Two More Years On

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

I just printed out some Polaroids from my last day of college, the Eurovision party we had just before my first proper exam, the meal out with some friends when we'd all finished exams last week, and woah. It really is all over.

It was weird finishing college, compared to high school. That doesn't feel like an end because, for better or for worse, you're stuck with those people from another two years. Whereas now I don't know a single person going to the *touch wood* same uni as me in September.

It was also weird because I spend almost the entire time, from the start of college in September 2017, wanting to get out of there. It's easy to say that on the whole, I didn't enjoy college. There are many, many reasons for this, but it's fair to say that from the very beginning, I was always looking forward to the end. Until the end. I actually enjoyed my last few weeks at college, which I'm glad about because at least I ended on a high. I realised that even through those 6:30 get ups, it's bearable with the right people.

I don't think I felt ready for the subjects to finish after two years either. That's why that for the whole week after I had my last A Level exam, French on the Monday, it felt wrong being unproductive. I felt like I should be revising still because it hadn't sunk in that it was all over.

A Levels are so different to GCSEs, as you go down to only three or four subjects from something like nine or ten. And yet you still do double the amount of work. Every single person after GCSEs, I'm sure, thinks 'A Levels will be easy, the subjects are all ones I like and have chosen to do, I don't have to do the boring ones anymore, this will be great!'. How wrong were we all. Overall, I am glad I chose the subjects I chose, but they were undoubtedly a lot of work.

English Literature from very early on became my safe subject. While all my other subjects felt all over the place, impossible to achieve the grades I wanted, English was the only one I could count on. I got essays back in English and thought to myself 'why exactly am I not taking this at university again?' but although I actually ended up enjoying most of the texts we studied at A Level, I know I'm not cut out for a whole degree of fiction.

History, however, fast became the subject I knew I had to continue with going forward. Believe it or not, during year 11 I planned to do English at university, suiting the career field I want to go into, but history suits it just as well, and I enjoy analysing real events, their causes and consequences much more. My college gave the option for a modern history course, thank goodness; we studied the British Empire and The Cold War, both topics I found really interesting. I didn't enjoy history coursework however, compared to English where we got to decide our own title, coursework here was very regimented, each paragraph had to refer to the question a million times and it was really monotonous. Thankfully, I really progressed through the course, revised for history ten times more than anything else (it literally became my entire life at one point), so fingers crossed it will pay off.

Fine Art was my fourth subject, my bonus. I never aspired to gain as high a grade in art as my other subjects because it was just a hobby I wanted to progress more in, and I knew I wouldn't make time for it without class time and deadlines. I learnt so much over the past two years in art and I can see how much I've progressed. Two years ago I was stubbornly a lover of drawing and pencils, never never paint, but now I have discovered oil painting and am in love with it. I kinda know what I've got already and unfortunately I know that my final grade isn't going to reflect my skills, as art works so the grade is based across the entire course, imagine if they did that in an essay subject and my awful first essays were also counted? The final 15 hour exam will only count for 10% of my grade - I'm really proud of how I did in that, yet I wish it was worth more.

French I left for the end because boy has this been a rollercoaster and a half! I began year 12 having so much fun in French, it was my favourite lesson to go to. Then after the French Exchange I lost all my confidence for the subject and it didn't return for a very long time. This peaked around the start of year 13, I felt like I wasn't progressing at all and honestly regretted taking the subject, I kept thinking of things I should have taken instead and hated all my time in lessons and doing homework. You really have to submerse yourself in the language at A Level and I wasn't doing that because I hated spending any time on French.
I moved into the other French class after October half term this year and everything changed. I was in a much better environment and began to feel confident because I didn't feel judged about making mistakes. I would turn up for extra French lessons because my friends would go too and all of a sudden the subject went from the one I hated to the one I looked forward to. French gave me a hard time but now I don't regret it at all because even though I'm going to spend the whole summer doubting if my grade will be high enough (thanks paper 2), making the friends I have has made it worth it.

University planning is at the back of your mind the entirety of college. I went to my first open day the October of year 12 and ever since then, the two years of college has always been plagued by open days, UCAS applications, offers, an interview, a rejection, and decisions. I have learnt so much about myself over the past year through applying for university - about the life I want, and the sort of place I would like to live, and some things have even surprised myself. I wrote a lot about my experience in Everything Happens for a Reason, but I'm sure I'll talk about this again when it's actually happening, and I know for certain on results day!

I'm in some ways writing this post as a response to Five Years On, my reflection on my years at high school. College was a very different experience because it was only two years, there certainly wasn't the same attachment and I think that was why it felt sudden when it was time to leave. In Five Years On my final words were 'surround yourself with the best people' and at many times during college I should have taken my own advice. For a long time I didn't do that, but when I finally did I wish I had sooner, so I am reiterating this again for my future self and everyone else - DON'T SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU MISERABLE!!

So I'm off to the summer now, I've already been off for two weeks and have had some lovely meals catching up with friends, painted for the first time not for my A Level, but just for fun and began my film watchlist - there's a lot I want to watch this summer! I also plan to read a lot, hopefully eventually get a job (no luck so far) and spend a lot of time on my blog and get really into it again. I have lots of ideas, there's a few topics I can't wait to research and write about so stay tuned!

EG x


  1. Enjoy the rest of your summer off! You deserve it.
    Amber |

  2. Enjoy your time off, you deserve a well earned rest for sure!

    Lucy | Forever September

  3. Ahh Erin you worked so hard and you deserve the best summer, I hope it is going well so far xxxx