During the spring term, I took part in many cross country races. Unlike in Japan, we never need to use public transport to go to another school at which a match or a race is held because a teacher drives a minibus for students. There were not any matches and races last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was a great experience to be able to take part in them this year.
Our teachers had finished teaching all topics before the Easter holiday. I dedicated myself to studying during the holiday and felt reasonably ready for exams. However, I still had three weeks to go to school plus a week before my first exam. Then, there was a half term holiday for a week. After that, my exams lasted three weeks, which was long and exhausting. Due to the fact that I studied the same things repeatedly for approximately three months, I felt sick of studying several times. Therefore, spending more time relaxing especially during the Easter holiday would have improved my mood. One of my friends likes to study only one subject a day. Although he revised all subjects during the holidays, he never started preparing for an exam until he had finished the one before. As far as I am concerned his way of preparing for an exam is risky because he may not have enough time to revise, which is likely to cause him to feel more anxious. I insist that it is essential to plan ahead to prepare for A level exams.
The only thing I regret over the last two years is the last summer holiday. The summer holiday in the UK is longer than in Japan. I took Oxford Summer Course for two weeks and stayed with my host family for six weeks in total. However, I should have gone travelling so as not to get bored doing the same things over weeks. I felt as if it were a duty to spend as long a time as possible with my host family to improve my English. As a matter of fact, merely staying with a host family for a long time was not sufficient. Furthermore, it was inevitable to face a stressful period of time in the autumn term in the process of applying to universities. Hence, it seemed a better choice to have gone travelling for some days during the last summer holiday.
One of the biggest challenges of studying in the UK was balancing work against life. I used to believe that I must devote everything to study so that I can achieve as high grades as possible, but it is unusual to focus on study alone and to ignore everything else in the UK. Mainly because I have grown up a lot mentally and my interests have changed completely since I started living in the UK. I sometimes struggled to enjoy myself. Thus, finding something we relish is integral to our mental health.
Overall, I have experienced precious life for two years. It is sad not to stay with my host families during holidays anymore, although I can study in the UK for three years more. I appreciate the huge support from both Pippa’s Guardians and my host families. I would like to make the most of my time at university even without their support.