Posted in A-Levels, Advice, Student, University, Writing

Things I learned from A -level results day 2017

Strawberry-results-day-blog-1200x675As you may know I’ve just completed my A-levels, I collected them three days ago it’s been a very hectic week and I’m very sorry for not keeping you up to date. For me results day went amazing better than I expected and I have gotten into my first-choice university which amazed me. I remember waking up, checking track and saying to my mum “I’ve gotten in, I’ve actually gotten I!” and yes, I did get a little bit teary but didn’t cry, I’ve done enough of that over the past year. It took away the stress and the sickly feeling of getting my results because I knew whatever happened I got a place at a top Russel group university regardless of my results. I mean I was very nervous because my year was the first year to do the new ‘tougher’ linear A-levels where we had to remember 2 years’ worth of information for three subjects; I suppose that’s a flaw with the education system it isn’t about the joy of learning but about remembering. I feel a lot of exams are about luck some people revise three weeks before and come out with top grades due to their reliance on short term memory, but then again revising is about understanding not necessarily memorising. Results day was a shock for a lot of people, some good, some bad but here are the things I learnt from the experience which I think are good to pass on.

 

1.)    Your results don’t define you, it is how you deal with them:

For me my results were the perfect outcome and I’m off to university in about a month or so, I think the problem with the education system is we are valued by what grade we get not what type of a person we are or what we do. To succeed we need to get high grades and we are pushed to breaking point until we finally get them, for some people who didn’t get the grades they feel their best Is no longer good enough; I feel that when things don’t go to plan we can see and appreciate all the different options open to us. When things go wrong taking a deep breath, carrying on and trying to pick yourself up is better than wallowing in self-pity, yes it’s ok to cry but life always has a funny way of working itself out. We must have bad times to realise the good times, we only achieve good things by making mistakes no matter how big or small they are and we’re made a better person for it, we learn to become more resilient and respond better when things don’t always go to plan.

Even though I did well, I didn’t share my results with many people apart from my theatre group, close friends and family because I didn’t want other people to feel like I’m bragging and I didn’t want people to compare themselves to me or me to them. We’re all on different paths in life and just because someone did better or worse than you it doesn’t make them different.

 

 

2.)    Being a good person is more important than your grades

In an ideal world grades wouldn’t matter and I suppose in that sense we would all be a lot happier and have less stress. A teacher once told me that “Being a good person is more important that your grades, the fact that people care about you and want to help you shows that you are a good person which is more important that what you can get out of any grade. If anything goes wrong (on results day) people will want to help you.”

 

 

3.)    The worrying was a waste of time

As a student, we are often focusing on the future, what ifs, what buts etc, etc If etc. When you’ve done your exams, there is nothing more that you can do. If a university or college doesn’t want you purely based on grades then they don’t deserve to have you, that’s what I had to train myself to think. Worrying steals your happiness and the outcome is never as bad as you think it is.

 

 

4.)    Whatever happens is meant to be

Whether you got what you wanted and whether you didn’t whatever you achieved was meant to be. If you didn’t do so well there may be a reason for that, whether it be your effort (of lack of it) that you put in, finding out that A levels aren’t for you or maybe you should go down a different route to achieve where you want to finally get to. If something goes wrong for you, you will be able to reflect on what you did wrong then try again and don’t make those mistakes again.

 

 

5.)    Believe in yourself

This is probably one of the hardest things to do while taking A levels or any other academic qualification it’s very difficult to see the bigger picture and the finishing line. I think that believing in yourself is essential throughout my A levels I thought I wouldn’t get into my first choice, I didn’t think I was smart enough or could do it. However, when results day finally came I was in shock, I’d managed to secure a place at one of the top Russel group universities. The thing is I put a hell of a lot of work in to secure my grades so I could get it none of my teachers, peers or family doubted me but I very much doubted myself. Doubt is a horrible thing it consumes you, it certainly did me but whatever you put your mind to you can do it and if you want something so badly it will happen. I think results day taught me one  thing that I have to keep thinking positive and knowing my efforts and capabilities are enough.

 

 

To conclude  I hope this has helped you if you didn’t get what you wanted or if like me has taught you some valuable life lessons and to most of all stop stressing about the future because you can’t change your path.

