I’m finishing my first year of sixth form (equivalent to 11th grade) in two days and for the past few weeks, I’ve been deep in reflective mode – thinking about the past year spent in a new environment with new people and all the things I have learnt along the way. Here are a few key lessons that I learnt along the way of Year 12:
Lesson #1 – Don’t be nervous about meeting new people
Meeting new people and making new friends has never actually been a problem for me, but for some reason, going into sixth form seemed really nerve-wracking. All of my best friends were going to different schools, the four of us all went our separate ways so I didn’t have that familiarity that would make things easier when meeting new people. However, going up to people’s tables and just introducing yourself did it for me and it does work. I’ve met a lot of cool people in my first year of sixth form and I’m still meeting new people every day. It’s all about expanding your horizons and taking a risk when it comes to meeting new people and trying to make new friends. If the worst comes to worst and you can’t vibe with those people, it’s all good. There are a lot of other people in school for you to meet. Don’t be afraid, just do it.
Lesson#2 – Don’t feel obliged to get into a relationship
When you start a new school like I did, no one actually knows you unless they’ve “heard” of you or follow you on social media, therefore it’s a fresh start. Meet new people, make new friends and potentially find that significant other. I noticed that a lot of people felt like this. Feeling like they had to get a boyfriend or girlfriend while in sixth form and you honestly don’t. If you do, that’s cool, but there are times where I’ve seen people who are literally just trying to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in one and it doesn’t end well. Have fun in sixth form and if a relationship comes your way, awesome, but don’t force it.
Lesson #3 – Make Time for your “old” friends
Due to the fact that all of my best friends went to different schools, it was so much harder when trying to hang out especially because I don’t live five minutes away from them, so seeing my “old” friends was always so hard. We barely hang out altogether because of conflicting schedules and I honestly regret not spending enough time with them this school year especially because I see those girls as my sisters and people I want in my life for a very long time. We left our old school on a super awesome note, we still talk regularly but it’s always important not to forget who your “old friends” are especially if you are still close. Make time for them, It certainly won’t kill you.
Lesson #4 – Your mental health is important
I hate taking days off school. I don’t care if I’m sick, I will be in school but around April – July. I noticed that my stress levels were on another level. I was worried about my extended essay, mock exams and coursework which made me stress so much that I got super sick and I was at home for about four days. Four days doesn’t seem like a lot but for someone who barely takes time off school, it is. There would be times, I would wake up and feel like crying because I couldn’t cope with school anymore but being able to rejuvenate at home for a few days helped me out a lot. I’m not saying you should miss school every day because education is very important but your health is as well. Take days off where needed but be reasonable.
These are a few lessons I have learnt in my first year of sixth form and there are many more. I’ve learnt a lot about myself as an individual and I’m finding out new things about myself as well. My first year at sixth form was a decent one, made some friends who are honestly the best people ever and even though the idea of going to school frustrates me, I’ve actually enjoyed all of my subjects (except Math Studies). I have less than a year left of sixth form when I start Year 13 and I’m excited for what’s in store.