I Almost Quit My GCSEs

Hey guys, guess who?!! So, I am finally back in the blogging universe! I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking that it’s a total lie, that I’m teasing you and I’m going to publish this post and then not publish anything again for a couple of months… which… considering my track record over the last few months would be a reasonable conclusion! But… this time I truly am back – for a while at least. I have so many blog posts planned out, I have been storing them in the memo on my phone for the last couple of months my fingers just itching to finally type them out and publish them on my blog, but I’ve had so much going on and there simply hasn’t been time. One of two things would have happened if I had continued blogging over the last two months:

1) I would have spent too much time blogging and not enough time studying and revising for my GCSEs and ultimately would have ended up with bad results (but it hasn’t been results day yet so let’s not get too confident!)

2) I would have found a way to do both revision and blogging but my revision would be less effective and I wouldn’t do as much which could result in worse grades and the quality of my blog posts would pay the price because I would be blogging quickly and not spending time to actually get my thoughts and points across and, I would speed edit and speed tag and everything would just be worse.

So, for those two reasons I had to take a break and I have been really sad because I’ve had so much that I’ve wanted to blog about; but it’s okay because today I sat my last GCSE! I am officially free from compulsory education! I’m no longer home-educated… which is really weird and quite sad… but it does mean that I can finally blog again! Be prepared for lots of exciting blog posts over the next few weeks!

Anyway… I guess that was kind of the intro? Quite a long one but we’ll go with it.

Firstly, I would just like to say this isn’t clickbait to those of you who might be thinking that. The title is actually true and I will expand and explain soon. Secondly, this post is going to be a general overview of my experience studying and sitting my GCSEs which might interest some of you or it might just be a chilling feeling of deja vu – in which case feel free to stop reading now.

Okay… where to even start. I guess the first thing would be to quickly tell you my subject choices. So, this year I did maths, economics, chemistry, human biology and English literature. Last year I did three GCSEs and the year before that I did one. So that’s what I was working with and boy do I have some dramatic stories to tell!

My first exams were human biology (10th and 12th of May), I thought they would be really easy and that I would enjoy studying the textbook because I found the subject quite interesting and it was very relevant to me because it was about how bodies  – including mine – worked, there were elements of it that I found really interesting and wish I had been able to learn more about (such as inheritance and genes) and there were elements that I really, really hated and wished I didn’t have to learn at all (such as digestion and diets). So I thought it was going to be easy, despite the fact that the textbook was relatively big and had more material to learn than I had ever had to learn before in my life, including all the complicated scientific terms and names for things and what they did (such as mitosis, osmosis, homeostasis blah blah blah) but I found it quite enjoyable and at first I actually did have fun learning it! Then, it got to about a week before my exam and I did my first past paper – I know what you’re thinking, I should have done one way sooner right?! Well, no. I’m the kind of person that leaves it until the last minute and then gets really stressed about it. Anyway, I did my first past paper and I think I got a D grade. This really upset me because I had put so much work in and had studied really hard and I thought I’d understood it really well and I think my mark was 90/120 or something along those lines and I just couldn’t understand how 90 marks could be a D, so I studied really, really hard and then did a second past paper – this time my grade was an F. Which just made the whole situation worse. I studied some more, did a third paper, a D. This was the Saturday before my first paper… I was an absolute mess. I was honestly, at that moment, at the lowest point mentally I had ever been. And physically maybe. I was so tired and upset and stressed and I felt sick to my stomach every waking second, I felt like I could cry at any given moment, I was cold constantly (I blame that on the anxiety and the tiredness), I could not fathom why I was doing so badly even though I had studied so hard and had pretty much memorised most of the textbook… the Sunday then rolled around, by this point I hadn’t showered in maybe three-four days, I hadn’t changed my clothes in just as long… I was a wreck. But then I discovered something that changed my life around! I discovered that unlike with previous exams I had sat myself and previous past papers I had marked myself, instead of marking the exam papers separately and then adding them together for an overall grade, this paper was marked by adding both of the exam papers together first to find out your final grade – so you didn’t get graded on the papers individually. I found this out through looking at the grade scheme and discovering that full marks for the subject were 180 even though paper one only had 120 marks available. It was then that I realised, honestly I could have sobbed there and then because it turned out I was actually getting Bs, not Ds and Fs. It was quite possibly one of the happiest days of my life. So, that’s my story with human biology. Oh, and I sat the papers and they went okay, well enough but not as well as I had performed in past papers I don’t feel.

Moving on… so, the next exam I had was chemistry (18th May). This was definitely not my strong point. I hate chemistry, more than I ever thought I would. The main issue was that I didn’t have time to learn or revise it – the issue with my human biology resulted in a major set-back in the revision of all other subjects. I was less inclined to study chemistry in the first place because it was the subject that mattered the least in terms of my future education – maths and English literature I had to do well in and I enjoyed economics so I was naturally more inclined to study that. Because of all of these things, chemistry was ignored a little bit. Which resulted in me being really stressed when it came to the actual exams. To be honest, I definitely could have put more effort into it but, particularly in the last few days once all my other exams were over and I simply had chemistry left to sit, my motivation was in minus figures. It was awful in the sense that I knew I should be working and I wanted to work, in fact I did work just when I sat down at my desk and read the textbook it was literally going in through my eyes and straight out of the top of my head. I was failing to retain any information at all. I’ve successfully sat both my chemistry papers but I’m not holding out much hope.

