My Music Taste Through The Ages

my music taste through the ages

My music has gone through a LOT of evolution. I find it difficult to tell people exactly my favourite music because I LOVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT MUSIC. I just go through…genre phases where I will listen to a ton of one kind of music, and then a few months later move on. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy some of my old music! I take my favourites with me.

Pre-Music Years

In primary school I didn’t really listen to or take an interest in music. ABBA was actually my favourite band, haha. (Though they are still amazing.) Selections from this era include Love Story by Taylor Swift and Replay by Iyaz, which were probably both what was on the radio at the time. What a throwback…

Formation

Some developments of okay stuff. I bought as many iTunes free singles of the week as I could — which I still have — including Lauren Aquilina, Orla Gartland, twenty one pilots and Rudimental. Man, I miss that feature. Free music is the best.

Soft Guitars: the First

I started listening to study playlists on 8tracks with kinda country and guitar songs like The Paper Kites and Angus and Julia Stone. I still use the playlist I made at this time for chilling around the house! Man, I really miss 8tracks. Since it stopped working with soundcloud I don’t use it much anymore.

Indie Rock Things

I read a book about a girl who’s really into, like, 80s indie rock? (It was called This Song Will Save Your Life. I still have it on my shelf.) And thus, I made a playlist of 80s bands including things like The Smiths and The Cure. Some of those songs have made it through, but not many. Considering that playlist was like 120 songs or something.

Bubblegum Guitar

Another find from 8tracks as I was looking for summery playlists! I also still really enjoy this genre — not exactly guitars, but not exactly pop? Just. Summery bubblegum guitars. I don’t know how to describe it. Includes stuff like Knox Hamilton, Misterwives, the Two Door Cinema Club, and Holychild. My playlist is called ‘neon sneakers’ and I like that.

Fandom-related

A brief interlude in which I listened to lots of fan playlists, mostly for Les Mis and Harry Potter, and hence made my own. I actually discovered some cool stuff this way! But I also formed super strong character associations with certain songs — I can’t listen to Hang Me Up to Dry by the Cold War Kids without going HEY GRANTAIRE DON’T BE SAD. Blame it On the Girls is also still The Most Courfeyrac song.

Loud Guitar and Drums

I’m pretty sure someone stayed at our house and made me listen to some stuff? Update: IT WAS MY COUSIN’S AUSTRALIAN FRIEND. We saw him again the other day after like two years which was wild. Anyway. Stuff like The Black Keys, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Cold War Kids. A bunch of stuff I still listen to, actually! Also, Vampire Weekend got in there somewhere even though it’s not super related.

Electro Pop

I got pretty into more electronic-y pop kind of thing during the summer Halsey’s Badlands was released — so I listened to a lot of Halsey, Ryn Weaver, Banks, Lights, Pvris, Verite. Basically ALL THE COOL LADY ARTISTS. I actually just went to look for the playlist and I COULDN’T FIND IT so maybe I deleted it which is super annoying

Summery Electro pop

Some stuff happened in between these two. I probably just listened to old stuff. I can’t really remember but, yeah, a weird mix. Maybe this was my musicals period. ANYWAY the summer of 2016 I started listening to more summery pop! And kind of actual pop pop. Honestly I’m pleased that I am finally able to embrace that I JUST REALLY LOVE POP. Highlights include Shura (What’s it Gonna Be? is still one of my favourite music videos ever), Troye Sivan, Years & Years, Aurora, Hayley Kiyoko & Lauren Aquilina because YOOO SHE IS MY FAVOURITE AND THIS WAS WHEN SHE RELEASED HER LP. IT WAS AMAZING & YOU SHOULD GO READ MY REVIEW.

Soft Guitars: the Second

More pop & musicals happened between these. Then I had a bit of a renaissance with the soft guitars, and actually bothered to make a new background guitars playlist with people like Sufjan Stevens, Dodie & The Lumineers.

Summery Chill Pop, Also Other Stuff

AND THUS WE HAVE REACHED NOW. What is my current taste in music, you ask? To be honest, I don’t know, because I just listen to a mix of everything. But my summer 2017 playlist — which you can listen to here — includes stuff like The Japanese House, HAIM, Christine and the Queens, Tegan and Sara, and Lorde. So…some pop? But also some guitars and electronic-y things? I DON’T EVEN KNOW, DON’T ASK ME.

