//Your life IS worth it//

I remember being 12, when I couldn’t wait until my 13th birthday when I would actually become a teenager and embark on what I thought would be the most amazing adventure, full of new experiences and new people. Five years down the line, I can say that I have had many extraordinary experiences and had some incredible times like 12-year-old me expected, but without a doubt I’ve also had some pretty low points, which I certainly wasn’t expecting. I think being a teenager is one of the most difficult phases of our lives, with pressures from school, family, friends, future plans – not to mention the challenges we face as our bodies and identities change and we discover – or start to discover – who we truly are.

To be honest, there have been times more recently where I have contemplated ending it all, because I didn’t see how all of this struggle would be worth it or how the future could possibly offer me anything to look forward to. I’m not ashamed of it, nor am I ashamed of all the low points I’ve experienced in my life because I know that there are many teenagers out there who will have felt the same way as me at some point in their lives, and that’s okay, because we’re all in this together. I am not alone in this, and neither are you.

I think it’s important that we talk more openly about our feelings. After all, no one tells you life will be easy, so why should we stay quiet to keep up appearances, when chances are most people will know where you’re coming from?

So this is me, talking about how I’ve been feeling recently, because I know that being open about this will not only help me, but there’s the possibility that I could help someone else too. So if that someone is you, if you’ve ever contemplated if your life is really worth whatever difficulties you may be facing, then I want to tell you that it is.

There are hundreds and thousands and millions of people who have gone through what you’re going through and made it out the other side to live happy lives. That doesn’t mean your struggles are any less significant, it just means that you can do this, because you are just as strong and just as worthy of happiness as every one of them.

One thing that gets me through hard times, is remembering that everything I’m going through now will help me to become stronger in the future and make me a more compassionate person and remembering all the things I’ve gone through in the past – however big or small – that felt impossible or unbearable gives me faith that I can get through this, as can you.

Sometimes it can be difficult, even impossible, to imagine life could possibly get better and how you could possibly feel genuine happiness. When it seems like everyone around you has got their life together, and you’re just stuck in a downward spiral of negative thoughts, it will be hard, but oftentimes people’s lives don’t seem as “together” as they do from the outside so you are most definitely not alone.

Within your teenage years it can feel like your under too much pressure from all angles of your life for such a small period of your lifespan, and I’m not going to deny that because it’s true, but what I will tell you is that you’ll some out the other side with so many happy memories of all the incredible things you did and all the fun you had, and you’ll take away from the low points a greater understanding of what it is to be human, a greater compassion for others and a greater appreciation for all the little things in life that have the power to make you happy.

Basically, I’d like to tell you that your life is worth it, you are worth it. You all have amazing futures awaiting you and you have so much potential that you will achieve in one capacity or another. You will meet people who appreciate you and love you. And if it feels like some things in your life aren’t going the way you want, it’s never, ever because you don’t deserve it, or deserve to be happy, it’s because you deserve so much better than that, and it takes time for life to give you what you deserve. But I can tell you that it will be worth it all in the end.

I hope in some way this may have been helpful to you. If not, it has been helpful to me to be more open about my thoughts and this is something I will look back on in the future to remind me of a time when I felt like life was unbearable, but searched for a more optimistic outlook and struggled on through. If I can, I’d like to say that I’m proud of myself for writing this. It’s not the most coherent or logical pieces of writing, it’s just me trying to reach out and make a difference, because if there is anything that my recent mental health has taught me, it’s that I want to use my voice to show others that they’re not alone.

 

//Worried about the new linear A Levels? Here are some tips!//

Those of you in the UK will probably (hopefully/unfortunately??) know that from 2016 (a.k.a. last September), the government started to roll out its new linear A levels. Which means, unlucky for me and all the other year 12’s out there, we’re the “guinea pig” year – meaning we’re the first ones to go through the stress of having the new system trialled out on us.

