Don't let teachers tell you what to do!
To all young folk out there, studying their GCSE's and A Levels. Don't let teachers tell you what to do! You have your dreams, stick by them and don't let them tell you what to do or what you can't do. I have a love hate relationship with my time at school (age 12-17). There were times when I had fun and it was great. But, there were other times when I just felt "depressed" and hated it. Sadly, the latter sticks with my mind.
From the start of school, I was placed into set 6 or 7 for all of my subjects. Set 7 is the lowest set you can get! All based on my SATs in year 6. I got 5, 5, 6 in my primary school SATs which weren't bad at all! I don't remember how the scoring works but I do remember a 6 or 7 were the maximum grades you could get.
I had to fight and study hard to prove that I wasn't as dumb as they thought. Being in the lowest set really isn't great. Especially when there are many students who disrupt the class. I proved I wasn't dumb. Luckily. I moved from the lowest sets into set 1 for all (apart from English) subjects.
In English, I was placed into set 3. My cousin (who didn't speak English at the time and only moved from Hong Kong) was placed into set 1! How?
GCSE's came and I got all A-C grades. I was doing the intermediate paper in English so the highest I could get was a C. a few months before the test, my teacher decided to let me sit the higher paper to try get a higher grade. I had to study totally different material to rest of the class. She had to leave due to health issues and we had numerous substitutes. These substitutes didn't know I was doing the higher paper. I was too afraid to let them know. Then, one substitute noticed and went all frantic, giving me the correct literature to read and study (a couple of days before the exam).
I basically studied the material on my own and proudly achieved a B.
My main subjects were biology and chemistry. I needed those to get into university. I knew this from year 7. I knew I had to do them! I got Bs in both GCSEs. But, when I came to choose for my A levels I was hit with a lot of knockbacks.
My head of year: "Are you sure you should be doing these, I don't think you will be able to handle to course material".
Chemistry teacher to the head of year: "I have my concerns..."
French teacher: "You should do French, look you got such a great score in French, why not do that?"
My music teacher, who previously said I did so bad in my music test (I got a C) said "oh she should take performing arts, she's so great in music, I'm sure she will do well" only because she needed the numbers up for her course!
I didn't listen and still took those subjects. I struggled through A levels because of the lack of support. I honestly believe that. They don't teach. They talked. There was no explaining involved, no interatice sessions. They gave us books to read and that was it.
My third subject was Geography and don't get me started on that. I got a good grade, because my teacher was great, he was interactive and explained a lot! But, I had a bad experience on a field trip due to the boys in my class bullying me and no one believed me. One of the boys has admitted to it now. I wish I could go and tell this one teacher where to go.
My final scores were Biology: E, Chemistry: E and Geography B.
Not the best grades. I got rejected from my first choice of university but made it into my second choice. I studied hard and managed to get a 2:1 in my undergrad and ended up getting my masters in Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology.
The moral of this story is, don't let teachers tell you that you can't do things. If you need certain subjects for your courses at university, do them. Don't let them say no, and don't let them pressure you into taking subjects that you don't need. It's your future, not theirs.
Look at me, I got the worst grades in biology and chemistry. If I didn't do those classes, I would never have gotten into university to do what I wanted. I got bad grades, but it didn't matter because I worked hard through my undergrad and masters to pass each test and coursework.
Live your dream and don't let anyone else try and change it.
*I must add, I'm not doing any science related work now. I'm now across the world, teaching young children English*