Going to sixth from or college is a big change, even if you’re staying at your old school. So, we’ve put together our best advice for how to manage this transition. This blog will cover how to make the most of the summer, what will be different and how to stay on top of your new subjects or course.

Taking time to relax and recharge during the summer is really important.

Particularly this year following the intense period leading up to and during your GCSEs. Everyone deserves to use this time to switch off and gather your energy for September. You could try out new hobbies and activities you had been putting off due to revision. There might be a book, TV show or new skill you now have the time to pursue, or somewhere you’d like to visit. Not everyone is able to go on luxury holidays but try and get outside in the sun (if there is any!) and stay active to boost those endorphins!

Think about your future self

It may be the last thing on your mind but try to also think about how you can best help your future self. It’s very likely that the new subjects or courses you are starting will feel very different from school, even if you’ve previously studied that subject, as they are quite a level up. Often sixth forms and colleges set work for you to do over the summer – this will really help you to get a sense for the topic and feel more confident going into next year. Remember you can also do your own research online. Many colleges have a webpage describing the course, on some this will break down your modules and give a reading list. If you do have the time and motivation, doing a little extra work now will help you later.

Come autumn, if a few weeks into term you decide whatever you have chosen is not for you, then speak to someone at your school or college. Often, you will be able to change easily and a few weeks of work to catch up on is worth the alternative of two years doing something you don’t enjoy.

Free periods are there for a reason…

A big change with most courses in college and sixth from is the free periods you will have. Unfortunately, this isn’t meant as leisure time but as an opportunity to keep up with a more intense workload. As you have more independence, it’s up to you to get the most out of this time, which doesn’t necessarily mean studying in each free period. Many of my friends scheduled driving lessons, volunteering, or sports into theirs, allowing them to have a more flexible timetable. Your school or college work should always be a priority however, and getting into the habit of studying, even if it means removing yourself from your friends will be beneficial, particularly as exams and coursework get closer.

Use this time to look even further ahead

Outside of sixth form and college, the next two years are a good period to think seriously about what your next steps may be and how you can support your goals. If you already have an idea of what to do, then try and get some work experience in that area. You can also research any apprenticeships or university courses, and find out their entry requirements, so you know what to work towards. If you don’t know yet, don’t worry, many people don’t. Throw yourself into your studies and extra-curricular activities as much as possible and think about why it is you chose them. At this stage there is no wrong answer, as long as you try and do whatever is best for you.

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