Now onto the part where I almost quit. First, I would like to quickly add a disclaimer to say that I am in no way trying to portray my GCSE experience as a worse experience than anyone else, and I’m surely not going to be playing the whole “I’m home-educated so it’s harder for me!” act in an effort to make you feel sorry for me. Because I don’t think it was necessarily harder for me and I definitely don’t think my GCSE experience was as bad as other people’s, in fact I know it wasn’t. I am simply telling you the experience I, as an individual, had in my own circumstances. Anyway, so, it was Saturday the 20th May – by this point I was almost halfway through my GCSEs and I hadn’t socialised with anyone outside of my household in weeks because I was too busy revising (or procrastinating but with every intention to start revising) and I had a maths exam coming up… Now… if you had told me at the time that I was actually going to end up hating chemistry more than maths I think I would have cried with laughter for about three hours, anyway, I had two English literature papers coming up that week and slap bang in the middle of both of them I had my maths exam, this made me insanely stressed because I had to make the decision of either: entirely ignoring revision for both English papers and just pray that my English abilities were good enough and that my knowledge of the books when I’d studied them was good enough to wing it; or, I had to decide to avoid revising maths in the hopes that I would get a really good English literature grade and I would just have to live with the fact that I had failed my maths and re-sit it (something which made me feel so stressed and sick); or I would have to find a way of juggling them both over one weekend in the hopes that I would get good grades in both of them… as a result of this really stressful decision and the ever-shortening time I had left to revise the material, I had a cry – a long, long cry which I think lasted about 2 hours… it was awful and embarrassing and despite the fact that I was really upset the only thing I found myself thinking was how much time I was wasting through being upset. That every second counted and I needed to get my act together and do some work rather than sitting there crying. Eventually my Mum heard me crying and came in and told me to come downstairs and we sat on the sofa and she gave me a hug and I was sobbing and I told her I didn’t have enough time, that I felt I was going to fail all of my GCSEs, that I was so stressed and so tired and I just didn’t want to do it anymore and my Mum, being the amazing person she is simply said that I could stop. That I could decide not to do the rest and whilst it wouldn’t be ideal it wasn’t the end of the world. And in that moment, I genuinely, truly considered giving up. I was so close to saying I quit, that I couldn’t do it. That I hadn’t prepared enough, that I wasn’t ready, that I was an idiot but that I didn’t want to sit them if I was going to fail them all. I felt truly awful and despite what I said earlier about that weekend before my human biology exam this was honestly the lowest I have ever been. Never in my life have I felt so done, so completely exhausted that I felt I just couldn’t go on with the situation. That I just simply could not see a way of getting through these GCSEs and maintaining my physical and mental health. The genuine desire to give up at that moment terrified me. I have never felt so helpess like that, so tired and stressed that I would do anything to make it end. I don’t know how I got over the feeling and decided to continue with my GCSEs, but I did and I have come out of the other end and I’m feeling positive about all of my subjects except for chemistry (I’m even feeling optimistic about my maths! And if you knew me really well you would know that, that is an absolute miracle!).

Okay, I’m going to end this post here because I feel like it has been very long! I really hope you got something out of this post or that you enjoyed it in some respect, if you did please make sure to give it a like! If you’re new around here and you like what you see then please feel free to follow me! Let me know in the comments what your experience with sitting your GCSEs was – whether you sat them this year or in the past. If you sat them in the past I would be interested to know how you did in terms of grades compared to how you thought you had done!

If you want to contact me, you can reach me using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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A Long Absence = Life Update

Hey guys, so, I have some explaining to do… you may have noticed that my blog posts have been wildly irregular at the moment, that’s for many reasons. I feel like I owe it to you to explain myself.

I feel like I keep this blog pretty open and impersonal in a way, that’s not necessarily a conscious decision but rather due to the fact that the posts I write don’t often reveal very much about me. I guess it’s kind of nice to be putting something out there on the big wide web and still feel slightly anonymous.

Anyway, because my blog is kind of open and impersonal I like it when I get to give you life updates, I’m not sure if it’s anything anyone’s particularly interested in but I guess I feel like through telling you what’s happening in my life I can in some ways justify my absence, I know it doesn’t need to be justified but as humans we feel guilty for things that we don’t do and because of that we try and find ways of making ourselves feel better about it by thinking of all the reasons why it hasn’t happened.

So, let’s begin!

Firstly – and I am sure this is something everyone can relate to – I have been drowning in the amount of studying I have to do, I know there’s a saying that’s ‘up to my neck’ but I felt like that wasn’t even close to being the truth, I am so out of my depth it’s scaring me a little bit, but I’m sure everyone feels like that. It’s the most bizarre feeling because a month ago or maybe even as recent as a couple of weeks ago every morning I would wake up and literally feel sick with stress, no lie, and every day would be hard to get through because I would sit at my desk and I would just work for ten hours every single day in the hopes that I could begin to get through the insane amount of work I had to do – luckily, those intense ten hour study sessions actually paid off and I am now drowning slightly less in work and all of the stress has just disappeared, it’s like suddenly I can breathe again but I don’t understand the transition from suffocating in stress to now feeling completely calm, but it’s a great feeling other than the fact that now I’m not stressed I’m slightly less motivated. But anyway, I know most teenage bloggers are going through exam stress and are putting off their blogs in favour of studying so you all completely understand and I am in no way saying I am in a worse situation and I think those of you managing to maintain a blog through all of this stress are absolutely amazing and incredible people – honestly I think you should be given a reward for all your hard work! But I just haven’t quite worked out how to manage my time in a way that caters for both studying, blogging, other commitments etc.