You can check out my spotify account if you like, but it doesn’t cover all of these music phases haha. (Thank goodness.) I don’t know if this is quite a definitive list, but it broadly covers what music I have liked…well, ever, discounting musicals because THAT IS A WHOLE OTHER THING. Maybe I should just write a post screaming about musicals. Anyway, this has been very nostalgic and fun for me, what about you? I’d love to chat!

My cover photo for this post is by Alphacolor 13 on Unsplash.

do you go through phases like me? what are you loving at the moment? i’d love to hear any recs!

 

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On Turning 16

This month I’m turning 16. It feels weird. feel weird about it. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE SIXTEEN. In my mind, sixteen sounds so much older than fifteen. It sounds like age when I should be more sorted out, when I should be a better writer, when I should be more confident in myself.

I know that I shouldn’t set so many goals on myself — after all, I know so many wonderful people who are 16 and older who are super awesome and still growing and changing and OBVIOUSLY I have a long way to go — but it does feel like I have just been…less.

In October, my blog is turning 4. Yep, I’ve been here since I was 12! I KNOW THAT’S SO WILD, RIGHT. I truly can’t believe I’ve kept at blogging for this long, and I’m so proud of myself. My blog has become a comforting constant, and I am so grateful that I have carved out this space in which I can say things.

Sometimes my history on here does feel like it’s holding me back, I admit — it’s so much easier to be very personal and honest when you’re shouting into the void of the internet at strangers. Just in general life, I do in many ways wish that I could start over from where I am now, because I am such a different person to how I was in primary school or even 2, 3 years ago.

I feel a little bad for thinking this, but whilst I am so grateful that at the moment my parents are supporting me and I have the structure of school, I really am looking forward to not being a part of that. Being around the same people in a school setting makes it difficult for me to express myself the way I would like. I hope that in the future I can meet feel more happy with myself, and meet more awesome like-minded people. And just to be clear, that’s not to say I don’t love my current friends so dearly, because I do! I would NEVER give them up! It’s just that I have changed, and I want to embrace that change for the better.

Truly, I think I have developed a lot personally. Maybe not so much this year as I did last year; if last year was basically me coming out to myself and my friends, then I guess this year has been…consolidating that? Becoming more confident in myself? I mean, I don’t really know. I know sexuality or gender identity might not be a big deal to some people (which is totally cool and great for you!) but my queerness is a big part of who I am, and it didn’t feel good to bottle that up inside. Although I still make mistakes and do stuff that sucks sometimes, I do hope to keep growing & educating myself & learning how to do better.

So, yes, I wanted to be further in my blogging and writing by now. I haven’t ever finished a project. I haven’t been published any more than I had last year. I basically haven’t written in 6 months, yikes. It is so strange to feel at once so young and on the edge of everything and also like you’ve already wasted so much time. I haven’t experienced “classic teen things” (very big air quotes) like falling in love or going to parties, and yes, sometimes I feel left out. But there is no one way to be a teenager. I can spend my time how I want — and if that’s reading a great book with my cat, that’s okay.

 

Back to School // #evestudies

back to school evestudies.jpg

That’s right folks, it’s September, and for me that means SCHOOL. And also a year of important stuff for me, because GCSEs and A LEVEL THINGS and DECISIONS ABOUT MY FUTURE. *screams*

Whilst obviously I am kind of worried, I’m not…that worried? I mean, I know GCSEs will probably suck but a) they are not at all the end of the world if I mess them up, I can still do other stuff as a human and b) they’ll probably end up fine. And I’m a lot further with thinking about my future than I was this time last year. I still don’t really understand how the new A Level thing all works — hopefully this will be explained??? maybe not though — but, yeah. I have some thoughts on what I want to do, at least. (I know I’d like to do Spanish.)

So, yes. It is GCSE year! Hurrah! not  If you’re not familiar with the English school system, they’re basically the big exams you take age 16 after a two year course. I’m taking 9 or 10, I think? Maybe it’s 10 with the two English ones. I’m not sure. We also have mock exams at my school in January which, again, is going to be SUPER FUN. -_- At least I can look forward to seeing my family at Christmas and The Last Jedi. (Y’all, I am super hyped for it. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MY SPACE CHILDREN AGAIN.)

