Monday, 25 August 2014

The Trouble With The End of The Summer

Whether you like it or not, most things eventually reach an end. That's simply how life works. A cycle cannot last for all eternity - it exists for the purpose of being broken and re-created once again. Things change, either out of choice or beyond our greatest control. 

So, as summer begins the process of fading into the past, an ache is beginning to be felt deep inside of me. Despite the occasional afternoons that were devoted to boredom and the hours I've spent studying at my desk, I've loved my summer holidays. A break from my first term at secondary school kept me going during those first couple of weeks, in which I felt like an awkward mess whose lack of knowledge about school life put me on edge. At home, I know where things stand, along with noticing a sense of comfort because I'm always happy to be where I rightfully belong. Hopefully that feeling will be felt while I'm at school within time, but the initial settling-in period is never guaranteed to be a smooth ride, especially after a hiatus of seven years from all types of school - both primary and secondary. 

Now that a new week has begun, the first day back at school is in sight: next Friday, I'll be re-starting Year 10. As I've already mentioned in the past, I originally started Year 10 last September, yet missed out on nearly a year's worth of vital coursework by the time I moved house several months ago. In order to keep my dreams of gaining excellent GCSEs alive, going back a year was a fact that I had to face up to - otherwise, how would I have coped with the pressure of adjusting to school life and studying in Year 11, the most traumatic year in one's education? 

Since getting Year 9 and its pre-GCSE excitement over and done with, I'm thrilled that, after ages of waiting rather patiently, I'm on the verge of starting the coursework that I felt compelled to go back a year for. Once my thoughts are wandering in the land of revision books, my niggling thoughts over whether holding myself back an academic year will be instantly banished. As long as I'm taking steps towards achieving GCSE success, I'm happy - extending my compulsory education by an extra year will no longer seem like a sentence because, once I've immersed myself in the nitty and gritty of it, pleasure overcomes the misery some people might have otherwise felt. 

Perhaps I'm the only person who will declare her love of learning out loud, but it doesn't bother me at all. This summer has equipped me with time to pour over the events of the past term, which has boosted my confidence in the sense that I know how to deal with what I might face. Boys seeking a relationship with me? A polite, yet firm no should ward off any joking questions - unless they are truly the most irritating boys in a 50-mile radius! Girls remarking about my knee-length skirts and shoes with a slight, yet stylish 'heel'? A slight smile curved on my buxom lips, while my darkened eyes mist over like fog; proof that, regardless of the matter, you wouldn't want to mess with me. And the imbeciles in general? Like Taylor Swift's latest single, I'll just shake it off - why should I bother thinking about their pathetic actions which neither benefit nor make me happy?

Besides, September shall mark the return of extra-curricular activities and lunchtime clubs which had unfortunately finished by the time I started in June. Believe me, lunch would definitely have lost its status as a drag had I been able to attend a club during that time, but nevermind! So far, I'm interested in joining the school newspaper (which will benefit both my English and Media Studies courses), the Debate club and the Maths club, for the purpose of developing more confidence in my least favourite subject. One thing that I need to remember is that time should be used wisely, especially because GCSE coursework will the be- and end-all of my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm itching with impatience to get on with the work, but my entire focus will be placed upon studying for the next two or so years - too many activities could provide the perfect distraction when I should really be completing a project!

All in all, the prospect of full-time learning coming back next week excites me, yet part of me yearns for the holidays to last a bit longer. It's a craving that many, if not the majority of all pupils have by the time that the end of August is fastly approaching. Travelling on sunny afternoons, enjoying the laziest of all lie-ins and licking the creamiest ice creams are memories whose existence shall forever remain in the summer, which don't have a place in the cooler and school-focused autumn. As much as I adore watching leaves fly away from trees every September, it is a reminder of what is destined to come very shortly: school is nearly here. 

If I ever think about it, the differences between school and home education aren't particularly great. As I've experienced with several of my classmates, plenty of people (wrongly) assume that you can stay in bed until midday if you're educated at home. From a young age, I preferred to get up early in order to study - lie-ins were strictly reserved for weekends and holidays. If they became a regular part of daily routine, how would I ever appreciate an extra hour or so in my bed? In case you or somebody else has yet to realize, home education is exactly like school because you wake up for the same purpose every weekday: to learn. The environment and certainly the atmosphere - and don't even mention the noise - are worlds apart, but the ideas remain the same. My nerves were similar when the summer holidays ended whilst being home-schooled, and it has hardly changed since I've returned to school. 

The reason for which I'm both excited and sad about the imminent return of school does not only apply to this, but other aspects of life. Think about Christmas: what do you remember about it? The presents, food, get-togethers... Partly thanks to excessive advertising and our own expectations, we anticipate and think about Christmas months ahead. As time passes, the excitement builds to the height of a building in The City, which keeps us going until the day finally comes. However, as great as the day itself might be, a sense of sadness can fill us up when it begins to slip away. After that ultimate peak, the Christmas season loses that thrilling edge that it possessed before the festivities had begun, which not even New Year's Day can fully recreate. 

What I'm trying to say is that the level of anticipation towards an approaching event - which, in my case, was the summer holidays - reaches its peak long before it comes. Therefore, I was literally kept alive by excitement in the weeks leading up to the final day of term; the prospect of being able to hang out at home kept my spirits up during the hardest moments at school. Yet, despite loving my life at home, I also enjoyed the waiting period - after all, don't all of us love having something to look forward to? 

With less than a fortnight until I wave goodbye to summer, that flat taste you find as you drink the last drops of Coca Cola is becoming unbearingly strong. What I looked forward to for weeks has almost ended, and what a shame it is. 

However, feelings like this don't last forever before my attention has leapt onto something else. Staying indoors as a storm rages outside is the complete opposite of what a summer should look like, but what can I can do about it? I'm as powerless when it comes to pausing time, unless I discover a magical watch whilst rummaging through old possessions. 

In the meantime, I shall cherish each day I have left of my summer holidays before school resumes. Of all days, it is returning on a Friday which, as the weekend follows afterwards, strikes me as extremely pointless. That is probably the opinion held by the other pupils (except the Year 7s and new Sixth Formers), yet nothing can change it. 

There are many problems in the world, ranging from world disasters to local crises. And the end of the summer is yet another one of them.

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