What else has been going on… I’m so busy I can’t even remember. I had a wonderful trip up into London a couple of weeks back and that was really nice, I went to visit my best friend whom I hadn’t seen since November and it was really nice to catch up with her! It had been long overdue and I did double studying the week before specifically so I wouldn’t ‘miss’ any studying while I was there and it was so nice to be able to just relax for a few days and be there with my friend and just feel like a member of society again rather than the introverted nerdy student that I’ve become over the last few months, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I would rather be indoors studying for a couple of months than failing my exams. We went on a lovely picnic in Regent’s Park and took lots of photos both of the park and of us together, the sun was shining, we did a bit of writing, we got to catch up, it was one of the best days I’ve ever had with her! Oh, and then we got lost on Baker Street (apparently that street goes on FOREVER!) but it was a truly amazing trip and one I wouldn’t change for the world. Although, I did get a migraine after coming back from Regent’s Park through being in the sun for too long… and maybe having a photoshoot which featured me lying in the grass and looking up at the sky, I would not recommend and that did prevent us from watching all the films we had planned to watch but it doesn’t really matter, there’s a time and place for everything. I was going to blog on this trip to London because not only were my friend and I using it as an opportunity to see each other but we were also going to use it as an excuse to just do the things we don’t normally get the time to do because we’re too busy with life, for example, reading, blogging, writing etc. etc.

Also, my cat died, which you probably really didn’t want or need to know and has probably just made this post quite depressing but yeah, I loved him to the moon and back and he was a wonderful cat. He was beautiful and you’d always wake up in the morning and go downstairs to see him sleeping on the sofa or an armchair curled up into this cute little ball of fluff and it was the most adorable thing! But he was old and we knew it was going to happen eventually – it was unexpected that he was going to die at that moment but he had been getting visibly older and less capable, but it just kind of added to everything else and it’s not really a reason why I haven’t been blogging because despite being upset, when he died it didn’t feel like an overwhelming loss or like a huge hole had been created in my life that could never be filled, it was devastating but it wasn’t like if a family member (or even my other cat who behaves like a dog, calls for me, cuddles with me all the time and whom I adore more than anything else in the entire universe) died so I wasn’t like in floods of tears for days unable to concentrate but this is a life update as well as being a post for me to explain all the reasons why I haven’t blogged.

Okay, another reason why I haven’t been blogging as much is because since last November I have been working on a fanfiction series – I am currently planning on it being 4 books long; which was completely unexpected but given the current state of the series 4 seems like a good number to get all the storylines completed in. Obviously I love to blog, it’s something I have a passion for but I also have a passion for fiction writing. I just love to write and I get different things out of both experiences. I like the feeling of being part of something that you get when you’re blogging, I like how on WordPress it’s like a community of people all sharing stories and opinions and interests etc. and there are just certain things I’m passionate about that I want to write about and I can’t really discretely put into a fictional story. But I also like the ability to escape that I get from writing fiction, maybe ‘escape’ isn’t quite the right word because I don’t feel like I need to ‘escape’ from my life but I guess it’s kind of a way to experience things that you don’t normally get to experience or to just create a world that can be however you want it to be; you can control the level of good and bad; the level of nice and horrible; the level of love and hatred and so on, you can put words in other people’s mouths and develop relationships and I enjoy it a crazy amount and have been getting really excited about my fanfiction series, maybe I’ll upload it onto Wattpad, maybe I won’t. I’m not sure. I’m going to finish all four books first. Anyway, I don’t really want it to sound like I’m prioritising fanfiction writing over blog writing but unfortunately it’s not exactly a choice, you see, the thing is, when I write fiction I think about it almost constantly and I am always thinking about what’s going to happen next or certain things people can say to others or a particular ‘moment’ that I want to happen, a cliff-hanger, a certain new character etc. and sometimes I get these really vivid images of a ‘scene’ I want to include and I know how I want it to read word for word and so I have to get my laptop and I have to write that scene whether I would rather be writing a blog post, watching TV or reading a book because if I don’t write that scene out there and then unfortunately the scene will be gone, and whilst, of course, I can write down a small memo saying I want to have a ‘marriage proposal scene’ or a ‘dramatic break-up scene’ or an ’emotional death scene’ I still don’t have the word for word details and – without trying to sound really full of myself because I’m really not – my first draft is usually actually the best draft, I mean everything needs a bit of editing after it’s finished but for some reason the way I write just comes out exactly the way I want it to first time, I do reword things sometimes or add things in that I didn’t think to add in the first time around and of course correct spelling errors but usually the way I’ve written it first is always the best so if I don’t get the words in my head down on my laptop then they all disappear and I can never recreate the word document on paper as good as it was in my head, if that makes sense.

I would just like to put it out there that I have been doing ‘blog’ things despite not being noticeably active on WordPress, I haven’t completely been ignoring my blog although it might seem like that. I have a number of drafts waiting to be reviewed and edited and in fact finished but the problem is, I am so busy that when I do have some free time it’s usually late at night when I’m exhausted from whatever I’ve had going on in the day, I’m half asleep and what I really want to be doing is drinking a hot chocolate and watching TV and the few times that I’ve tried to write a blog post instead in those circumstances they just don’t sound right, it sounds like I’m forcing the blog post and I’m not fully connecting to the content – probably because I’m half asleep – also, often I know the point I’m trying to make and what I want the blog post to say but I struggle to actually come to the conclusion and write it in a way that sounds good, basically I need to not be blogging when really I should be sleeping but I do plan on reviewing those blog posts over the next few evenings hopefully and finishing them, editing them and then getting them published.