The new linear system means that instead of taking AS exams at the end of year 12, and A2 exams at the end of year 13 – which each comprised 50% of the qualification – the majority of us will be taking all of our exams at the end of year 13. Which will mean, trying to juggle learning all the second year content, as well as revising all of the first year AND second year. So basically, STRESS. But don’t worry, as I’ve been suffering  working under the new system for about 8 months now, I come bearing tips and tricks which I have tried and tested, or make a note of things which I can do during year 13 (so I can look back at this when I’m stressed and buried under a huge workload and find a solution) and just general things that I have learnt throughout my experience of A Levels so far.

1. The “jump”

I’m sure most teenagers in the UK will know someone who is doing, or has done or has some knowledge of A Levels, and it’s more than likely that they’ve also told you about the “jump” from GCSE to A Level and how big it is. Now if you’re like me, then you won’t really believe them or have any idea what they’re on about, until about week 3 of A Levels when the teachers have stopped recapping GCSE knowledge to get you all up to the same level, and suddenly you have seven assignments to do, ten chapters of text books to read and five test to prepare for (that might be a slight exaggeration,but honestly sometimes the workload can feel like this!). But don’t let it put you off, because although A Levels are notoriously hard and the workload is huge, if you’re passionate about the subjects you choose, you will love to learn them in such detail!

2. Trial and error

My whole revision and learning process this year as been a game of trial and error. With GCSEs, I found that as there wasn’t much content, I could get away with revising by making mindmaps or flashcards for most of my subjects, and it would be effective, but at A Level, because of the sheer diversity in content between and within each subject, you may find that not one sole revision technique works for you, or that the methods you used at GCSE don’t work with trying to revise such a vast and varied subject content. But that’s ok – I’ve experienced that many times this year and to tell the truth it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster, but you just have to go with it: some things will work and others won’t, it’s about finding out what works best for you. 

With the linear A Levels, you’ll either take first year external exams at the end of the Year 12 – but these don’t count towards your overall grade and a sort of a way to gauge your progress, or your sixth form or college will provide internal ‘mock’ exams for you to sit, which is what I’m doing. However, although I’m treating them as if they are real exams (as I need to get a D or above to continue to second year), I’m also using the mock exams as sort of an “experiment” for next year, so I can play around with different revision strategies now so by the time it comes to my real exams next year, I’ll know exactly which revision tactics worked best for what. 

3. Organising your notes

Something I’ve done since September is rewriting my notes after each lesson onto index cards, like the ones below. My notes from class are generally very messy and unorganised, so I take about half an hour after each lesson (or whenever I have a free period or day off) to rewrite them, referring to my text book at the same time to make sure I haven’t missed anything out that we perhaps hadn’t had time to cover in class (which in my experience happens a lot, and it’s your responsibility to check through the text book and make sure you’re staying on track, even if your teacher isn’t).

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Some of my rewritten notes from Geography

I did this as a sort of experiment, to see if it would work for me and just because I needed to get my head round how A Levels work (which is something I’m still figuring out). In some ways it has as when I’ve come to revising for tests or the mocks, I can choose topics to revise in bitesize sections, giving me a clearer idea over what I’m supposed to know, as I find the text book can sometimes feel overwhelming because there is just SO. MUCH. But this way, I’ve broken it down so I’ve just written down the key notes that I need to know, not all the waffle.

However the index card strategy can sometimes still be too unorganised or illogical for me, as I rewrote my notes in accordance to the order of chapters within the text books, and the Geography text book especially seems to be written in a really illogical order, flicking from one topic to the next then back to the first, so as my revision for the mocks, I rewrote them into a notebook, and colour-coordinated them with diagrams in what I consider to be a more logical order. That works a lot better for me, as it’s more visual, so I think next year instead of spending all that time making index cards only to discover writing them up in a different way works better, I’ll instead write them up in the notebook-style that works for me from September, so when it comes to revision I can focus more on recall revision techniques, not making sure my notes are organised!

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My revision notebook – much more organised and revision-friendly!

4. Revision strategies

Again it will take a lot of trial and error to find out what works for you, or what type of learner you are. I think I can be every time of learner to be honest: visual (through use of diagrams and colour-coding), auditory (through saying things out loud that I want to remember over and over again until it sticks), read-write (through rewriting notes or vocab to help me memorise them) and kinesthetic (through highlighting stuff as I read to stop my mind from wandering). Different strategies will work for different people but here are a few methods that I’ve found that really work for me, and may do for you too! (I haven’t found an effective way of revising for history yet which is a BIT WORRYING considering the mock is in 5 weeks eeek!)

