For most of us, the moment you’ve opened your A Level results envelope and found out your grades is the moment that nearly everything you’ve learned escapes from your brain. It seems that, now you no longer have to remember equations and chemicals and symbols, you’ve subconsciously decided to banish them to the back of your head. And that’s not all. Leaving sixth form for university is a big change, and luckily, one that will let you forget some of the terrors of A Levels and all they include. Here are five things you can forget when you leave sixth form and go to university.
Three of your A Levels
As I said above, almost the second (or at least, a week or so) after you no longer have to study those subjects any more, you won’t remember their contents. This usually doesn’t matter: when you get to university you’ll be focusing entirely on the one subject you’re doing there (unless it’s joint honours, in which case you’ll probably only forget two!) it might seem a shame – after spending two years learning something, you like to think you’ll remember it well – but you probably won’t – but at least you’re not alone in the matter.
Revising with friends who don’t do your course
Obviously, at university you won’t only be friends with people on your course, but you will be spending a lot of time with them. More so than at sixth form, because university (contrary to what the tabloids suggest) does involve a lot of work. Luckily, this means that revision sessions can be dedicated entirely to what you need to know, rather than taking it in turns flipping flash cards and inadvertently learning about the history of Russia, when you’re supposed to be practicing Spanish.
Referring to teachers by their surnames
Some Sixth Forms do this already, but for the majority, you’re still on ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ terms. At university, suddenly you’re in an environment where you bump into your ethics lecturer William ‘call me Bill!’ in the local pub as well as in lessons. It takes a lot of adjusting to, and when you visit home and inevitably bump into Mrs Cooper in Tesco it’ll feel doubly weird when you realise you don’t know her first name or tipple of choice.
How to get up in the mornings
You think having free periods at sixth form is great – until you get to university and learn about the joy that is an entirely free day. Give it six months, and at the arrival of your second semester you’ll find yourself annoyed that your flatmate has two days off a week, and you’ve only got one. A lot of Sixth Forms make students come in from 9-3 (or longer!) anyway, to encourage ‘getting into a working environment’ and ‘preparing you for the future of working days’ but you’ll lose all this once you get to university and find you’re only in for eight hours a week.
Some students magically manage to retain a sense of time management at university, but for a lot of us, it’s the first time in your life when you’re able to make your own decisions and do what you like, when you like. This has its positives and negatives: it means if you crawl in at 4am you probably won’t have anyone to answer to for your whereabouts, but it also means you don’t have anyone peering over your shoulder to encourage you to do your essays. It’s all swings and roundabouts, and, don’t worry; over the three years of your course it’s a skill you’ll definitely earn back at some point.
With the jump from A Levels to university being probably the biggest and most contrasting in your entire academic life, it can seem scary and unpredictable at first. But without having to stress over four or five different topics, or get up for 8am starts everyday, it’s sure to be a positive step forward.
What do you think are the things you can forget when you leave sixth form for university? Tell us below.
Photo: essie / Flickr
Hi! I’m a 19 year old journalism student at the University of Sheffield. I’m currently in my second year and am spending my second semester studying at Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona! I love writing about my thoughts and opinions, as well as travel and student matters. You can check out my personal blog at: https://auseve.wordpress.com