A Day in the Life of Sofi – A The Learn Academy Student!

05.15.2024

For me TLA is not just an international school, it has become something like a family for me, something like home. All my life I was told that school should be your second home, to be honest, I believed this superficially. But when I arrived in Barcelona two years ago, completely lost and unsure of the future, I found more than an International School for Higher Education. I made friends, understood what warm friendships with teachers are, learned to interact with different cultures and built a variety of versatile skills. TLA is a family that has a special place in the heart, where you want to return again and again.” 

 

Curious about a typical day at The Learn Academy for a student tackling their International A Levels? Look no further! I’m Sofi, currently navigating the halls of this bustling institution nestled in the centre of Barcelona.

​​At The Learn Academy (TLA) a typical weekday of each student is unique, as we each have chosen different subjects and we are working towards our own personal goals and aspirations. Whether we’re aiming for acceptance into esteemed universities, pursuing independence, honing athletic abilities, building relationships, or prioritising health, or a combination of the above, our teachers and peers embrace and support these diverse goals. TLA is a school for everyone.

 

Okay, now it’s time for me to take you on a tour into my habits and routine on a basic Monday, oh Monday? No way!…

 

 6.20: Alarm…The start of every Monday can vary greatly depending on how productive your weekend was and how organised you are. As someone who tries to embrace the early bird mentality, I strive for focus and productivity in the morning, when external distractions are minimal. After a few rounds of hitting the snooze button, I finally muster the determination to rise and seize the day.

 

 6.30: I finally get up and make my bed after a struggle with myself so that I don’t have to go back to the cosiest, cosiest place ever. The first piece of advice is to always make your bed. By doing this, you will prevent yourself from falling back asleep after lying down for a few more minutes. In order to get ready for this lovely day, I complete my morning ritual, including drinking some warm water, doing a quick workout and getting dressed for the day ahead!

 

 7.15: With just one month until the exams, I usually spend some time doing a little revision to get ahead of the day! If you are an A-level or International Baccalaureate student, the best way for you to improve in some area is by doing past papers. Answering past papers helps you to work out which topics you know really well and figure out what gaps you need to focus on. By testing your knowledge you can check your revision progress and feel more confident about what you already know. But the most useful way will be a combination of flash cards with definitions, written notes by hand and practice in all its ways. 

 

 7.40: After some work is done, I start getting ready by doing a little bit of makeup. My bag and outfit for the day are always ready in advance from yesterday so I don’t lose time on this process in the morning, this way helps me to be focused on more important tasks. Makeup and hairstyle takes me around 15 minutes, so I quickly choose the perfume that fits today’s mood, leap into my outfit and I’m ready to go!

 

 8.00: My route to school is the same everyday. I walk from the nearest bus station and in 10 minutes I arrive at El Corte Inglés on Diagonal, from where I prefer to take a walk and revise study flashcards on my way to school. Time is like that VIP pass to life’s party: it goes too fast and if you are not catching up with it, it will fly away. The internet and social media in general are like addictions that eat your time with a crazy speed. But let’s get real for a sec: does binge-watching cat videos truly benefit in the long run? Nah, probably not. So, how about we straddle that fine line between productivity and procrastination, huh? I’m working on it! Tackle those important tasks today, or watch them disappear into the black hole of forgotten responsibilities. Let’s own this day like the bosses we are!

 

 8.30: It’s almost the first lesson, but I have those several saved minutes to grab coffee from my favourite place, Faborit, in Barcelona. This is a cute place for busy office workers with the nicest Spanish servers who elevate my mood for the rest of the day.  My order in the morning is always “un ice americano mediano sin leche ni azúcar, porfa!”. The Spanish level of this girl leaves much to be desired, but I’m trying to learn and practice in my free time. As Spanish is not the first language that I have learned, my experience showed that the most useful way to learn a new language is just practice and surround yourself with the culture.

 

 8.45: After coffee is finished and I am standing in front of our international school doors with my friends, we are ready to walk in and prepare for the first lesson, which is Maths on Mondays. On an A-level course your subject choice is a reflection of your personality and goals. If you are not aware of the A-level system, a student has to choose 4 subjects that he will learn throughout the course for 2 years. My choice fell into Business, Psychology, Maths and Art, those subjects combine creativity, critical thinking, essay writing and my interests. But you can also find other different subjects in TLA that will be closer to you, like: Literature, Sciences, History, Languages, IT, etc. 

 

8.50-10.05: We dive into maths with our teacher, Jordi. He guides us through the new chapter, offering clear explanations and support whenever we need it. Jordi’s playful sense of humour adds a lighthearted touch to the class, especially when the maths exercises are particularly challenging!

10.05-10.20: After the painful fight with a calculator is finished, it’s always time for the form groups. If you’re not familiar with form groups, let me tell you about them! Our International school is relatively small in relation to other Sixth forms, but it has its special rules and traditions, like form groups. During these minutes, we are gathered together to check that everyone is present and the teachers share any announcements. It might sound boring for the first time, but teachers in TLA try to make it interesting and create some activities and programs where students can participate and involve their creativity. This month we had a Global Citizen project where we were split into small groups and had to create a charity activity that will help the environment and surrounding. Our group was involved in a charity bake sale, where people could buy some baked sweets in exchange for canned goods that we delivered after to those who need it. This experience will reflect your team working skills, critical thinking and collaboration, which are considered as important skills for teenagers. This is also a great activity to add to your resume or share in a university interview!