  • Flashcards with definitions/key concepts on – works well with subjects with lots of content, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all, break it down onto flashcards. I revised the whole of GCSE triple science in this way by getting my mum (thanks mum, forever my revision buddy!) to regularly test me on the flashcards – she’d read out the keyword, and I’d give the definition. I’m hoping to use the same strategies with Geography this year, as the key pillars of the specification are keywords and concepts and it’s these that you’ll need to use and explain in exams. Can also be used to learn the dates of key events in history, but I haven’t got round to trying that yet!wp-1493651840511
  • Post-it notes for French vocab/keywords – learning vocabulary for a language can be one of the most tedious parts to language learning, and I’m not saying I enjoy it that much, but this is a revision tactic that I’ve recently tried out and has really worked for me. I think the key with learning vocab is to change the way you revise it so it doesn’t get boring, whether that be rewriting it, getting someone to read at the word and you give the translation, drawing pictures to help you remember tricky words or writing words on post-it notes, sticking them somewhere you visit regularly (i.e. your bedroom the fridge etc.) and testing yourself on them. I stuck mine on my bookcase, and each morning I’ll try to translate each word – I wrote the english on the back incase I forget – and once I’ve learnt them I’ll swap them over. This could also work with keywords and definitions, if you don’t have anyone wiling to test you on them at all hours of the day (sorry mum).wp-1493655469867.jpg

5. Exam questions

Now you may be worried, as I was, about the lack of past papers available for the new exam specifications. As you probably know, past papers are one of the best ways to check if a) your revision strategy is working and b) you understand the exam technique required to answer the questions. Something I’ve struggled with this year is the lack of past papers, because I just want a way to test my knowledge and see if how I’m revising is actually working. But after doing a bit of research (and actually reading the text books properly oops)  can inform you that there is exam material out there and available!

Firstly, in the text books themselves, there are usually practice exam questions at the end of each page/topic. Secondly, the exam board may release workbooks – like for geography we’ve just received a workbook for units 1 and 2, which is basically a magazine which has around 60 questions in PER TOPIC (which is basically exam question heaven if you’re me and rely on doing exam questions as a major part of your revision). Finally, if you don’t have access to the afore-mentioned resources, look online at past papers for previous specifications, as with some subjects, at least part of the content will overlap and you’ll be able to find some relevant exam questions (especially for languages, as any practice is good practice, even if the topics aren’t entirely the same, and there will definitely be past history specifications that overlap with some of what you’re studying for the new spec).

Doing exam questions will be invaluable for your end of year 12 mocks or exams, and vital for the exams you’ll sit at the end of year 13, so it’s best you get your head round them as soon as possible. I started doing a few ast the end of each unit as we were learning them in geography, jut to consolidate the unit and with history we’ve been doing essays in class throughout the year anyway, but you can never get enough exam practice, especially with A Levels where the content is so vast and the questions can be so vague!

6. Using time effectively

This should probably be one of the first tips, but I only though of it just as I was about to hit the publish button. One advantage of doing the new linear A Levels, is that you have the summer holidays between year 12 and year 13 to sort yourself out. For the most part of year 12, you’ll just be getting used to A Levels and working out what works best, so it is sort of like an experiment as I mentioned earlier, and you may get to the end of the year and realise that you’ve missed things I out or haven’t learnt things properly, but it’s okay because you have the whole of summer to make sure you’ve got the first year’s content nailed. I know I’ll definitely be using some of my summer holidays to go over everything I learnt, check for any gaps in my knowledge and make sure I have some top notch revision resources ready for when it comes to revising for the end of year 13 exams, because you don’t want to get to March of year 13 and realise you’re not confident on all the stuff from year 1 and not have enough time to go over all of that and all of the second year content. So make sure you use your time effectively so you’re as prepared as possible for next year!

