Thinking Ahead

As I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts, I’m planning on leaving my school and going to the local college to do the International Baccalaureate in September (gulp). That means I’ll be leaving the school that I’ve been at for seven years, since year five, and not taking the conventional route of A Levels but instead studying something that pretty much everybody but my composition teacher and maybe my Spanish teacher has immediately said “oh, that’s meant to be really hard” about when I tell them. Double gulp. I’m planning on taking Spanish, English, Geography, Maths, Biology and Film Studies, all of which feels a bit daunting when I write it down like that. Eek. Maybe I should just stick with A Levels…

On second thoughts, nah.

I’m simultaneously terrified and excited. I’m terrified of the realisation that, provided I do go, I have thirty maths lessons left and then that’s it at school, I’ll be leaving loads of my friends, some of whom I’ve been friends with for a good six or seven years, leaving all the familiarity of a place and routine and teachers that I know and surroundings where I’m comfortable and (mostly) confident. I’ll be leaving everybody in my year, people that you just get used to being around and it’s kinda weird to think that suddenly I’ll go from seeing everyday to having barely any contact with. I’ll be going into the relative unknown that is the IB, as I have no close friends that have done it – the closest I’ve got is a German girl I play hockey with that’s doing it. I’m really scared that after thinking the IB is perfect for me, I’m going to hate it and have to reevaluate my plans and swap to A Levels, either at college or school. I don’t want to leave my two best friends, even though one is going to college too – she’s doing A Levels, and I’ll only get about two free periods each week, so it’s going to be hard to see her. I don’t want to leave the endless maths bants (using that word ironically only promise)(maybe) with my other best friends where we insult each other so incessantly that I think our teacher may think we actually hate each other. Actually, thinking about it, a similar thing’s starting to happen in English…

But I’m excited too. When I got my offer, I was about a million times happier than I expected to be. I kinda just want to fast forward through GCSEs and results and everything and land on the first day of college and just see what it’s like. I honestly think the IB is the right choice for me, because whenever I think about leaving all my friends I still want to go to college. I’m looking forward to the freedom of a different schedule, a bigger campus, a new subject (film studies), more extracurricular music and making new friends (even though that feels terrifying), and meeting new people and kinda having the opportunity to get rid of the assumptions that people who’ve known me since primary school might have and just be the version of me that I want to be. The chance to kinda reinvent myself, I guess. I’m semi-looking forward to the possibility of seeing old, old, pre-year-five primary school friends or maybe ending up being college friends with people I already know outside of school through hockey or music or whatever.

I don’t think I’ve ever thought about September so far in advance, not even when I was choosing GCSEs. Maybe when I swapped primary schools?

I guess it’s the same for any kind of change – you’ve got to take the plunge and hope for the best. I definitely think leaving is right for me – I feel like if I stay I’ll just be constantly wondering what college would have been like, and at least two and probably more of my friends are leaving school anyway, so it’s not like everyone else will be carrying on the same without me. New people will join, too.

Ah well. What will be will be. And at least, even if I bail on the IB after the first week, I can tell myself I tried it and it just didn’t work out. Oh, and all the decision making has forced me to research the college so much that I can regurgitate a lotย of information about it, the IB, the different option choices and the difference between taking subjects at standard of higher levelย veryย easily, and I’m sure that’s a skill that will be constantly coming in handy later in life.

Maybe…

This song is 100% me right now with GCSEs, big decisions, and life in general.

Are you having to make any big decisions about *further education* at the moment?

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9 thoughts on “Thinking Ahead

  1. emislost says:

    I’m starting a-levels next year and I’m sooooo nervous yet excited but my friends are all going to different colleges. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I totally get what you mean about wanting to fast forward GCSEs though.

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  2. pollykingdom says:

    You’re welcome! Hahaha yeah you’ll definitely feel the heat at times. Particularly in a couple of years time in May where you have 2-3 weeks of solid exams. The good news is whatever you do after the IB will feel like a complete breese! I’m sure you’ll do amazing anyway if you’re that pumped that you even chose IB in the first place to relish your time in the environment ๐Ÿ˜€

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  3. MyTeenageMadness says:

    That’s brave, but it also sounds like a really considered decision, and one that you really feel is right for you, so I wouldn’t feel too worried. And won’t it be brilliant to lose the baggage of being surrounded by people who judged you 7 years ago, and perhaps haven’t taken into account the changes you’ve gone through since, and the person you are today? Sounds amazing to me. A fresh start, with people who will only think of you as how you are now, not how you used to be. xx

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  4. pollykingdom says:

    No WAY! I did the IB! It’s been 4 years since then and you will always get the ‘isn’t that really hard though’ comments but once you’ve gone through it you sure as hell deserve the ‘yep’ response!

    I did HL biology, chemistry and psychology with SL english, maths and spanish and even reviewed my choices on my alter-ego blog (http://teachsciencefirst.com/2015/08/28/the-international-baccalaureate-diploma-programme/). I didn’t do amazingly with 32 points overall although our whole year underperformed so I think it was mainly the way it was run there (I rant on about it in the post). Luckily I got into my 1st choice uni but in hindsight I would have probably done A levels as for a science degree, you don’t need the extras that IB demand. But I enjoyed it nonetheless! It made me crazy motivated and driven!

    I think the bit that makes IB hard is juggling that many subjects. I spent most of my energy trying to change mindsets between learning a language to doing masses of differentiation to memorising the fermentation process of soy sauce (oh yeah – it’s an ‘international’ course so you get the odd random cultural reference). So if you’re genuinely ok with all of the subjects you chose then you’ve already won half the battle. It’s a long slog but I found my IB bubble community kept me going through tough days and the smaller class sizes are SO GOOD!

    If you ever want/need a chat about any of the subjects, ToK, CAS or anything at all give me a shout because I know how weighed down you can feel on IB sometimes.

    My quick words of wisdom for now would be to try and revise other subjects in Spanish (double revision woohoo!), take masses of notes in english and write down key quotes as you go to memorise later, get the actual exam spec for biology and structure work/revision around that and practice the f**k out of maths! I didn’t do geography but they got the best trips and I have heard film studies is all coursework and is essentially like english with films – learn quotes.

    Good luck!!

    P.s. sorry for the essay…

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    • An Overthinking Teenager says:

      AHHH thank you so much this is such a useful comment! I will definitely be reading your post and thanks for the offer of help ๐Ÿ™‚ yeah I’ve heard time management is a lot of it…hopefully I’ll be ok! That’s really given me confidence actually, so thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ I really appreciate you taking the time to write that and I’m going to make a note of all those tips for when I’m slaving a way like WHY DID I CHOOSE THIS in September! ๐Ÿ™‚

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