Back to Education: A new study experience

Thoughts

This photo if of a fresh faced, nervous and excited me from my first day at university, it crazy to think that was over a year ago.

It’s coming up to my third week back at university, and students at school have been back for a number of weeks now. Being ‘back’ has brought with it a whole new experience of online meetings, prerecorded lectures and wiping down your place at each in person seminar. Its, well, bizarre.

I hesitate to call this post ‘back to uni’ or ‘back to school’ because, for the most part, we aren’t in the buildings of University. We are, like most students around the world, sat on our laptops trying to figure out the technology for us to continue learning. A select few want to show their face, some professors urge it. Some dragging their laptops to their beds for their 9ams, maybe pleased that they didn’t have to wake up earlier (there are pros and cons to online learning!). I don’t think Microsoft Teams or Zoom has ever had to work so hard. We also have what they are calling ‘hybrid learning’ at RHUL, that is a mix of online and in person seminars and lectures.

But even in person, the experience feels completely impersonal.

Some are online, their faces on the big screen in front of us, the seminar leader at the front in a mask wandering if the people online can hear them, looking at us, a group of four socially distanced likewise geared up in masks covering our expressions. Small group work is impossible for fear of breaking the distancing rules. People unsure of how to have a conversation with people they can’t see. The wifi lagging and people rapidly typing their responses in the chat section of the screen. Must try and get in there first before the conversation has moved on. Wait! I have a question. Furiously typing on the keyboard within their isolated walls.

It’s strange these times – we know these measures are there for a purpose but after a year in which there were strikes and a freshers year cut short by covid, my second year and my university experience seems to be flashing before my eyes. The experience I was expecting slipping from my grasp. I think it was Shakespeare who said that expectation is the enemy of happiness, we should be embracing the changes that come our way.

So how can make the most of it?

  1. Try meeting up in small groups – your own little seminars. It helps bring a little more motivation to studying with a less structured schedule. This makes a nice Segway for the next point…

2. Make a schedule/ timetable. Lectures are often prerecorded and we are told tasks are to be completed ‘in your own time’ which means more to fit in yourself. Organising yourself by planning your days more specifically can really help make the work more manageable and can help motivation more too.

3. Go to a park or somewhere outdoors when it’s nice to study. Being stuck in doors all the time can make studying more boring than it needs to be, by getting outside, listening to an audiobook or sitting on a bench to do some work can mix things up a bit. Additionally, fresh air may give you that extra dose of inspiration that you need to write that essay.

Good luck with your studies this year, whether it’s school or Uni or going back to work, life is a journey that throws hurdles at us from time to time. Uni life might not be the same but that doesn’t mean we have to dismiss this year – we can make the best of it.

How to get an A in GCSE Art

Art

Art. Art is not as easy as many think it is, there is a lot to do and a lot to think about. I looked at a lot of blog posts and videos whilst doing my GCSE art about sketchbooks and how to achieve the best grade which is why I wanted to do a post like this to see if I can help anyone doing GCSE art now because it can be tough. These are a few of my tips and a little look into 2 out of 4 of my sketchbooks over GCSE, I got an A in both of the ones here and my earlier ones are B grade.

Our exam topic was Beginning and or end, my final piece was a portrait of my friend shouting ‘ maybe you should change your perspective’.

Our mock topic was Past present and/or future. This was one of my favourite topics because I could be more creative with it and explore different ways I could portray people. I painted on people, experimented with palette knife painting and began to find myself more as an artist.

And then we had two other topics; Object and structure. Object was my worst sketchbook because I hadn’t really got into the flow of GCSE structure, by year 11 I had a bit of a routine; Artist, photography, responses. Sometimes I wold respond directly from the artists work to get the colours and techniques more accurate.

My top 5 tips:

  1. Take lots of photos.
  2. Develop your work until you don’t feel it can get any better or have a better idea.
  3. Explore lots of different materials; sewing, painting, drawing, ink, texture etc.
  4. Choose a subject matter you enjoy painting. For me it was people but yours could be anything from flowers to city scenes to cars.
  5. Write about your thought processes as to why you choose this particular artist and about what you like or don’t like in your own work – be critical.

best of luck if you’re doing GCSE Art, I’m sure you’ll do amazing! Just keep doing what you love above anything else, if you love what you’re doing it will show in your work xxx

Have you got any tips for doing art at gcse?

