Hellooo 2019!

We are finally in the New Year!! Whoop whoop!

 

Although in my last, very depressing post, I mentioned that 2018 wasn’t a great year, I realised a lot of good and exciting things happened. For one, I got a little kitten, Willow, who is my pride and joy. I turned 18 (still a little bitter about it 😂 ) and my friends turned 18. I made really close new friends and formed new relationships!

And it all got me thinking about the exciting things to come in 2019! So, today I’m going to be listing some things I’m excited for in this new year.

 

Last Months at My School

I’ve been at my current secondary school for about seven years. That’s more than a third of my life. And now, I only have about six months left of being there. I’m not looking forward to leaving but I’m looking forward to the last moments with the people I grew up with and the place I call a second home.

 

Prom 2019

I am really really looking forward to my sixth form prom! It’ll probably be the last time my year comes together and I can’t wait for the parties after. 😂

 

Freedom in Summer

If any of you did GCSEs, you know the summer between the end of your actual GCSE exams and beginning of sixth form is like heaven. You can literally do anything without feeling guilt for not revising, etc, because there is nothing to revise for and absolutely no school work to do. It’s going to the be the same thing between the end of A Level exams and the beginning of University! Maybe not as heaven like because I have to prepare to go to Uni but still!

 

A Levels and Uni

Everything I’ve been working forward to since year seven will be coming to completion soon (fingers crossed though, I might still fail). I cannot wait to finish A Levels. It’s tiring and emotionally draining and yeah, I love my subjects, but I also need a damn break. I also can’t wait to go to University and study biochemistry!

 

Moving Out

I’m hopefully going to live in student accommodation while studying at University. Even if it is just for my first year (depends what one I get into). I can’t wait for the new experience of living with totally new and different people and the experience of struggling financially. 🙂 Most of all, I can’t wait for the freedom.

 

Keeping in Touch with Friends

Funnily enough, I’m looking forward to seeing what friends I actually stay in contact with. I know a few I definitely will still talk to but there are some, who I’m a bit sceptical about, and I’m interested in seeing how things pan out.

 

Climbing up the O2

For my 18th birthday, I was given a voucher/ticket to climb the O2 arena. I’m taking my best friend with me and I’m just really looking forward to almost dying. 😀

The 02 Arena

 

New Year Resolutions

I’m actually kind of excited about doing my new year resolutions. I barely did any of the ones I set last year because I overestimated the time I had but I made achievable ones this year, taking everything I’m doing this year and the time I have into consideration. So here they are:

  • Stretch daily (I want to be flexible)
  • Own a plant and look after it (apparently it helps your mental health…I didn’t read much into it 😂 )
  • Find a new hobby (a few years ago I was looking for a new hobby and decided to do dream journaling and I love it so I’m open to another new hobby I wouldn’t normally think of doing)
  • Learn a new skill (possibly an instrument…like piano cause I used to be able to play it)
  • Stay optimistic (wrote this for my 2017 resolutions and 2017 turned out to be the best year of my life)
  • Be more spontaneous and confident, don’t hesitate (I’m pretty spontaneous as it is but there are times where I remain in my comfort zone when I know I shouldn’t)

 

Looking forward to what 2019 holds! What did you do for New Year’s Eve?

ᴵ ᵍᵒᵗ ᵃᵖᵖˡʸ ʲᵘᶦᶜᵉ ᵈʳᵘⁿᵏ

 

-Shay

What 2018 Taught Me!

2018 hasn’t been the best year but I remain optimistic and continue to believe everything happens for a reason so with that, I want to dedicate this post, the last post of 2018 on my blog, about what I’ve learnt.

 

Over the course of this year, I’ve been experiencing weird symptoms. Years ago, typical and well known symptoms of depression I experienced included lethargy, eating a lot more and irregularly, loss of interest in hobbies, minor memory loss, etc. Although it was a horrible period in my life and I wouldn’t want to go through any of that again nor would I want anyone to go through any of that, it was more comforting to know that those were ‘normal’ and common for someone who is depressed. More comforting that what I experienced this year, anyway. There were two major new symptoms:

  1. Personality Crisis
  2. Depersonalisation

The personality crisis situation was the worst one. It began at the end of Spring/beginning of Summer. I started to feel not like myself and I didn’t even know what ‘myself’ was. I didn’t know how to respond or behave in situations because I didn’t know how I would respond. You know how actors have to try and put themselves in the shoes of their characters so they know how to behave like them – that’s how I felt. I felt like I was trying to put myself in the shoes of myself. It felt like I was getting to know a whole different person. What made it worse was people were catching onto this. I got called ‘dead’, which means boring. And boring is one of the top things I never want to be. I would literally prefer someone to call me ugly, annoying and dumb (tell me something I don’t know 😜 ) over boring so as you can imagine, it really hurt. But because other people started to notice my ‘new’ personality, I conformed to it. I kept asking people what they would describe me as, I even did personality quizzes to see what my personality was because I didn’t even know. That’s the extent it got to.