Whilst obviously I’m going to need to like, do schoolwork, my main goal for this academic year is to be kind to myself. I find exams pretty stressful but I don’t really want to spend the next 9 months or so freaking out. What I mean by this is: I want to keep doing stuff I enjoy! Seeing friends, reading, book events, watching TV, blogging, writing, music. Meditation, which seems to helping a bit. We actually seem to have self-care lessons at school now — they’re not called that, but that’s what they seem to be — and I hope those will be good. If I get super stressed out over work then it just makes everything I try to do 100 times worse. And I do not need to feel crap for 9 months. It’s not worth that.

The other day I watched this video by EmilyOfAdarlan on having the right mindset for GCSEs, which I thought was really useful, if maybe not exactly how I’d like to do stuff? know that I could get super involved in this and just work all the time. And I probably will have to at some point. But I dunno, as I said, I don’t think it’d be awesome for my mental health. Ideally like to be able to combine maximising my time, consolidating stuff, and doing other work-y things with stuff I love. Sometimes I do just need time off. I found using a bullet journal useful so I think I’m going to restart that! (Maybe with a new journal because mine was a bit crappy.)

My mental health hasn’t been great recently but I’m feeling good today? Which is nice? So I’m going to talk about some stuff that I’m excited for this next school year. Firstly, seeing my friends! I’ve really missed just, like, seeing people over the holidays. It’s already been super nice to see them back at school. Also, I am kind of excited to be learning stuff again. Yeah, school can be stressful, but I just. Like learning stuff. WHAT CAN I SAY.

More things I am excited for: the clubs I have going on — LGBTQ+ society (we’re planning to do an assembly to the younger kids which is scary but also fun), music groups, theatre tech. Hopefully I can actually learn some useful tech stuff at the club. And we have House Music this year, which is basically where you get together with your people in your house to perform a song as a choir! It only happens every other year so the last time I did it was in Year 9, and honestly I’ve been waiting for it to happen again ever since because I LOVED it.

It’s a lot more easy for me to talk about what I want to do when I am feeling happy. It’s so much harder to love myself and focus on the good things when I’m not, but I’m going to try my best. In any case,  I hope for the best for the next school year!

are you going back to school? do you have experiences of exams? how did you study, or how are you studying for them?

 

 

 

Summer Favourites!

Words 'summer favourites' over the books Strange the Dreamer and Our Dark Duet

*rolls in* That’s right folks, I’m back! And I am here with a summer favourites post! I am sacrificing the vaguely nice weather to write this so, you know, hopefully it’s worth it. And hopefully I can stop thinking about going back to school (yikes). Here are some things I have been loving over the last three months.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor I’d been putting off buying this for ages because, well, it’s kind of expensive in hardback, and I thought it might come into the library, but in the end I just went for it. I’m so glad I did! Although it was a pretty long book, I was super invested in it, and I especially loved Lazlo. As ever the writing was stunning, let me cry.

Angels in America This is showing at the National Theatre right now and although I couldn’t get tickets to see it live, I was able to see it broadcast live at the cinema near me. I saw it with my grandma and parents, which I think was pretty interesting since we each had really different personal experiences relating to the play. Even though I was a bit worried about the long running time (it’s about 8 hours) I thought this was incredible and I ended up becoming very invested in the characters. Even though most of them were kind of not great people? But I guess, you know — people suck sometimes. The production of the play was also stunning, oh my goodness.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James I was lucky enough to snag an early copy of this at YALC and I loved it even more than Lauren James’ other books, I think! What can I say, I just LOVE space stories. It was such a page turner; I read it in like 12 hours because I just couldn’t put it down. I’d definitely recommend you to read it when it comes out next month!

The Incredible Jessica James I just watched this movie (on recommendation of the excellent Secret Feminist Agenda podcast) and I LOVED IT. Jessica was just, super funny & cool and I definitely didn’t almost cry at the end. GIRLS SUPPORTING GIRLS GIVES ME LIFE. (Also Jessica Williams is pretty oh my goodness.)

Our Dark Duet by VE Schwab Is it supposed to be Victoria Schwab because YA? I dunno. I’m pretty sure the UK version is VE Schwab. Anyway, this book tore me apart and also tore me apart with writing. *flails* That is really all I have to say.

You by Dodie I’m fine…ahaha… No, actually this EP was SO WONDERFUL and I LOVE IT A LOT. In particular I think I really love the titular song, You, which I’d never heard before! Though of course I adore all of them.

The Bright Sessions Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages talks about this podcast a lot so I decided to start listening and…well…I AM OBSESSED. I finally caught up about two weeks ago and just. MY HEART. It’s about people with superpowers except it’s more about how they interact and arGH I LOVE ALL OF THEM SO MUCH. (Except some of the characters who are horrible. But, you know.)

