Hey guys, guess who?!! So, I am finally back in the blogging universe! I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking that it’s a total lie, that I’m teasing you and I’m going to publish this post and then not publish anything again for a couple of months… which… considering my track record over the last few months would be a reasonable conclusion! But… this time I truly am back – for a while at least. I have so many blog posts planned out, I have been storing them in the memo on my phone for the last couple of months my fingers just itching to finally type them out and publish them on my blog, but I’ve had so much going on and there simply hasn’t been time. One of two things would have happened if I had continued blogging over the last two months:
1) I would have spent too much time blogging and not enough time studying and revising for my GCSEs and ultimately would have ended up with bad results (but it hasn’t been results day yet so let’s not get too confident!)
2) I would have found a way to do both revision and blogging but my revision would be less effective and I wouldn’t do as much which could result in worse grades and the quality of my blog posts would pay the price because I would be blogging quickly and not spending time to actually get my thoughts and points across and, I would speed edit and speed tag and everything would just be worse.
So, for those two reasons I had to take a break and I have been really sad because I’ve had so much that I’ve wanted to blog about; but it’s okay because today I sat my last GCSE! I am officially free from compulsory education! I’m no longer home-educated… which is really weird and quite sad… but it does mean that I can finally blog again! Be prepared for lots of exciting blog posts over the next few weeks!
Anyway… I guess that was kind of the intro? Quite a long one but we’ll go with it.
Firstly, I would just like to say this isn’t clickbait to those of you who might be thinking that. The title is actually true and I will expand and explain soon. Secondly, this post is going to be a general overview of my experience studying and sitting my GCSEs which might interest some of you or it might just be a chilling feeling of deja vu – in which case feel free to stop reading now.
Okay… where to even start. I guess the first thing would be to quickly tell you my subject choices. So, this year I did maths, economics, chemistry, human biology and English literature. Last year I did three GCSEs and the year before that I did one. So that’s what I was working with and boy do I have some dramatic stories to tell!
My first exams were human biology (10th and 12th of May), I thought they would be really easy and that I would enjoy studying the textbook because I found the subject quite interesting and it was very relevant to me because it was about how bodies – including mine – worked, there were elements of it that I found really interesting and wish I had been able to learn more about (such as inheritance and genes) and there were elements that I really, really hated and wished I didn’t have to learn at all (such as digestion and diets). So I thought it was going to be easy, despite the fact that the textbook was relatively big and had more material to learn than I had ever had to learn before in my life, including all the complicated scientific terms and names for things and what they did (such as mitosis, osmosis, homeostasis blah blah blah) but I found it quite enjoyable and at first I actually did have fun learning it! Then, it got to about a week before my exam and I did my first past paper – I know what you’re thinking, I should have done one way sooner right?! Well, no. I’m the kind of person that leaves it until the last minute and then gets really stressed about it. Anyway, I did my first past paper and I think I got a D grade. This really upset me because I had put so much work in and had studied really hard and I thought I’d understood it really well and I think my mark was 90/120 or something along those lines and I just couldn’t understand how 90 marks could be a D, so I studied really, really hard and then did a second past paper – this time my grade was an F. Which just made the whole situation worse. I studied some more, did a third paper, a D. This was the Saturday before my first paper… I was an absolute mess. I was honestly, at that moment, at the lowest point mentally I had ever been. And physically maybe. I was so tired and upset and stressed and I felt sick to my stomach every waking second, I felt like I could cry at any given moment, I was cold constantly (I blame that on the anxiety and the tiredness), I could not fathom why I was doing so badly even though I had studied so hard and had pretty much memorised most of the textbook… the Sunday then rolled around, by this point I hadn’t showered in maybe three-four days, I hadn’t changed my clothes in just as long… I was a wreck. But then I discovered something that changed my life around! I discovered that unlike with previous exams I had sat myself and previous past papers I had marked myself, instead of marking the exam papers separately and then adding them together for an overall grade, this paper was marked by adding both of the exam papers together first to find out your final grade – so you didn’t get graded on the papers individually. I found this out through looking at the grade scheme and discovering that full marks for the subject were 180 even though paper one only had 120 marks available. It was then that I realised, honestly I could have sobbed there and then because it turned out I was actually getting Bs, not Ds and Fs. It was quite possibly one of the happiest days of my life. So, that’s my story with human biology. Oh, and I sat the papers and they went okay, well enough but not as well as I had performed in past papers I don’t feel.
