Survival Guide For Year 12 Students!

It’s the end of summer and back to school!

Whoop whoop! 🎉

 

And I’m in my last year of secondary school/sixth form, which a lot of people would be happy about, but I am sad about because I really do love my school and friends and my subjects. I enjoyed year 12, which is equivalent to 11th grade/junior year in America (and not sure about other countries). Therefore, having gone through the experience of year 12, I want to share little tips on what you should do to minimise stress and regret later in the academic year!

 

Consolidate Your Notes

After every single topic you’ve finished in your subject, go over your notes and textbook for that topic and write up revision notes/flashcards/whatever method you prefer to revise from. Do that after every topic!

I know it sounds like a lot and a faff but honestly, if you write up your notes after the topics, you will understand it more, which will be helpful because those topics will also be applicable to other topics, most likely. It also means that you would have finished writing your revision notes so come the summer term, you won’t have to make those revision notes. You can just start learning off them. Writing up and understanding notes in your own way and method will also make it easier for you to remember.

Trust me! You won’t regret doing this.

 

Organise Yourself, Child

This is something I really wish I did. It’s filing away your notes after each topic.

For example, after your subject teacher has officially finished going over a topic and has moved onto the next, write up your consolidation notes and then file away the notes you made in class into your subject folder. The mistake I made was leaving all my notes in my refill pad and slipping in loose sheets in the front until the whole notebook was full and hard to look at and I couldn’t use it. It’s horrible. It actually stresses me out, right now, thinking about it. It takes hours to sort through and organising it and filing it away.

Just start from day one and organise your damn self! Also, it might be a good idea to get a different notebook for each subject so you don’t get confused or things don’t get messy. And it will get messy. I’ve learnt the hard way.

 

Make A Revision Schedule

At GCSEs, I didn’t have a revision schedule. I just went with the flow and did whatever I wanted or thought I needed to revise that day. And truth is, it worked out because I got decent grades, which I’m happy with. That isn’t going to work for year 12. Nope. I tried to make it work but it didn’t.

You need to make sure you focus on each topic and make sure you learn every detail you need. I know this may not be helpful for all people but I made a calendar of each month and wrote in each day a chapter or topic I would read over and do questions on, taking into account days I couldn’t revise due to other commitments. You can even throw in a chill day but so long as you stick to the schedule and it has every chapter and topic you need to learn fit in, you’ll be absolutely fine.

I was getting really bad grades in the big psychology tests we did, like Es and Ds. I ended up getting the highest grades, like As and Bs, by the end because I stuck to a schedule and learnt and revised all the topics and evaluations. And that was only in about a month, which I can’t guarantee will happen for you but it shows that your grade can really go up!

 

Past Papers Are A Student’s Best Friend

Everyone had their own revision style and method and you should experiment at the beginning of the year to find which one works best for you. If you want me to make a post on all the quirky and classic methods I found, comment so!

However, every student should do past papers, no matter what revision method you do. Always do past papers on top of your chosen personalised method! Do as many as you can and look at the mark schemes and just keep doing them over and over again. Do the same ones a month later and see if you do better. Past paper will help you! I wish I did more!

 

Don’t Be Cocky

I found a lot of people thought that just because they got As at GCSEs, they were going to be fine at A Levels. That’s very wrong! A Levels are way harder and some people say that it’s the hardest stage of your education, even more than University. So sorry to scare you but it’s going to get hard. You can’t just sit back and relax and hope that your A*s and As at GCSEs will help you.

And don’t boast or be arrogant. No one will like you and it’s annoying. 😂

 

Talk To And Make Friends

Year 12 is one of your last years in secondary school/sixth form/college/high school. I’m not sure how it is in other countries but for all I know, in year 13, it’s mainly work and spending your free periods revising. That means year 12 is the year to have a bit of fun, while still maintaining or reaching for good grades. Make a balance of fun and work. I made a lot of friends in year 12 and it was also one of my best years at school and I made a lot of good memories, which you should do too! It’s one of your last years so try and pluck up the courage and confidence to do things your wouldn’t normally do, that are legal and not stupid, of course!

And try to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way! Don’t be scared.

 

Reward Yourself

If you do work hard, you need to reward yourself every week or so. Go out with your friends, go see a film, go to a party on the weekend, do something fun! We’re like dogs. We need to be rewarded for a behaviour to be done frequently so if you want to feel motivated more, you need to reward yourself every now and again.

 

Mental Health Is More Important

Despite what I said, at the end of the day, your mental health is the most important thing. I understand that year 12 is pressurising, especially with students who are aiming really high e.g. applying for medicine, etc. If you find that your mental health and even physical health is suffering, stop for a sec and try to get help or find ways to calm yourself down, etc.

