So about a month ago my school introduced us to the wonderful world that is choosing your college. Every college near me offers basically the same courses and everyone says that theirs is the best, making choosing the few to apply to almost impossible.

I’m currently torn between maths, further maths, statistics, economics and criminology. They’re all fascinating and interesting to me, but I know that I can’t do them all. Apparently there’s a lot of overlap between maths and further maths so i might as well only do maths, that’s all I know.

There’s way too many things we have to do and focus on in year 11. There’s college applications that need to be sent before the end of term in December, there’s PPEs in November/December which we need to revise for. We get more homework than there is time to do it. We have the actual GCSEs looming in May, and prom in June or July. So much to do, so little time. There’ll be a post coming about year 11 and how different and more challenging it is compared to other years in the near future.

We get told that we need to balance school and hobbies and everything else but that’s extremely difficult given the sheer volume of work we get given each week, but I’ll talk more about workload in another post.

An integral part of our applications is personal statements, which should seem easy enough to do. You talk about the things you’ve done, things you’ve learnt, skills, etc. But talking about yourself in a promotional way is actually quite difficult. You don’t want to be too repetitive with your qualities; for example “I am hardworking, I’m organised, I work well with others”. And you have to explain how these qualities help you in day to day life and why having these qualities make you better than everyone else. It’s so unnatural to most people, including myself. I think the only positive from having to make one now is that you can keep it for use on university or job applications in the future as well, you’d just adapt it and add to it to keep it up to date and you’re sorted.

I believe that most people think that which college you go to makes a huge difference to your success at A-Level but I don’t really agree. As long as it’s somewhere with a high standard of teaching, with good support systems in place, and somewhere you feel happy and comfortable in than they’re all much of the same. But of course that may just be me, and everyone has their own motives and opinions. I know that there’s one particular college in my area that everyone wants to go to because last year they got a 98.9% pass rate on average, but that doesn’t mean that every other college is inferior to that one. There’s a college not ten minutes away from that one that only does BTEC and vocational courses, it’s not necessarily a worse college, it just offers different things, so has completely different statistics and successes.

In summary, the process of picking your top three or four colleges is challenging and long-winded, and you’ll more than likely regret your choices at some point, but you just have to live with that. And if you end up disliking the college you go to, you’re only there for two years, so you can live with it really.

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