Lastly, before I go I would like to quickly mention that I have been attempting to be much more active on my social media sites so you can go and follow me on them (links down below). I have specifically been paying attention to my Instagram recently firstly because I took lots of beautiful photos in Regent’s Park in London when I went to visit my friend and also because at the moment Instagram is my favourite social media site, I just love how so much can be conveyed in a photo and how loads of people are using this app and sharing photos of either pretty things they’ve found in their day-to-day lives or more professional type photos or even pictures of themselves and what they’ve been doing with their day, I just think it’s such a nice idea and personally I’ve been becoming slightly disconnected with twitter recently but I want to try and get back into it soon. Make sure you’re following me on both of the social media sites just mentioned so you can keep up-to-date with what I’ve been doing even when I’m not actively publishing new posts on WordPress.

I really hope you enjoyed this post, make sure to give it a like if you did! You can follow me if you aren’t already to see any new posts as soon as they’re published! Also, feel free to leave any comments letting me know what you’ve been busy doing and how you’re coping with all the exam work/revision you’ve got going on at the moment – I would love any tips and tricks you might have on effective study sessions!

If you want to get in touch you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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Quotes I Live By!

Hey guys, it’s been awhile. And by a while I mean like a week… but after doing Blogmas it feels really weird to suddenly not be blogging everyday, but more important things take priority – as important as my blog is and as much as I would like to dedicate way more time to getting it absolutely perfect and to writing more posts, I can’t, it’s just not possible with the amount of work I have to do for exams. Yesterday I found out the date for one of my exams – it’s on the 10th May and I am slightly freaking out with stress, it’s illogical stress but it’s there all the same.

Anyway, this morning when I was lying in bed after waking up from a mildly relaxing sleep even though I’m insanely stressed, I was lying there being stressed and I was wondering how on earth I was every going to get the amount of work I need to get done, done, I thought it just wasn’t possible. However, then I looked beside me and hanging off some fairy lights on my wall were three quotes that I randomly found one day on the internet and thought were motivational and so I jotted them down all nicely and hung them beside my bed, little did I know that they would end up being the things that got me through all of my studying for years to come. It’s insane but they truly do, so I thought I would share these quotes with you now in the hopes that they could inspire you to get your act together and really smash 2017 – in whatever way you hope to 🙂

You Don’t Get What You Wish For, You Get What You Work For – So, whilst the other two quotes are also very motivational and hold meanings that inspire me and make me feel better, I think this quote is by far my favourite and the one that really makes me pull myself together and work hard. Maybe it’s because I decorated the background of the quote in pink and pink is my favourite colour – but that is besides the point. The reason this quote holds so much meaning to me is that I am quite often wishing for good things to happen, or hoping that I get good grades or I get the lead role in the play my youth theatre are doing. However, sometimes I don’t consider that to get these things I need to work for them. People don’t just get their GCSEs handed to them on a plate, yes, some people find exams easier than others and some people are more advantaged than others, I think I’m unfairly advantaged in some exams because I can read and write really, really fast. And I mean, really fast. I consider this to be unfair to other people, but what can I do? Anyway, last year, when I was working towards my first ever GCSEs I was getting really stressed, I was putting so much pressure on myself, I couldn’t imagine how I was ever going to get the work done and pass those exams but somehow, I did, and I honestly believe that in some way – even subconsciously, it was these quotes that helped me through it. This quote made me realise that it didn’t matter how many hours I spent sitting around wishing for good grades, imagining how I would feel on results day when I got my results and they were good grades, if I wanted my fantasy to come true I had to work to make it come true, because it wasn’t just going to come true by itself. Life does not work like that.

There is no success without sacrifice – This is the quote that I turn to when I feel really sad and upset that I have no social life, or any kind of life really, when I’ve been sitting at my desk staring at a textbook for 6 hours I always glance over at this quote and it gives me the extra boost I need to keep going with my studying. It helps me to realise that I have two chooses, I can sacrifice my studying to laze around watching another episode on Netflix, or I can sacrifice Netflix and any other pass-time and actually study. When I think about it this quote makes me realise that there really is no success without sacrifice, and I want to be successful in life. Therefore, for the time being I have to sacrifice my free time and all the things I would rather be doing and study, but in August, when I get my results, everything will be worth it – the nine hour study days will be worth it, the lack of entertainment will be worth it, my stress will be worth it, everything will be completely worth it. The sacrifices I make now will lead me to the success I hope to have, if I work hard I will get into the school of my choice, I will go onto the university of my choice (haha, jokes, as if) and then I will have the career I want (definitely not going to happen, but I will continue to be optimistic) but all of this will involve an insane amount of hard-work on my part and a lot of misery and stress, but when I’m on the top of this mountain I will be able to look down and know that I made the right decision. That all of my sacrifices were worth it.