Okay, so I think that concludes my tips for the new A Level specification. If you want me to do subject-specific tips or revision ideas, let me know below and I’d be delighted to help. Also if you have any more tips to share, feel free to leave a comment. 

I hoped this may have in some way helped with the rollercoaster that is the new A Level system and given you some new ideas about how to survive it. Just remember you’re not alone and that it’s okay if you’re not hitting your target grades now, because you still have another year before the exams that count, and you’ll make so much progress between now and then! 

Best of luck to everyone embarking on the new A Level specification, and to anyone thinking about doing A Levels after college, despite the workload, I can honestly say I am loving studying the subjects I’m passionate about in more detail and taking more responsibility for your learning. Although the prospect of A Levels may seem daunting, they are definitely worth your consideration!

//That Time I Organised a Mock General Election at Scouts//

Lately my passion for politics has just come flooding back to me. As you may or amy not know, last year I stuided AS Level Government & Politics, and unexpectedly fell in love with it. Whilst studying for my A Levels this year, I’ve had to push politics to the side and focus on the subjects I’m currently studying, but I think the recent political events in the USA, France and now the UK, my love for politics has returned, as it were.

Today at dinner I was discussing the French election with my family, as you do, and suddenly remembered That Time I Organised a Mock General Election at Scouts™ with my sister. After doing a bit of digging on my old blog, I found the post I’d written about it, so I thought I’d write about it again, because it’s something I’m really proud of (and yet another sign that I was in love with politics without realising??? Seriously for the past few years I’ve been like ‘oh yeah history is my favourite subject and I want to study it at uni’ and somehow completely missed all the signs that I was actually really enthusiastic about politics WELL DONE EM). Funnily enough, I can still remember where the idea came from. Basically at my Explorer Scout group we had to take it in turns in organising the meetings, and as we met on Thursdays, our weekly meeting would fall on the 7th May 2015, which just happened to be polling day for the 2015 General Election. I noticed this when we were at the planning meeting in January to plan the meetings for the months ahead and as our Scout hut is used as the local polling stations, it meant we wouldn’t be able to meet at the hut on that night. it was n’t a problem, because as our leaders said we would just have to meet outside of the hut that night, but it got me thinking. Despite the fact that i wasn’t even studying politics in 2015, and had never studied in school, I remember being really enthused about the General Election, and the fact that our Explorer meeting coincided with polling day was just too good an opportunity to miss in my opinion!

So, I talked to my sister who was also part of my Explorer group, and we came up with the idea of holding a ‘mock’ General Election in which the explorers form their own political parties, come up with a manifesto, present their ideas to the group and then have a secret ballot. So we claimed tha evening as our night to organise and got planning!

As we couldn’t meet at the hut, we decided to meet at the local woods instead (which in hindsight wasn’t The Best™ idea because GNAT BITES ARGHH) and instead of getting the ‘parties’ to right a whole manifesto, we just asked them to come up with policies on the EU, the environment and education. I ended up being part of a party as well, because there was an odd number of Explorers there, and our party was called ‘UK Dependent on Immigration Party’ or ‘UDIP’ for short (political pun intended – I think you can probably guess our politcal standpoint). Overall, the evening went really well! I mean, we came up with some whacky policies that probably would never get us elected, but it was thrilling to feel like we were actually engaging with politics.

The result of the ballot was 6 votes to The Bush Party (don’t ask), 5 votes to UDIP and 1 vote to The Fromage Party. Instead of forming a minority government, The Bush Party opted to form a coalition with The Fromage Party.

I think organising and running this mock election is one of the things I’m most proud of doing in Scouts, because I actually felt like I as helping fellow young people to get involved in politics and to the help them understand more about the way the govenrment works in the UK. Thinking back on it now, I think this could be something I want to go into in the future – educating young people about politics. Whether that be through teaching or campaiging or what, the advocacy of politics in education is something that I’m very passionate about (you can read my post about why politics should be taught in schools here), but we shall see where the future takes me!

