Are A-levels the way? Why are we all doing this? Watch

mattymooreiom
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I’m tired, It's Tuesday night and I'm sat here thinking about everything that could go wrong and all the ways I could change my path in life to one for the better. I should probably be asleep as it's about to hit midnight but instead, I'm worried about all the possible ways I could mess up my physics exam on Friday. I'm stressed about not studying enough for my A-levels even though I didn't finish till 9pm. Tonight was actually night off, it could be 1 or 2 am before I feel I've done enough before I feel exhausted.

Then there’s university.
What if I don't get into the uni I want, what if I can't get a job because my grades aren't high enough, what if I spent my next three years not living life put constantly worrying about the next stage. Three months ago I didn't want to go to university but now it's consumed my life. If I don't go will I be at a disadvantage? It feels that way. Half-heartedly completing my A-levels yet trying to put as much effort in as possible is a draining mental battle every day. I want to start my own business but that's risky, that's against the grain. The system we're educated in doesn't like risk, doesn't like against the grain. It likes facts and figures and comparing everyone against the same makers. Entry requirements look to see how much of my character I was willing to destroy to achieve grades unattainable when playing to my strengths. I've proved myself in a marketing role, I've won awards for my entrepreneurial skills. Yet none of that matters at the core of applying to an entrepreneurship and marketing degree. What matters is if I can remember 40ish physics equations for an hour or use chain rule a few times in a math exam.

The system
To pull out the classic gem "Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid". However I know I'm not stupid, I know the ways in which I'm being judged are completely unreasonable. But is there another way, resit my A-levels, start a Btec in business? But that's another 3 years of my life "wasted" on education. What will I miss because of this? The majority of my peers aren't resitting, am I stupid? But I just realised I wasn't and I'm a fish in a world full of monkeys. But university. But money. Okay well just put more work into my studies. But I'm a fish and they're a tree. But just do it anyway because everyone else is. Don't take risks. STOP! At what point does this destructive thought cycle end. Everyday worrying about life at age 17.

Life
I’m told to get out more, I’m told to exercise, I’m to live life while I’m young. But I’m a fish, I don’t have time to do those things. I’ve got to focus all my efforts on learning to climb that tree. That massive ever-present tree. The tree that means I haven’t left the house in 3 months. Smiling at someone in the corridor is my socialising done for the day.

Who's to blame?
Myself, the generation before me, the education system, Michael gove?! Micheal gove and his "more rigorous" exams, them exams with no second chance. In fact no chance for the non-academic. Is that me? Who am I? I'm me the risk taker that won't take a risk because no one else is. The risk taker that won't jump because A-levels are the way. Not my way but the way. When does it stop, when can I have a good nights sleep? When can I go to be at 9 pm knowing I've done all I can. Because currently, all I can isn't enough therefore in the eyes of the education system it wasn't all I can do and I failed. I got a C, I didn't get into a "respectable" university and now I'll never get anywhere. But most people I know didn't go to a "respectable" university and they're doing well for themselves so it'll all be fine. It'll all be fine. It'll be fine. But what if. And here I am back on the same destructive cycle. I've just wasted an hour of valuable study time in favour of overthinking my path in life. When does it end? What can I do?

The answers
I don't have the answers, I know what I want but that's risky. So I'll just keep on this path of self-destruction and come June I'll be so worn out climbing that tree will seem impossible. That tree that I, the fish, know I can't climb and frankly don't want to climb but everyone else is. So I'll keep climbing trying to fit in. And now it's quarter to one in the morning and I've tried myself out for one day. Ready to start all over again tomorrow. One day I'll be happy maybe not today, maybe not in the next three year. But one day.



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Jackudy3
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Cheers for summing up what I, and the tens of thousands of A-level students around the country, could not.
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cxndy18
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What you described there is literally every A level student in the country. I was in your position too. In fact i was in a worse place because the school that i moved to for sixth form was a top grammar school of the country. There everyone was effortlessly intelligent, meaning they would go out and get wasted every weekend but still manage to get A* s in everything. I certainly was not like that and only got the grades i wanted through very very hard work. I applied to medicine but due to mocks and general stress my UKCAT and BMAT was very poor: i got below average. All my friends scored in the top 3% which put me in more depression. Along with this i stress eat a lot so i gained weight and was not at all healthy. I think it came to a point where i just got used to not doing well, did not do homework and accepted that i am not getting into medicine.

However, after March this year i got my sh*T together and i don't know what the hell happened but i realised that i should not compare myself to anyone. I am me and i should be proud of being me. I strategised my study and seeked help from my friends. with summer holidays being in my mind, i worked hard everyday and looked forward to relaxing in the summer. I also practised meditation every night which greatly helped me reduce stress and increase concentration, focus and motivation. Through this i actually achieved 4 As which i am happy about.

