My GCSE Experience | Revision, Exams & The Future

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As many of you have already started your GCSE exams, and are going through your first proper exam season, cycle’s of revision and I’m sure lot’s of stress; I thought I would share my own experience of GCSE’s. How I found the entire two years, what I thought about the exams, all about the revision, the stress, what I got at the end and my future after GCSE’s…

The GCSE Years- My GCSE years really were a massive roller coast ride of emotions, both because of things happening with my family, friendships and also exams. I found that the first year of GCSE’s, which is year 10 in the UK, was actually quite chilled out and other than having regular subject tests to see how we were doing, it really was like any other school year. The work pushed me just enough to keep me interested and I enjoyed all of my subjects. English was a bit of struggle for me, as it always has been really, as I’m not a wordy person and I’m a lot more creative and visual. I was still doing really well, but due to my personality I was constantly pushing myself to get that A I really wanted. It didn’t happen that year, however I really grew into it in year 11 and I smashed my retaken coursework and my final exam’s. The only thing I found stressful about year 10 was mock exam’s and having to really get your first taste of a proper revision cycle. However, I always knew that they weren’t real and it didn’t really matter if I didn’t do as well as I would have liked to.

The second year of GCSE’s, year 11 in the UK, was stress straight from Christmas all the way to the end of exams in June. I found that because I was doing 12 GCSE’s, I was constantly doing end of subject tests, coursework pieces for French or English and trying to nail my final pieces for Dance and Textiles. I’ve got to admit they were such busy months of my life and the busiest you ever get up until the end of GCSE’s. However, I personally think my school were super helpful, and put on different revision sessions before  and after school, and even in the school holidays to help us with our work.

Exam Season- The actual exam’s had to be the most stressful, tiring and full on part of GCSE’s, because I had 28 exams split over around a 5/6 week period. That meant that I had a least one exam nearly every day from the middle of May to the end of June. I was constantly having long days; waking up early to go to morning revision sessions, doing my daily exams and then staying after school for more revision sessions. That was my life for so long and I’ve got to admit that it made me pretty stressed out and I even lost weight in the process. This wasn’t anything extreme, but just because my body was over worked and I didn’t have any time to have a break from school, exams or revision, because I had no exam leave. It was just everything I thought about as there was no time for anything else. Now looking back on that time, whilst having study leave for A-Levels, I honestly don’t know how I did it without going completely insane!

The majority of my exams I found okay, and because I had done lot’s of revision I was able to answer most to all of the questions and I didn’t really struggle. I had worked so hard for those exams, so I was really glad that it was all worth it after every exam. The only two subjects I found hard were biology, because we had an awful teacher in our second year who also left us half way through to sort ourselves out, and Further Maths, because even though I was really good at maths this bridge to A-Levels was a bit too much for me and I hated it. However, a large group of us were just taught how to pass and get a C, and I was so happy that I eventually did.

The actual exam process I found okay, because we had done around 2 to 3 mock exam weeks and so I knew what the routine was. I didn’t feel nervous by how I needed to find out my seat number, that I needed to turn off all my electronic items, and how strict the exam invigilators can be. I was so used to it that it was just went over my head and I went into my exams feeling relaxed and confident, about the actual test and the environment I was in. However, I found it difficult to have to come straight out after an exam and back to my lesson, to only then revise for my next exam. All I can say is if you’re going through this process at the minute, seriously just keep working and hang on in there, because it will all be worth it and you will have an amazing summer ahead of you to enjoy!

The Result & The Future- After all the hardwork and stress of 28 exams, endless revision and coursework I came out with results I was really proud of. I got 1 A*, which I so unbelievably happy about as that was in textiles and the career I wanted to head into, 5 A’s, in English Lit, English Lang, Geography, Maths and Philosophy and Ethics. I also got 5 B’s; 2 in science, one in ICT, one in French, one in PE, and 2 C’s, in dance and Further Maths. The only thing I was a bit annoyed about was Dance, as I had put in so much effort to that subject and I’d been told I was getting A’s all year, and in my coursework pieces. However, that was just an extra subject and was the least important of all my exams.

The future after GCSE’s, at first, did really stress me out. Originally, I wanted to stay at my school and go into the Sixth Form to do A-Levels, however they weren’t able to open one as we were their first year of doing GCSE’s for a long period of time. So, I had to go to so many different open days to decide what I wanted to do. In the end I decided on a Sixth form at a school about half an hour away from where I live. I knew a few girls from Dancing who went there, and in the end I was really excited to leave to have a fresh start and start a new journey doing A-Levels. Although, I’m not going to lie I was still really nervous about how hard they were going to be and if I would be able to do them.

Good Luck to all of you doing GCSE’s and any other exams over the next few months. You can do it and all your need is self confidence and to do lot’s of hard work.