 

 

 

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Posted in Advice, BBlogger, Beauty, Lifestyle, Skin Care, Student, Vacation, Writing

My Holiday Wash bag

By the time you’re reading this I will no longer be sunning myself in the Canary Islands, rather be awaiting the impending dread of getting my A-Level results (which will be tomorrow). So, I thought I’d write this to make the time between waiting a bit easier and remind me of the fabulous holiday that I had. My wash bag itself is from the simple collection which I received as part of a gift from either my Christmas or Birthday presents, it is a small white bag with a sort of green leaf design across the front and is the perfect size to keep in a suitcase.

 

  • Smugglers Soul Shampoo bar from Lush:

This is the perfect size it is very small and fits into a carry case, it has a beautiful smell and has a smell of sandalwood and is both a shampoo and conditioner bar. As it is not a liquid it can be taken through security also it reduces the need for lots of liquids. To be honest I didn’t use this while on holiday as my hair gets very dry aboard due to the sun, even though I wear a hat and I need something that is a little stronger to fully moisturise my hair.

 

 

  • Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Facial Wash (mini):

I’ll start off by saying this didn’t last me the whole 2 and a bit weeks I was in Spain, purely because I had used some of it in Berlin, so I ended up buying a Lidl facial wash while I was there to put me on until I got back home. When I’m abroad my skin becomes a combination of both oily and dry, dry because of the amount of sun and oily because of the sun cream however this time my skin has remained normal which could suggest my skin is maturing and settling down. What I like about this product is that it gently cleanses the skin without over stripping its natural oils, it is ever so gentle on the skin ; I have quite sensitive skin and this hasn’t broke me out or irritated me at all. I also love the consistency of this product it is a gel like texture but when mixed with water turns into a foam like substance which is very easy to cleanse with. However, a disadvantage with this product is that it isn’t suitable for removing makeup so you would need to use something else to take your makeup off with.

 

  • No7 Beautiful skin: Radiance Exfoliator For Normal To Dry (mini)

I got this as a sample from somewhere ages ago and I thought my holiday would be the best time to use it as I heard that if you exfoliate your tan will stay on for longer. My skin isn’t dry so the product isn’t suitable for my skin type but it is a sample so it doesn’t really matter too much. On application, the product feels very soft however I don’t think the exfoliating beads really do much for me as I like a more intense exfoliator like the Lush Dark Angels. I think it’s perfect for people who are quite dry skinned or don’t like an intense facial application but for me it wasn’t my favourite.

 

 

  • Lancôme Galateis Clarte: Gentle cleansing fluid for face and eyes (mini):

I used this product to remove my makeup before I cleansed my skin, like the other products it was very gentle and removed all my makeup. To apply I poured the cleanser onto a cotton pad and did it that way so it didn’t go everywhere as the it is a watery creamy texture. However, I don’t like the smell of this product, I think it’s too scented and over-powering.

 

 

  • Simple Kind To Eyes: Eye Make-up Remover (mini)

Like the name suggests I used this to remove my eye makeup, usually I am funny with eye make-up removers as they can usually sting my eyes as I have quite sensitive skin and some products cause my skin to burn. This product was an absolute Godsend, all my eye makeup was removed with a couple of swipes and it didn’t irritate my delicate eye area.

 

  • Simple Kind To Skin: Hydrating Light Moisturiser

I love, love  this moisturiser, during the day on holidays I don’t normally moisturise as with the added sun cream my skin gets terribly oily so I just moisturise at night. The cream doesn’t have a heavy feel to it or overpowering smell and feels lovely when applied to the skin.

 

  • The Body Shop: Mango Whipped Lotion (mini)

I received this as part of a Christmas present it is a body lotion that I used when getting out of the shower. I have eczema prone skin and was worried this would cause a flare up however it didn’t irritate me at all. The formula goes on very easily and the consistency isn’t too thick which is nice. However I don’t know what I think of the smell as I love the body lotion but I go through a love hate relationship with the smell as at times it is quite sickly sweet for me.

 

 

To conclude I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post, one of my top tips for travelling is always take minis and if you run out of something you can always buy something when you are away whether you are in a foreign country or not as they will have the same brands as us or something similar. If you have any things that you take away with you I would love to hear from you.

 

 

Posted in Advice, Anxiety, Mental health, Teenager, Writing

Self-Care and anxiety

During the exam period, I found it very stressful, now I haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety because I haven’t felt it for long enough and after exam period finished my symptoms of anxiety vanished due to the vast amount of stress being alleviated. However, I did suffer the symptoms and wouldn’t wish them on anyone. My head felt like it was racing with thoughts, my mouth felt dry and I could barely stomach any food. I cried a lot at least once a day and had mood swings which is out of character for me. My mum used to say to me “take a chill pill” but in all honesty, it’s not as easy as that when you have anxiety symptoms you can’t just “chill” there’s always things you need to be doing, or a thought that comes to bother you. During exam period, I felt that no matter how much revision I did I would inevitably fail leaving me feeling hopeless.

