Sixth year is not the stroll some think

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People always said to me that your sixth year of high school would be the easiest.

The multiple ‘free’ periods could be spent doing nothing, the immense amount of workload received in fifth year more than halved and you were given lots of benefits from staff and other, younger pupils - such as skipping the lunch queue completely.

I looked forward to these benefits, believing that by taking subjects that were largely essay based I would do myself a favour, because writing is something which I enjoy.

Never have I been so mistaken before.

This year, by far, has been the most stressful of my time spent at high school.

I’ve struggled with a few things this year, mainly stemming from the Advanced Higher courses which I studied – the ridiculous amount of work, and the high standard of performance that you are always expected to give. A considerably huge jump from S5, with a significant incline of work expected from you.

Advanced Higher Drama was all about the acting for me. When I first took the course, I thought that the two practitioners which we were required to study would form a small part of my S6 drama experience, as I would be placing the majority of my time working on acting. But pages of homework had to be completed weekly, on top of learning lines and directing a 40-minute acting piece. I will repeat: drama is not an easy subject.

This is not a warning against continuing on to sixth year. But your final year at school is perceived to be the easiest of all, but it’s far from it. This is the year that your teachers prepare you for the working world. Don’t throw it back in their faces by not putting in the effort that your ‘not expected to give’.