//My experience of educational-related stress//

​Stress. It’s something that most of us will suffer with at some point in our lives, and something that I feel we don’t talk about enough. I mean, it’s almost become something meaningless that sort of crops up in any general conversation about school or education – for example sometimes I’ll have a catch up with friends I don’t see often, and we’ll ask each other how college is going and just give a generic reply of “oh it’s okay, apart from the stress” but never elaborate on the stress, and I think it’s something that we should talk about more, because it can have huge impacts on the lives and health of young people.

It’s no secret that education has been reformed over the past 10, 20 and even 50 years, and I don’t know about other countries, but from my experience here in the UK, education has definitely become a lot harder, especially the examination system, and this has lead to a simultaneous increase in the amount of pressure and stress young people feel. 
One of the hardest things about trying to cope with educational-related stress as a young person, is that it’s hard for our parents to sympathise with us and really understand what we’re going through, because certainly in the case of my parents, education was a lot different back then, and although they still had some exams, they can’t remember having to work constantly, or revise for a prolonged period before their exams. For example, sometimes I get so stressed about the amount of work to do, that I can’t physically do it because my stress starts to affect my mental well-being, and I just don’t have the energy to work, or can’t focus on anything, and end up in a state of panic. In these times, my parents suggest to just take a break, postpone my work and tell me for the 1 billionth time that I spend far too much time working than is necessary. For me this just makes the situation worse, as postponing work just means it keeps piling up and up until I’m stuck in a situation where I just have too much to do in a the amount of time I have, and telling me I work too hard just makes me agitated, because even though I do do a lot of work, there is still so much more I need to do, I am no where near on top of my studies and the work I am doing isn’t effective as there is so much information I need to know that I can’t physically cram it into my brain – I basically forget everything five minutes after revising it, and my parents don’t understand that. 
I suffer from stress to the point where I constantly feel on edge, as if I’m about to snap at any moment, whether that be shouting at someone for no apparent reason or bursting into to tears. I’m sure I’m not alone, in fact, I know I’m not alone, because my friends and you guys are the only people who understand the stress we’re put through because of education, and we’re all too preoccupied with our own stress to help each other more than offering a few comforting words of “it’s okay, I understand”. 
I think it’s important to talk about stress more, because then maybe (it’s a long shot but we can hope) the government will realise that the pressure that the education system puts on us is not healthy. 
Honestly, I don’t know how long I can go on like this, stuck in this constant spiral of stress and fear. I don’t even know if I’ll pass this year or end up having to retake, I’m working as hard as I can, and as my parents say that’s all I can do, but the truth is it just. Isn’t. Enough. Not according to the new A Levels system anyway. And I know grades aren’t everything, but the constant fear of failing is always in the back of my head, because it’s been drilled into us for years that we need to get good grades. 

I’m not really sure what I wanted to achieve out of this post, I just wanted to let you know that if you too are suffering from stress, then you are most certainly not alone in this.

//Where have I been recently? All over the place apparently!//

A while ago I said I wanted to do more adventuring over the next few months and spend more time outdoors. I’m glad to say since writing this post in February, I have actually achieved this and managed to do a lot of exploring over the past few months. Spending time outdoors is such a great way to relax during exam season, so I thought I’d share with you where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to lately.

Right, it’s going to be hard to remember everywhere I’ve been and it what order, but I shall try my best!

I think the first adventure I had was going to Portsmouth by train to visit my sister at uni. I had to get up at 6:30 to get the train at 7:30, and the journey was nearly 4 hours in total. I was travelling with my mum so it wasn’t really bad but still long legs + train seating = achey legs + awkward kicking of strangers feet under the table!!

When we got there we met my sister then went to a nearby supermarket to buy dinner (ended up going to a different supermarket afterwards because we couldn’t find what we wanted 😂) then took the food back to her flat and sat in her room chatting for a bit. It was really nice to be back in her room because the last time I was there was the day we dropped her off in September, and that was stressful and sad so we couldn’t really enjoy it as much. But this time it was great to be back at her uni and see her enjoying herself. 

