I know what you’re thinking, ‘surely she must’ve learned more than 5 things at college?..’, and yes I did. However, in today’s blog post I’m not going to be telling you about the educational things I learned, I’m going to be writing more along the lines of ‘life lessons’ if you understand what I mean. This post was inspired by the fact that my last week of college came to an end on Friday (apart from when I have to go in to sit my exams) and since then I have been thinking about the 2 years I spent there.
First of all, it’s probably worth you have some background info about my college as I know many colleges are slightly different nowadays.
My college was quite big in comparisons to other colleges in the UK, approximately 4000 people attend my college. I also joined my college 5 weeks late so didn’t really integrate with anyone, not that I ever minded as i’ve always been one to have my closest friends outside of school who I love to bits (shoutout to Hannah and Laura). As a result of never having a group of friends at college, I have always maintained an outsiders perspective on college.
1. Don’t feel pressured to make friends.
I know a lot of people will feel differently about this but in my opinion, the friendships you have that aren’t forced upon you, tend to be the strongest relationships you have. If you force it upon yourself, telling yourself that you have to make friends and be in a friendship group then it’s most likely not going to work. True friendships should be natural and feel easy. Don’t get yourself worked up because you aren’t in a friendship group either, your worth isn’t dependent on how many friends you have. Just because you don’t have a group doesn’t mean that people don’t want to be friends with you, to be honest in my opinion it really doesn’t mean anything at all. At the end of the day the people you see in groups will go their own ways when they leave college and so will you, two years is such a short time to spend worrying over things which are so tiny when compared to the events that will occur in later life. Of course my opinion on this is very bias because I never had a group and didn’t let that upset me, but even so i’ve seen so many groups create so much drama among themselves which is so unnecessary during some of the most important exams of your life.
2. It goes by a lot quicker than you think it will.
I remember my first day at college so vividly and I honestly refuse to believe that was almost two years ago because it seriously goes by that quick. To people completing their AS year thinking it went fast, A2 goes SO much quicker. However, I could just be saying that in respect of my 65% attendance record this year. Never the less, make every day you spend at college worth it because before you know it it will be over.
3. Prioritise your education.
I know how obvious this seems but it needed saying. The reason why I joined my college late was because prior to that I had started at a different college. I enjoyed going to that college and became friends with a few really lovely people but the education within my subjects simply didn’t work for me. It wasn’t that the college was bad it was just that I never really clicked with any of my teachers and I couldn’t see myself reaching my true potential there. So I took it on my own accord to email the head of my current college and ask if I could join.
4. Try your hardest throughout college
Another very obvious point however one I believe is often overlooked. In my opinion your first year at college is more important than your second because it determines how much harder second year is going to be for you. All of my subjects took a massive step up in second year and because I didn’t do that amazingly in AS I am now putting so much pressure on myself and am revising like crazy to make sure I do well in my A2 exams this year. If you put the work in first year and get really good grades, not only will you be able to apply and get offers from the top universities, but you will be able to relax just that little bit more when it comes to second year.
5. Bring your own food to college
Probably the least influential point you will read on this post but this is something I never ending up learning at college until now that i’ve left.. I seriously do not want to know how much I have spent on lunch and snacks at college and how much I could of saved instead. In this year alone I have spent probably £550+ on lunch and snacks at college. You probably thought this point was more for humorous effect but I couldn’t be more serious right now! So if you can make your own lunch then I urge you to do it, and if you are lucky enough to have your parents give you money for lunch then just make your own secretly and keep the cash – although that would be wrong…
So there you are! I hope that if you are starting college this year you have taken account of some of the things i’ve said. If you are worried about starting college or you are struggling with college at the moment then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise to be as helpful as I can even if it just means making you feel just that little bit better 🙂
Finally to everyone taking their exams right now, whether they are GCSE’s, AS, A2’s, Degrees etc, I’d like to say good luck and hope you get the results you wanted!
Thank you for reading,