Genuine tips for Year 12- From someone who got through it.
Sixth form! The decision to stay at school may have been tough, but you’re getting excited to walk through those familiar doors again and focus on your favourite subjects. What could go wrong?
The truth is, Year 12 is tough! And by no means should that dishearten you, because sixth form is a big commitment, but it really pays off. Plus- the experience is amazing.
However, if you’re finding yourself a bit lost on how exactly to pace yourself this year, here’s some tips from someone who wishes she could do it all over again.
1. Use your frees
This is probably the phrase you will hear the most throughout the year, but trust me,
do it. Your free periods are a blessing.
They are an opportunity for you to get 2-3 hours of work done during the school day that you would otherwise have to drag yourself through at home.
It’s so easy to get caught up talking with your friends and spend the hour dossing, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
But don’t let your work fall behind because of it, because you WILL have to catch up in your own time.
2. Don’t underestimate your workload
The jump from GCSE to A-Level doesn’t seem that big all in all, so when you go from 7 subjects to 3, it’s easy to think that sixth form will be a ball.
But I’ll be honest, having only 3 subjects means so much more information, and if you don’t keep on top, you will fall behind extremely quickly.
Do not treat deadlines as a goal, or you will be drowned in work and you will only end up wishing you’d done it earlier.
You will have A LOT to do this year, but if you get it out of the way as soon as possible, you’ll do yourself a huge favour.
3. Sixth form is a full-time commitment
You may have managed both school and a part-time job beforehand, but it’s really easy to get distracted when you’re studying at a sixth form level.
Part-time jobs are awesome, and they provide that extra bit of pocket money, but it’s worth considering not taking on those extra shifts when you know you have a big pile of homework on your desk.
Not enveloping yourself completely in either work or school will really help you out, and it’s all about finding the balance.
4. University doesn’t have to be your goal
Personally speaking, I would say that in sixth form there’s a rather big push towards university, more so than apprenticeships or just diving straight into the world of work.
It’s important to remember that you do not have to go to university, even though you’re doing A-Levels.
There’s so much pressure at this age on deciding what you want to do with your future. But if your passions lie elsewhere, don’t cram yourself into the box of uni because you feel it’s the right thing to do.
Explore your options, talk to your teachers, and never feel pushed by the choices of your peers.
5. Protect your mental health
This tip is the most important one you will receive for sixth form. There is a lot of pressure, and if you feel your stress levels rising, speak out.
It is hard, and you can’t let yourself get completely overwhelmed by school and work and homework and extra reading, because eventually you will crack.
There are support systems in place, and if you are unsure of how exactly these operate- ask your teachers or your head of year.
Mental health will always come before education, and although that can be a hard pill to swallow for some, it’s ridiculously important to prioritise yourself in the sixth form environment.
And those are my top five tips for Year 12! When your responsibilities are balanced correctly, sixth form can be amazing, and so rewarding, even if it all seems big and scary at the start.
Look after yourself, and always do the extra reading- you’ll thank me later!