 

10.20-11.35: My next lesson is art and our creative hands are ready to work hard and design pieces for the portfolios that we are creating during the whole A-level course. The topic of this year is “Identity” and every portfolio is varied in its colours, themes and way of presenting the work that reflects individual characteristics and uniqueness. Students can use any materials, like paints, ink, pencils, pastels or plasticine, that will help them turn their dreamed pieces into reality.

 

10.35-11.50: The Monday midday break is our first chance to step outside and soak up some sun while catching up on weekend gossip with friends. One of the perks of attending a cozy British school like TLA is the opportunity to form close bonds with both teachers and classmates. This sense of camaraderie is unlike anything I’ve experienced elsewhere, making it one of the standout features of TLA in my opinion.

 

11.50-13.25: The last period for today is done, which was a second Art lesson so I finish my last changes to my portfolio before I finish up for the day. At TLA we have two study rooms, where students can work and relax when they do not have lessons. Almost everyone spends a couple of hours a day finishing the homework or rewriting their notes for tomorrow and I’m no exception. If you’d prefer to study elsewhere, you can sign yourself out using the laptops by the doors and take a study break at Starbucks, or another cafe nearby. Cool, right?!

 

13.25-13.50: It’s lunchtime and everyone has different tastes in their meals, but as our school has the perfect location students can find everything they are craving in a 5 minute walk. The location of the school cannot be better as it is on the busiest road Diagonal in Barcelona that is surrounded by the shopping mall Lilla, a bunch of cafes and restaurants. Some of us go to Lilla and grab a pizza for takeaway, others go to starbucks for a lemon ice tea and chill on the terrasse with friends, some prepare their lunches in advance and eat them in the main room during the conversations with teachers and other students.  But most of us prefer the nearest cafe – Mosbo, which is located in the next premise on the right. This place is the most favourite lunch spot for uni students, office workers and all of Diagonal’s busy people. You can find prepared meals, hot and cold drinks and warm pastries there, the best option for lazy students, agree?

But as I am the person who likes to eat healthy, my prepared overnight oats are always in my bag. This breakfast-lunch fills me up and satisfies my sweet tooth. 

 

13.50-15.00: On Mondays, I have a free period, and since we’re allowed to leave the school grounds (as long as it’s somewhere close by!) I head across the road to my favourite spot – Faborit’s terrace. There, I find my second cup of coffee waiting for me, creating the ideal ambiance for some focused studying. As I mentioned earlier, blending various study techniques is crucial for achieving success. Whether it’s diving into the next chapter solo or engaging in discussions with friends, reinforcing concepts by teaching them to each other ensures we both grasp and retain the material effectively.

15.00-15.10: It is time to move my body and go to the gym. On Monday it is usually a glutes and hamstring day, so I find a bike from Bicing and ride to the gym on the Espanya square. 

15.10-16.45: My workout session typically lasts around an hour and a half, consisting of 4-5 exercises with 3 rounds each. It’s become a familiar sight at the gym – me, surrounded by my trusty flashcards from school. After sweating it out, I head for a refreshing shower before gearing up for the ride home. But not before making a quick pit stop at my favourite Spanish fruteria for a post-workout treat.

 

16.45-17.30: Everyone has their own way of unwinding, and one of my favourite pastimes is strolling through fruit markets to pick out groceries. It’s more than just a task for me; it’s my sanctuary, where I feel completely in my element. As I strive for a healthy lifestyle, I meticulously select each apple and vegetable, relying on my senses of smell and taste to guide me. The workers at the market have grown accustomed to my routine and often sweeten the deal with complimentary blueberries or oranges, perhaps as a gesture to retain a valued customer like myself. Whatever the reason, I’m grateful for the extra treats and hope it’s a sign of their appreciation rather than simply clearing out soon-to-expire stock.

 

18.00: I finally open the door into my flat and can switch my uncomfortable clothes to something cosier. Usually at this time my hunger wakes up and I start cooking dinner for myself. Every evening meal is almost the same for me, a big portion of protein in the form of chicken or fish and some vegetables that I will find in the fruit market.  

 

19.00: In the evenings, after a day filled with information overload, I often crave a chance to unwind. While a good movie can sometimes feel too intense, I find solace in lighter content on YouTube. Whether it’s tuning into podcasts featuring celebrities or watching lighthearted “get ready with me” videos, it’s my preferred way to relax.

22.30 – Is there anything quite as satisfying as the end of the evening? It’s that magical time when I can set aside all worries until tomorrow, sink into my cosy bed, and escape from the world’s chaos for a peaceful eight hours. Once my skincare routine is done and my outfit for the next day is chosen, I eagerly immerse myself in scrolling through Instagram memes, anticipating how they’ll colour my dreams later on.

 

For me TLA is not just an international school, it has become something like a family for me, something like home. All my life I was told that school should be your second home, to be honest, I believed this superficially. But when I arrived in Barcelona two years ago, completely lost and unsure of the future, I found more than an International School for Higher Education. I made friends, understood what warm friendships with teachers are, learned to interact with different cultures and built a variety of versatile skills. TLA is a family that has a special place in the heart, where you want to return again and again.

 

Do you also dream of this TLA graduate experience?

 

 

Secure Your Future Today, don’t wait for tomorrow:

Contact us at TLA Barcelona to schedule a personalised tour and consultation. Enable yourself to succeed in the last two years of high school and beyond by letting our school assist you and your family. Let’s clear the path for a successful academic career together!

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