All I want to do is pass A Level biology.

‘I haven’t done any revision yet!’
‘All I’ve done this holiday is sleep.’
‘It’s four weeks until exam leave? You’re joking, right?’
‘How was that party?’

Those are just four of the conversations that I heard on the first day after the Easter holidays as I walked from the school entrance to the girls toilet. That’s maybe a thirty second walk. And the worst bit? They were all sixth formers. All people who have A LEVEL EXAMS coming up! Surely you’ve got to be mad to have that attitude at this point in the year?

Or maybe not.

Maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe I’m the mad one.

The last few days have been pretty eventful at my neck of the woods, and there have been a few exam related arguments here and there. For a while, they upset me, but I’m not sure that they do now. In fact, I think they’re just spurring me on, making me more determined to do better. Firstly, a neighbour and my own mother spent a good half an hour politely talking lecturing me about the importance of getting a job. It ended with the neighbour getting particularly heated about how people can do ‘perfectly well without A levels’ and ranting of about how her two nieces have jobs and they’re both younger than me and the older of the two only has GCSE’s and she’s doing just fine at college. You don’t get it, do you? That’s not what I want. Besides, since when was it your right to comment on my decisions!? The ‘conversation’ ended a good half an hour later when I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran off with tears in my eyes and the parting phrase of ‘All I want to do is pass A Level biology, please stop knocking me down.’

Next of course is when we get back to school, and I’m lectured by my friends about my revision antics. I’m not even sure how it started, but of course when you’re in a friendship group that ranges from ‘I did nothing’ to ‘I’ve got an offer at med school’, there is always going to be a difference of opinion.

Okay, I’ll admit that seven hours a day nearly every day for the two week break was maybe a little excessive. But honestly, I don’t think it’s that much of a big deal. I’ve been finding school really hard, and I know I’ve got to work my little socks off to make up for it. I didn’t go to Rangers tonight. Again, I received stick from another close friend, because apparently I need to ‘live a little’. You’re joking right, there is twenty six days until my first exam and you’re asking me to LIVE A LITTLE by going to play board games. No thanks, revision and an early night seems much more sensible!

Of course, there is always that thought that perhaps I bring it on myself. Today in my free, I’d planned to revise for chemistry. My best friend sat with me in the ‘quiet working area’ upstairs in sixth form, of course, there was no teacher on duty, so it wasn’t quiet at all. Next thing you know, we’re engaged in deep conversation about the holiday and plans for after exams, and I haven’t really done any revision.
‘Its okay, we haven’t seen each other for two weeks. We’re allowed to catch up.’
No. No, it’s not okay. And yes, I know that I’m just as at fault for sitting with her. And I enjoyed catching up, and I’ve missed her, I promise. But it just made me feel so guilty. I’ve been dwelling on it all day. That fifty minutes of revision that I’ve missed out on. What if there is something that I could have picked up on but I didn’t because I didn’t revise? That one or two marks could make the difference between an A and a B, or a B and a C grade. I feel like a bad person, and I feel like it will make me fail. Taking time out will risk my future, and I can’t afford that.

But that’s silly, isn’t it? Fifty minutes will make hardly any difference in the grand scheme of things, I must tell myself. And with my main exams still six weeks away, I can make that time up. As long as it doesn’t become regular, it’s not a problem, right? Revision doesn’t need to rule my life, does it? No. Yes. Maybe revision does rule my life. But if that means that I get onto the University course of my dreams, then does loosing a few months of my life really matter? I don’t think so.

Is this the attitude of most students? Of course not. So why is it mine? Because I care. I care a lot about my future, and I worry about it too. So maybe that chat today was good for me. Some time out, a break. I won’t get another one now until Wednesday night, so maybe I shouldn’t be dwelling on fifty minutes. Because did I enjoy it? Yes, she’s my best friend! It wasn’t scheduled carefully into my revision plan, but maybe it’s time to learn that occasionally taking an extra bit of time out wont hurt anyone.

Maybe I am the mad one, but I think it’s time that we started learning from each other. I’m not going to kid myself though, I won’t be taking a leaf out of the book of others TOO often. I value my grades too much for that madness.

Living. Laughing. Loving.


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