Remembering Sixth form college, the absolute peak of your teenage life

Why was there always a cool kid with a clothing brand


You thought sixth form college was going to be wild. Everyone had to be over sixteen which meant no more sweaty year sevens running to class, none of those gross guys with drawstring Sports Direct bags telling you to smell their fingers, no more P.E teachers ordering you to do press ups.

College meant no more rules, you didn't even have to go to lessons, you could just sit in the local park playing spin the bottle and enjoying the light headed impact of nicky rush. A teen dream.

But like everything ever, college didn't play out how you thought. Making new friends was difficult when all your life comprises is lie-ins until 12pm and watching endless repeats of Friends. There aren't any parties because everyone still lives with their mum and dad. You can't go and buy Nando's at lunch because you frittered away all your Christmas money. Like most things in life, college just wasn't what you thought it was going to be.

Everyone thought they were going to make new mates but they just hung out with the same losers they went to school with

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Everyone thought they would be puffing from bongs with guys who wear tie dye and thought One Direction were lame or girls who knew what reverse cowgirl is and have tattoos of swallows all over their thighs.

But then everyone just ends up hanging out with the same dweebs they used to have form with in school. Huddling together at break time on the weird concrete square in front of the entrance, everyone squishing together like penguins, attempting to hide from exposure to the cold winds of isolation.

The only time anyone communicates with someone else is when they ask for twos on their cig. They say no.

Everyone chats about going for pints at lunch, it happens once

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We should go to The Red Lion you say, face hot with anticipation. You imagine standing on pool tables and chugging Carling, arms around each other singing football's coming home, all of you laughing about those suckers taking notes on Mrs Linton's Powerpoint presentation on the Russian Revolution.

In reality, only four of you actually make it, it was going to be five but one of the guys forgot his provisional. The bouncer has skin thick like a cut of gammon, wispy white hair and the bitter expression of someone who hates the under 35s, especially when it's teenagers who have only just started growing armpit hair.

After lunch you head to class with a headache and the crushing sleepiness that comes with one flat pint and excessive central heating systems.

Girls got too excited to wear their own clothes

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Your mum takes you shopping in town, after approximately seven arguments where she continues to suggest you buy the bigger size, you get a good haul including burgundy crop tops, overpriced checked shirts from vintage shops and some new Topshop Joni jeans.

You walk in on the first day feeling fresh and sexy cool, but after a week you realise the pressure which comes with no uniform. Literally all your tights are laddered, you end up wearing that same oversized Guns 'n' Roses t-shirt almost everyday even when the pits are stained white from Dove deodorant, your Joni jeans sag and fade like a wilting flower.

Those tartan skirts you hated wearing in high school become cool, now you end up spending £28 on exact replicas from Urban Outfitters.

The guys were way less excited about the prospect of no uniform

College was a literal sea of v-neck H&M t-shirts, beanies, straight leg jeans, tribal print boxers, Converse, olive green parkas, and small circular Topman earrings. It was even less imaginative than their high school uniform, at least in year nine they all had different tie sizes.

Everyone discovered they liked smoking

The worst was when you asked someone for a fag and they passed over rolling papers and filters and you had to confess you couldn't roll. No matter what the teachers said, under no circumstances would anyone go under the designated smoking shelter provided.

All the buildings were really far apart and it made us all feel so uni you were literally bleeding qualifications

"Hey – yeah I am in History room 1B, it's like a twelve minute walk from here". You'd swagger there like yaaas bitch I am learning x

There was more than one food vendor available and at this you were shocked

You had a hot food option which sold things like sweet and sour chicken, non-identified chicken curry that was always bright orange, soggy fish and chips and ham and pineapple pizza that tasted like it had a cardboard base.

Otherwise there was the cold food, tuna pasta salad and unbelievable amounts of blueberry muffins and cookies. There was even a vending machine, it might as well have been Alton Towers.

There was highly unnecessarily stringent security systems

Rumours would spread about Candice's ex-boyfriend breaking into the college, he was wearing a wife beater and wax finish blue jeans. He had a tribal tattoo and a faded Yorkshire rose tattoo on his bicep. Apparently he marched in with a bloodied knife in his hand, shouting, "WHERE IS SHE?" But lets be honest here, that just never happened did it? Either way you all have to keep scanning cards on the way in just in case some criminal does decide they want to traipse around a beige, pitifully average a-level college.

Walking around with a paper cup of coffee made everyone feel so mature

Speed walking whilst holding a latte is what adults do right? Especially if you are wearing clothes from Zara and heeled boots.

Free periods were absolutely mental

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Unless you were lame, then you would just go home for two hours, sit on the sofa watching Homes Under the Hammer and eating cheese and onion crisp sandwiches whilst your mum nagged you about not doing enough revision and the state of your room: "I am not your bloody slave".

Having a library where you voluntarily went to work made everyone feel like an absolutely intellectual babe

I like Aldous Huxley and what?

To make yourself appear cool you pretend to know people you bumped into

"Oh my god, Molly how are you???!!!!"

The prospect of leaving to go outside at lunchtime was truly thrilling

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You get the five minute bus into town, feeling like a metropolitan sass pot. But then, what actually is there to do in town? You buy a Tuna Crunch baguette from Greggs, you go into Starbucks and suck on an ice blast. You lurk around the shopping centre benches for twenty minutes before realising you realise you have ten minutes before your English Lit class starts. You learn nothing bar how short an hour actually is.