Currently i am in a gap year and i am absolutely loving it. I haven't done anything exciting yet as i am redoing the entrance exams for medicine, but the fact that i am not in my school and do not have exams to worry about is really nice lol. my preparation is going so much better than last year. i don't even care about my friends already achieving what i want because i know i will get there eventually and in the long term it does not matter. In my gap year i also really thought about which unis i want to go to, instead of making rushed decisions like how i did last year. i am looking forward to do exciting activities later in my gap year. i also go gym everyday and that makes me feel even better.

if you are completely lost and tired i strongly suggest gap year. this is the best time to do whatever you want and think about your course. i also suggest to practise meditation as that will relieve stress. i am in a much better place than i was in this time last year. hope this was useful to you.
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TomSmith12345
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You're absolutely right- our education system is broken (and this is coming from a medical student who has almost always been academically successful).

Something needs to change because the country cannot continue like this. We cannot waste our prime years as we are doing- millions depressed, morale at an all time low, stress levels through the roof and the beauty of life being completely absent during the one of only periods we have a chance to see it. The generation before us ruined us.

Go against the grain and you might be surprised by how successful you can be
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TheTroll73
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lol educational systems all suck

they'll never be able to fix it because they don't know what we actually need
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mattymooreiom
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(Original post by ltsmith)
lol
grades don't determine your future job. they determine what university you get into. what type of job you get into depends on your skill set, your network and your work ethic.
I see what you mean. But I was recently looking to train as an accountant instead of university but they wanted 3 A-levels at A/B
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username3973192
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(Original post by mattymooreiom)
I’m tired, It's Tuesday night and I'm sat here thinking about everything that could go wrong and all the ways I could change my path in life to one for the better. I should probably be asleep as it's about to hit midnight but instead, I'm worried about all the possible ways I could mess up my physics exam on Friday. I'm stressed about not studying enough for my A-levels even though I didn't finish till 9pm. Tonight was actually night off, it could be 1 or 2 am before I feel I've done enough before I feel exhausted.

Then there’s university.
What if I don't get into the uni I want, what if I can't get a job because my grades aren't high enough, what if I spent my next three years not living life put constantly worrying about the next stage. Three months ago I didn't want to go to university but now it's consumed my life. If I don't go will I be at a disadvantage? It feels that way. Half-heartedly completing my A-levels yet trying to put as much effort in as possible is a draining mental battle every day. I want to start my own business but that's risky, that's against the grain. The system we're educated in doesn't like risk, doesn't like against the grain. It likes facts and figures and comparing everyone against the same makers. Entry requirements look to see how much of my character I was willing to destroy to achieve grades unattainable when playing to my strengths. I've proved myself in a marketing role, I've won awards for my entrepreneurial skills. Yet none of that matters at the core of applying to an entrepreneurship and marketing degree. What matters is if I can remember 40ish physics equations for an hour or use chain rule a few times in a math exam.

The system
To pull out the classic gem "Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid". However I know I'm not stupid, I know the ways in which I'm being judged are completely unreasonable. But is there another way, resit my A-levels, start a Btec in business? But that's another 3 years of my life "wasted" on education. What will I miss because of this? The majority of my peers aren't resitting, am I stupid? But I just realised I wasn't and I'm a fish in a world full of monkeys. But university. But money. Okay well just put more work into my studies. But I'm a fish and they're a tree. But just do it anyway because everyone else is. Don't take risks. STOP! At what point does this destructive thought cycle end. Everyday worrying about life at age 17.

Life
I’m told to get out more, I’m told to exercise, I’m to live life while I’m young. But I’m a fish, I don’t have time to do those things. I’ve got to focus all my efforts on learning to climb that tree. That massive ever-present tree. The tree that means I haven’t left the house in 3 months. Smiling at someone in the corridor is my socialising done for the day.

Who's to blame?
Myself, the generation before me, the education system, Michael gove?! Micheal gove and his "more rigorous" exams, them exams with no second chance. In fact no chance for the non-academic. Is that me? Who am I? I'm me the risk taker that won't take a risk because no one else is. The risk taker that won't jump because A-levels are the way. Not my way but the way. When does it stop, when can I have a good nights sleep? When can I go to be at 9 pm knowing I've done all I can. Because currently, all I can isn't enough therefore in the eyes of the education system it wasn't all I can do and I failed. I got a C, I didn't get into a "respectable" university and now I'll never get anywhere. But most people I know didn't go to a "respectable" university and they're doing well for themselves so it'll all be fine. It'll all be fine. It'll be fine. But what if. And here I am back on the same destructive cycle. I've just wasted an hour of valuable study time in favour of overthinking my path in life. When does it end? What can I do?

The answers
I don't have the answers, I know what I want but that's risky. So I'll just keep on this path of self-destruction and come June I'll be so worn out climbing that tree will seem impossible. That tree that I, the fish, know I can't climb and frankly don't want to climb but everyone else is. So I'll keep climbing trying to fit in. And now it's quarter to one in the morning and I've tried myself out for one day. Ready to start all over again tomorrow. One day I'll be happy maybe not today, maybe not in the next three year. But one day.



I'm glad I still got a year before I go throught this madness
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achiu
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Speaking as someone who came from Hong Kong to study A-levels in England, I would say that the education system in England is still one of the best even though it has its problems.

Be more optimistic
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