(Look at me loving the University of Portsmouth snapchat geo tags 😂😂)

We also went to Costa for a drink as you do, before heading off to the Museum of Portsmouth which was actually really good – it had a whole Sherlock Holmes exhibition because fun fact: the character Sherlock was born in Portsmouth 😉 It also had a a retro games room where you could play old video games which is fun! Plus the building itself was pretty nice-looking and we ate lunch sat in the gardens.

The museum of Portsmouth

After visiting the museum, we walked around the high street and visited Primark to do some shopping (bc why not??). 

Portsmouth Guildhall
I always forget what this building is called, but it’s v pretty!

Then we went back to the flat to have dinner and said our good-byes at the train station at about 5:30-ish. It was a really lovely day, although due to the length of time we spent travelling, we didn’t actually spend much time in Portsmouth. But the good thing about travelling by train is seeing the countryside as you go through different stations – going through Bath Spa station was really nice as it’s right in the heart of the city and I’d never actually been to Bath before, also we could see Southampton port from the train which was quite cool!

Departure board at Portsmouth & Southsea station

The next adventure I went on was to Bristol with my friends to go shopping in Primark (apparently Bristol has the UK’s biggest Primark!?? I’m not entirely sure but it certainly is huge with four floors and loads of escalators (yayy)). Then two days after that – Friday 31st March – I went back to Portsmouth again!

This time we went in the car as we had to pick my sister up from uni for Easter break. The journey was just under 3 hours but I had so much homework I had to take my geography maths homework with me and spent the journey trying to do student t-tests by hand (each part of the question took like half an hour arghh).

Once we’d picked my sister up and put her stuff from her flat in the car, we drove to the historic dockyard in Portsmouth as my dad had managed to get a really good deal on annual tickets. When went on a boat tour around the dockyard, Portsmouth harbour in general and Gunwharf Quays which is a fancy shopping centre where the famous Spinnaker tower is located. It was quite nice even though I’m not the biggest fan of boats! We also went on board the HMS Warrior and went round various exhibitions which were very interesting.

*glares at police boat that sped across the harbour with it’s sirens blaring creating waves that made our boat bob up and down loads like a rollercoaster*

HMS Victory from the tour boat

This is where it gets a bit confusing – basically, I went to four cities in the space of a week, including this trip to Portsmouth. The Tuesday after this, I went to Bath for a UCAS convention with college which was very useful although my shoulders were aching from carrying round all the prospectuses! Before we left for Bath, I had a free lesson so decided to embark on the 20 mins walk to the beach near my college, although I only stated there for about 10 mins as there was a dog chasing me/barking at me and I’m still getting over my fear of dogs so decided to head back, but the views were still nice! 

Remember this hill, it will be important for future reference!!

Then the day after that, Wednesday, I went back to Bristol with my sister to Primark again as the previous week I hadn’t bought anything but had seen various things I liked and my sister needed clothes too so we went back together.

Then the next day, I went to Cardiff on a geography field trip. The trip was honestly great – firstly we actually managed to collect all the data for the trip in the time frame allowed, the weather was really sunny and hot, we had an hour for lunch (in which my friend bought us all fab lollies, me and another friend got offered a boat trip by a man with a loud hailer, we attempted to take selfies and we saw armed police men patrolling the bay which was NOT worrying at all) and we got a tour of the Senedd which is the Welsh assembly building. Ooh we also saw the BBC Cardiff studios where Doctor Who is filmed and walked right past the Doctor Who Experience on our way to the barrage. The only bad thing was it was soo sunny pretty much everyone got sunburnt as it wasn’t sunny at home so we didn’t think to put sun cream on. My nose and forehead got really badly burnt and it’s still painful now over a week later!

Cardiff Bay
That long building in the distance is the BBC Wales studios
We had to take photos of certain things as part of the field work, so i took this one of the barrage because we had to, but I didn’t realise the massive Olympic rings on the floor until just now 😂😂

So that week was very busy for me, as well as being the last week of term! Then last weekend the weather was really hot and sunny – I wore shorts and t-shirt pretty much the whole weekend! On the Saturday, I went to the beach nearest where I live for a morning walk then on the Sunday I went on a 7 miles hike with my mum through the countryside.

Then throughout the week I’ve been going out on my bike a lot around the local area and countryside which has been great!

