Year 11. Did I survive?

I thought that I would write a review of this year as a way of looking back on it in hopes that you could learn from it or relate if you have also just finished year 11.

I guess the big one has been stress. That feeling where your head feels heavy and you don’t know if you have time to achieve everything do you hope for the best even if it does mean it doesn’t pay off in the long run. To me stress was a very prominent feeling in my life from September until June, I felt as though nothing I did was good enough and everything could always be better and improved. Of course you get to a point where something cannot be added to anymore as the whole thing will change completely and that can be said a lot about some of my art pieces.

Friendships changing is another issue, many people deal with stress in different ways and for some people they feel the need to lash out of find different groups with the same subjects as them. This results in friendship groups shuffling around and this can seem difficult because everything already feels unstable, so my advice to anyone starting year 11 is to find your people and stay grounded towards them because it will make everything easier.

The work load for year 11 will increase but it is important to know that every homework that you do will be counted as revision and not because your teachers hate you. If you do creative subjects then you will have a major increase in work due to coursework in deadlines, I spent many nights staying up late cutting and sticking, painting and drawing and crying into my sketchbook.

The uncertainty that no one truly knew what was expected of them, this may only apply to this year due to the new GCSE’s but there were no past papers or mark schemes for us to know what the new questions looked like. This was also hard for creative subjects because we did not know what a grade 9 sketchbook looked like so we just had to keep adding to our work until we couldn’t add anymore due to time constraints and deadlines that were given.

There have been some positives though, the support from family and school has been unreal, this is because people understand your situation. Your teachers will finally see you as a priority and will do as much as humanly possible to help you to get the best grades as possible. This came as a shock because in year 9 and 10 you feel as though you are tossed aside and left to your own devices.

Also in year 11 you get to finally be treated like an adult, you form closer bonds with your teachers because some people may be leaving, this and the increased stress allows you to form more friendships. This helps you to feel more confident with the idea of independence.

This is my summary of year 11 in terms of positives and negatives I hope that some of you were able to relate or gain some advice.

-B

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