My personal experience at Sixth Form :
This blog post isn’t the most positive, is anything it’s rather depressing, but this is factual and what has happened in my life at Sixth Form. If you can’t handle overwhelming situations then please don’t read this.This was a very hard post for me to make, and I was debating whether to post it or not, but I know that this could help some people.
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Hello! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer holidays (if you’ve started them); if not then enjoy exam period, revise hard! I have finally finished Sixth Form, of which was an overwhelming experience. I thought that by sharing this experience with you guys would help some people; because you aren’t alone.
Throughout this blog post I will take you through the three years of my life during Sixth Form, and what ever year bought and taught me.
I would just like to backtrack … Year 11 embedded our minds with thinking that we SHOULD head into Sixth Form, it would “give you a better life”, “if you want to be successful join Sixth Form”, “don’t go to college”, “if you want to be a failure head into college” … You get the point, Sixth Form really judged college students, you are seen as “stupid” if you go to college; I don’t think this in the slightest now. I did back then and I’m ashamed, they brainwash you. As a year 11 student, I was quiet, shy, but polite. I did everything I was told, never missed any lessons, my attendance was 100%. You could say that I was the stereotypical goody goody.
I applied for Sixth Form with my Secondary School and I couldn’t wait! I was full of excitement to start the next chapter of my life! I was going to be “successful” and “brilliant”; just like my teachers told me.
When my GCSE results came through, along with my acceptance letter, I was overjoyed! I was starting year 12 (2013) in September and I couldn’t wait to be apart of the higher School, to be seen as a leader.
I was starting the new year with high ambitions, studying one of my passions: English. Whereas Business and Finance was based on School influences; to begin with I really enjoyed my subjects, they were interesting enough for me to keep up with my studies; but as months rolled past I lost interest; especially in Finance. I was told that if I passed both Business and Fiance I could change my A level subjects when I hit year 13; but this would mean that I would have to stay another year in order to finish those extra courses … So that’s what I decided to do. I had a new goal in mind, knew how to do it.
Anxiety was getting worse. The stress and the pressure to do well in all three subjects was getting to me, alongside with a two week trip for business which was due any day. This entailed going to a business and shadowing various people for two weeks. This made it very difficult to revise, especially with exams starting next month; I was having panic attacks every other day, I didn’t know how to cope, I felt like I was trapped in my own mind; I felt alone. Matters only became worse when two particular boys started hounding me, they bullied me to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. They were so cruel, reminding me of traumatic experiences I’ve encountered. They pushed me so far that I tried to commit suicide. On that very day, I came home on my first day of work experience, completely drained from the constant hassle they were sending me. And I tried to commit suicide. It was all a blur, I remember crying hysterically, looking at what I just tried to do … And felt completely numb.
Heading into School the next day was not happening, I didn’t go for a while. My head of year phoned and demanded why I was attending School; this was strange behaviour, as I had 100% attendance. I couldn’t talk on the phone, instead I went into School with my dad. I sat down in my head of years office and told him everything that had been going on from the very beginning. He took bullying “very seriously” and kept me and them apart. He demanded “serious punishment”. I then went to the deputy head with my dad, I had showed her the messages that they were sending me; which entailed: “go kill yourself”, “wouldn’t it be funny if you died”, “I wonder how deep she will cut into her wrists this time”. She saw these messages, and I kid you not, she said, “I wouldn’t take it so seriously, they were joking”. I was livid, I have never EVER been rude to a teacher, but this was the time to speak; and I sure did. My dad wasn’t so happy either, as you can obviously imagine.
After a few weeks exams were over, nothing had been done with those boys apart from them not being allowed near me; but that was it, no punishment, nothing.
Within 6 years attending my Secondary School I had never asked for help, but this was the only time where I needed there help, I wanted it, I wanted to feel safe at School and not trapped … And they did nothing.
Results day was here, and within my hands was: A English, A Business and B Finance. My blood sweat and tears went into those results and I was overwhelmed with joy! I knew that I could change these subjects into my true passions! Which was: Photography, Media and Product Design. I was so proud, that after what happened the, previous months it didn’t affect what I really wanted. I was so excited to start my subjects in September, I was going to be in year 13; which means “more responsibility, and stress; but I thought I could deal with it.
You know what this means? New academic year, new courses, and the same boring induction. Everyone worrying about not doing their Summer assignments, extra reading etc. And I was just so happy to be in a place where I would experience true happiness. Especially product design, our class contained a total of 6 people. This making me less anxious; as big classes make me really intimidated. On the other hand, Photography was thrilling, our first lesson consisted on testing aperture and shutter speed. I remember running across the grass and jumping, hoping that somebody would take a clear photograph instead of fuzzy. In regards to Media one of the teachers made it sound amazing, and it was! The coursework side of things was exciting! It was creative and artistic which is what I love! I love to create. Whereas the exam side of things … My other teacher wasn’t so great, she didn’t even turn up to the first lesson … You can tell that this wasn’t going to be good.