If you don’t try, nothing will ever happen – This is the quote that gets me through the harder subjects I have to study, I know this is very much a post related to studying but at this current moment in my life these quotes mean something to me by way of studying, as I get older and my life changes maybe the quotes meanings to me will change too but as of this moment they help in terms of exams. I don’t want to brag or show off or anything, but being home-educated I’ve never really had to study a subject that I don’t enjoy, I’ve never had to waste my time on something that I’m not interested in, if I’ve gone to an activity and not enjoyed it then I left. If my Mum tried to teach me a subject I wasn’t interested in and didn’t learn anything from listening to her try and teach me, we stopped learning it, but as I’ve got older my choices have disappeared slightly. When I got to the age of taking GCSEs I had to make the decision of what ones I wanted to take and I did a lot of research, like a lot, and properly considered what subjects I wanted to do. However, there were certain subjects that I had no choice but to take – maths being an example, I hate maths more than anything but it’s pretty much one of the only exams I absolutely have to do. The other one being chemistry, whilst I don’t need to take chemistry, I decided to take chemistry and have now said on sixth form applications that I am, it will look pretty bad to drop it now. Anyway, when thinking about these subjects which by definition stress me out the most because I don’t enjoy them and consider them to be impossible I look at this quote and realise that no matter how impossible I consider them to be, if I don’t try, nothing will ever happen. If I do not at least try to learn the chemistry or the maths then I will just be throwing those GCSEs out of the window, and I can’t afford to do that. At the end of the day, I have to try, if all else fails then I know at least I tried my very hardest. If something good comes out of it then, something good has come out of it. But nothing is ever going to happen in terms of those subjects if I don’t just pick up those textbooks and get on with it.

Okay, I feel like this has concluded my post – I really hope you could connect to it and it motivated you in some way, do consider leaving these quotes somewhere noticeable in your house or bedroom because you have no idea how much more positive and motivated it will make you, or select your own quotes that you believe will help motivate you. I also hoped you liked the photos which I took, I don’t very often put photos into my blog posts so this was a new thing for me. I hoped you liked it.

If you enjoyed this post please give it a like! It would mean so much to me! If you have any good and motivational quotes please leave them in the comments below – I need all the motivation I can get! And if you aren’t already, you can follow me – I am aiming to publish at least one post a week if not two!

If you wish to get in touch then you can do so using my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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Personal Statement Tips

Hey guys, so it’s that time of year when schools/colleges/universities open applications for their courses. I don’t know about you guys but I have been applying for the next stage of my education and academic career. Yes, it’s stressful and requires a lot of thought – more on that in another post – but it’s also really important, when you know what you want to do with your life it’s easier to cope with the stress and to work hard for what you want regardless.

I decided to put this post together because everyone knows the most important thing, after your grades, that a school/college/university are looking at is your personal statement. I’m not an expert, I’m not a college professor or advisor but I can talk from personal knowledge/experience of writing my personal statement a couple of weeks ago and the things I did to help me think of what to write and how to word it. I also feel like there isn’t enough helpful tips out there that are written by fellow students – everything that you read is written by professional people that can tell you what schools look for in a personal statement, however, they can’t tell you what will help you with writing the thing even if you do know what’s supposed to go into it, if you know what I mean. So I decided to dedicate this post to telling you what helped me when writing my personal statement, again, I don’t have a lot of experience – it’s too early in the year to know if I’ve got any offers so I can’t tell you if my personal statement was good enough to get me any places but I want to do the best I can to making others lives easier.

Anyway, let’s get started.

TIP #1: My first tip is to get yourself in the right state of mind, it might sound crazy but you have to have the right state of mind. Your personal statement is literally about you, the only purpose it exists is to help teachers get to know you a bit before calling you into an interview. The state of mind I found helped me, and it sounds stupid, but it was a really big-headed state of mind – in your personal statement you’re showing off, that’s all it is, you’re showing off everything you’ve done and talking about why it was a good thing to do, what you learnt and what you thought about doing it. You have to approach your personal statement like one of this really over-the-top popular girls that you see in movies that think they rule the world (or at least the school) and they’re better than everybody – even if they turn out to be worse than everybody. You have to think what you’re writing is really impressive and that you’re really awesome and then you’ll come across as really confident and enthusiastic in your statement. What you don’t want is people reading your personal statement and thinking you sound really shy and nervous and not comfortable in talking about yourself and your own achievements, this brings me to my second tip…

TIP #2: Everything you’ve done has the potential to be an achievement, don’t just think about the academic things – don’t just talk about your grades or your predicted grades – talk about things you’ve enjoyed doing, activities you do because you enjoy them. Everything in your life that you’ve ever done with a passion is worth writing about as long as it’s relevant and you word it correctly, for example, I couldn’t write that I once spent two days of my life binge-watching Teen Wolf, because although I am hugely passionate about the show it doesn’t show that I have any skills, motivation, productivity etc. at all, it proves that I once wasted two whole days that I could have used to study or learn something new etc. on watching TV. You don’t want to go round writing that, but things like running, hiking, swimming, drama, music, dance, even if you’re not applying for a sporting course, drama course, music course or dance course, if you do these things in your spare time then mentioning it proves to the school/college/university that you are a well-rounded person with lots of interests and hobbies and you’re capable of finding things to do outside of a school environment and independently without the support of teachers/staff. Obviously don’t completely disregard any mention of studying, you should talk about that too, you should talk about your passion for you favourite subjects, you should talk about why you’ve applied to the course you have but in a clever way – don’t just write, ‘I have applied to these courses because’ talk about it without properly talking about it, which sounds confusing but what I mean is – if you’ve applied to do something in film talk about any experience you might have had in the film industry, whether you’ve made your own film or vlog, whether you have a blog where you review and analyse film, whatever it is make it sound interesting and impressive; don’t just say, ‘I really like watching films, I go to the cinema once a week’ make it sound relevant, make it sound more impressive and academic than it might actually be.

