The calm after the storm…

by On The Fly Blog

Checking the date on the file, I wrote this post on 23rd June, after my last A Level exam, but since I didn’t set my blog up until over a month later. Here it is now…

A Levels have been finished for just over a week (for me at least, sorry Chemistry students!) and although I was looking forward to the end of exams (shall we just call it The End; I like the drama there), I don’t think I was prepared for the intense relief I would feel. It’s a strange adjustment period and I don’t quite know what to do with my time (hence, the blog), which is especially annoying because I remember thinking of projects for after exams which I’ve now forgotten. My mum keeps telling me that I need to learn how to do nothing and not feel guilty, but it’s not guilt that I’m feeling so much as boredom! Haven’t experienced that in a while…

I’ve been treating The End like some kind of promised land for the last few months – after exams I’ll train more, after exams I’ll sleep earlier, after exams I’ll eat better, after exams I’ll write a book, start an enterprise and single-handedly end world hunger, you get the idea. Of course, I can’t expect the accumulation of two years’ stress to fall away instantly and I’m prepared for a potential flood of emotions, but so far, revisionlessness has been amazing.

I’ll say now that it took a day or so to kick in. I finished my last exam, which was a morning exam, when most of my friends had another one that afternoon. I sat with them for a while, but didn’t want to disturb them, so for want of something better to do I sat in McDonald’s alone for a couple of hours with fries and a hot chocolate because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted apart from a good old cathartic cry, which I couldn’t do in public. I then went to work for 3 hours that evening – I know how to party.

But I’ve noticed some changes since then, some obvious and some less so. I feel less tired and more enthusiastic about the things that I always used to enjoy, I have more time for family and friends and most of all for myself. My relationship with my family has always been good but it’s even better now that I actually, like, see them, rather than just living in textbooks 24/7, and I spend quality time with people and actually enjoy their presence now I don’t have to worry about making up for time spent socialising with more revision.

I feel like my time is my own and I don’t have to apologise for spending it as I see fit. I’ve also started pulling my weight at home, as I’ll admit I wasn’t very useful before, and me taking on many more chores reduces my mum’s workload and makes everything a little bit less stressful.

One slightly amusing thing I noticed when I was writing in my planner was that I can change the colour coding I use now that blue, purple and pink aren’t assigned to school subjects!

I’m still not ready to sort through the seven lever arch folders and small forest of notes and past papers strewn across my desk and floor, so for now they’ll stay. It’s strange that I spent hours saving, printing and completing them, and now they’re worthless. I even have a spreadsheet of all the marks I achieved on them, but what’s the point in keeping that? One day when I have the strength I’ll enjoy having a good old clear out, but today is not that day.

Crucially, I feel like I’ve really been tested over the last two years, but I’m through it now, I survived, and I’m ready to live life and see the world!

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