THE SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE: Why College was the worst 2 years of my life.

Hiya guys and welcome back to another blog post and another post in the school survival guide series.

As you can tell by the title, I am extremely dramatic.

You can also tell by the title that I hated college. In fact, hated is an understatement, I loathed college. I still loathe college. But before I get into the why of my hatred, let me just explain what college is in the UK.

I think I’ve explained this before so this will be brief. Basically, students in college or 6th form are between the ages of 16-18 usually. It is before university and is now compulsory in the UK (however not compulsory to do A Levels).

I think A-Levels are possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. They caused me nothing but stress and heartache for 2 years. FOR 2 FLIPPING YEARS.

But, let’s start at the beginning…

Pre-college me was a happy sweet child, I’d just finished GCSE’s, did quite well, was feeling quite confident and was like A-Levels bring it on, bite me (that was so cringy and I seriously apologise).

September comes, after a nice long summer, I was relaxed and then started college.

This is where I made my first mistake.

I decided that I wanted to make new friends and be cool and all that jazz… MISTAKE #1. 

I spent so much time trying to get to know people and just talk to people and put myself out there, that I forgot what was important. AKA, A-LEVELS.

This is a tip for you guys who are starting college or anything else that is a short critical time period, prioritise your work, please. Don’t use free periods for just chatting in the canteen (guilty), don’t leave your work till the night before (guilty), and just be yourself (also… guilty – I’m a naturally chatty person).

Anyways, the first year of college passes by… I did ok. It’s probably because I sweated at the last moment that I got the grades, I did.

Second-year comes around.

The work just increases 100x. 

I’m not even lying to you. I was working all day every day on college work for 11 months straight. No joke. Bearing in mind, I had to go over everything from the first year because I didn’t understand the majority of it. It was a stressful year. Holidays – I don’t think so. Breaks – what are they. I don’t know how I got through the year without breaking down to be perfectly honest with you.

This is when mistake two happened, my revision was not as effective for the first three months of “revising”, which meant that I wasted a lot of time and effort “learning” things that did not stay in my brain at all… MISTAKE 2#.

On the upside, the year went quickly. Kind of. I remember telling myself, oh don’t worry you have 9 months till your exams. 6 days later. First exams tomorrow (It literally felt like that…)

Now I’m in the long wait period. I’m waiting for results day. I’m literally just praying to God that my work this year paid off.

However, so far this post has been pretty negative. So here’s a bit of positive advice:

  1. do make friends – don’t misunderstand me, it is not a problem to talk to new people and make new friends, just make sure you have your priorities straight. don’t do what I did and just spend all your time trying to make new friends and no time studying. it’s all about balance.
  2. take breaks – cannot stress enough, when studying you need to have some downtime and enjoy yourself. put your own physical and mental health first.
  3. work hard, play hard – put your education first, but when it’s time to relax… relax hard people.

Overall, I guess my college experience wasn’t as awful as I made it sound (it was pretty awful though), but I definitely wouldn’t do it again. That is for sure.

Comment below any college experiences, or school experiences that you have absolutely hated!

And have a good week!

Peace out,

Love Anita x

p.s. goodluck to all those getting results this summer!!

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Week Four – 1// The School Survival Guide: Toxic Relationships…

Welcome back!

SO, I want to talk about something that is so prevalent in every teen’s life. Toxic relationships. Whether that be friendships or dating life. Toxic relationships are out there people and they are hard to avoid.

First off I’m going to start by pointing out the signs of a toxic relationship, that is how you can tell you are in one, I’m going to share some experiences and then move on to how you deal with a toxic relationship.

How to tell if you’re in a toxic relationship: 

1. If they do not have your best interests in mind – What this means is, if a friend doesn’t care what happens to you or doesn’t try to get what is best for you. This is TOXIC. Say bye to that person.

2. If you do not feel comfortable around them – a friend who doesn’t make the effort to include you or make you feel welcome is not a friend.

3. If they make you feel insecure about yourself – this is the worse. Insecurity can be brought about by judgements, comparisons etc if this is happening to you from a relationship. This is toxic!

There are many more things that can be seen in a toxic relationship but I can summarise them by saying, if you do not feel good in a relationship, it is more than likely toxic and I would advise you to GET OUT! 

At school / high school, it is so easy to get into them, and not realise because “there is more good than bad” or “it’s not that bad”. But, I am telling you, it does not help you to stay with that person because it is bad for not only your time at school but for your mental and physical health.

Everyone has and will go through it, toxic relationships I’m afraid are inevitable (unless you avoid the social hierarchy entirely). As soon as you learn to recognise them, you can get out of them before you get hurt.

I am not immune. In fact, right now I would say I was in a few toxic friendships. It is hard to recognise them and walk away, especially if you have been friends for years. People change. I have realised over time, that although the relationship may not have been toxic in the beginning, it certainly is now. Sometimes, you have to make that choice between letting go and being happy or staying in that relationship for the sake of years of friendship. At this point in my life, I try and put myself first because I know that in the long run, it is my life. I advise you to do the same.

Comment down below how you deal with toxic relationships! Feel free to email me for more advice (even though it’s probably pretty useless!)

Look after yourselves,

Peace out, accidental aspirationalists xx

Week Two – 2// The School Survival Guide: 3 golden rules to survive the first year of college

Welcome to a new segment of my blog called: THE SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to make it through hell.

College. The realm of inequity.

A short note: When I say college (6th form), I mean between the ages of 16-18 in the UK.