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde Another book I finally picked up after hearing so many wonderful things. I just adore books about nerds and cons and this was hella cute! Again, I devoured it in like 12 hours.

stuff from around the internet:

  • On the blog I started a new series called #evestudies about my school life, talked about LGBTQ+ books I want to read, and why I love the podcast Witch, Please.
  • Following the events in Charlottesville, Sara Benincasa compiled a list of organisations you can donate to if you’re able, and Ijeoma Oluo wrote about fighting white supremacy on The Establishment. Although these events happened in the USA, and I’m in the UK, I think this piece is still super relevant.
  • Em @ (the newly rebranded!) Yellow’s The Word talked about resources you can use for language-learning. Although the post is for learning over the summer it’s still super useful!
  • The trailer for A Wrinkle in Time was released and WOAH IT LOOKS GOOD. I can’t remember reading the book, I confess, although my mum swears I loved it, but I’m super pumped to see the movie.
  • Mish @ Chasing Faerytales recced some books with Muslim rep for Ramadan.
  • Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff imparted to us mortals (hehe) some tips for how to make cool aesthetics.
  • I also updated my Redbubble shop! I put on a bunch of new designs featuring cats, blogging, and space and I actually love them a lot so, if you fancy buying one or forwarding on the link do check it out. 😉

in the diary:

  • Oh wow, June feels so long ago. Erm…well, I had internal exams at school! And they went well overall!
  • WHOO SUMMER HOLIDAYS. I went camping with my family which was super fun! I got to spend a bit of time away from everything and also spot the various cute animals around the campsite.
  • I went to my first ever Pride in London which was WOAH. Somehow my friends & I ended up walking in the parade with all the commercial floats, so sorry about that? But also it was so amazing to be around so many cool people and just, like, see other visible LGBTQ+ people??? yeah?? it was fun?
  • In July I went to the Young Adult book event, YALC!  Aah! I’d been looking forward to this event for so long and it was SO GOOD. I just love books a lot, y’all. Please do feel free to check out my full recap here. 😉
  • I don’t know how much you follow my personal rambles about gender so just to let y’all know, I’m currently using they/them pronouns.
  • Probably some other stuff happened but as ever I…can’t really remember it. I’m off to school this week which is kind of yikes.

You might remember that this time last year I decided to switch from monthly to seasonal favourites. Short story is: I think I might do monthly ones again! However, I won’t doing my usual layout with all the items in an image, because to be honest that’s the most difficult part.  I’m not completely sure yet, but three months is just a super long time to keep up with stuff, and I simply don’t have the space to include all the things I love. So, maybe monthly ones it is? We’ll see. *nods*

how have your last few months been? are you returning to or back at school? read any of these books?

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On Not Feeling Awesome // plus hiatus

Hey guys! So. If you’ve been following me on social media you might have seen that I haven’t been having a great few days… I’ve been feeling pretty down. I tried to write numerous blog posts with little success. It feels like a lot of bad & stressful stuff has been happening, even though I know it’s probably my perception of it.

It’s okay. I’m doing better now. Even just making the decision to sit down and write makes me feel better. And crying also makes me feel better, even if that sounds kind of weird. I don’t know, maybe my period is coming? It would explain the cramps but also I don’t normally get bad cramps before my period so??? who knows??

Also, I was really stupid & broke my phone. After sitting in rice for several days it seems to mostly work okay, except for the volume. I’d rather have that than nothing though! I’m just a bit frustrated at myself. :/

Just in general EVERYTHING FEELS ANNOYING. I’m having problems dying my hair and seeing all the cool stuff happening at SDCC which I’m not at and having a bit of a Feeling Bad About Gender Moment. I decided to kinda ‘come out’ to my irl friends, I suppose, in that I asked them to use they/them pronouns for me. I love them a lot, and we’re cool and LGBTQ+ together, but some of them don’t know much about non-binary stuff so I guess it can be tiring? And also because I’m an awkward person I don’t like correcting people. But I also put my pronouns more visibly on twitter, so. I’m proud I did that. If I decide actually these pronouns aren’t for me then that’s okay, but they feel good right now, and I’ve had a year to think about.

Good stuff has been happening too! I’m going to YALC next Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited. I also went to see part 1 of Angels in America at the cinema; I look forward to finishing it next Thursday. I’m loving podcasts right now and am absolutely living for the second season of Witch Please, The Penumbra Podcast, and the new Secret Feminist Agenda. I’m currently having a bit of a feminism renaissance! Yay!