I got really stressed at one point because I was overthinking and the school was putting a lot of pressure on us. I ended up feeling really depressed and experiencing symptoms, which I hadn’t experienced in ages. My eye kept twitching at certain points and I even started struggling to breath – it was really weird, don’t ask. I ended up spending a day writing a list of all the things I was worried about and making me stressed and wrote solutions next to them. I also talked to people about it to get it off my chest.

I know you might not agree with this but your mental health should come first, for several reasons like stress can actually affect your memory badly, and doing badly in year 12 really isn’t the end of the world. Don’t try and put yourself in the position to end up doing badly but if you do, there are always ways to fix that in year 13.

Basically, make sure you’re a happy bean! 🙂


 

Hopefully you actually take my tips into account. They will be really helpful if you take action on them. A lot of students told me the same advice at the beginning of year 12, which I ignored, because I’m stupid and stubborn. You’ll probably end up telling the next year 12’s the same advice.

Apart from that, enjoy year 12 and good luck for all your exams!

 

I’d love to know what subjects you’re doing or any advice that has helped you before, no matter what year you’re in.

 

-Shay

 

P.S One last tip that you should really use even if you decide to ignore the rest, above. Don’t give your pens or pencils to anyone. They may say “I’ll give it back” but that just mean “I’m gonna keep this and hope you forget about it or are too nice to ask for it back.” TRUST NO ONE! (Apart from me and my advice, of course. 😀 )

Outrage Culture!

Today, I want to talk about something that’s important but everybody disregards. And that is, the fact that schools force children to learn different languages, different from their own, which in my opinion, is a clear form of cultural appropriation. Conditioning these young people, the future generation, to normalise and glamourize speaking a language that belongs to another country and culture is wrong!

OUTRAGE CULTURE!

 

What is Outrage Culture?

Outrage culture, also known as outrage porn (don’t ask), according to the great and brutally honest Urban Dictionary is:

“When people play the victim card and bend over backwards to be as offended as possible when they really aren’t. Using hissy fits, political correctness, character assassination, and a false sense of moral authority, the outrager hopes to gain power and public recognition for their brave act of justice as well as a sense of control over their meaningless existence. Often accompanied by demands for financial compensation for their “pain and suffering.”

 

With the positive that is the progression of society and social justice, a negative must follow. I think that negative is outrage culture… and arrogant, brave conservatives.

I’ve seen a lot of people use topics like feminism to the extreme in a way that is just ridiculous, for example, getting outraged at the fact a girl on a TV show wore the colour pink. What’s wrong with the colour pink, you ask? Well, it’s obviously stereotypical of women to wear pink and by wearing pink, that character is conforming to the stereotypes and enforcing other women to follow it, DUH. It makes serious topics like feminism seem stupid and something a group of overly sensitive people are a part of, when it isn’t.

 

One in particular case I want to talk about is the ex Cbeebies presenter, Cerrie Burnell. She was born with part of her arm missing. Parents complained about her due to the reasons that  it could “possible cause sleep problems” and “scar toddlers”. They also complained because it forced parents to raise a discussion about disabilities with children before they were ready, apparently. Let me repeat: parents complained. They went out of their way to complain and discriminate a woman, who has a disability, which she can’t change. Because. They. Were. Outraged!!!

I don’t understand why people go out of their way to outrage against harmless things. A disabled presenter on a kids show exposes children to the real world because there are other people in the world with disabilities. And other children, with missing parts of their arms, might feel represented and more comfortable and normal.

 

With all this outrage culture, content creators and social media influencers need to be extremely careful about what they say and put out online, in fear or offending and upsetting. I’ve heard people say that it’s the liberals getting too offended but it’s actually illiberal liberalism. It’s hate and negativity. Okay, it is important to educate and voice your own opinions but there’s no need to get overly offended and patronise and belittle people.

 

However, I was having a conversation with a boy, who is pretty homophobic (that context is important). We were talking in a group about outrage culture. At the end of the conversation, the boy said that there are so many people trying to promote more diversity and representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the media and that it’s silly how people are so passionate about it since in real life, there aren’t that many people in the LGBTQ+ community anyway. I was a bit shook.

You best believe I put him in his place. This “outrage culture” is valid because it will allow society to move forward, positively, and it’s true that more representation of the LGBTQ+ community is needed. It’s important to note that this boy is slightly homophobic, of which he has admitted himself, and hence, would surround himself with similar people or at least, surround himself with no one involved in the LGBTQ+ community, so is probably why he thinks there’s not a lot of non-straight people.

