One of the ways you have to become independent as you get older is through school. There’s always homework, of course, which you have to complete, but to some extent that’s easy. But then there are GCSEs, where you have to do independent revision, and after that there are A-Levels, where you’re expected to do just as much work outside of lessons as you are in them. And then if you progress on to university, there are some subjects where almost all of your work is done independently and you only have a handful of contact hours a week.
Personally, I’ve always been described as self-motivated. I don’t really struggle with doing work on my own; I just struggle with starting it in the first place. I’m a master at putting work off. Last-minute homework and revision is my thing. But I try to stay as organised as possible, and that really helps with knowing what I have to do each day and getting it done.
The importance of, well, understanding the importance of independence is something I can’t stress enough. There are lots of people at my college who think that independence in school is about being able to go out and do what they want when they don’t have lessons, but it isn’t about that entirely. Independence in school is about trust, and having the drive to succeed when you have other options open to you.
If you’re moving up to sixth form, especially, or just generally somewhere you have more freedom to do what you want while also having academic responsibilities, I would really advise you to just find out what works for you. Independence is partly about finding out a way to do things your way. There’s no point following a set structure, the same as everyone else in your school does, as that’s not really independence!
Basically, if you like revising outside, then do that! If you like reading, then you should do lots of studying based on texts or research. If you find it easier to work in long sessions, do that, or if you prefer short sessions, then do that. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find out what works for you, too. Being independent is all about figuring out yourself and acting on that so what you’re doing is the best thing for you personally.