I feel that today, despite mental health issues becoming an “epidemic” there is still a stigma attached to mental health disorders making it very difficult to admit to people that you have one despite the one in four statistics. I often feel that anxiety is romanticised as cute and quirky generated by authors who think going for a coffee will somehow magically banish all the symptoms, even though caffeine isn’t the best thing to solve anxiety. When I had the symptoms, I felt like my anxiety was never going to end but speaking from experience if you are suffering with anxiety you will see the light at the end of the tunnel and dig yourself out of the pit which you find yourself in. It won’t be a quick fix and you may feel that anxiety consumes you for days, months, weeks, years even, but you should appreciate the good days when you have a smile on your face and take the days everyday as they come, not think about the weeks that follow.  So, here’s my advice on looking after yourself as anxiety can take over leaving you in forgetting about yourself.

1.)    Take a break

When I was doing my A levels I can’t remember giving myself a day off because I was so worried. It got to the point where my work began to consume me and I often felt like I was drowning under the weight of my own high expectation and the masses of revision I had given myself. It got to the point where revision became like an addiction, like alcoholics suffer without their vice, I couldn’t go a day without doing work. In reality, people who have a job don’t work for seven days a week. I always had a heavy sense of guilt when I wasn’t revising which caused it to become a compulsion where I would labour over books for 3-4 hours, sometimes more every day. My advice would be stop, just stop, you can, it won’t hurt you too much as long as you keep a balance and don’t go out every night. Just breathe, relax, take every day as it comes and focus on the end goal. If it helps have a night or a couple of nights a week where you do something you love whether this be a sport, a craft, volunteering or a hobby. For me I found that when I was doing something productive that wasn’t work it took my mind of my anxiety and my revision so I would advise you to do the same.

 

2.)    Eat Cake

Now I’m not saying eat it all the time, but eat things you enjoy. I personally have a very sweet tooth and during the stress of the exam period lost half a stone because my bowels just went AWOL. Everything I ate went in one end and came out the other, or I was sick because of the stress (Sorry too much information). Eating things, you like might make you feel better, although only eat bad things in moderation.

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3.)    Let your emotions out but don’t let them rule you

Personally, I still find it very difficult to express my emotions I am what my mum calls me “an emotional retard”. I always keep things bottled up until I decide I can no longer keep them in. Emotions are meant to be felt, it’s ok to not feel ok all the time, we all have good days and bad days. We’re not robots and not made of iron but flesh and blood, we’re all only human and we must understand that it’s ok to cry. Generally, you tend to feel better after you cry, I know that I found this. Once you show your emotions people will begin to understand how you’re feeling, they won’t think you’re weird or judge you, but know you’re not feeling yourself and need help. People will help you if you let them which brings me on to my next point.

4.)    Talk to people

This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice I could give you. Talking to people gave me lots of opportunities to feel better within myself and allowed people to help me. I was designated a safe space where I could go out if I needed some down time, get a drink, colour and talk if I felt like it. If I couldn’t concentrate within lesson I was given a classroom on my own, or time to go down to the safe space. This also allowed me to open up conversation with my peers and made me feel less alone. If you feel you can’t talk to parents/carers, teachers or friends tell your doctor (I will do a blog post on this if you would like one, let me know in the comments). If that fails ring the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK only). I will link the website below for more information.

http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us

Remember you are not alone ¼ people suffer with a mental illness at some point throughout their lives, remember you aren’t going mad or cracking up and you will come out of the other side but like I said It takes time and that time is different for everyone. You’re doing great, keep your chin up

5.)    Read a book

For me reading helped me hugely as It didn’t let me concentrate on my own whizzing thoughts, it transported me to another world where characters had their own lives and problems that didn’t concern me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a story just read something whether it be a magazine, short story or group of poems but DO NOT USE FACEBOOK AS READING. This also brings me to my next point.