But I learnt that, like what straight adults say to bisexual teenagers, it’s just a phase. It goes away and you have to remain strong. Don’t give in to what people tell you, that’s the worst thing you can do. I learnt to ‘connect’ back with myself and stay in tune with my own emotions and thoughts not others. You might suffer with personality crisis more or less than I did but you have to remain strong and try to talk to someone and help yourself. YOU CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING!

 

Depersonalisation is ‘a state in which one’s thoughts and feelings seem unreal or not to belong to oneself.’

Real life doesn’t feel real, basically. The first time I came across this term was when my cousin told me she had it. I had never heard of it before but it sounded unreal and crazy. She had it bad, too. I began experiencing mild doses of it every now and again, just for a minute. It felt like my mind was on a rocking boat on the ocean and reality wasn’t straight. My mind felt out of my head but surrounding my body and it felt like I was in a dream. I almost felt trapped and stuck. I was surprised that I was experiencing it since I never thought I would go through it when my cousin told me about it. I’m almost 100% sure I didn’t have the disorder, I just had experiences of depersonalisation. 

What made it worse is I lucid dream so sometimes real life would feel like I was just in a lucid dream. The small periods of time I would feel this way began to stretch into days and weeks. I’m pretty sure it’s positively correlational with the amount of stress I was experiencing because now that I’m not as stressed, I don’t feel out of my body or in a dream. I do have a really embarrassing story, that happened recently that links in with this but that’s for another day. 😄

This also linked in with the personality problems because, since I felt so out of it, I didn’t know how to respond to situations anymore.

Honestly, I don’t know what I learnt from experiencing depersonalisation (apart from what it is) but it made my year poop and also, it’s a good way to educate people about it since I had no idea what it was. And if you, yourself, are experiencing it, you’re not crazy or weird and you can get through it! Seek help, talk to someone, manage your stress, etc.

 

I learnt a lot about friendship over this year. In life, you make close friends and even though you love them, you may end up distancing. By all means, if you want to, reconnect and build back that bond. But…sometimes you’ve got to let it go. I don’t even like Frozen that much but that ice chic is a smart chic. Let it go. You may damage your relationship and mental health if you keep trying to reconnect. Let the past be in the past. Don’t cut them out, unless they’re a negative person, but just let nature do it’s thing. New friends will come along the way. Probably. 😄

 

In terms of school, be persistent. The amount of teachers, this year, who didn’t have as much hope in me as I would have wanted them to was heart breaking. I’ve talked about not conforming to what people say plenty of times and proving people wrong but it’s become such a problem. Believe in yourself and work hard! It’s fun when teachers realise you’re smarter than they thought. And don’t be afraid to be a little confrontational. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to apply to Universities I wanted, this year. 😂

 

There’s a lot of other little personal things I learnt, which aren’t lessons you can take away. I learnt on my duke of Edinburgh award expedition that I’m physically and mentally stronger that I thought. I learnt I have really high highs and really low lows ad there’s never really an in between. I’ve finally figured out my style – basically bright colours and quirky little things like rainbow holographic hoop earrings and colourful, pattern trousers. I also learnt my hair grows really freaking fast. This time last year I  had Lord Farquaad Dora The Explorer Edna Mode hair but now my hair is almost down to my elbow.

 

Most importantly, I’ve learnt to have faith in the Universe. I know, it sounds like some cheesy quote that should be stitched on a cushion in a gift shop but I’ve just learnt to let life happen and stop forcing and controlling things and situations so that others and I can be happy. It doesn’t really work that way. You might not believe in this but I genuinely believe everything happens for a reason.

 

Oh, and one last thing. I learnt to not go overboard on the new years resolutions – you’re not gonna complete them! 😬

 

I feel like this was a very deep and cheesy post but who cares!?

What did you learn this year?

 

-Shay

I’m Not Dead!