Everyone developed a totally mature relationship with their teachers

Calling teachers by their first names was frankly revelatory. We went from trying to stick sanitary pads on our teachers' backs to trying to get their attention on corridors. Chatting to them about Oscar nominations and asking about how doing up the house is going.

One of the cool kids started a clothing brand and it's crap

It’s the grown-up version of flogging Maoam out of your locker. They make a logo and call it something dramatic like Relentless Clothing or Murked Clothing. All printed on a Fruit of the Loom t-shirt and uploaded onto Big Cartel. Would have been modelled by a very pale fit girl with ombre hair and a septum piercing. She stands in front of a skatepark marred with graffiti starring at the floor. It looked like someone scraped the smeggy barrel of Tumblr, you still buy one.

The prospect of skiving lessons was thrilling, except you basically always went to class

School has conditioned you, throttled the mischief out like squeezing a sponge.

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I think denim cut offs might have been in fashion?

Assemblies were actually quite exciting because you never really had them

College assemblies were way cooler, you wouldn't be watching the choir club wailing Jerusalem. Instead students from city centre schools would be at the front doing breakdances to Akon's Locked Up.

You couldn't wait for the house parties

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Your Mum gives you a lift to the bus stop, you turn up with a bottle of Lambrini Cherry, wearing denim shorts that your ass flaps out of. You get absolutely rat-arsed, running up to everyone saying: "oh my God, I always see you in college!!!!!!!" On Monday everyone refers to you as "hug girl". It's great, it's really great.

You can't wait to wear loads of makeup but then you realise that means getting up half an hour earlier

Sleep is life and getting up at 7am to carefully blend the Naked 2 palette shades into each other is no fun. Despite your efforts you don't even end up looking fit, your eyebrows are white and dusty from foundation, your mascara congeals to thick spidery prongs, your lips are shrivelled and dry.

On Red Nose Day it kicks off

Everyone chooses the same dress up outfit. All girls dress as cats, wearing leopard print tank tops and drawing whiskers on with Rimmel liquid liner. Every guy is wearing an ironic monkey onezie purchased from Primark. That is how it goes every time.

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You think college will make you more independent and mature – it doesn't

You still think "ya mum" jokes are funny, you still eat Coco Pops in bed in front of episodes of Pointless and your only source of news are the memes clogging up your Facebook feed. Just because you don't have to keep your top button done up and you can smoke outside without being told to stub it out by a teacher, doesn't mean now you drink red wine and discuss Sartre's existentialist philosophy.

You were so excited to eat loads of fun food at lunchtime

Then you remembered your only source of income is that tenner your Dad occasionally sends on when Man United win the footie. The dreams of eating Subway Meatball Marinara fade wistfully into oblivion. More like endless tuna melt paninis or roast dinners with dry cardboard beef and those tiny moist Yorkshire puddings, all paid for on a card you parents update. Not the one.

You think you are going to go out and get drunk on week nights, then you remember parents don't like it when you enjoy things

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All the cool kids would go to Tiger Tiger Tuesdays, crusty dried fake tan peeling of their necks, eyebrows viciously shaped using their Dad's Bic razor, guys marched up from Yates', armed with a twenty deck of fags and the determination to buy enough women vodka and cokes they might actually snog them, maybe. You however do not have an ID, even after Facebook messaging literally everyone in upper sixth: "hey I know this is so random but…"

Everyone went on an 18-30 holiday and fucked up some European town

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Whether it was Magaluf or Ibiza, the gossip was unparalleled. Jonny threw up in a shower and Gazza had to eat it, the weird quiet guy in the group shagged a prostitute. Danielle sends her boyfriend to Zante wearing an "I love my girlfriend" bumbag, but then she went to Ayia Napa with the girls and ended up in a hotel room with the Thompson holiday rep, she spends the rest of the holiday crying into her Blackberry Curve about how much she loves her boyfriend.

James got his dick out on a booze cruise and dick slapped every girl on the boat. Emma gets a tattoo of a bike because she loves to ride dick. School becomes infinitely better when everyone is discussing this cess pit of watered down Sex on the Beach cocktails, neon vest tops, wet t-shirt competitions and full moon parties.

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Everyone was actually just well behaved because teachers gave less of a fuck

You think college is going to be full of people setting off fire alarms, telling teachers to piss off, and fingering each other in the common room. It is not. You spend your time with your nose buried in an OCR textbook, pure shitting yourself about that Biology exam.

You would hang out or sit in inappropriate places

Whole friendship groups would lurk outside thin corridors, you'd squeeze past them, face scraping against their Adidas backpack. Even while there was a perfectly functional common room available.

People who drive into college might as well have won a Brit award they were that cool

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You with the Hyundai i10 please leave some pussy for the rest of us. Car drivers would walk around jangling their keys like a maraca, leaving them on the desk at all times so everyone knew they could drive. If chosen by the anointed, you'd jump in their cars and go on the shortest journeys, either a two minute trip to the nearest Shell garage for some Minstrels, or you would roll arounds carparks in second gear, Chase and Status blaring out the opened down windows. It might have been lame but to you it felt like Fast and Furious 8.

There was one promoter who used to invite you to loads of bland shit on Facebook

You moaned but he was still way cooler than you.