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6.)    Stay off social media

Social media puts a lot of pressure on us to live a “perfect life” where we all look perfect and have a perfect career, husband, life-style, families and holidays. Whereas in reality we’re getting divorced because our husband has shagged the neighbour, we found out we were adopted (Not that it’s a bad thing to be adopted, don’t call the NSPCC on me) and the 5* holiday we booked turned out to be a rat-infested caravan that stinks of shit. Ok a little over- dramatic but there we go, social media isn’t real we all know that, but we all seem to become absorbed in the fake people portray. Coming off Facebook was the best thing I ever did, it allowed me to focus on exams and myself and I didn’t miss it either.

7.)    Have a bath

Fill it with things that relax you whether it be a scented candle, bubble bath, bath oil and bath bombs. Go mad, make a bath cocktail.

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8.)    Go for a walk

Walking helps clear your head, I used to go walking quite a lot and visit a little dam where I could just sit, admire the view and just be without worrying about anything.

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9.)    Meditate

Stop, take time out, breathe, focus on your breathing count your breaths in, out in out, that’s it. Where is the sensation in your body and are there any feelings of tension not judging it just noticing it? For me meditating really helped me just take a break from my constant thoughts. My mum works for the NHS and could get a free trial for a yearn of an app called headspace which I am using at the minute. It gives you several packs to choose from to help you get through whatever you may be feeling. It is usually quite expensive at £52/6 per year but you can join a site called anxiety.org and get mentoring for £30 which comes with a subscription to headspace. Just so you know I am not sponsored by either site just making you aware of them in case you need to use them. Alternatively, there are free apps on the app store and I’d always recommend doing the free trial.

10.) Make yourself look good

When I was suffering with anxiety I could hardly be bothered about my appearance, now I’m not necessarily a vain person but like to look presentable. When my anxiety was at its worst I would just throw some clothes on not caring how they looked or whether they matched. I wouldn’t even dab makeup on my face because I really didn’t care about myself. I would scrape my hair into a ponytail and when I was feeling particularly adventurous maybe even a plait. On good days, I would put the tiniest bit of tinted moisturiser on and it did make me feel better as they say, “you look good you feel good”. Sometimes on days when I wasn’t feeling my best planning my outfit, straightening my hair and doing my make-up would help and it might help you too.

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I really like this picture of me , I was on my way to a beer festival

So, all that’s probably left to say is thank you very much for reading, if you are suffering with any mental health disorder remember you are not alone, live everyday as it comes and pat yourself on the back for getting through today no matter how difficult you find it. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you will begin to feel better.  I hope these tips help even if it’s one person who reads this blog, feel free to leave any comments of things you do to help your anxiety and let me know if these tips help you. If you need someone to talk to do not hesitate to contact me because I know how you’re feeling and remember if today hasn’t gone so well tomorrow is a new day. Finally if you’d like me to write anything else about my experience with anxiety let me know in the comments section below, I am more than happy to answer your questions.

Much love and take care of yourself,

The Girl With Purple Dockers.

xx

Posted in Advice, blogging, Confidence, Life Lessons, Love yourself, Memories, New Year, Self image, Speaking Out, Student, Teenager, Uncategorized, Writing

The cliche New Year blog 

Hello! I’d just like to wish all my followers and readers a Happy New Year and I hope you all had an amazing Christmas. I’m not going to make this cliche, well all know what 2016 has been a very big ,historical year there was Brexit and Trump winning the US presidential election along with a lot of celebrity deaths. However I feel like I’ve grown up this year and learnt a lot of valuable life lessons.

1.) Change happens for a reason

I know this sounds cliche but I swapped my acting hobby for writing . I never thought that I’d enjoy it but I’ve been able to create a blog , write more poetry and gain more confidence in myself as a writer. As a result I have performed my work at an open mic in my city and even got recognised for it which was lovely and I never expected it to happen.

2.) True friends will stick around

Most of my friends are older and have moved away to university. Despite not seeing eachother, we’ve still kept in touch and met up several times in the holidays. Exploring the city and adventuring into independent restaurants. We still have the bond that we did before they moved which shows that if your friends are true they’ll stick by you.

3.) The only person who decides your self worth is you

This year I have learnt to throw away the negative labels that have affected me and learnt to embrace myself.

4.) Red lipstick 

Is a girls best friend ..Bring out your inner femme fatal.

5.) Never put myself under too much pressure.

I am an A level student ,currently studying for 3 A levels. I am one of those people who revises constantly and never gives myself a break because I want to do well. Sometimes things get too much and I’ll cry over something because I’ve overworked myself. I have learnt to break my revision into 25 minute chunks ,take regular breaks , take time for myself  and don’t feel guilty about taking breaks.