TIP #3 Following on from what I said above, everything you write needs to be exaggerated, I don’t mean lie and claim some things happened that didn’t actually happen – for example, don’t say ‘I was in a production of X play and got the starring role.’ mention the play if you were actually in a play but don’t lie and say you got the starring role if you didn’t. You can still exaggerate everything you do without needing to lie. For example, you could talk about the professional level of your director, you could talk about the feedback you got from the audience, you could talk about what it taught you about theatre – not just whilst performing on stage but in terms of set design, lighting, sound effects, props, make-up, costume etc. you don’t just have to mention things in a vague way, expand on it, exaggerate it. Everything has to be more detailed than you think but it also has to be written in a clever way that gives you the opportunity to expand on the things you need to expand on but you don’t go over your word/character count. Another thing that’s important when exaggerating and expanding on things is to know what are the right things to expand and exaggerate and what are probably okay with just briefly discussing. To do this you need to think about the school you’re applying to – if you went to their open day you might have heard a speech where they talked about what they were passionate about in their students, what the expected of them etc. if you didn’t go to their open day you might be able to get an idea by looking on their website or at the prospectus, or you could talk to a student that already goes there if you know one. For example, if your school is particularly well known for offering a particular subject such as sport, music or drama, even if you’re not applying to be on the course they’re well known for it’s obviously important to the school so if you have any experience in the particular subject such as you play with your local football team, you play piano, you are with a local youth theatre; what ever it is just mention it and expand on it a little so they know you could fit in with their school.

TIP #4: Pay attention to your spelling, grammar and punctuation. I know everyone tells you this and there isn’t a single article you will read that won’t mention this but it’s really important and I know it’s frustrating and I know sometimes it’s hard to understand why so much emphasis is put on it but once you’ve made the changes and you’ve turned your first draft into your final draft you’ll see the difference and it will be huge. You’ll go from thinking your personal statement ‘will do’ or is ‘good enough’ to thinking it couldn’t be more improved than that, you’ll think it’s perfect – that’s the big-headed personal statement writing person talking right now – but one of the most important things I found – when it came to language – in my personal statement was I tended to use the same word too many times in a paragraph, it sounds really picky but it really did make a difference when I changed the words. For example, I might have had the word ‘passionate’ in a paragraph too many times because I was talking about a thing or things that I was really passionate about and so used the word passionate to emphasis this, however, you don’t want to use the same word too many times because you don’t want to show that you have a small vocabulary – even if you do – it’s okay to use resources whilst writing your personal statement, you can use a dictionary or thesaurus to help you when thinking of words. But you have to make sure you don’t use the same word too many times in any paragraph. Of course you can use the same word more than once in the whole statement but try to avoid using it twice in one paragraph and try to avoid using the word in the next paragraph – it is really hard and sometimes you have to bend the rules simply because there aren’t any words that convey what you mean left, you have to re-use some you’ve already used.

TIP #5: My last tip is; once it’s done, leave it be. What I mean by this is don’t over think it, pay your personal statement enough attention that you can have it read amazingly after you’ve finished but don’t keep editing it or put off sending your application because you worry that maybe there’s something you could add or a different way you could word that one paragraph that would make it loads better, you have to accept that once you say it’s done it really is done.  Another thing is, once you’ve sent off your application try not to think about it, don’t keep thinking – ‘what if my statement wasn’t good enough, what if I don’t get a place?’ because it will A) drive you crazy thinking about it all day long until you get an offer and B) it’s not productive, if need be you will just have to keep yourself busy so you don’t think about what’s going on with your application because once it’s been sent there is literally nothing left to be done about it. I know it’s insanely hard but really, don’t think about it. There are so many other useful things you could be doing or thinking about, the application whether you get in or not will sort itself out and will happen whether you think about it or not and the outcome isn’t likely to be more positive if you think about it for hours, what’s going to happen will happen either way. Save yourself the pain and upset and just get busy and wait until you get called in for an interview or get offered a place. I would suggest that if you’re worried, a way to distract yourself would be to study, as your grades are what will most likely confirm your place on a course anyway so that’s what you can do if you’re worried, study really hard and make it almost impossible that they could say no to you.

That’s all my tips for this post, sorry it was so long – I had a lot to say. I hope this was useful to those who are applying – or thinking of applying – to schools, colleges or universities in the coming months. Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments – I really enjoy reading your feedback! Make sure to give this post a like if you enjoyed it and follow me if you aren’t already to read more posts by me as soon as they’re published.

If you wish to contact me, you can do so using my e-mail: aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

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Q&A On Home-Schooling

Some of you may know that over the past week I have been asking you to submit your questions on what it’s like being home-educated. So, I am home-educated and because there is such a negative light on all home-educated people in media I thought I would try and shine the true light on what it’s really like. I would like to say before getting started that I know lots of people who are or have been home-educated and everyone goes about being educated at home differently and have different reasons and even learn different things and in different ways, so any information in this post is only my experience and doesn’t apply to everyone. But everyone always has so many questions about what it’s like being home-educated and I wanted there to be a place where you could all come and find answers to your questions. Anyway, let’s get into it!

Have you always been home-educated?

Yes, I have always been home-educated. I went to college for a year to do a course, but it was only once a week so even during that time I still considered myself home-educated.

Did you have the choice to be home-educated?

I didn’t have a choice from the start because I was a baby and then too young to make the decision but as I grew up my Mum never tried to avoid the subject of school and was always open to talking about the pros and cons and what it’s like going to school so when I was older I did have the choice, and my choice was to remain home-educated. I hope to start sixth form next September though and then go off to University.

How did you get into home-education?