The next step

Lifestyle, Thoughts

So I now have just started sixth form! I realize that I never actually seemed to do a post on the end of GCSE’s or what the exam season was like for me but i’ll include it in this post (better late than never, right?).

Year 11, for me, was really just like any other year up to that point just a lot more boring and a little more revision. Boring because you don’t really learn anything new and its pretty much recap than a whole load of exams. However I didn’t find it stressful; I just went through the year thinking my whole school life I’ve been doing exams – why should I treat this any differently? I just made sure I did as much revision as I could fit in, then I know that that is the best I can do. If you have just started year 11 then my biggest piece of advise to you would be to keep calm and stay organised. Treat yourself after a few hours of revision and make sure to keep emergency snacks of choice at hand!

Our school gave us a meal plan of the best foods to eat during exam season for ‘optimum revision and focus’ but lets be honest we need something to get us through and I definitely was not planning to have a salad after revising all day. Pizza and chocolate were my go to’s and they definitely helped 🙂

If you are anxious or stressed read this blog post on a few of the ways that work for me to relax and unwind. The biggest thing is to try and have a balance between revision and doing other things you want to do like meeting up with friends or going on a walk. To read this post click hereeeeeeee.

And to view my posts on studying and a couple of revision tips click hereeeee and hereee

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Results day- oh what a joyful word haha. To be honest, results day is actually okay, everyone is in the same boat and has different expectations of themselves, My tips to remember on results day are:

  1. remember you have your own expectations of what you can do. Some people are happy simply to pass others will not be happy unless they get straight As. Everyone is aiming for something different,
  2. On that note also remember to not compare yourself to anyone else! I knew a few people with pretty much straight A* s but that’s fine, I was really pleased for them and I was also okay with my own grades because I  knew I had done the best I could do.

So now its A levels! Already I know that they are such a big step up from GCSE. Most people told me that A levels will be the most difficult 2 years in terms of education and exams, even more of a step up than university.

I am taking chemistry, Biology, art and English literature.

I chose 2 sciences because at the moment i am thinking of studying veterinary medicine at university but I am torn between doing something in science or doing something more creative so there is no way I wouldn’t do art. And I think i’ll drop English lit at the end of the year.

AFTER GCSE you have the choice to go to a sixth form, college or do an apprenticeship as you have to stay in education until the age of 18. I chose sixth form because I know that they normally get better grades. The sixth form is also a part of the same school as my secondary school so i already know most of the teachers and where i will have to go etc. its not a massive change to get used to like going to a whole new school will be.

whereas in college you get a lot more independence but that can sometimes mean that a lot of people there might not care about what grades they get and that’s fine too. Its also great because everyone there has a chance of a fresh start. Its all down to personal preference.

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So A levels… i have been studying my subjects for around 4 weeks and i do have to admit it is so much work! everyone told me that the step up from GCSE  to A levels would be really difficult and they were right. Particularly as at our sixth form you have to study 4 subjects in the first year whereas it seems in many other schools now you only have to study 3. They don’t do AS level anymore either so it feels like we are doing a lot of hard work for nothing! Hopefully ill get used do all the work  soon aha

Have you just gone back to school/ sixth form / uni? if so how you finding it? x

I really hoped you enjoyed this post, just a little update of my student life haha, please like and subscribe! Id also love it if you have any suggestions for future posts,  just let me know in the comments 🙂

 

 

How to style painted denim

Art, Fashion, Style

To buy my Hand Painted denim jackets click here

For the past couple of months I have been selling jackets that I have hand painted on Depop. This post is about how you can style painted denim whether it is my painted jackets or from somewhere else as there are loads of talented people out there!

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I’m styling this denim jacket with my classic comfy old skool vans, a grey crop top from Topshop (that goes with pretty much anything!) and my favourite peg trousers from Pull & Bear. They are a super comfy and soft material and can be dressed up for an interview or dressed down for a more casual look like I’ve done here. My only complaint is that they are a little short on the legs for me as i’m quite tall. I also like the look of these trousers on ASOS if your’e looking for more of that ‘paper-bag’ style and they would also go perfectly with a denim jacket.

I have paired this outfit with my yellow rekanken.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like my painted denim jackets! 🙂

To read about how I paint them and the materials I use click here.