6.) Confidence takes time 

Most importantly I have realised my self worth; beauty doesn’t always come in forms of aesthetic appearance but it can come in forms of intelligence,honesty,kindness,I could go on. I have realised that I am beautiful ,my imperfections are beautiful and show the wars I have battled throughout my seventeen short years. I may still have my bad days but that’s alright everyone has them and you need them to be human . I have learnt to throw the negative labels away and embrace positive ones.

Goals for 2017

Possibly make my blogs more diverse and not just poetry.

Give myself more self love;take time to relax.

Don’t doubt myself 

Say no to things that I don’t have time for.
Thank you for reading and being my followers thus far .I’ve been amazed how many likes and views I’ve had on my blog ;thank you for each and every view, comment or like it is really appreciated. If you have any things you’d like to see on my blog please let me know .

~SS

Posted in Advice, Comedy, Creative Writing, Dead, Drunk, Emotions, English Literature, Free Verse, Growing up, Humor, Humour, Hungover, illness, Love, Memories, Monologue, Poetry, Regret, Sarcasm, Spoken word, Stories, Student, Theatre, Writing

 Hungover on poetry

Hungover on poetry,

It’s wrapped around my eyes.

I’ve drank it buckets.

Now I see the Light.

Head pounding,

Eyes hurting,

Throat sore with speech,

My eyebags are dark.

Like images of words,

that I now see.

Was the poetry spiked?

 Did I lap up too many,

too quickly?

Yes.

Over too soon.

Did I trip over?

The words.

Did they  make a fool out of me?

Yes..

But I can’t remember a thing.

Words , oh words . Oh God please stop!

There’s  vomit  on the doorstep,

My shoes ,

My hair,

The clean bed sheets,

And the toilet seat.

I shouldn’t have mixed mixed  Carol Anne Duffy, with my own special brew.

Or let others give me shots of

Poems.

I should have closed my mouth

To stop the migraine.

The litre of water last night wasn’t enough.

To cure the poetry hang over.

Breakfast might make it better.

Still more words .

On the box.

Sickness is growing and I can’t stop the din.

The words are louder, 

Caving in.

Dead on my bed, 

I can’t find the cure.

Drink some more poetry.

That might stop the sore.

Posted in Acne, Advice, blogging, Creative Writing, Dear Past Self, Memories, Poetry, Stories, Student, Theatre, Writing

Dear younger self,

 You’re  probably thinking  you’ll be a different person,  cool, popular and in with the cliqué.  Or have grown a couple of inches. You’re wrong . Still the same old 5ft 1 and a half .
The clique non-existent, the beauty of you; never wanting to follow the crowd ; purposely not liking One Direction everyone else liked. You followed your own interests and still are, like acting. You’ve now decided you don’t want to be an actor , but want to write scripts for the BBC o

r plays for the stage . Cake is your harmartia you could devour all day long; not worrying about a scrap of weight being placed onto your petite figure..Oh and another thing you lost a stone on the Duke of Edinburgh ; you were made to carry the heaviest backpack despite being the smallest. 15kg for 20 miles. Just don’t let people take advantage,you always seem to see the good in people, forgive people too many times.Like your ‘friend’ that you had since primary school who emotionally abused you; pushed you downstairs then you found out several years later they turned out to be transgender and confused. Don’t forgive them this time; some things are un-forgivable.

Remember that boy in secondary school that sexually harassed you? You realised it wasn’t your fault; even though people called your out for saying something.Sexual harassment is by no means acceptable you managed to openup about the experience at an NUS conference. There’s been a lot of attention surrounding sexual harassment in schools.

No you’re acne still hasn’t disappeared, it’s better but still not gone completely. People don’t judge you anymore now you’re at college, they love your personality, your love of theatre and the fact you like being individual. You’re doing well ,you became a student ambassador then managed to get onto the board of governors.Don’t be scared of failure.

You’re happier now , a lot happier ; you still don’t have a good sense of style or taste in music; still liking showtunes.But that’s you, don’t change it.

The pantomimes you used to be in you quit ; the director called you an obnoxious cow and told you that the audience didn’t want to watch you. Good riddance. So you joined another theatre group which you like a lot better.

Finally you’ve realized why your breasts haven’t surpassed a 32A , you still hate the size . You want them to be bigger; you’re a pear so keep loving that bum.

I suppose all I have to tell you now is ,keep being different, follow your dreams, never let anyone tell you you’re not good enough and don’t be scared of failure.
Love older self X


~SS