 

Outrage culture can be, at times, quite debatable, for example, the whole fiasco with Moana and how Dapper Laughs, a comedian, whose UKtour was cancelled due to the rape jokes he made.

I personally think we all just need to chill. It’s important to raise awareness, promote positivity and diversity and point out when people are wrong and educate them but at the same time, everyone should be chill while doing it. I guess there are certain valid exceptions but at this point, it’s almost as if we’re not even allowed to talk anymore without offending anyone.

What’s your opinion of this dark side of social justice?

 

-Shay

Does Anything Really Exist?

You’re reading this post right now, whether that be through the ability of your eyes or ears or any sensory cell in your body. You’re reading this, right at this very moment. Right?

Now, you might be thinking, Shay, what’s up with you? It’s not even 4:20.

Well, young child (or old), be prepared to start thinking as if it is 4:20.

In our day to day lives, we touch, hear, smell, see, think, talk, move, etc. That’s how we know we exist. We acknowledge the world functioning around us and the people we meet and the places we go and we input all that information in through our sensory cells, which basically explain to your brain what’s going on in the outside world, while it’s cooped up inside your skull. It’s as if your brain is living vicariously through you…but also, functioning and supplying you with the necessities to live.

And we trust our brains to process what is going on because it’s all we really know, since the day we were born. Now, take away that trust.

How do we know what our brain is processing and telling us is actually happening?

How do you know we’re not just hooked up to a machine and 4D videos aren’t being inputted into our brains to make it seem like we’re living in this fake world, where we can feel things and see things? How do you know your thoughts are even yours?

 

How do you know if we’re not just in a some kind of dream? Or a simulation?

Is seeing really believing?

Rubber Arm Experiment

Take the Rubber Arm Experiment, as an example. People were convinced that the rubber arm in front of them was really their arm, with just a few minutes of illusion.

An experiment by Shaw and Porter of the University of British Columbia in Canada found that when they had three interviews with a group of participants, telling and asking them of one false memory (either a crime they did or an emotional event like injury) as well as telling them about two true memories, that were personal to the participants, 71% of those 30 student participants developed a false memory of the crime and 76.6% of another 30 students formed a false memory of the emotional event.

These students were convinced, in quick time, of inaccurate and false criminal and emotional events that occurred in their lives, which never even happened.

So how do we really know that what’s happened in our lives is real? It could all just be one big lie!

 

Maybe you’re real…but how do you know that everybody else is? You can’t see what they’re really thinking or their functioning brain.

 

Morty Lefkoe wrote a post similar to this and asked readers to imagine their hand expanding and expanding until there was nothing in the universe except the hand. He stated:

it would disappear because there would be nothing in the universe that was not the hand. This is a very basic concept about reality: In order for any thing to exist, there must also be not that thing. In order for anything to exist, it must be distinguished from everything else. If no distinction is made between a specific thing and everything else, there is only an undifferentiated everything—which is another way of saying nothing. Everything, without any distinctions, is the same as nothing.”

 

If I lost you there, I’m not surprised. I was a bit lost too. But to basically put it in simple terms, imagine the air. We sometimes refer to the air as nothing because there’s “nothing” there, when actually, there are millions and millions of particles and elements milling around. And they’re not just the same element – they’re different. But we can’t see that difference, we can’t see that distinction so to us, it’s just a big collective thing known as air, which is a huge thing since air is pretty much everywhere so we consider it to be nothing. Think of the phrase “vanish into nothingness”. It’s not really nothingness, though.

Therefore, what really does the word ‘exist’ mean? That’s the real question.

Because with what Morty Lefkoe explained, if everything exists, nothing really does.

 

At the end of the day, no matter what your opinion is and whatever this crazy world really is and whether or not we are real or not, this is our reality and our only reality. So deal with it.

 

-Shay

The Mystery Blogger Award!

I was nominated twice by Josh Gross, quite a while ago, for this award, but put it off for a while at how daunting doing awards post are. It’s just too much work with all that talking about yourself and answering such difficult mind-boggling questions. Gosh, I’m even tired at the thought.

No, but really, I did put this award off for a while because although awards posts are fun to write, they can take a while. Talk about first world problems, huh.

Thank you Josh for the nomination! Since he nominated me twice, I’ll be answering two sets of questions from him!