And finally to conclude such a long post, I went to that hill on Saturday, which involved climbing over 100 very steep steps and walking up a steep hill to the WW1 fort at the end. The views from the top were great, as I could so the beach which is near my college, but also a lot further down the coast and even Wales!

So I think it’s safe to say I’ve managed to get out and about a lot more the past few months! Have you been on any adventures recently?

//A thank you to the blogging community//

It’s me (well part of me)! Sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s a person behind each blog so here I am to say thank you to you all.

Last night before drifting off to sleep, I had the wonderful realisation of just how much blogging has become an essential part of my life. I’ve been blogging for over two years now, and it’s hard to imagine a time before I started blogging and before I met all you wonderful people. But, there was a time when I didn’t even know what a blog was – nor that such an amazing community of young bloggers existed. Before blogging, I was a very shy and reserved person and often didn’t talk to anyone about my feelings, and although I wasn’t particularly sad way back then when I was like 14/15??? (I can’t even remember haha), I have defnitely noticed changes in myself and aprreciate how much blogging has helped me to cope with sadder times in my life since then and has helped me to celebrate all the happy times too.
As blogging has just become ingrained in my life now, I feel like I do take it for granted sometimes that I have my own space on the internet where I can share my thoughts and interract with others – I just don’t take the time to sit back adn think about how wonderful this all is. Because really, the fact that such a huge, diverse, caring community of young bloggers exists is incredible. For whatever reason, we have all made the decision to sign up to WordPress and share snippets of our lives with strangers on the internet. Honestly, I think it’s amazing how I’ve met people through blogging that I would never ever have met without the help of the internet. I have met people who have become great friends, people who have taught me about other cultures and religions, people who have common interests to me, people who have been able to help me through situations that they have been through and vice versa – blogging has been such an enriching experience to me and I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has ever interracted with me on my blog or elsewhere and thank you for writing your blogs and helping me to learn more about the world.

Since blogging, I have become far more aware of other cultures and lifestyles, languages and beliefs and just generally more aware of the people who live on this wonderful planet. I’ve learnt things that I would never have learnt in education and I really feel like I’m much more of a globally-aware person now because of blogging. In addition to this, I’ve learnt loads about myself: I’ve learnt more about how I interract with other people thanks to the frinedly environment in which blogging has provided me to do this, I’ve discovered more about my own values and beliefs, I’ve found various new interests to become passionate about such as languages and politics and feminsim to name a few and most importantly I’ve disocvered more about who I am as a person and what my own identity is. The community I became part of when I first logged in to WordPress over two years ago has been so welcoming and accepting and without that – without you guys – I don’t think I would have come to terms with my own sexuality, or at least not for a few more years. Blogging has also helped me to discover what’s really important in life and see the bigger picture, instead of living in my own little bubble as I did before I started blogging – I know that whatever I’m going through, there are others going through it too and whatever dreams I want to achieve are possible as I have seen others achieve there dreams and the blogging community has never failed to provide a plethora of inspirational young people for me to look up to. I’ve learnt that compassion is one of the most important human qualities from the friends that have showed compassion towards me and I hope I have become more compassionate in other aspects of my life and aim to be even a fraction of the amazingly kind and caring people who have ade these past two years the best years of my life.

It really means so much to me to be part of a worldwide network of friends who support eachother as we all journey through our own lives and I feel so lucky to be part of this. When I started blogging, I had never communicated with strangers online and to be honest I didn’t even think that I would meet new people through blogging – I wanted just to have a space to share my thoughts and be creative – let alone make some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

So when it comes to thinking about how blogging has changed my life, there are more answers than I can count on my own hands. I’ve definitely become much more confident in myself, have become far more interested and aware of the world, I’ve done things I’d never thought I’d have the opportunity or confidence to and I’ve met extraordinary, inspirational people who I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise. I know this sort of sounds like the type of thing I might write beofre announcing I’m leaving WordPress to move on with my life because I’m NOT and I definitely don’t want to leave anytime soon! I just had a random feeling of love and appreciation for blogging that I wanted to share with you all.

