Moving from secondary school seems like a big deal, and truth be told, it is. You’ll be thrown into the deep end – the workload intensity crashes down on you tenfold, and if you’re not ready for it, you might find that you have a rough start to college life. College requires commitment and effort, so your performance at the beginning of the year can set the foundations for the remainder of the time there. So how do start off with a ‘bang’?
Strongest advice – get to grips with the content before term starts. Pre-reading during the summer is a ‘cure’ to being completely oblivious during class – and yes that will probably happen often. A Level content is notoriously difficult and if you want to stay on top of your game, be ready before everyone else is. This means understanding content before classes, so you have more time for effective revision rather than learning new content. While I’m not encouraging you to learn the entire textbook, a brief overview of tricky concepts can be really helpful once term starts.
Word of warning – you will feel the temptation to fall into a slump once term starts. I get it, you’ve worked incredibly hard for GCSEs, you’ve invested all your time into revising, past papers, etc and you spent most of the summer worrying about your results. Now the one thing on your mind is relaxation and rest, and the beginning of college term takes the hit. It’s perfectly fine to relax before term starts but in college, you have to be on top of your game constantly, especially at the beginning of the year. Don’t fall into that slump! There are harder exams coming your way and your perseverance will make sure that you’re not struggling with revision later on in the year.
Once term starts, make time for activities outside of academic studies. This is things like sports and clubs, which are highly undervalued. Joining a chess club, debate team, or the badminton team can really help you boost your personal statement. At the beginning of the year, invest your time in extra activities that give your personal statement that extra boost – it’s worse to have nothing to talk about compared to too much to talk about. Joining these clubs and societies can help you meet more people, a great way of making friends if you’re at a new sixth form.
While A Levels are going to be tough, it’s completely fine to reward yourself. You’re nothing without a healthy mentality, so treat yourself to a day out or a relaxing time at home. For the summer, don’t worry too much about learning everything before term starts. Relaxation is far more important to start off the next year with a fresh and relaxed mind. Above all, before the term starts – congratulations on you passing your GCSEs!