Rachel x

OOTD | Celebratory Drinks

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Eveningwear has to my ultimate favourite type of clothing to wear and style into an outfit. I love that you can play with different texture’s, colours, go sheer and always add some form of sparkle. It’s just so much more playful and I always feel so much more special when I’ve made a real effort with my outfit in the evening. So, as I went out for a few celebratory drinks with some of the lovelies at work, over the weekend, I thought I would share my outfit of the night. It’s one of my favourite’s and the perfect put together, but also still relaxed look.

So, first let’s talk about a key part of this look, and it really starts with the underwear. It’s essential with these gorgeous white cropped trousers, from New Look, that you’re extra careful about the underwear you wear. They can be pretty see-through and so a good pair of nude pants is essential, or even a nude thong. Also, as this high necked, purple top which is also from New Look, is super sheer, you have two options. For the day time, I always just pop a black cami underneath and this protects all your dignity and also looks presentable for the day time. However, in the evening I love to pair it with a black Bralette from Victoria Secret underneath. It just adds a bit of playfulness to the outfit and makes it more evening appropriate.

The two key items of the outfit themselves, the top and the trousers, are both favourites from my wardrobe. I not only love the colour of this top and how you can really get away with wearing it all year round, it also looks great on my skin tone and really compliments gold eye makeup and rose gold jewellery. It also has a really lovely fit, and even though it’s got a high neck, if you wear it sheer, then it’s still very feminine and a bit sexy as well. As the trousers really are a staple in my wardrobe, and can be worn both day and night. They look good with so many different items and I love how they really pull in my waist and emphasise my long legs, especially if I wear them with heels.

To pull the look together, I went for my new grey suede, cropped biker jacket, which is also a purchase from good old New Look. I love how this not only kept me warm during the evening, but it also adds a different texture and colour to the outfit. The cut of the jacket also looks great with these trousers, as it just finishes when the trousers are pulling in at my waist, so it really just compliments the outfit and looks super classy. Also, I just paired my favourite pair of nude heels with the outfit, as not only are they the most comfortable pair of heels I own, they also look amazing on and really compliment so many outfits. They also make sure I look elegant but not too tall, as I’m already 5ft 11 in flats. The silver clutch just added a bit of sparkle to the outfit and also created a home for the bare essentials I needed for the night; my money, phone, ID, Cards and of course my eye-lash glue.

What’s your favourite type of clothing to style?

Rachel x

18 Prom Dresses | Under £100

Untitled design (5)Untitled design (4)White Organza Dress £95.99 | Purple Mermaid Dress £95.99 | Pink Ball Gown £94.89 | White Scoop Neck Dress £95.99 | Red V-Neck Dress £99.99 | Multi-Coloured Dress £95.99 | Red Mermaid Dress £95.99 | Sparkly Mermaid Dress £97.99 | Princess Co-Ord £96.99 | Nude V-Neck Dress £69.99 | Navy Satin Gown £96.99 | Red Scoop Neck Dress £95.99 | Monochrome Dress £95.99 | Blue Mermaid Co-Ord £79.99 | Sparkly Nude V-Neck Dress £75.99 | Black Short Dress £99.99 | White Jewelled Dress £75.99 | Red High Neck Dress £80.99

One of my most exciting events of this year is fast approaching and that’s my year 13 leavers ball. I can’t wait to see everyone dressed up, looking beautiful and also celebrating our last moments together as a school year. So, I’m working with the gorgeous dress company Millybridal UK , to share 18 beautiful and yet super affordable special occasion dresses. Whether you looking for something long and flowing, or short and sparkled is more your thing, they’ve got a dress to pair with every special event. They really are your go to brand for those ultimate cheap prom dresses in the UK.

I always think prom dresses should be super girly, fun and most of the time short. Generally in the UK, prom’s are the first type of event you will get when you leave school and so it’s a reflection of a younger version of yourself. So, that’s why I really love this white organza piece, with a lace embroided bodice because it’s so feminine and would really create a beautiful silhouette to your figure. The lace really creates all the intricacy and depth and then the colour just pulls the whole piece together and look’s effortlessly chic and classy. Or, if your looking for a more sexy piece to wear to prom, then this gorgeous black A-Line organza dress would be perfect. It has a beautiful jewelled appliqued design which covers the top of the garment and a low cut scooped back. This not only nails that sultry vibe, but would also look beautiful on so many different figure’s.

If I was to think of the ultimate leavers ball dress, it would have to be super long, elegant and feminine. So, this figure hugging, burgundy mermaid dress would look so beautiful as it would enhance all your curves and a bit of bum and back as well. The colour is a bit unconventional for a prom, but would look so beautiful paired with a tan and rose gold accessories. I know it would be a true showstopper at any special event. However, if your looking for something light and floaty, with just a touch of sparkle, then this Nude V-Neck dress would be perfect for you. Everything about this dress is super delicate and would look so feminine. I love how the sequins add a different texture and more depth to the whole piece; it would just look so beautiful for prom.

Don’t forget to go over and have a browse of the Millybridal UK website, for more beautifully affordable pieces.

