This might sound over-dramatic to some but college has been pretty fucking traumatic for me. I had my whole future planned out when I got into A-Levels and was happier than I had been for a long time, so happy that I didn’t have to go counselling anymore. And I stayed happy for most of the year. But then as exams got closer, stress piled on and after doing terribly on my January exams I was extremely anxious about my June exams, I knew that I wasn’t going to make it into the next year so got myself into a different course a.k.a. the one I’m in now. This has turned out far worse. By November I wanted to drop out, it caused me to develop severe anxiety and now I’m back in counselling all over again. That sort of thing doesn’t exactly build up your confidence and when you’re parents don’t see how difficult it is being a student nowadays it’s really difficult to make them understand why you can’t handle going in there.
The whole process after leaving GCSE’s does this to most of us now, I know this from talking to and just watching my friends. We get told the only way you can make something of yourself is to do A-Levels then go to Uni as if it’s quick and easy. If we do a Btec instead of A-Levels we get labelled as a B-Tard and being an A-level student who has had to move to a Btec I was fucking terrified what everyone would say, but my friends made excuses around it like, “You’re not a true B-Tard cause you got into A-Levels first”, it was all complete bullshit. Thing is though, you can just as easily get into Uni with a Btec as you can A-Levels. It’s just a different grading system. So why get called names for a path that can give you the same destination?
After doing both of them, I’ve been able to compare them both on difficulty and to be honest they are both extremely difficult, they are both a huge jump from GCSE’s and they both throw you in the deep end. It is utterly ridiculous that the difficulty between college and Year 11 is so big, and even after going through I cannot come up with any advice on how to manage it well. I know people who got full A*s in GCSE and all U’s in A-Level.
Nobody prepares you for this, and from my experience not many seem to care enough to help you through it.
There are three types of college tutor:
- The caring, funny one who you love and can go to with anything but don’t actually learn enough from to get full marks a.k.a. my psychology tutor
- The passionate tutor who is so wrapped up in their subject that they try they’re hardest to get you to pass but forget you have other subjects and put too much pressure on you unintentionally a.k.a. my sociology tutor
- The tutor who seems to hate teenagers, the one who will patronize you, the one who will argue with you, the one who will tell you you’re going to fail,the one who seems to go out of their way to make you break a.k.a. my biology tutor and my BTEC tutor
I don’t really understand how tutors get into their positions when they act like this, I realise that the job is going to be stressful for them but that is no excuse to treat students like dirt. One of friends got told just the other day that they “deserve to fail”. Tutors are meant to build up your confidence and skills not completely destroy every piece of hope in your body.
It’s tutors like this that have caused me to become so terrified of failure that I ended up not being able to go to college in fear of doing something wrong. The only place outside of home and friends that I am happy is work, which is why I want to do an apprenticeship.
It doesn’t matter to me where I end up as long as I am happy. That’s all that should matter really.