Thinking About Repeating Year 12

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astrocarbs
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Essentially, I have done pretty awful for AS level. Or at least, even if I don't think I've done awful to the point of failing everything, I just think I haven't achieved what I could achieve, and so I'm considering repeating the year.

It's been a rough month. Literally the week before exams, my grandad suddenly grew very ill, and before I knew it he was given a few weeks to live. I spent the first few weeks of exams feeling incredibly guilty, since I was sat at my desk revising whilst my grandad was suffering with pancreatic cancer, which was acting very quickly. Since I felt guilty, my mindset was all over the place, and I ended up doing not so well. I was also already doing pretty awful with exam technique anyway, considering I hadn't really sat an actual exam before, which did not make the situation any better. I was still somewhat hanging on though.

However, suddenly this week, things grew even worse, and out of nowhere he only had a week left. I decided to prioritise him, instead of studying for a subject that I know I will still have difficulty with even with all the hours I was putting into it (Chemistry). I decided that I would probably just retake the year and do psychology, since I was already tricked into taking chemistry when I didn't want to. So, these past few days, instead of revising for my chemistry unit 2 exam (WJEC), I just spent time with him for his last few days, with the rest of the family. He passed yesterday.

Ever since then, I have not left the bed. I feel incredibly lazy, and feel awful that I'm not revising, but even looking at my textbook makes me incredibly angry, and makes me feel sick. I gradually stopped spending time with him as I went into Year 12, using the excuse that I was revising. Now that he's suddenly gone, when he was perfectly fine just a month ago, I feel awful and still partly in shock. I also have trouble in general with revising, and revise for hours only to still do mostly averagely in exams. I could've prioritised him even before this week, and spent time with him whilst he was still able to talk, but I didn't. Even sitting at the desk now makes me break down.

I'm probably going to fail chemistry, and do averagely in biology and geography. But I want to do better, especially now since one of the last things he told me was that he knew I could do it. Even if I do it late, I want to get the better grades I want, and do what I want, and not something I was forced to do, to make him proud and prove to him he could believe in me. I want to grow as a person. I seriously think I've lost myself since lockdown, I'm not really connected with family, and these past few days have really helped me realise that. I want to find a way to healthily balance school, family and hobbies, so these same mistakes don't happen again. So should I repeat the year, and start with a clean slate? I was already slightly disadvantaged because I missed pretty much the whole of year 8 and year 9 because of other family issues, and then year 10 and 11 because of COVID - I honestly don't know how I got so far with my poor maths skills in chemistry. I want to use this next year to clean up myself and the things I haven't done so well in life so far.

I'm just slightly worried if it's the right thing to do. I obviously wish I could go to university when all my friends are, but is this the better path to take to better myself for the future. Will it disadvantage me more in university?

A lot of this post probably doesn't make sense. My emotions are still all over the place, but worrying about this is making it worse, I just want to let out my thoughts. I just want to push it to the side and spend time with my family at the moment, but I still don't feel secure. I feel awful just thinking about stuff like this when he literally just went yesterday... It's so wrong, I already feel wrong that I'm getting special consideration for it. I just think I should restart completely. I'm sorry also, I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly, this is my first time posting on here. I didn't really know where else to go.
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astrocarbs
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#2
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
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I'm sorry I've just realised this is a lot to read. I went on a bit of a rant.
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Archock
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#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by astrocarbs)
Essentially, I have done pretty awful for AS level. Or at least, even if I don't think I've done awful to the point of failing everything, I just think I haven't achieved what I could achieve, and so I'm considering repeating the year.

It's been a rough month. Literally the week before exams, my grandad suddenly grew very ill, and before I knew it he was given a few weeks to live. I spent the first few weeks of exams feeling incredibly guilty, since I was sat at my desk revising whilst my grandad was suffering with pancreatic cancer, which was acting very quickly. Since I felt guilty, my mindset was all over the place, and I ended up doing not so well. I was also already doing pretty awful with exam technique anyway, considering I hadn't really sat an actual exam before, which did not make the situation any better. I was still somewhat hanging on though.

However, suddenly this week, things grew even worse, and out of nowhere he only had a week left. I decided to prioritise him, instead of studying for a subject that I know I will still have difficulty with even with all the hours I was putting into it (Chemistry). I decided that I would probably just retake the year and do psychology, since I was already tricked into taking chemistry when I didn't want to. So, these past few days, instead of revising for my chemistry unit 2 exam (WJEC), I just spent time with him for his last few days, with the rest of the family. He passed yesterday.

Ever since then, I have not left the bed. I feel incredibly lazy, and feel awful that I'm not revising, but even looking at my textbook makes me incredibly angry, and makes me feel sick. I gradually stopped spending time with him as I went into Year 12, using the excuse that I was revising. Now that he's suddenly gone, when he was perfectly fine just a month ago, I feel awful and still partly in shock. I also have trouble in general with revising, and revise for hours only to still do mostly averagely in exams. I could've prioritised him even before this week, and spent time with him whilst he was still able to talk, but I didn't. Even sitting at the desk now makes me break down.

I'm probably going to fail chemistry, and do averagely in biology and geography. But I want to do better, especially now since one of the last things he told me was that he knew I could do it. Even if I do it late, I want to get the better grades I want, and do what I want, and not something I was forced to do, to make him proud and prove to him he could believe in me. I want to grow as a person. I seriously think I've lost myself since lockdown, I'm not really connected with family, and these past few days have really helped me realise that. I want to find a way to healthily balance school, family and hobbies, so these same mistakes don't happen again. So should I repeat the year, and start with a clean slate? I was already slightly disadvantaged because I missed pretty much the whole of year 8 and year 9 because of other family issues, and then year 10 and 11 because of COVID - I honestly don't know how I got so far with my poor maths skills in chemistry. I want to use this next year to clean up myself and the things I haven't done so well in life so far.