So finally I’d just like to say thank you for making my experience of blogging so far so amazing and I hope I can continue to grow as a person and experience new things through blogging and meet many more young people like me and help others to experience just how wonderful blogging can be. 🙂

(Also I’ve sort of run out of adjectives to describe how much I love blogging and the blogging community so sorry for the repition of ‘amazing’, ‘incredible’ and ‘wonderful’ oops).

//Why I Love Me Tag//

The amazing Thoughtful Tash created this tag so us bloggers cna spend a bit of time appreciating what we love about ouorselves. I think this is such a wonderful idea, becuase self-love is something we all need to do more of and actually sittig down and thinking about what I do love about myself instead of dwelling on my flaws has actually been really beneficial to me, and I’m sure it will help others too. So. thank you very much to tash for making this tag, and you can read her post introducing it here.

THE RULES (as stated in Tash’s post)

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
  • Leave a link to the original tag creator (ThoughtfulTash) to get a bit more info about WHY this tag has been made!
  • Write 10 things you love about YOURSELF and WHY
  • Nominate at least 5 other bloggers
  • In the comments of the blog post, spread more self-love with compliments to each other! THE MORE LOVE THE BETTER!

Why I love me:

1. My love of life

One thing I love about myslef is how much I love life, it’s the main thing that gets me through hard times becuase I know I’ve got my whole life ahead of me and it doesn’t matter if I’m struggling now because I will get through it and one day I can look back on what I’ve been through and be proud of reaching my goals and fulfilling my ambitions regardless. Also remembering and thinking of all the good times makes me realise how much I do love my life and how  iwouldn’t have it any other way.

2. My passions

My passions are part of me and always will be, they are the one thing that stays the same as I grow and change as a person and I’m really glad to have these passions like blogging and photography and politics and reading etc that make me happy and make me who I am.

3. My creativity

I love the fact that although I haven’t chosen a creative educational path, I still keep up with the creative things that I’ve always loved like painting and sketching and that although I don’t want a creative career, I haven’t closed that part of my life off.

4. My optimism

Although I don’t regard myself to be a constantly optimistic person, I do have a lot of optimism for the future and that helps to motivate me to keep working hard to get where I want to be.

5. My personality

Most people would think of me as quite an introverted person, which is true, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a personality! I love the fact that I’m quite introverted actually, as it means less people get to know the real me and when they do it makes the friendship more special. I love the fact though that I can be myself around my family because we’re all a bit mad!

6. My way of thinking

Another thing I love is the way I think. I think we all have our own unique way of thinking about things and I find it fascinating the way we all percieve things differently. I love how I can read about something or see something and my brain will make all these millions of connections ot different things, or I’ll suddenly be inspired to do something. Although I don’t like overthinking so much, it’s still a part of me and I’m growing to love the fact that I only overthink because I care so much about other people.

7. My height

I’ve always felt a bit awkward being so tall – I think I’m currently about 5 ft 8″, which isn’t huge but I’m still very tall compared to most of my friends – but as I’ve got older I’ve grown to love my height becuase again it’s just a part of me that I can’t control and if I can’t change it, I’ve gotta embrace it.

8. My love for the world

I honestly find the world so fascinating and just want to constantly learn about the people that live around the world and all the different countries and EVERYTHING!!!! I’m so interested in how we all live in the same world but there is so much variation between different cultures and countries, and I love the fact that I’m not just invested in my own life and ‘world’ and want to know about others.

9. My music taste

This is a bit random??? But honestly I love my taste in music because it varies so much! I can go from listening to 80s music, to French electro, to pop, to rock, to indie – I’m just interested in so many different styles of music and I love it!

10. My drive to learn

I sort of mentioned this before, but I just really want to be learning all the time. SOmetimes doing homework or revision isn’t even tiring and monotonous because I want to do it so I can learn, and I love that I love learning as it definitely helps to motivate me to study and work hard.

So there’s the 10 things that I love about me. I’m going to nominate some bloggers below so they too can explore what they love about themselves. 🙂

Nominations:

Regina 5000

Ivy and Em

Lyss and Dani

All the Jazz

Bamboo Chewer