Like the Pitch Perfect film series, I’m back but not bringing much to the table!

I haven’t posted since Halloween, which was almost two months ago. Sorry… 🤷🏽‍♀️

 

Blogging was on the list of things that was stressing me out and it felt like a chore for me to do. So, I just stopped for the sake of cutting down workload. I wanted to focus on my offline life, in terms of friendships, mental health and education a bit more. I’ve been going through these weird symptoms lately, which I’ll talk about in another post.

But, the main reason was my laptop keyboard stopped working and I don’t have money or the decision making skills to buy a new one at the moment.

 

That’s why I can’t promise there will be posts anytime soon. But there may be! I will definitely post a new years one!

 

I know I also haven’t been very active in terms of looking at my feed and reading other blogger’s posts. I’m genuinely sorry for that – I’ll try to read my feed often now cause I do enjoy it. It just takes time.

 

This was kind of a pointless post but just wanted to let those of you reading know, I’m not dead! 😄

 

-Shay

This Is Halloween!

Happy All Hollows’ Eve!

 

On Sunday, me and my sister trekked over to the supermarket and bough some pumpkins, to carve. We’ve never carved pumpkins before, for Halloween, so I felt this would be the perfect year to save the childhood, that is slowly coming to an end. 😦

Also those pumpkins are HEAVY and I lack the upper body strength most people have. And my sister is selfish so I carried it all the way home. First world problems. 🙌

 

Anyways, several people have told me how hard it is carving pumpkins so I stuck to an easy design because I underrated myself, which I shouldn’t because I did one whole year of Art GCSEs. Only one year because I dropped because I was at a grade D….but still. Every little helps.

It turned out that I’m not that bad at carving pumpkins. I broke a knife, which I had to hide from my mum and I almost stabbed myself but it turned out pretty great!

Lilith, my pumpkin.

I went for a cute little happy face vampire pumpkin head. I also gave her eyelashes because she’s a Bad B and she probably coats her eyelashes with Vaseline every night – that’s why they’re so long.

My sister decided to go for a cat face, which I helped her with. She, however, accidentally, carved off one of the teeth so that’s why it only has three.

I’m not going to lie, I was really proud of myself and although

My sisters pumpkin.

Lilith (my pumpkin, but her friends call her Pumpkin Spice Queen) will rot after a while, she will live on in my heart. In all our hearts.

 

My sister’s one, on the other hand, is already rotting on the inside. It’s disgusting.

 

Next year, I’m gonna up my game.

 

Along the lines of Halloween, I have a little horror story to tell. It was a grey, miserable morning when I was told I had a biology ‘pre-mock’.  I revised for about two months, shedding blood, sweat and tears. A lot of tears. No but seriously, I need help. That gloomy biology exam Wednesday finally approached and I walked into the exam, hands shaking, heart pounding. JK I wasn’t actually scared. I was ten minutes late (not my fault) and came out of the exam depressed because I knew I did badly. Turns out, I got a B. And only three marks away from an A, which is a big improvement from my E’s in year 12. Anyways, a few days later, I go into my biology lesson, felling happy that I’m no longer considered stupid in the education system and my biology teacher announces the grade boundaries have gone up. My B, almost an A, is now a C. Whatever. I’m not bitter.

i’M nOT BiTteR!

 

Another scary story is The Haunting of Hill House. It’s a show on Netflix, which is about a family of seven, who move into a mansion and the aftermath of it, many years later. My friend kept persuading me and I finally started watching it with her and it’s honestly and truly such a good and well thought out show. I highly recommend it.

 

And on the lines of TV Shows, I’m gonna share my favourite Halloween-y but not really horrific films and TV shows:

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Monster House
  • Paranorman
  • Stranger Things
  • Frankenweenie
  • Coraline
  • American Horror Story
  • Coco
  • Super 8
  • Corpse’s Bride
  • Casper
  • E.T.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch (the OG one)
  • Charmed
  • Harry Potter (all of them)

 

Okay, that’s the end of my Halloween post!

Did you do anything for Halloween? Did you carve a pumpkin and if yes, was it as good as mine though?

 

-Shay

Study Drugs: Trick or Treat? | St. George’s University Spotlight on Science

Last Thursday, I attended a lecture at St. George’s University, about ‘study drugs’.

Study drugs are defined as  prescription stimulant medications that are used improperly by a person with a prescription, or more often, illegally by a person without a prescription, increasing concentration and stamina.