Moving on… so, the next exam I had was chemistry (18th May). This was definitely not my strong point. I hate chemistry, more than I ever thought I would. The main issue was that I didn’t have time to learn or revise it – the issue with my human biology resulted in a major set-back in the revision of all other subjects. I was less inclined to study chemistry in the first place because it was the subject that mattered the least in terms of my future education – maths and English literature I had to do well in and I enjoyed economics so I was naturally more inclined to study that. Because of all of these things, chemistry was ignored a little bit. Which resulted in me being really stressed when it came to the actual exams. To be honest, I definitely could have put more effort into it but, particularly in the last few days once all my other exams were over and I simply had chemistry left to sit, my motivation was in minus figures. It was awful in the sense that I knew I should be working and I wanted to work, in fact I did work just when I sat down at my desk and read the textbook it was literally going in through my eyes and straight out of the top of my head. I was failing to retain any information at all. I’ve successfully sat both my chemistry papers but I’m not holding out much hope.
Now onto the part where I almost quit. First, I would like to quickly add a disclaimer to say that I am in no way trying to portray my GCSE experience as a worse experience than anyone else, and I’m surely not going to be playing the whole “I’m home-educated so it’s harder for me!” act in an effort to make you feel sorry for me. Because I don’t think it was necessarily harder for me and I definitely don’t think my GCSE experience was as bad as other people’s, in fact I know it wasn’t. I am simply telling you the experience I, as an individual, had in my own circumstances. Anyway, so, it was Saturday the 20th May – by this point I was almost halfway through my GCSEs and I hadn’t socialised with anyone outside of my household in weeks because I was too busy revising (or procrastinating but with every intention to start revising) and I had a maths exam coming up… Now… if you had told me at the time that I was actually going to end up hating chemistry more than maths I think I would have cried with laughter for about three hours, anyway, I had two English literature papers coming up that week and slap bang in the middle of both of them I had my maths exam, this made me insanely stressed because I had to make the decision of either: entirely ignoring revision for both English papers and just pray that my English abilities were good enough and that my knowledge of the books when I’d studied them was good enough to wing it; or, I had to decide to avoid revising maths in the hopes that I would get a really good English literature grade and I would just have to live with the fact that I had failed my maths and re-sit it (something which made me feel so stressed and sick); or I would have to find a way of juggling them both over one weekend in the hopes that I would get good grades in both of them… as a result of this really stressful decision and the ever-shortening time I had left to revise the material, I had a cry – a long, long cry which I think lasted about 2 hours… it was awful and embarrassing and despite the fact that I was really upset the only thing I found myself thinking was how much time I was wasting through being upset. That every second counted and I needed to get my act together and do some work rather than sitting there crying. Eventually my Mum heard me crying and came in and told me to come downstairs and we sat on the sofa and she gave me a hug and I was sobbing and I told her I didn’t have enough time, that I felt I was going to fail all of my GCSEs, that I was so stressed and so tired and I just didn’t want to do it anymore and my Mum, being the amazing person she is simply said that I could stop. That I could decide not to do the rest and whilst it wouldn’t be ideal it wasn’t the end of the world. And in that moment, I genuinely, truly considered giving up. I was so close to saying I quit, that I couldn’t do it. That I hadn’t prepared enough, that I wasn’t ready, that I was an idiot but that I didn’t want to sit them if I was going to fail them all. I felt truly awful and despite what I said earlier about that weekend before my human biology exam this was honestly the lowest I have ever been. Never in my life have I felt so done, so completely exhausted that I felt I just couldn’t go on with the situation. That I just simply could not see a way of getting through these GCSEs and maintaining my physical and mental health. The genuine desire to give up at that moment terrified me. I have never felt so helpess like that, so tired and stressed that I would do anything to make it end. I don’t know how I got over the feeling and decided to continue with my GCSEs, but I did and I have come out of the other end and I’m feeling positive about all of my subjects except for chemistry (I’m even feeling optimistic about my maths! And if you knew me really well you would know that, that is an absolute miracle!).
Okay, I’m going to end this post here because I feel like it has been very long! I really hope you got something out of this post or that you enjoyed it in some respect, if you did please make sure to give it a like! If you’re new around here and you like what you see then please feel free to follow me! Let me know in the comments what your experience with sitting your GCSEs was – whether you sat them this year or in the past. If you sat them in the past I would be interested to know how you did in terms of grades compared to how you thought you had done!
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That’s all for now!
Inspired Teen 🙂