Rachel x

Prom Dresses UK

10 Ways to Nail Your Revision This Exam Season

10 Ways to Nail Your Revision

Exam season and revision is a massive part of any students year, whether your doing your GCSE’s, A-Levels or your finishing your year at university. It’s a time that so many of us hate and utterly dread, but it’s your final obstacle to face before you can have the most amazing summer. I’m sure that revision is implanted in most of your brains at the minute and you’re constantly trying to find more hours in the day to tick off that revision to do list. So, I’m sharing 10 ways that you can nail your revision this exam season, and make sure that you smash those end of year exams…

1.Get Organised- Before you do any revision it’s super important that you make sure you know what you actually need to revise. Something I’ve done is got a separate revision notebook for each subject and then written a check list of the topics I need to cover. Then I know what’s on the spec and can tick it off when I’ve done it.

2. Be Realistic- We’re all culprits of doing this, but it’s so important that you stay realistic with how much revision you can do in one day. 3/4 topics is usually my limit, especially if I plan it around my social life and having regular breaks to just completely take my mind off revision.

3. Short bursts of time- Most people work best in short busts of time, so 35-45 minutes and then have a break for 30 minutes or so. That way you stay engaged and interested in what your revising and not just turn off and have to go over the same topics again when you can’t remember anything.

4. New surroundings- As much as I love being at my desk to revise and having everything I need around me, sometimes this is really unproductive and demotivating. So, go somewhere new, maybe a friend or relatives house, a café, library or even just another room in your house; so you don’t feel so trapped by your revision.

5. Leave time- The best way to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed and stressed out is just to make sure you leave time to revise. Don’t start one or two weeks before your exam, but leave 7/8 weeks instead and then you don’t have to do so much revision every week. You can do it more slowly and in chunks.

6. Variety- This is so key to making sure you don’t get bored by your revision, even if it is making you want to kill your self. So, watch videos, make mind maps, write notes and talk over topics with friends in your class, so you can engage with your revision.

7. Colour- This doesn’t work for everyone, however if your creative and want to make your revision more interesting to look at, then I love to use colour. Before I make any mind maps I always empty out my pencil case, with coloured pens and highlighters so that I can use them whilst I’m revising. I love making everything look pretty, so this is the perfect technique to engage me in my revision.

8. Snacks- When your revising and using a lot of brain power, it’s essential that you have some food to keep you motivated and alert. Chocolate is perfect for a bit of sugar rush and to satisfy that sweet craving, but I also love having a banana. I just think they really boost my concentration and give me some motivation when I feel tired of revision and have still got lots to do.

9. Start from the beginning- When I’m revising I always like to start from the beginning and then work through all the topics. Not only does this ensure you know all the content, but it also just seems more logical to me and makes sure I don’t get confused on what is on each of my exams.

10. Past Exam Questions- Knowing the content is just one part of the exam, you also need to know how to answer the questions and the type of answers the exam board are looking for. So do lots of practice exam questions and ask your teacher to mark them. This way you can practice the type of questions you will have in the exam and can also get feedback on what you don’t understand or are getting wrong.

I hope some of these tips will help you ease the pain of revision and help you nail your exams.

Rachel x

Have Faith In Your Journey

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I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and that no matter how hard the situation is or the lesson you have to learn, it was brought to your life for a reason. I’ve got to admit there’s been times in my life where I’ve not been able to know the reason, not even for a long time, but as you look how the path of your life altered from that point, you begin to realise. Whether that’s loosing your job, but then being offered a new one that can take you on a different career path, or whether it’s falling out with a friend and actually realising that the friendship was toxic and that you’ve been able to make much better friends since. You need to have faith in your journey, what’s set out for you is there to challenge, scare and even intimidate, but not ever to defeat.

As it comes up to exam season, there’s such a huge new life chapter waiting ahead for me, and I know that I’m just about to close my entire childhood one. In two weeks time I’m going to be saying goodbye to school for good, doing my exams and looking forward to being let free into the world and to really start the path to my dream career. I already know where I’m going and what I’m going to do, but if you don’t you just need to have faith that whatever happens there’s a reason behind it. The best you can do is put plans in place, work your arse off and hope that you get the results you want and need. If you do then that’s amazing, you’ve got the pass to the next stage in your life, whether that’s A-Levels, College, an apprenticeship or university. However, if you don’t quite get what you were hoping for, then don’t loose faith as there’s a different path set out for your life that will make you succeed. Yes you may have to work hard for it, but we all will; so have faith that no matter what challenge’s life throws at you, you are strong enough to take them.

Our whole human bodies are made to be broken, hurt, damaged and imperfect, but they can also be fixed, healed, can forgive and can be worked on. Just because you life takes a different turn, does not mean that you have failed at it. Instead it’s leading you to better things. Some of the best people, ideas, and situations come out of nowhere and you need to take them in your stride and know that they’re meant to be in your life for a reason. But don’t ever feel like you can’t be scared of them, as change is not only such a massive thing in your life but it’s also not really liked by anyone; but it has to be done.

Good Luck to all you lovely people starting exams over the next few weeks and months, I know you’ll smash it and remember to always have faith in your own journey.

Rachel x