I didn’t really realise it until I sat down today but — I think what I need is to take some time away. I’ve been so stressed about trying to schedule posts that I just HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. It is a little disappointing for me because I’m always like ‘oh yay, I blog really regularly! I’m reliable!’ but honestly I want to prioritise my mental health. It’s never good to burn out. It’s not good for me to not be enjoying blogging anymore.

As such, I’ve decided to take August off. I’m away with minimal wifi for the first two weeks — camping hell yeah! — and I’ll see when I get back. I’ll probably post a YALC round up but I can’t guarantee anything more. Instead, I’m going to be working to make my blog even more awesome than before in time for Autumn and my 4th blogoversary! (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT. I feel so old yet I have so few followers, ahahahaha.) (I’m also trying hard to not get down about the relative success of my blog because JEALOUSY IS NOT COOL.)

Thank you for understanding and for staying with me, friends. I love you all. I’ll probably still be more present on twitter and tumblr if you fancy saying hi to me. Please stay well. I’ll see you soon. ❤

 

Summer Bucket List (& Other Plans)

summer bucket list 2017

I’ve just put on my summer playlist and for once the sun is shining here in the UK. Yep, it’s summertime again! AKA the time where I celebrate not having to do schoolwork only to end up being bored. I wish I was someone who could really take this time to relax and do nothing but unfortunately doing that just makes me feel TERRIBLE. By the end of the holidays I actually miss the structure and purpose that school gave me.

But, I am determined that I’m going to do FUN STUFF this summer and NOT MOOCH AROUND. I might be starting off with too high aspirations, but I’ve printed out a calendar and I’m hoping to get back into using my bullet journal as that really helped me structure my day.

I’ve made a to do list of all the stuff that I want or need to do — ranging LL from homework to visiting museums — so I thought I’d share the most interesting here with you. (Trust me, if I just shared my actual word document with the list it would be pretty incomprehensible.)

ink swash 2

activities

There are so many great museums in London & I don’t think I make enough use of them! I’m hoping to visit the Queer Art exhibition at Tate Britain, the LGBTQ+ history thing at the British Museum, maybe visit the V&A or the Science Museum. I have’t been there since I was about 8 so I’d love to see how it’s changed.

I’d also like to take some day trips for example to Brighton, since it’s pretty easy to get a train ticket places, and also I don’t think I’ve ever been to Brighton. SO I’D LIKE TO DO THAT. I’m still working on convincing my friends to come with me haha.

personal

For personal activities, I am hoping to dye my hair blue tomorrow. I actually dyed it blue earlier but it was a semi-permanent dye so washed out basically immediately. 😦 This is something I’ve wanted to do for ages so fingers crossed it works out!

I am also trying to practice more self-care at the moment. I think I’m doing a better job, and currently I feel…fairly good in terms of mental health? Which is nice for once? I’m using the app Smiling Mind to do short daily (or almost daily haha) meditations, and my mum & I are doing some yoga from youtube videos my aunt recommended us. (She’s recently got super into yoga.) And it’s nice to do something together! Especially a physical activity since I don’t really do much in summer and it does make me feel better. I HOPE to go swimming at my local pool but to be honest I’ll probably end up forgetting. I do use my bike to cycle places though, since my parents can’t take me.

Finally, I’m using Duolingo to learn Japanese. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might know that I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a while — I also did a bunch last summer. However, as I predicted school got in the way, so I am hoping to use Duolingo as an easy way to learn some stuff for my school trip (!!!) in autumn. I find I’m quite motivated since I don’t want to lose my streak haha.

online

I’m pretty sure I say this every single holiday, but I’m going to try and write a whole bunch of blog posts so that I can have some buffer posts when school/life gets busy. (BECAUSE GCSE YEAR AAAAH I’M FINE.) We’ll see how that turns out.

I’ve also been considering rejigging my blog a bit in terms of design and the way I post. I do quite like my current theme, but I’m sort of feeling like it’s time for a change? And that I could make something which both looks nicer and has more consistent content. (Not that this is necessary for an amazing blog. Just something I’ve been thinking about.)