 

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates: it inspires and motivated. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” 

-Okoto Enigma (original creator of the award)

 

Rules

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog – done.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

 

Three Things About Me

  1. I have a really good episodic memory, which basically means I remember events with rich detail. It’s a blessing and a curse. 😂
  2. I was about ten when Amy Winehouse died and I was quite sad about it, even though I wasn’t a fan and barely knew her songs, at that time. It was a deep painful feeling as if I had this weird connection to her, that broke. Whenever I listen to her music now, I feel the same feeling. It’s very strange.
  3. I’m really clumsy.

 

Questions and Answers 

If you could take a free class on any topic, what would it be?
The intricate art of ghost busting. Or public speaking.

 

What is your favorite book?
Dead Ends by Erin Lange! It’s really good and she’s such an underrated author.

 

Do you have a specific place you like to go when you need to think? If so, where?
The toilet.

 

Imagine you’ve been commissioned to write any book you want. What kind of book would you write (e.g. fantasy, horror, memoir, nonfiction, etc.)?
I’m currently trying to write a book, which is a soft sci fi, with sociological themes in it.

A weird little book sneak peek

Funny/weird question: If you had to survive in one of the following inhospitable locations, which would you choose?

  • The arctic
  • The Kalahari Desert
  • The Amazon rain forest
  • Detroit

God, Detroit? You trying to kill me? I think I’d have to say The Amazon Rainforest. It would be nice to be able to say that I got suffocated to death by an anaconda.

 

Would you rather read a book or watch television?
As much as I love reading, watching TV requires little effort. However, right now, I am in the mood for reading.

 

If you had the opportunity to learn about any topic, which one would you choose?
Something Physics related, probably. I regret not taking Physics as an A level.


In a few words, what would be your ideal vacation?
I have two ideal vacations. First one: big city, night life, food. Second one: beach, pretty sunset, food. Basically…
                  OR

 

So either get sand stuck in crevices I didn’t know I had or get trampled and crushed by bustling crowds.

 

Which suits you more: living in a large city or a small town? Or maybe someplace even more rural?
Large city because I’m used to that. I like small towns and rural areas but not to live in.


Weird question: If you could be any fantasy creature, which one would you choose?
I would want to be something like Cheshire Cat. You could disappear with your smile left behind in the darkness. Who wouldn’t want that? That, or some sort of morphing creature.


 

My Nominees

Elm

Ana Regina

Unknown Wiki

Ally

Yeo Ye Hang

Zara

Girl Illustrated

Starr

 

My Questions

  1. What’s the most interesting thing you heard or saw this week?
  2. Your opinion and view on aliens and alien conspiracies?
  3. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? Just imagine they wouldn’t kill you if it’s something like a great white shark…
  4. Current mood?
  5. A very short yet wild/interesting story you can tell right now! GO!

 

Looking forward to the nominee’s answers, if you choose to embark on this award adventure.

 

-Shay

Meet Willow!

For a few days, me and my sister have been searching through ads online for kittens. It wasn’t that we knew, for sure, we were going to get one, we just wanted to look and raise our hopes of getting one. We ended up dragging my dad into the searching and he soon became intrigued. My mum refused to get involved, worried about the sofas and curtains and amount of money we would spend.

 

Willow in the Car

However, and I think you expected this, we saw an ad on Gumtree and we messaged the owner. Three hours later, we were on our drive to their house.

In the three hours before getting her, we contemplated between the names, Penny and Willow. I even sent a vote to my snapchat streaks, friends and cousins, because I couldn’t decide. The winner was Willow, which suited her more anyway.

She meowed in her carrier box on the journey back and let me tell you, this kitten has a loud meow. I had to take her out and hold her for the rest of the journey, as she stared out the window, to stop her meowing.

 

Willow’s a very shy and skittish cat but she’s also very hyper and clumsy. And obviously, she’s adorable!

Although she’s quite hyper, she’s very different to my old cat, Milly, who was quite confident, brave, friendly and crazy. I think her personality will develop more over time, though.

 

Sleeping Under the Chair

She loves sleeping under this chair, which can move out into this bed sort of thing when you press a button, so it’s kind of annoying because now we can’t use the button in case we squish her.

She also won’t do her business in the litter box, if we watch her. I think she gets embarrassed and she goes when we’re not around or she’ll pretend to do something else near by it until we leave.

 

I haven’t had a cat since 2012 so I cannot wait to experience all the ‘cat’ things like waking up to her taking up most of my bed space and the dead mice in our living room.

 

I hope you love Willow as much as I do! I might make more updates on her as time goes along!

 

-Shay

The Shuffle Song Tag!

I was nominated by Ana Regina to do The Shuffle Song Tag! I think it’s a really cool tag and allows you to have a little insight into my weirdly mixed music taste. Thank you Ana for the nomination. Please go check her blog out!

