Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Halfway Through the Summer

As we near the middle of August at record-breaking speed, it has suddenly occurred to me that summer won't last forever. Sure, I've only been a squeal away from losing my temper with the many flies, bugs and insects which descend upon us year after year, but summer represents much more than a kitten's bite-sized treat, doesn't it?

In my opinion, summer represents the freedom which, as soon as the school year has drawn to a close, you automatically gain and are able to use to your advantage for six school-free weeks. Indeed, neither exasperated teachers nor hyper classmates on a chocolate-induced sugar rush will be popping up for a few weeks yet, and I'm cherishing each moment I spend at home, because the craving to return to its warmth and sense of safety often grew too strong to handle during the past term.

But, deep inside, a clock has already begun to tick. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The countdown towards September - and the eventual new school year - has crept upon me with my knowing it, its shadow remaining in the darkness as it appeared out of nowhere and took me by surprise. Time can be such a despicable sneak when, out of the blue, it reminds you that the clock is ticking - and you are running out of the precious seconds and minutes that you have grown to cherish like a best friend.

Unlike other problems that you might face in life, no cures are available when it comes to battling the speed at which time passes; however much you begrudge it, time has to be accepted for what it is, even if offers no condolences to your frustrated self. At the moment, frustration is growing on me like a desire to indulge on all the Magnums in the world - and it is not a joyous feeling. I'm frustrated that, in less than a month's time, I will be back at a school whose pupils and teachers simply contribute to this growing hole inside of me.

Deep down, the fact couldn't be more honest and downright true: I don't want to go. Neither do I wish that summer will end, despite the heat which drains me of energy like a hole drilled into a bottle of water. But, in order to make my dreams of GCSE success come true in hopelessly less than two years' time, there is no question about: I have to go. No consideration can be given to how I feel about it because, when it comes to the matter of education, I will have to gain it somehow - and school is now the only option.

Since school broke up towards the end of last month, each day has either been dedicated to studying religion and French (for I intend to take a foreign language GCSE next summer), producing mouth-watering baked goods or writing on my blog. Those three activities might strike you as the most oh-so-boring thing that you have ever heard, but developing a routine is miles better than staying in bed until twilight every evening. Even while I was home-schooled, my life was subject to a routine which, from Monday to Friday, consisted of studying, reading and catching snippets of The Jeremy Kyle Show during study time.

Establishing a regular routine to which I adhere has long been a reliable source of happiness for me because, without it, life suddenly strikes me as extremely unorganized. Of course, an exception was made when I moved house earlier this year because there was no way around it - for several chaotic weeks, the routine had to be thrown out of the window. But you know what? To hell with it! As I was given a break from a usual routine for a while, I instantly fell in love with things which were only enjoyed on a rare occasion, and were therefore appreciated at the time. Having a lie-in several hours longer than usual, exploring the county for the whole day and eating the worst-ever chips from a fish and chip shop around the corner on the first night in our new home... Who needed a routine if fun times were here to stay?

However, with all great things, the pleasure you used to seek slowly dies away, and loses that special sparkle they used to have. Once you've tried something once, it becomes way too easy to give it a go again, again and again - by then you would have definitely had more than your fair share. Throughout my life, I've always looked forward to being treated with opportunities or gifts which were only handed out once in a while, as they meant a greater deal to me. Ever wondered why people who, on the surface, have bank accounts bulging with millions of pounds worth of cash sometimes give the impression of being spoilt brats? From the moment that they can buy whatever they want with ease, appreciation fades into the shadows... and, until you get in touch with your appreciative side, it will never reappear.

Right now, I feel that the time has come to settle back in a stable routine - or at least make a few adjustments, for life cannot progress further if every single thing remains the same - before I grow resentful of the 'treats' which, if indulged on too heavily, will lose what made them so special in the first place. And, as I ease into a routine, satisfaction throbs in my veins. Now that I've decided what I want to do this summer, moments of boredom will be few and far between because I'll be doing some productive work instead - and hopefully will hopefully gain more knowledge (if not a few IQ points) by next month!

Yet this work, in my mind, should have been done during the school term, but I ignore this voice in my head because being productive with my time isn't harming me at all. In fact, I feel more confident about my abilities and cannot resist curving my lips into a smug smile after finishing an essay. Once you lose track of your studies, nothing can prevent your confidence from plummeting to an all-time low. Until you find yourself in that position, you might not necessarily realize how important studying is when confidence is involved - without that spark of courage, learning can become a full-blown nightmare. Needless to say, my studying demons have retreated to their hideout since I started some coursework this summer - and long shall they stay there!

Returning to the subject of school, it is worth going there for one sole reason: to learn, learn and learn. I cannot use the word 'learn' enough because, if lessons were drawn back to an absolute minimum, I wouldn't bother attending. My school looks like a school with a couple of workbooks (which are seldom used during lessons) and tools but, beneath the disguise, is a social hangout. Kicking footballs into the dyke (which, despite carrying a risk of falling and drowning, are then retrieved), getting too touchy-feely with your boyfriend or girlfriend in public view and giving sordid details about your, um, personal engagements are among the activities on offer at the school.

Fun certainly awaits me when I return there in the first week of September, but by 'fun', I'm referring to the work that I will be getting myself knee-deep into. Due to going back a year, next month will mark the beginning of the first of two years solely dedicated to GCSE coursework which, had I remained with my natural age group, I would have been taking next summer. This time is highly important to me but, despite the hard work ahead, I'm raring to get on with it. Then, two years down the line, I hope to be studying at a great sixth form before moving onto studying for a diploma in journalism (which is called an NCTJ) and beyond!

For the meantime, a few more weeks of studying, reading and 24/7 access to the fridge are for the taking, and not a moment will go by without it being used for my advantage.

Seize the day, otherwise you might regret not making the most of it!

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