First off, college is hard. Questions run through the mind of a 16-year-old as they leave the big safe world of secondary school and are not so gently thrust into the adult world, unfortunately, hidden in the form of education. By this I mean, you may think you will get help. You won’t. When they say, “we will treat you like an adult” or “we won’t treat you like a child” they mean it. So here are some tips and tricks on how to survive the first year of college (I am now in year 13) if you’re smart, you will follow them. If you’re not, well… I wish you the best. May the odds be forever in your favour.

RULE #1: USE YOUR FREE PERIODS FOR STUDYING!

I don’t think I can stress this enough. Do not sit in the canteen, chatting to friends and buying glorious 25p hash browns. NO. Go the library, make notes, revise, from DAY ONE… ok maybe give yourself a bit of break, maybe from day 2. But do not spend the entire year doing what I call CANTEEN CRAP. If you still don’t understand let me put this in a real-life scenario. One day in the sweet old year of year 12, I was walking towards the canteen with my friends and I said out loud, mind you, so I addressed the issue; “I have chemistry homework due next, I should really go to the library and do it”. I continue walking to the canteen, the good old library settled back behind me. And that’s how most of my first year free periods happened. Do not make this mistake, I’m telling you, it will save you a whole ton of work come the end of year exams.

RULE #2: Ditch the friends.

Many of you may not like my opinion on this one but I can promise you if you follow my advice you will realise why I am saying this. Having lots of friends will distract you. I’m not saying, have no friends whatsoever. But, pick friends that motivate you. Boost you. And are fairly smart so you can copy them. Lol. On a serious note, college is a short time. 2 years of your life, so small but so so so important. Do not waste it trying to impress people.

RULE #3: Find a Hobby

So, this may not be the most useful piece of advice but it definitely helped me. It isn’t just about work and no play at college for the 2 years. I would say, start doing something that you really enjoy so that when you are taking a break from studying or it’s the holidays; you can have something to do which will maintain a healthy moral and you can de-stress. For example, my is playing an instrument (don’t get me wrong but it’s not always fun), or watching YouTube or writing a blog post. Whatever it is that helps you stick to it cause I promise it makes the time fly.

That’s my three golden rules and I promise you, you will make it through the first year of college.

Good luck and stay an accidental aspirationalist

Peace out x

Week One – 2// Work. Work. Work.

Welcome to post number 2!

After my exam this week, I can safely say I’ve been slacking in the work department. I start college again later this week and well after a long summer it’s safe to say I got all my work done.

Jokes.

No.

I have piles.

But it’s fine because I will do this. On top of this, I have a part-time job, which is actually quite an interesting job if I do say so myself. I work at my local hospital as a patient services centre clerk. This job consists of scanning letters, referrals and everything else. But also, picking up phones and talking to mostly angry patients about why their appointment has been cancelled. Most of the time, the doctor’s retired or gone on holiday. Great excuse to give over the phone!

Anyway, on the up side, I’ve had a few moments of inspiration this week, specifically on my goals for this new academic year and my life in general. Obviously we have the basics.

1. Become good at everything, quickly and by next Monday preferably.

But on a more serious note, another one of my goals is to trust myself more and my judgement. I think this is important because the world has a way of deceiving people these days. It is useful to have a smart head on your shoulders and learn from other people’s choices which I strongly believe is essential in our lives.

I sincerely hope that each one of you is aiming to become the best person in whatever you’re doing. That’s what an aspirationalist does, believes they can become better by being better.

Be a aspirationalist people,

Peace out x

Week One – 1// Exams, stress, UKCAT…

My first blog post yeah!

Welcome family! So to start off- interest fact. Did you know that the average high school (secondary school/college- UK viewers) student today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s? No, well I confirm that is extremely true.

This week has probably been the ultimate stress week of this summer. After what seems like endless weeks of relaxing and probably spending 12 hours a day watching youtube videos; being confronted with the idea of going back to college next week and taking the UKCAT (which for those of you who don’t know, the UKCAT is the clinical aptitude test for medical school entry) was not my ideal way to end the summer. In fact, I felt stressed and anxious for the most part of the last couple of weeks.

On the happier side, I did the test today and well… I didn’t do too shabbily! So back to my last 36 hours of watching youtube videos for me I should think!

BAM!

I am very very wrong.

At the back of my mind, I can’t shake the feeling of stress because next week I know that the lack of sleep and piles of work will return and I don’t know if I’m fully prepared for it to be honest.  The life of an average teenager these days is not what the older generations think. (well in some aspects it probably is!) In fact, my life largely consists of completing assignments the day before and cramming textbooks.

On top of this, I have summer work to do, and we all know what that means. I haven’t done a single piece. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve planned to do it but I’ve just been so busy watching Game of Thrones so I haven’t found the time in my busy example of a life…

I well aware right now that I have portrayed myself as the perfect student. Obviously. But, I can reassure you when the time is ripe, I will get back to the grind (work- in case you don’t know what grind means) and get those grades!

After all, I want to be a doctor.

That brings me back to that point. I want to be a doctor. Yes, if you haven’t read my about page – which I strongly recommend – I have been working for the last couple of months on experience, my personal statement and a little bit on my grades. I say a little bit about my grades because I really need to put the work in next year at college. But as the old saying goes, Time will tell.

I know that being a doctor is tough. The long hours and stress of the job aren’t what influenced the decision I have made to try. It’s the rewards. The lives’ saved under a doctor’s hand. Also, knowing that wherever you are, in any place, the role is the same. A doctor has that ability. That’s why I want to be one.

Well, I think that’s all I’ve got to say for now. So I want to leave you with this. Keep dreaming. Keep believing. And it doesn’t matter what situation you’re in, you can accomplish anything!

Peace out accidental adventurers x