My 2017 Gratitude List

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The year of 2017 brought so many amazing moments for me and was honestly the biggest year of my life so far. It went from high to high as I passed my driving test, smashed my a-levels and got results I was super proud of , met my gorgeous boyfriend, got a new part-time job and also started university. That’s only a few of the biggest moments, and there was also so many smaller memories and victories that I hold in my heart too. So, as 2017 did really feel like a year of love, moments, friends, family, memories and  new beginnings, I thought i would share 25 things I was grateful for during the year and through to this brand new one too.

  1. My family and all the amazing things they do and the lovely people that they are.
  2. Meeting my boyfriend and finding someone who is like a bestfriend who I also happen to love too.
  3. For my own hard work and determination to be able to get great a-level grades and go on to study the univeristy course of my dreams.
  4. The teachers and lecturer’s that have faith in me and my career journey, and pushed me to succeed nothing but the best.
  5. For having some more spare time in the week to work on this blog and to dedicate to my boyfriend and my family.
  6. Finding a university course that I love and leading me to a career I can’t wait to be in.
  7. My mum and my aunty’s who are all such amazing women and have helped me to become such a great young woman now.
  8. For my boyfriend’s family who have all welomed me into their family so well and always make me feel supported and loved.
  9. Small day and night dates with my boyfriend
  10. Always having moments to laugh about and memories to remember. Whether that’s a car karoake or just a funny random life moment.
  11. For holidays with my family and friends, where I’ve made unforgettable memories.
  12. For summer park walks, letting life go by and setting the world to rights.
  13. For new friends who I’m loving getting to know and spending time with.
  14. Opportunities to be able to do amazing things, like arranging the 6th Form Ball.
  15. Those sunny days that make you feel so happy about life.
  16. For those moments of pure content and happiness that you have when you sometimes look at the world or a perosn you love.
  17. For amazing conversations with people, where you learn so much about them or just a random topic.
  18. To my little dog Menzes for always being a companion and creating joy and happiness wherever he goes.
  19. To be able to drive and visit so many new places, as it took me so long to learn.
  20. The ability to work with brands and starting earning a bit of money from my blog.
  21. To able to look back on great times and memories we have about my dad.
  22. For working hard and being able to save and afford to go on holiday and buy nice things for myself.
  23. To be able to volunteer at Brownies again and now guides as well. It’s super rewarding and I’m so glad i get do it again.
  24. For a bit of me time, when I can go and have a relaxing bath, catch up on my favourite TV programme’s or read a book.
  25. For my love towards life and my appreciation that life is too short and you should enjoy it, not worry or stress about unimportant things and live every moment.

How was your 2017 and what amazing things were you grateful for over the last year?

Rachel x

 

 

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

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

10 Goals For 2017

1. A Year of Self Love- In 2017 I want to spend more time doing things for myself, that I enjoy and are not to help anyone else. Whether that’s have a really long bath, dedicate some time to reading a good book or just chilling out and watching my favourite programme, which is Gavin and Stacey or Stella by the way.

2. Develop Rachelspick- I want 2017 to be a year where I grow rachelspick even more, collaborate with lot’s more brands and create so much more amazing content. Working with different brands really pushes me creatively to create interesting content for you all, and is also just really fun. So, I want to do lot’s more of it and ultimately just carry on enjoying blogging.

3. Smash My A-Levels- 2017 marks the year I finally finish school forever, and so I really want to be able to smash my A-Levels, work hard and get some great results.

4. Meet New People- I love meeting new people, building new friendships and having some really amazing people around me. So, in 2017 I would like to meet lot’s of new people which have the same interests as me and also create lots of new memories, with the lovely people that are already in my life.

5. Pass My Driving Test- Learning to drive was a massive part of 2016 for me, and so I can’t wait to be able to pass my test in 2017. I love going out in my car and practising, when I can with my mum, so I can’t wait to be able to drive on my own and be independent.

6. Travel somewhere new- In 2017 I want to visit a new place in the world, experience a new culture and make amazing new memories. Hopefully this year will mark my first ever holiday with my friends, and so I’m really excited to travel on my own and carry on my worldwide adventure’s.

7. Get Organised- Going into 2017, I really want to get more organised with both my school, blog and personal life. So, I’ve already got a calendar and 3 diaries on the go, in an attempt to be organised, so hopefully this will mean I know everything I’m doing throughout the month, have all my blog posts sorted out and don’t need to keep everything in my head; hoping I’ll remember it.

8. Don’t be late- I’m really bad at being late, I’m constantly late to family events, going out with my friends or just even going to college. So, in 2017 I really want to make a big effort not to be late. I’ve already found this goal difficult, and broke it quite a few times, but hopefully I’ll get better as the months go by.

9. Do more exercise- I know this is quite a stereotypical goal for a lot of people in the new year, however I actually do want to dedicate more time to exercising and getting more toned. I’m already a dancer and part of a competitive team, but I want to join a gym and work on my own strength and fitness levels.

10. Smile and laugh everyday- Smiling and laughing have to be one of the two best natural therapy’s EVER, and so in 2017 I want to smile every day, feel grateful for what I have and know that I’m working towards my dream career. I also want to laugh everyday, just because you can’t beat a good one.

What are your goals for the new year?

Rachel x