My parents decided to home-educate because of their own experiences and the absurd ways of the education system. My older brother would have started school when he had only just turned four and my parents thought that was too early for him to start. They also thought that the competition and pressure put on children from a very young age isn’t healthy and that children have to be stimulated through experiencing the world and running around using up the energy rather than sitting behind a desk.

Do you do your schooling one-on-one or is there a group you do it with?

I do my actual studying and revising on my own but I have socialised with other home-educated people through groups but it never involves actual academic work, just having fun!

How does a ‘school’ day look for you, when does it start and end?

It depends on the time of year, I am a huge procrastinator and so I leave everything until the last minute. At school leaving everything until the last minute doesn’t actually mean leaving everything until the last minute because you’ve been sitting in classrooms listening to teachers talk for about two years so you may know some things about the subject without even realising it but when I leave everything until the last minute I literally know nothing about the subject and have to learn it all from scratch. Anyway, in the past few weeks because exams have been really close I have been waking up really early and going to bed really late because of revision e.g. working from 7AM until 11PM but when exams aren’t this close I kind of do only small amounts of certain subjects, I don’t have a set timetable for each subject, it’s not really strict such as; I must be sitting at the dining room table with some work by 9:30AM or anything, my Mum is very laid back and let’s me do my own work in my own time and trusts my judgement which is really nice, but I know other people who’s parents are much more strict and do have set schedules for certain subjects and the amount of time spent on each subject.

Do you think you have more or less homework than school students?

I don’t really have ‘homework’ as in extra work from my studies, but I consider all of my work to be homework as all of my work is done at home.

Did you feel left out when you became home-educated?

Because I’ve always been home-educated I don’t really know what it’s like not to be home-educated but I do sometimes think that maybe I would feel less self-conscious, more confident and feel more able to speak out and talk to people if I had been to school. And that I would have loads more friends and groups of people to hang out with at the weekend but then I realised, that actually, how many of the massive crowds of people we hang out with at school are ever our true friends, how many of them will be there for us through anything? I honestly believe, that even though I’m very self-conscious and not confident when talking to people that don’t know me that if I had gone to school I wouldn’t be the person I am now, I wouldn’t have the interests I have now, I wouldn’t have as much inspiration and motivation that I have now and I wouldn’t have the best friend I have right now. I also wouldn’t have the close relationship with my family that I have now.

Who teaches you?

My Mum is very supportive and helpful and there when I need her but mostly I teach myself through reading textbooks and using websites.

How did you connect with friends?

I’m not sure whether this question is asking me what I have in common with my friends or how I make friends but I might just answer both. I make friends by going to the same groups people who go to school go to, like after school activities and things. I also used to go to home-education groups where we did things such as ice skating, bowling, game days etc. but I stopped going to those things after I drifted apart from my friends in those groups and didn’t enjoy them anymore. I connect with and share the same interest with friends in the same way that everyone else does. I think it’s actually easier to relate to people who you don’t meet at school because depending on the age you can’t be sure that if you’re sitting in math class for example that they love maths just like you do so that isn’t a safe topic to start a conversation but if you go to a paid for activity such as a drama group, drama is a safe topic to start a conversation because they actually want to be there and have an interest in the thing they’re there doing.

How does it affect your social life?

I don’t feel like being home-schooled prevents me from having the social life that I want but obviously, I don’t spend all day every day surrounded by people my own age but I do still have a social life and one that I’m happy with.

Have you ever regretted being home-schooled?

This is something I think about quite a lot, do I regret being home-schooled? I would like to experience what it’s like going to school before I stop being a child which is why I’ve decided to go to sixth form; I want to experience prom, assembly, have a school day full of classes, leave school etc. but I don’t regret not going to school in the past, no. I will regret not going to sixth form if I don’t get in. But I don’t regret not going to school growing up as I don’t think it would have suited me in the same way being home-schooled has and I wouldn’t have been able follow the things I’m interest in as thoroughly.

Thank you so much for sending in your questions about what it’s like being home-educated! I really loved doing this Q&A and it was so nice to be able to answer these questions and write a positive post about what it’s really like!

I would like to say before I end this post that I am not trying to be mean or obnoxious, I don’t think people who go to school aren’t as good as me in any way shape or form, I don’t object to people who go to school or think I’m better than them or have a better life than them. This is just my own personal opinions and thoughts, and how I feel school would be for me but not how it is for everyone. School is good for some people and they really enjoy it and I think that’s a great thing and I am in full supportive of people who are both home-educated and educated in school. So please, don’t take offense to anything I have said because I guarantee you I do not mean any! If there is something that has upset you about this post please feel free to let me know in the comments or anonymously through my e-mail – aninspiredteen@gmail.com and I will immediately make changes so it doesn’t upset you anymore!

If you enjoyed this post please feel free to give it a like and leave a comment on what you thought of this post! If you’re new around here check out all of my posts and give me a follow! If you’re already following me then thank you so much! I really appreciate all your support!

Lastly, if you have any ideas on tags, challenges or posts I should do in the future please let me know! I would really love to know your thoughts! You can send your suggestions to me in the comments, on twitter or e-mail them to me – aninspiredteen@gmail.com

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

 

Send Me Your Questions!

As you may or may not know, I am doing a Home-educated Q&A later on today and I need your questions! The deadline for sending in questions is 2PM so there’s still plenty of time.