That’s the proper, fancy definition so to put it into simpler terms, they’re basically drugs that people use to help them work better or study better, kind of like the pill in Limitless, except these drugs are made for medication not solely for doing better in school, etc.

Minor examples of this include caffeine and cocaine but today I’m going to be focusing on other examples. Examples that include Strattera, which increases noradrenaline (a hormone with is involved in the fight or flight response), Ritalin and Adderall, which increase noradrenaline and dopamine. Modafinil is also an example but there’s not a lot of information known about it.

 

Raymond Hill, a professor in pharmacology, stated there has been a 56% increase for Ritalin prescription in the past five years, in England. He also claimed that they are being “regularly approached by students who feel under pressure to take drugs as they feel like they are falling behind their peers.” And that being said, I feel like it’s important to specify that Ritalin in a class B drug and can result in prison for five years just for possession of it.

 

Students are feeling pressured to take these study drugs to do well and survive the education system by consuming and even overdosing on these drugs, risking the fact they could end up in prison. I even know of someone, who takes study drugs to do well in school. Dr Jennings, a science communicator, showed the effects of increasing the dose of dopamine and noradrenaline, which some of these study drugs do. These are the stages of increasing the doses:

  1. Wakeful (cognitive enhancement)
  2. Vigilance
  3. Hyper-locomotion
  4. Mania
  5. Euphoria
  6. Psychosis
  7. Coma
  8. Circulatory Collapse

You might be thinking Hmm, why can’t you just stop using it when you feel like it’s going too far. Well, Ritalin and Adderall are addictive so it can be hard to stop once you start.

So far, we know study drugs are often taken by students to get an advantage in school but these drugs have severe side effects. You might be thinking these students are cheating and are too stupid to think about the consequences. And don’t feel too guilty if you do think that because I’m @ing you right now. I kind of thought the same too.

But then, Neil Gibride, a lecturer in education, opened my mind.

 

Me and My Best Friend in Chemistry

Gibride explained that GCSEs and A Levels, which are academic qualifications taken in secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges, in most of the UK, are designed so that 30% of students will fail! 30%!

The education system is a competition amongst young people, which parents and students try their hardest to get through. 1/3 of parents knew of other parents that used ethically dubious strategies to secure a good school place for their child, like using their grandparent’s addresses or moving house temporarily so they are considered in the catchment area of the school, which gives them more of a priority into getting in. Some parents send their kids to private tuition for the 11+ exam, which, by the way, has a substantial bias against some ethnic groups.

And once you’re in the school, if your grades are suffering, the school can do this thing called ‘off-rolling’. It’s the ‘removal by one means or another, of students from a school’s roll.’ They informally exclude students so they cannot impact the exam results and make the school look bad.  Off-rolling is basically a way to boost results and climb up the league table. It’s like one big unethical game.

Ofsted should really change the focus from competition to curicuulum. That way students would probably enjoy school and learning more and suffer less in terms of anxiety and mental health AND consuming dangerous ‘study drugs’.

Therefore, it’s ignorant and inconsiderate of us to neglect the understanding of human behaviour since it’s a dynamic between the individual and context, as Neil Gibride said. You can call it cheating but it’s almost as if society is designed to force people to end of seeking these drugs.

 

In conclusion, are study drugs a trick or a treat?

They are dangerous and can be lethal but they can work in enhancing cognitive functions. And students are regularly using them to pull through the competition pinned on them through the education system and Ofsted and because of their own mental health. Personally, I think it’s not worth taking. I understand the education system is corrupt and puts pressure on getting the best grades but they can take your life or ruin them. However, I don’t think it’s cheating, even though it may be considered that. Yes, these study drugs put students at an advantage but so does private tutition and the ‘ethically dubious’ methods I mentioned earlier, which are tactics that aren’t considered cheating.

 

What do you think?

 

-Shay

P.S. Don’t do drugs, kids, unless it’s paracetamol or calpol.

She’s A Lady!


I AM NO LONGER THE DANCING QUEEN! 😢

It was my eighteenth birthday yesterday. A day I wasn’t really looking forward to.

 

My helium balloon!

First of all, I had four tests (in the week) to prepare for, which is also the reason I’ve been MIA, and the stress of it all, although I don’t show it, was getting to me. However, that being said, I had the best day! Since it was a school day, I got a lot of ‘Happy Birthday’s and messages and birthday snapchat stories because that’s how our generation show love. And my friends made it such a great day.