I'm just slightly worried if it's the right thing to do. I obviously wish I could go to university when all my friends are, but is this the better path to take to better myself for the future. Will it disadvantage me more in university?

A lot of this post probably doesn't make sense. My emotions are still all over the place, but worrying about this is making it worse, I just want to let out my thoughts. I just want to push it to the side and spend time with my family at the moment, but I still don't feel secure. I feel awful just thinking about stuff like this when he literally just went yesterday... It's so wrong, I already feel wrong that I'm getting special consideration for it. I just think I should restart completely. I'm sorry also, I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly, this is my first time posting on here. I didn't really know where else to go.
So, lets address your academic issues first. If you've missed a significant portion of Year 8 and 9 and then 10 and 11 due to lockdown... You're really way too behind. Thankfully you haven't taken math, which requires way more basal understanding to progress. Still, Chemistry is the most mathematically challenging of your subjects. So, it makes sense why it would be the hardest.

I would suggest that you retake Chemistry Year 12 exams (and other subjects if needed) instead of repeating the whole Year. Your mental health is quite bad currently, so adapting to new people (assuming your year 12 repeat will begin september or june 2022) in 6th form (assuming you're here) would be not ideal. You must also cover all your basics properly during the two months or so of holidays till September. Literally revisiting year 7 math to 8 to 9 and so on.
Basics of chemistry as well. If you're struggling in the core, basic concepts of the subject enough where hours and hours of revision only produce mediocre results, then you WILL fail year 13. This won't be easy. Around 200 hours of focussed planned time for complete proficiency, I'd say. Although 100 hours should be enough to catch up to most people in Y13, going forward.

I'm not too sure myself if you can retake the Y12 exams unit by unit. If you can then prioritise your worst unit in terms of preparation. Only apply to retake the exams after you're consistently getting above 60-70% in past papers. Which will be easy if you do some of the things I tell you later on. This is important because in Y13, you will effectively be sitting 5 exams for Chemistry or 4 if you do one unit (if possible). So you want to make sure you're not taking extra work that you aren't confident in half-acing. You'd want to do this before september ideally, although not past paper practise, just learning all Y12 content because Y13 will (I'm assuming) build up on it. This will take a further few tens of hours per subject.

If your school doesn't allow exam resits for whatever reason or if your head of 6th form doesn't, you can pay out of pocket to attend them elsewhere or even in your school.

Here I'm assuming that your school WILL allow you to progress to A levels even if you get a E or a U in AS. They should, given your circumstances.

I'm not sure if it will disadvantage you as you always will have the valid reason for failing Year 12 (if you do decide to repeat).

Now, the academic stuff is sorted out. That's all you need to do. A couple hundred hours or so of focussed, planned time and simple logical planning (and some research).


Now, the real issue, which is your mental health. This might sound 'cringe' especially as you're literally 17 (I am too), but you need to meditate. Your mental health needs to be sorted first and foremost before you begin any revision during the time off. Because there's no way you're putting in 200+ hours (of focussed time) with bad mental health. Within 2-2.5 months... That's essentially 3 hours or so per day.

When you're studying, you need to not be experiencing any negative emotions. For best results you need to be naturally curious about what you're studying and experiment and push the boundaries to understand what works and doesn't and why does it work or not. This means 0 distractions, some pleasant emotions towards subject and 0 negative emotions. This is true for any subject, especially so for the sciences (or math).

So, you need to solve this guilty feeling you're getting. You also need to accept and move on from the death of your grandfather (that's probably not the best way of me putting it). This will happen mostly naturally. It's normal to feel bad for a few weeks. And definitely for a few days. But I'm afraid this trigger could lead you to worse places, afterall that isn't the only issue. Your biggest responsibility currently is to do well in your exams and with these various stresses arising from emotional trauma, loneliness, helplessness, anger, guilt and so on are a huge issue. This could lead to the situation getting worse and worse, every day you're not studying, your academic future is getting worse. And as you see yourself not working towards your goals... the contradiction...This can lead to learned helplessness.

You need to meditate on your issues to solve them. Ask consecutive "why" questions and "what can I do to solve this" And, just meditate in general to calm your emotions. Neither of them will be easy, especially facing your issues directly, but only you can help you with this.

Another step you can take towards betting your mental health is just spend time with your family, maybe cry with them (again, may be 'cringe'). Crying does scientifically make you feel better. It also helps you process your emotions better, especially when it's in the presence of someone else. I don't know your family situation, but hopefully you're close enough to your dad or mum. If not, then you can just do so alone, that's still better then forced suppression.

Lastly, after your mental health is in order (this is the hardest part), your studying will be a breeze. It won't be easy but it is very straight forward. Like running, as long as you put the effort you will travel a distance, it might be small or large depending on topics but you just have to keep moving.

To make it even easier, I recommend you read three books, Atomic Habits - J Clear and Deep Work - C Newport and The Infinite Game - S Sinek

Regarding your mental health, I'd recommend Psycho-Cybernetics - M Maltz and The Body Keeps The Score - B vd Kolk
Finally, I'd recommend you meditate on your decision of going to University. It doesn't seem to be coming out of any deep rooted purpose. Your friends shouldn't be the reason you put your life in potentially the wrong direction. Deeper consideration is needed. Do YOU actually want to go to university? Again, not easy but it's worth every hour you spend thinking about this.

This answer is more of a rant than your post haha, but I'm hoping all the information is relevent.
Last edited by Archock; 4 weeks ago
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