Birthdays, Sixth Form, etc.

Hi! It is half term currently and I am so glad that I’m on holiday because this first half term has been a LONG 7 weeks. I almost don’t know where to start.

Let me begin with my birthday – I turned 18 last month! I’m officially an adult now! It’s super weird! I mean, I can legally buy alcohol now so, there you are. I was quite ill over my birthday but I still enjoyed it a lot thankfully.

I also got a notification last week telling me that it was my 6th anniversary on WordPress. That means I’ve been blogging for a third of my life which is…A Thing. It is weird for me to think that this blog has been a document of all that time – in fact, it’s an online record of my whole time at secondary school. I’ve changed a lot over the course of that time, and there are definitely posts that I’m embarrassed about now. I like that I wrote them, though.

Obviously, my relationship to my blog has changed. I no longer post as much, and I would say that it is no longer one of the primary sources of communication that I have. But I like the little space that I’ve made for myself here. In a way, it’s like a 21st century version of a diary.

So yeah – Year 13. The final year of school. I can’t lie, it hasn’t been the easiest first half of term. I enjoy all of my subjects very much but the workload has stepped up. On top of that I have university application which has been taking up a LOT of time and mental energy.

It feels weird to talk about university stuff on here, just because I haven’t shared what I’ve been doing that much so it’s a bit of a departure from any content that I regularly posted. I don’t know, maybe you’re all a bit surprised that I’m applying for Classics since I haven’t talked about it that much? (I am a bit too. Life works in weird ways. I might be doing something different if we didn’t have to pick just one subject for university, but there it is.) I’m nervous, but I’m also excited, and I genuinely believe that I will really enjoy studying this subject at university. The university system has many flaws but I am just VERY hyped to learn stuff!! Now I just have to, like, actually get in somewhere and get the grades… A problem for future me.

What else have I been up to? I’ve also been doing some climate activism — I went on the world climate strike in September which was good. I’m still stressed about climate change and I am trying my best to strike a balance between doing what I can to help and not being so anxious about it that I am unable to function in my daily life. If anyone has tips, please let me know.

Getting older is weird. I’m not going to pretend that I know the answer to everything now, but I do feel like my future is starting to become more concrete. I am much better at knowing my limits and knowing when I feel bad, even if I don’t always take the right steps to make it better. I know the things that I find fun and that I want to do in the future. I am realising that if I want to do something, I need to make time for it or else it doesn’t happen — and that’s okay. It’s okay to change what I’m doing.

I dunno. I’m sure this will all change in the future. I’ve got some big things coming up. I’m worried about university and A-Levels and politics and about 1382 other things. I am very much muddling through this all. It’s going to be alright, I hope. (Isn’t that what we all hope?)

Bye for now and see you soon. 🙂

 

Year 12: an honest review

Hello again! As the academic year draws to a close, I’d like to do a bit of a recap/review of how this year has gone. Because friends, it has been a WILD ride. I genuinely feel like this academic year I have experienced some of the most dramatic changes of my life — not just at school but also personally, although today I’m going to focus on the school aspects.

Overall, I enjoyed Year 12. It was a pleasant feeling following Year 11 and GCSEs, which really took it out of me and kind of made me hate the subjects I was studying. Although I’ve always been kind of a nerd and liked school, this year has really allowed me to pursue my own academic interests. I’ve felt so excited and privileged to be able to learn things! I’m so glad that I get to do this! I’ve sort of decided on university and I’m hyped to learn even more! There’s certainly been some ups and downs but in general it’s been a good one.

sixth form life

Okay, I’ll start with sixth form life. I continued at the same school, so it’s still a school environment rather than college — I have to be there every day for lessons. However, I still had more independence. I was able to wear my own clothing, which although it does pose its own problems, has made me feel a lot more comfortable in my own body and gender expression. Free periods were the most new thing coming into Year 12 and I’ll be honest, they’re not that exciting. I have fewer than most people since I have an extra Spanish lesson, and generally I just do my homework since I prefer to do it at school than at home.

Probably the nicest thing has been the change in attitude of the teachers. I now have smaller classes and it’s a slightly less school-y environment, if that makes sense? My lessons are generally more based around discussion, and like if you forget your pencil case one time it’s your own problem, you’re not going to get a detention for it or whatever anymore.

This year we also had several people join school in sixth form which was nice. I still don’t know everyone in my year, especially if they’re not in any of my classes, but I’ve made some new friends across new and existing students.

subjects

This year I was taking Spanish, History, Maths, and Latin. I’ve ha a bit of an…Experience, shall we say, with my subjects this year. I started off thinking that Spanish and History would be my favourites, and that I’d drop Latin at the end of this year. However, I have struggled a lot more with those first two and now I think I might be applying for Classics so, oops?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Spanish as a language and I definitely want to continue learning it. I’ve also found the study of a film fascinating. At the start of the year it felt like the biggest step up from GCSE but I think I’ve made it. BUT. I’m a bit scared to say this in case, like, someone finds this and uses it against me (I don’t know how lol) but I really don’t like one of my teachers. They can’t speak Spanish very well, I don’t think they’re a good teacher, and I just don’t really get on well with their teaching methods or classes. I was intending to drop it next year but then I did really well in the mock exam so…yeah, I don’t know. My issue is that Spanish is a far less stressful subject for me than History, but if I continue I’ll hate half the lessons.

ANYWAY. Let’s discuss History. History A-Level is DIFFICULT, y’all. I spend the most time and effort doing History. This year was a bit of a shock because I’m used to doing well in the subject, and then I got a couple of bad marks for essays which really made me doubt myself. However, I managed to pick myself back up and improve to get a predicted grade I’m happy with, so. I do think History is in many ways my most useful and intellectually stimulating subject — I’ve learnt some VERY useful essay-writing and analysis skills. I just find revision and writing essays in the exam incredibly stressful, unfortunately. At the moment, I feel like I’ll continue with History over Spanish, but I’ve still got a bit of time to decide. (I got the same predicted grade for both so it’s more about workload and how I’ll find the lessons for each subject.)