 

But, as I promised from a previous post, I’m going to explain why I didn’t want to turn eighteen.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying any of the following is relatable and about all adults, I just felt like me, being eighteen, means I’m more prone to these things.

 

First of all, being an adult tends to be associated with maturity and responsibility. I, on the other hand, am a very weird, energetic person in real life. I do weird crazy things. Being an adult means I can no longer blame that behaviour on the fact I am a child. This is sad news. I still have the face of a twelve year old, though, so I might pass as a child.

 

Making friends is easier when you’re a child because you’re in school practically everyday. I still have another year in school but still! I have university either next year or the year after and although there will be people there to talk to, I feel like it might be harder to make friends. I am a social person and will take initiative in situations like that but it’s still daunting.

 

I used to get stuff for free. NOW I HAVE TO PAY. For example, I have to pay for eye care, dental care and probably a bunch of other stuff I don’t know about. That’s actually a little bit of a lie because I still get eye and dental care for free since I’m in full time education but my point is, being eighteen means I have to pay for stuff. My parents are making me pay for my phone bill. ☹ I do like to be in control, though, so maybe it’s a good thing.

 

I hate the idea of being grown up. I don’t want to grow up. This ties in with the acting weird point because I don’t want to be completely mature and ‘normal’. I also don’t want to worry constantly and get so involved in money issues.

 

I have to make big decisions and there’s not much leeway for my indecisive ways, right now. I can’t just change my mind tomorrow and decide I want to be an astronaut, like you can do when you’re a child. I know that it’s never too late to do what you want (unless you’re on the brink of death, then I’m so sorry) but the way society works and the school system works, I feel pressured to make sure my whole life plan starts now and isn’t a failure.

 

I can go to prison for a criminal offence. This one’s going to be really difficult for me. 😬

Despite all of the negativity that’s been most of this post (sorry), I wanted to add a little bit of positivity because on the majority of occasions, I try my hardest to look on the bright side of things. 😄

  • I can finally vote, which is important to me because I like to make my own decisions and have my say on things.
  • I can serve jury duty, which is always fun, amirite?!
  • I can get a tattoo. I actually want to get one of a semi colon!
  • Ya girl gets paid more! A whole two pounds more. 💸
  • I can make a will, which, again, is always fun!
  • I can buy fireworks.

The vegan Baileys ft. Willow, my cat

I can do a lot more important things but those are my top six.

 

 

Also, big announcement! I had my first legal alcoholic drink. It was dairy free almond milk Baileys. Dairy free because one of my best friends, who gave it to me, is vegan and is clearly respectful to the acne prone antichrist that is my skin. She also made me a vegan cake.

 

To end on a high note, eighteen isn’t that bad. AgE iS JuSt a NuMBeR…

 

-Shay

Mean Girls Day!

On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was.

And if I was there, I would have said Mean Girls Day, uncultured swine!

 

And trust me, I wore pink today.

 

It’s Mean Girls Day! Why? October the 3rd was the day Aaron asked Cady what the date was. And you know what she said? She said October 3rd.

Now, if you haven’t watched Mean Girls, firstly I want to correct you before you say “it’s just a movie, don’t be so dramatic”. It’s not just a movie. It’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that chose me. Specifically, one evening when I was about ten, with my parents, and I wanted to choke on soil when the coach said to not have sex because then you will get pregnant and die. And I never got ‘the talk’ so I guess, better Coach Carr than no one.

 

But besides my strange childhood that made me the way I am now (i’m okay), I wanted to share my top favourite iconic Mean Girls quotes:

 

“On Wednesdays we wear pink.”

 

“If you’re from Africa, why are you white?”

 

I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.”

“She doesn’t even go here.”

 

“I can’t help it if I have a heavy flow and wide set vagina.”

 

“That is so fetch.”

 

“I gave him everything. I was half a virgin when I met him.”

 

“I’m kinda psychic. I have a fifth sense. It’s like I have ESPN or something.”

 

“Ex-boyfriends are just off limits to friends. I mean, that’s just like the rules of feminism.”


“You can’t sit with us.”

 

“You go Glen Coco!”

 

And on the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so that man could fight the dinosaurs. And the homosexuals.”

 

And two extra bonus ones because I think they’re important and everyone should live by:

“Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.” – Cady Heron

There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.” – Janis Ian

 

Hope you had a happy hump day!

 

-Shay