With many of us having now either returned to education, or anticipating what is going to be a very short-lived, Sunday night feeling weekend in preparation for Monday, or for those collecting pots and pans, duvets and cushions in preparation for university, I think it can be easily said that returning to this mundane routine is welcomed.
For those of us who are heading into the second year of A-levels, myself included, we are beginning to put this into action, starting to pave the way to those pans and duvets and with the opening of South Devon College on September 14, it marks the last year at home - if all goes well!
The jump from GCSEs to A-levels was one I underestimated and did not anticipate: one key thing to remember is secondary school was mandatory and those around you were obliged to make you listen to the same ten-slide PowerPoint on Pythagoras’ Theorem but now, although still quite mandatory, you can pick your subject of choice at sixth form – it is your choice to be there.
I tried to avoid advising the cliché but being genuine when choosing a course. Although, like me, and thousands and thousands of other students, you will change subject and course three times over, possibly stay on an extra year at A-levels, begin an apprenticeship, go from engineering to hairdressing, computer programming to carpentry, or even complete the extra two years of mandatory education and realise your abilities belong outside the four walls of college.
However, for those starting with an A-level course, here are some essentials to prepare you for South Devon College:
1 the two induction days are just as cringe-worthy as you think but ultimately, you struggle together and for that, friendships are easier to make
2 use your free periods efficiently to stay on top of your work. The workload is significantly increased from GCSE and once you allow yourself to leave a few essays overdue, this habit is easy to maintain
3 pasta pots from the Danish Café and anything from the Greenhouse should be prioritised as a go-to option
4 the 22 bus at prime leaving time - 3.30pm to 4pm - is only for the brave
5 if it comes to the end of the first year and you want to try something new, do the AS exams: get the qualification for authenticity for your CV to show what has preoccupied you for the last year, this also gives you time to plan for the new term.
Now with all of this wisdom shared, good luck finding your feet!