of exams, and have received the results for them, also makes College a little different. Some people feel a lot more secure in themselves because their hard work really paid off – but others had a bit of a wake-up call. You’ll probably find that everyone is a lot more committed and focused right from the start of the year at A2 as opposed to AS.

BUT ANYWAY: I know what you really want to hear is something useful, so I’ve collected a few tips for you from different people in our year just to help you out in your first few weeks. Hope this helps!

  1. If you’re having trouble remembering your lanyard, either keep it in your bag or hang it over the handle of the front door where you’ll be able to find it; one of my friends even used to set her alarm name as “LANYARD” on her phone just to remind her in the morning.
  2. Join as many clubs as possible because they look great on your CV and next year will be much busier than this year. You’ll also find you make loads of new friends if you do!
  3. Use your frees to read over whatever you’ve learned so far in lessons. It’s good to refresh your memory so when you come to revise you understand/ at least vaguely remember everything. If you leave all your revision to the last minute and there is something you don’t understand, there might not be much time for someone to help explain it and go over it with you.
  4. If you need help with anything, just ask! Pretty much ANYONE in College will be happy to point you in the right direction if you’re lost, or help you use the printer, and all the staff will always try to help as much as they can with anything - and the Ambassadors will too J We’re not scary I promise!
  5. Try to make the most of your time here! It will go so quickly and this is the last chance you get at a free education. Try to enjoy every second and grab as many opportunities as you can!

Posted by The BSFC Blogger

Category: The Student Voice

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