 

Rules

  • Hit shuffle play on any devices or apps that you listen to music on.
  • List the first ten songs that play.
  • Tag some people!

 

My Playlist

  1. Ex’s and Oh’s – Elle King
  2. Rule the World – Take That
  3. 7/11 – Beyonce
  4. No Type – Rae Sremmurd
  5. No Role Models – J Cole
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  7. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  8. Paper Planes – M.I.A
  9. Distractions – Kehlani
  10. Nice For What – Drake

 

My Nominees

 

I just nominated a few people but if you’re reading this and this tag tickles your fancy, go ahead and do it! 😀

I’ll be back this week with another tag/award post – The Mystery Blogger Award!

 

-Shay

More Crazy Things I Believed as a Child!

I previously made a post about the crazy, absurd things I believed when I was younger and since a lot of people enjoyed reading about how abnormal my head worked, I thought I’d make a part two!

 

How Babies Are Made

I used to think that if two people kiss for a long amount of time, there would be a high chance the female in the couple would become pregnant. I would always wonder when watching films, where people kissed, why they weren’t worried that they would make a baby. I was also scared to ever kiss anyone. I never got the birds and the bees talk. I ended up realising kissing didn’t cause a sperm to fertilise an egg, in year five sex ed lessons.

 

Car Lights

I think this is a common one but I used to think, because of my mum, that it was illegal to turn on the lights inside the car. Surprise, it isn’t! I’m not gonna lie, though, I used to flick it on and off just to scare my mum since I thought it was against the law. I was an edgy kid. 🤙🏽

 

Jeepers Creepers

One of the first horror films I ever watched was Jeeper Creepers. I watched it when I was about four to five. I have great parents. It didn’t traumatise me as much as you might think. I’m okay. I only go to therapy once a month now. 🙂

My guy, Jeeper Creepers

However, for a long long time, I was convinced one day Jeepers Creepers, this scarecrow moth demon thing, was going to get me and at one point, I had accepted it. I accepted my fate. Also, now I hate corn fields. Don’t watch the film, it’s actually really stupid.

I think I finally stopped being scared and watching my back constantly when going into dark areas at around eight. Again, it didn’t traumatise me as much as you might think.

 

Ants and Spiders

My mum once told me that if you left food out, ants and spiders and bugs would come along and surround the area. This is technically true but my little mind interpreted it wrong. I thought she meant by leaving food out, it would cause spiders and ants to just spawn in that exact spot.

One day, in reception, we were all sitting down after break or lunch. Someone had left some sort of food out on the floor and I whispered to the girl next to me about what my mum had said. The rest of that day, I was staring at the floor, waiting in fear for the ants and spiders to erupt from the ground. They never did. But who really knows…

 

Holding Your Breath

I thought that holding your breath would stop your lungs and heart working for a short time. So, I assumed when I held my breath, my pulse would stop too. I never checked the theory and went along with it as if it was legit factual information. It was also one of those things you never think about properly so for a long time, I just believed that holding your breath would also hold your heartbeat.

 

Spiderman Theme Tune

I never properly knew the Spiderman theme tune. There must have been a point where I did know it considering he’s always been my favourite Marvel superhero since I was about five or six (I used to pretend he followed me around and that he was my boyfriend –  don’t judge). Over the years, I have always sung the theme tune differently and for a while, this is the one I’ve stuck to:

Spiderman, Spiderman

Does whatever a Spiderman does

Is he too cool for school?

No he’s not cause he’s an alpaca

Watch out, Spidey’s coming for you!

 

It seems abooout right…

 

Babybel

Babybel is this brand of snack cheese. It’s basically circular cheese encased in this red waxy rubber covering. And everyone brought them in their pack lunches in primary school. So one day, when me and mum went food shopping, I begged her to get babybel cheese because I wanted to bring it to school to basically fit in. Screw being unique! That’s not how you make friends in primary school! My mum told me that I wouldn’t like  it and then she went on to say that it was disgusting and it really put me off it. I would see loads of my friends eating it and I would just sit there thinking, Shay, it’s gross and it doesn’t even look like real cheese. It’s not your loss for not having it, it’s really a gain. I talk to myself a lot

That’s the reason I’ve never even licked one of the babybel cheese snacks. I still continue to think its gross. Maybe I’ll put it on my bucket list to eat one, along with participating in an orgy. I’m just kidding! 😂 I would never eat babybel cheese.

 

Those are some more stupid things my dumb head believed when I was little (and maybe when I got older too… 😅)

Please share any silly things you believed! It’ll help my self esteem. 😊

 

-Shay