Glandular fever had taken over. I have never been so immobile, so sick or useless in my entire life. I had to take a solid month of School to recover, and even then I wasn’t completely well until January. I had missed my November mocks, and was made to take them in February; this triggered my anxiety. The workload was much more intense, I couldn’t work from home during my sickness as I was too weak. I didn’t know how to deal with the stress, so instead of facing it head on I ran away from the situation. I started missing most of my lessons, my attendance in Media was 50%, I basically taught myself AS media, as I was too scared to face my teachers and show them that I was weak. Deadlines were getting missed, this made my anxiety worse; which also triggered the depression. I wasn’t motivated, as well as running away I didn’t want to do anything. The phone kept ringing from School, demanding where I was. My parents were loosing their patience with me; which only made it worse. It got to the point where I didn’t want to be there anymore, it was making me unwell for my mental and physical health.
ALL PRODUCT DESIGN COURSEWORK DUE IN. Prior to this my classmate had destroyed the table I was making in order for my coursework to even exist. When I was too weak to make my table, I asked one of the people in my class to sand the table; I had left the room for no more than 5 minutes. They went to find me and said that they were so sorry, but they had sanded one spot for too long it had actually left a dip in the table. This was the only piece of wood I had … They said “I will get you new wood for next lesson. The next lesson never came, and 5 weeks later the deadline was due in.
You are probably thinking ‘why didn’t you buy some?’. I had already spent £200 on 100% oak wood, I literally couldn’t afford it at that time.
I handed in what I had and hoped that it was worth a pass. It wasn’t. They handed me a straight U because of that person. What makes it worse, the wood that he was meant to give me, he used on his own work.
I had the option of: building an entire table and updating my coursework in 1 week, or dropping the course entirely just so I wouldn’t have a U on my record. At that moment in time I dropped it all, I physically couldn’t handle the stress. I had 2 other A levels to worry about, I couldn’t sacrifice them as well.
At this point I didn’t care what I got, I was already applying for apprenticeships. I looked at my results and was shocked to see two straight C’s in Photography and Media. Despite my lack of attendance I had made it threw to year 14.
With my parents persuasion … I was entering year 14, but I wasn’t happy, I had no motivation for this year. The slight enthusiasm was University. I wanted to study Marketing, this was my only goal left at this point, and I wanted it more than ever.
Same old rubbish. Same old groups sitting at lunch, bitching about one another, who’s had sex with who etc. I had my head down, I was heading to University, that is my one and only goal; this is the only reason I’m here. I looked alone, my year had left, all my friends had gone, I was alone. I didn’t mind, I had my music, book and phone; I was good to go.
They tell you that the jump from year 11 to 12 is massive. It’s really not. The jump from AS to A2 IS! The workload they expect you to do is insane! Media for me was no longer a passion, it was pure hatred. Photography not so much, I still relatively liked it enough to do mediocre.
Results for my photography coursework was due in (I handed in my draft in January), my teacher sat me down and said “I’m really sorry but I have lost parts of your work”, I looked at the piece of paper she gave me and it said U. I thought it was backwards, because the amount of work I had produced since September was worth about a C grade; that’s what she was telling me anyway. As you can imagine I wasn’t a happy bunny. But this is March and you know what that means? To start exam preparation for Photography, which also means to put down the coursework you’ve been working on since September, and try and catch up on it when you can. The EXAM work is double the course work, and they give you 2 months to complete this, as well as amendments on your coursework. CRAZY RIGHT?! So for two months I had no life. I didn’t go out, I put my head down and I did as much work as physically possible, while cramming in Media revision.
Deadline for ALL photography work was due, I handed it in and didn’t give a damn. I walked out of that room with my head held high, I put everything into that coursework and exam. Knowing that I started to feel fulfillment and joy, feelings I haven’t felt in years.
Media exam was finally here and I was excited. I knew what I needed to know and I applied that to my two and a half hour exam. I didn’t stop writing, I wrote for that long I gave myself blisters. I kept smiling at the clock ticking by, thinking that soon … I will be free from this School. This place that caused so much misery in my life, it’s going to be my past and I can’t wait to leave.
When that exam was over, I ran into Chris’ arms (my boyfriend), smiled and cried with joy. To think that I was finally free from all the pain and depression. The weight that was lifted off my shoulders was overwhelming. I could finally do what I’ve wanted to do for years! One was writing my blog! To read a book! I have missed sitting down and reading books! I can also draw and paint! Things I haven;t been able to do for a long time, and I can finally do it! I can’t express the happiness and fulfillment. I had left that School behind, and I didn’t care, I was just happy.
To this current day, I have been free from my anti-depressants and anxiety tablets for months.
I’m so thankful for my boyfriend, family and friends that I have in my life.
I’ll be getting my results this August, I will keep you undated to what University I’m going to :).
REMEMBER! This was my personal experience, if anyone out there feels like this, you are NOT alone! I’ve been there and I know how you feel.
If you want to talk to me I’ll happily have that conversation with you.
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like always, see you soon Little ones and stay tuned 🙂 x x x