I truly don’t mind what questions you ask and will not be insulted by them (trust me, you get asked some random questions when you’re home-educated). I just thought this would be a nice opportunity for people you don’t know what it’s like being home-schooled or don’t understand how it works to get a feel for how it works and what it’s like. There aren’t really any positive portrayals of home-educated people in anything and that makes me really sad and angry, so I hoped my Home-educated Q&A would shine a bright light on what it’s really like being home-educated. I’m really looking forward to doing this post but currently have a shortage of questions so please send me anything that you would be interested to know about being home-educated, it doesn’t even have to be a huge interest just a nagging curiosity.

You can now find the post this blog post is talking about here – Q&A On Home-Schooling, thank you so much to anyone who submitted a question! 🙂

You can submit your questions either in these comments, in these comments, you can tweet them to me @aninspiredteen or e-mail them to me at this address: aninspiredteen@gmail.com

I can’t wait to read and respond to all your questions!

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂

Stupidity Of Exams

This post came to me the other day whilst I was re-reading my textbook for about the eighth time, trying to memorise it word-for-word. It dawned on my quite how stupid exams are and I’m going to share how stupid they are with you 🙂

Yesterday was my final exam of the year, so for me, it’s now officially summer!! Time to start on that summer bucket list of mine! Hopefully, the fact that my exams are now over means that this will be the last post on exams and school etc. until August! As I kind of want to forget about this whole experience. Or at least, not keep reminding myself that actually I could have to re-sit them due to failing…

ANYWAY…

So I was sat there reading my textbook, as my study technique is just read the thing over and over again until eventually I remember it and I thought that in fact, that is what exams are all about. My GCSEs – if I pass – are going to prove literally nothing. They’re not going to prove that I’m clever, smart, bright etc. all they’re going to prove is that I read a textbook to absolute exhaustion and remembered the words on the page. I bet I don’t even remember half of the things I’ve read in those textbooks by August!

I think exams are so unfair because of the fact that they’re just about re-reading something until you know it, literally, even if you re-read it and write notes in different colours and draw diagrams and anything else you might do, it’s just another way to re-read it later and memorise it… for people who don’t like reading and writing – or can’t – exams are basically impossible and it’s so unfair to have exams that we claim are the most important things in life and you can’t get a job without having these qualifications and that you’re not clever or smart if you can’t pass a GCSE. FACT: passing a GCSE does not make you smart – it means you can read and write well and memorise words well. I know plenty of people that don’t have any GCSEs and they’re smarter than I am. And they still will be if I get good grades in my GCSEs, because ultimately, my GCSEs don’t prove anything… it’s tough to realise as we spend so much time revising and stressing about them and you should aim to do well, but if you don’t then it’s not the end of the world.

I absolutely hate history! I don’t enjoy it, I can’t memorise it, I don’t see how history is all that relevant to the present day. But because to do a GCSE all I would have to do is read a textbook and memorise the words written in it, I actually think I could pass a GCSE history even though I have literally no interest in it. This is how unfair the education system is People who have an actual interest in history and think it’s the best thing in the world may get a worse mark in a GCSE than me when I don’t even have an interest in it, just because they can’t read and write as well or as fast.

My Mum and I were having this rant the other day and she made the example that although I’ve done lots of revision for my exams and I’ve done well in pass papers and I clearly know the stuff, I haven’t been studying the subject for two years – I’ve been studying it for literally two weeks (I’m not even joking! I literally hadn’t even opened the textbook until the 20th may…) so people that have been studying the subject for the two years that’s required at school might have wider knowledge, and they may have conducted their on research and go on school trips about it, and read other books about the subject as well as knowing the stuff in the textbook. So ultimately, they may know more about the subject than I do but if I’m the faster reader and better writer then I might get higher marks than them and although I want high marks in everything I don’t I think I deserve higher marks than people that have been studying this subject for two years and know it a hell of a lot better than I do. I don’t consider that something to show-off about, I consider it to be really sad and so wrong!

Not only have we already got such an unfair system but now the government are going to take the vocational parts of exams away, so the things that could have potentially bumped up the person who can’t read or write wells grade is now not going to exist anymore. The government are trying to completely cut all diversity and creativity out of the world. But I can’t see a way that it’s not going to back fire. People with vocational skills are sometimes needed more than people who are really academic. We need plumbers, builders, electricians etc. without offering qualifications and experience at school that can make students realise they have an interest in this career how are we going to continue to have enough of all these people? If everyone is encouraged to become a scientist or teacher of literature? It’s just crazy. I’m actually working with an organisation currently to hopefully put more creative arts opportunities into schools. Hopefully it will work.

Sorry this post has been kind of long and not very interesting, I have loads of tidying and organising to do now that my exams are over! I’m also baking cakes today!!

If you did enjoy this post please give it a like and comment if you had come to the same realisation that I did! If you’re new around here you can check out all my other posts if you like and give me a follow! If you’re already following me then thank you so much! I really appreciate your support!

If you have any ideas on tags, challenges or posts you would like me to do either because you’ve done them yourselves or you’ve seen others do it and you’d like to see me do it you can leave your suggestions in the comments, on twitter or you can e-mail me aninspiredteen@gmail.com

OPPORTUNITY: I am doing a post on Sunday about home-education – Home-educated Q&A – and was hoping you could all send me some questions about home-education that you would like to know the answers to. I originally said it would be today or Saturday but I now don’t have the time to put it together in time and I have a shortage of questions, so go and leave a comment in the above link, tweet me or e-mail me – aninspiredteen@gmail.com Questions need to be in by 2PM on Sunday.

Lastly, if you have now finished your exams CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you did well and you’re feeling positive about it! I hope you get the grades you want! Enjoy the summer! If you still have exams to sit then GOOD LUCK!

That’s all for now!

Inspired Teen 🙂