Maths has been really fun! Like any other subject, it’s challenging at times but I enjoy it as a break from my other essay-based subjects; I find it very satisfying. I don’t have that much to say about it except that I’ve liked the first year and I’m really proud of my mock result. I was a little concerned before the exam because practice papers had been very mixed, but thankfully my revision paid off which was lovely. I just hope that Year 13 Maths isn’t super difficult and makes me regret taking it *sweats*

Finally, I’ve also very much enjoyed Latin. I’m extremely grateful that I am able to study this since it’s not offered at many schools. It was a bit of a rogue choice coming into Year 12 (I almost took Chemistry and I’m pretty glad I didn’t) but I’ve found myself looking forward to all of the lessons, including the literature which I was a bit unsure on previously.

I’ve gotten quite into the ancient world in general so I’m thinking I’ll apply for Classics at uni now? I mean, it’s kind of terrifying because whilst I’ve always been into languages and books, it’s only a subject I’ve come to really love this year. But, you know, if I’m not going to study the thing that I’m super enthusiastic about, I don’t know what else I’d do that would be equally useful? *sighs* Life decisions are so difficult.

learning outside lessons

One of the major changes to my education has been an increase in independent learning. Here I’m referring not as much to completing homework independently (though there has been more of that) but the extra work that I choose to do for my lessons. Basically, I’ve been consuming a lot more non-fiction books and podcasts — and I’ve been loving them! It’s so fun when I go to the library and I get super excited by the history section. There are also a lot of great podcasts and lectures out there which I hadn’t much listened to previously, although unfortunately not all of them provide transcripts. It’s just EXCITING to be able to LEARN NEW THINGS! And now I know more about how to find them! If society is going to be destroyed by climate change I want to learn as much as possible, you know?

To conclude: I feel that Year 12 has been in general positive academically. It’s definitely been a step up that has come with many challenges, but I’ve made it through and I’ve learnt a lot from the experience. I can’t believe that next year will be my final year of school! It’s so weird! In many ways, I don’t feel at all ready, but in others I do feel like life is moving appropriately onward with me as I mature. One year left, everyone!

Blog Birthday! Life! Sixth Form!

Hello again! It’s been a while since my last post so I thought I’d update you all on what’s going on with my blog and life and all that.

First of all: Twist in the Taile turned 5! That’s right, I started my blog 5 years ago this month. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?? Me neither: I always have to go back to my very first post to check that, yes, I was actually that young when I started it. I haven’t got my act together to do a giveaway right at this point (more on that later) but I’m thinking about perhaps doing a belated one. We shall see.

Anyway, the last year has been somewhat turbulent for Twist in the Taile as I took a couple of breaks, mainly due to schoolwork. I’m so grateful for all of you who continue to read my posts and brighten my day with your thoughts. Thank you ❤

Secondly: what’s happening with Sixth Form? Essentially, I’m very busy this term, and although I do have many ideas for posts I don’t really have the mental energy to do homework AND music practice AND my extracurricular commitments whilst not having a breakdown. So, there will probably be less posts. (I’m slightly wincing as I look at the dramatic drop in my stats over the last 2 months and think about the future. OH WELL.)

I’m enjoying Year 12 so far – I especially like that the classes are generally a bit smaller, teachers are more relaxed, I have free periods and such, although the workload is definitely more. Choosing clothes every day is kind of stressful but I’ve sort of ended up with a system where I wear the same trousers for the whole week and just swap the shirt because that’s easier. We have a ‘formal dress code’ which is like…interesting… I’d like to write another post on picking clothes because I find it kind of hard to both wear clothes I feel comfortable in whilst sticking to the expectations of formalwear which are kind of gendered but, eh.

Let me update you on how my subjects are going! I’m taking History, Maths, Spanish and Latin (at my school most people are advised to start with 4 and then drop 1; I don’t think they’ve quite got used to the linear system yet).

History is really interesting and I’m enjoying the Stuarts a lot more than I thought I might?? My GCSE was all based around the 20th century so it’s nice to do something else. Both my teachers are great as well (I have multiple teachers for every subject who teach different topics) although I am slightly terrified of them and my recent essay was…interesting. Also, there’s a lot of note-taking homework, which I’m still getting used to.

I’m so glad I took Maths since this time last year I was completely sure I wouldn’t be doing A-Level (lol) since it’s such a nice contrast to my other subjects. I mean, it’s also challenging but I do generally find it relaxing in comparison to, say History. I like that questions have an actual definitive answer, y’know?

I feel like Spanish has been the biggest step up from GCSE – I enjoy the subject but it does feel like suddenly we have to be a lot more fluent which is very much not me haha. There’s also been some issues with my class which makes it…interesting… I probably shouldn’t say too much about it on here though.

I’m liking Latin a lot! Again, I’m so glad I took it in the end since I was almost going to do Chemistry. Language is very fun, I’ve always found translation quite satisfying, and literature is interesting too. I even read some Extra Books so I feel like a moderately dedicated student. ALSO…the Latin verb drills website has finally come into immediate and practical use with prose composition ayy.

This half term is going to be pretty busy with my school musical that I’m helping and clarinet grade 8 in addition to schoolwork so I am essentially hoping to make it out alive?? Apologies for the lack of Monthly Mixtape; it has rather been put on hold and I feel that its future needs to be considered but that’s something I haven’t quite gotten round to.

Anyway! Please update me on what’s going on with you! I miss talking to you all. 🙂