It really is that simple, and it is exactly what I do to keep myself sane as a three Sciences plus Math student in Year 13. We can all agree that the A-levels are NOT easy, and this is the reason why we must be easy on ourselves. There is no point in burning yourself out to complete an assignment if you don’t even understand why you are writing what you are writing; in the long term, it just won’t benefit you. I understand that we are to meet deadlines, as young adults preparing for life, but we also need to realise that tasks should be done with confidence and perfection.
Of course, there are times when academic pressure actually drives me to work harder; like when I have to submit an assignment in 16 hours or have a Biology Exam in two days. I work until I am satisfied and feel like I’ve really given it my best and all that’s left to do is to trust my preparation.
I believe that “failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” so you can say that the fear of failure is what keeps me going.
Another factor that motivates me is the future. It’s a wonderful thing, to dream of the future. When you are sure of what kind of future you want, what you have to do to get there and the zeal to do so comes to you with ease either because you are excited, or you are scared- either one will make do. For instance, I know that I want to perform cool heart surgeries and own three Ferraris, but I also know it will take me a lot of time and effort to get there, which I am willing to put in.
But what do I do when I have no motivation or pressure, and instead only counter-productive stress and the urge to procrastinate? I drop everything and do tasks which make me happy. That sounds corny, I know. But believe me, doing what is suitable for your mental health should be prioritized over grades because, without a good state of mind, it is impossible to achieve anything.
Personally, I like to scroll on Tiktok and laugh at the silliest of things, call my friends and have a banter session, do makeup for fun, experiment with baking, or hang out with my mum and make ruthless jokes about TV characters, take a walk while exhausting my Spotify playlists, or do some form of exercise to get that dopamine going, chase the sunset, or just sit down in my room and think about nothing, or about everything- even cry it out if necessary. It’s okay. Forget A-levels, life itself is not easy, and school is not your only worry, which is why sometimes we need to take a break and compose ourselves.
Nevertheless, it is important to keep up our grades because knowledge is our only true asset.
We all have the same 24 hours each day, and how we decide to spend them is in our control. Time management is a key skill we all need to learn and implement. You can have the time of your life on Saturday, but also ace that Math test on Monday (if your Math teacher also chooses to give you
a good question paper), by putting in a decent amount of work on Sunday.
More than anything, take care of yourself, mentally and physically. In fact,
why don’t you make it one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2023?