Dumb Ways To Die: A Level Edition

Countless empty bottles of Sting, tear-stained past paper pages and many sleepless nights later, I have somehow miraculously made it through the first term of A Levels. Now, people will tell you that “it’s just A1” and “it’s not that bad,” do NOT make the mistake of trusting their words. They are your enemies.

Trust me; the transition from O Levels to A Levels is awful as it is, but if you’re anything like me and you’re prone to making terrible decisions that haunt you every day, it’s another level of hell you wish you could escape.

With that being said, I have made my own and watched others make their fair share of mistakes. I can’t say I’ve learnt from it, but I’m hoping that someone out there is smarter than me and will use our suffering to their benefit. Therefore, without any further delay, I present to you a list of things to avoid doing at all costs to ensure you make it out the other end of this dreary, dark tunnel (otherwise known as A Levels) alive.


I mean, this one is universal and something all of us are familiar with, yet some people (me) continue to struggle with it every day. We put things off for another day, another time that never really comes until test week is upon us. Cue the waterfalls and the empty promises of “just let me pass this time, I promise I’ll work harder for the next test.” Seriously, pro advice from our seniors: try your best to get done with things as they come your way. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favour.

Opting for Sciences

Take it from me: there are many, many creative ways to ruin your life. Why would you choose this? A Level science is like a leech: it latches onto you and slowly drains the life and soul out of you. I mean, a combination of two science subjects is fine but all three? Tsk, tsk, do better.

And don’t get me started on those among us who willingly choose to go through the torture that is further maths. Honestly, do you guys hate your life that much? Could never be me and should never be you either.

Joining Debates Camp

3:30 to 7 pm every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Need I say more?

This is not to say that Debates itself is bad. On the contrary, it is an incredibly beneficial activity and something that will help you in the long run. However, it is a huge commitment and if you feel like you can’t balance that alongside academics and your social life (was informed recently of this, apparently, being a thing), do not opt for it. Make your life easy.

Opting for October November Series

Our seniors made the mistake of choosing to appear for their O Level exams in the middle of A Levels. We witnessed, as they spent the major part of their A1 crying over how this decision ruined their life. One would think that, after this, Batch of 2021 would take a better approach, but it seems we never learn. Many among us opted out of the July series and went for October/November, and as their exams came to an end and the harsh reality of A1 kicked in, the cycle repeated. And we now witness them crying. Sigh.

The point being, if in the near future, you find yourself at a point where you might have to do A Levels and O Levels side by side, run.

Leave SAT for A2

Do NOT do this. I’ve been told that this is, quite possibly, the worst thing you could do to yourself. As soon as A2 starts, you’ll be bombarded with work and to start with SAT prep then is a very difficult task. Additionally, with the pandemic and frequent cancellation of the test, it’s highly recommended that you opt for it now rather than later, lest you find yourself dangerously close to college application deadlines with no SAT score to rely upon.

To conclude, A Levels so far has been…something. I try and fall short of the right word to describe it. Given that it’s only just begun, there’s much more to deal with, much more to see, much more to learn. It’s a long way down to the bottom. Good luck, comrade!

TLC Writer
Eisha Gul

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