I’m vaguely considering doing some podfic — if you don’t know what it is, it’s like an audiobook except for fanfiction — since a) I love listening to podfic and b) now I have a mildly better microphone to record with but we shall seeee.

writing

In the last few months I’ve done basically no writing. I’d like to say school just took up all my time, but whilst that’s true to some extent, I also haven’t been feeling very motivated to write anything. This is the first year where I haven’t really got any new poems by the summer. 😦 However, I do have a new idea that I’m working on so I hope to do some of that!

One of my big problems with writing is that I get so worked up over THE NOVEL and how it has to be perfect. I find it a lot easier to view any writing projects from a different way — like, what would I do with this if it were a fanfiction? For me writing fic is really all about enjoyment  so that often gives me a way to feel excited about my story again. Or: what if this were a collection of short stories? a podfic? a webcomic? Obviously different stories work better in different mediums, but that’s just a weird thing I do.

media

As all my friends know, I’m terrible at following up on the stuff they recommend me. So, I’m planning to use this time to watch a bunch of different TV shows (Steven Universe, Brooklyn 99, Jane the Virgin, Carmilla probably others I’ve forgotten) as well as various books, webcomics, and other things. I also want to watch some musicals like Heathers, A Very Potter Sequel and Spring Awakening. (I’M SORRY. I feel bad watching bootlegs but the production is done and I don’t know how else I’m going to see it.)

Along with all this there’s schoolwork, reading/buying books for YALC, read a bunch of watching movies like Star Wars. I adore Star Wars but my family doesn’t enjoy sci-fi so I haven’t seen them all. And I’m seeing the Angels in America at the National Theatre Live thing in the cinema over the next two weeks which I am SO EXCITED FOR. AAH. Hopefully I’ll write a post about it.

ink swash 2

I’ve probably left out some other stuff I want to do, as I always do, but this post has somehow reached 1,000 words and it’s getting hot in this room so I shall end here. 🙂 If you like you can check out my summer bucket list from 2015 (I didn’t do one last year); I just did and woAH what a throwback. I do hope my writing style has developed a bit since then ahaha.

what are your plans for the next two months? doing anything nice? what do you think of the ink squiggles??(it’s an experiment)

School Year in Review // #evestudies

school year in review eve studies.jpg

As the school year winds down, I’m entering a bit of reflective period before, you know, I FORGET SCHOOL COMPLETELY for 6 weeks. (Okay, maybe not, but.) If you haven’t been following my #evestudies series, where I talk about school & studying & learning in general, then you can check out my other posts here.

The last time I updated was during half term, which is basically my revision week before internal exams. So how did my exams go? Well…overall I’m really happy with my results! I did better than I was expecting in a bunch of subjects, and I think that for the most part my revision did pay off. I’m quite a perfectionist so whenever I take an exam, I’m kind of aiming to get everything right which means I focus more on what I think I did wrong. (I think? I mean, I’m still figuring it out, but usually there is a difference between how I perceived the exam whilst taking it and the result.)

My main disappointment was probably my biology exam, because I really love biology and I did put a lot of effort into revision, but I was just a unlucky with the topics that came up and wasn’t great at exam technique. I could feel myself getting really stressed during the actual exam.

I also some stupid mistakes in maths, like reading graphs wrong and stuff, because I COULD HAVE FIXED THAT SO EASILY, or forgetting to reference the sources in a history question. But hopefully these mistakes are easily fixed!

And how does this relate to the school year as a whole? Because IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE EXAMS, even if the government is trying really hard to convince us that is the case.I do think I’ve had a good year at school, to be honest. I’ve heard some people saying that Year 7/8/9 was so much easier and we have a lot of work at GCSE but, honestly, I feel I’m only growing as a person as time passes. The past year has had a lot of difficulties, but it’s not like we can go back so I’m trying to focus on the present. I actually love all my classes! Though I felt sad that I’m not taking French, I don’t regret my choices. I feel like I am LEARNING and I LOVE IT A LOT. I CAN’T WAIT TO LEARN ALL THE THINGS.

The subjects I’ve found most challenging this year were maths, English, and history. In maths it takes me a pretty long time to understand a subject, and it feels like we do a lot of different unrelated topics in a short space of time, which I find difficult. I don’t much enjoy our GCSE set text (Spies by Michael Frayn) and in general I don’t adore the way we do English GCSE, but I’m finding ways to be more motivated. We’re studying new texts now which should be a bit better. For history, though I’m very interested, the lessons are pretty intense and I can easily zone out. I think it just has a lot of difficult skills to develop! But, you know, I’m working on it.

I mean, obviously I could do more stuff like reading out of what we do in lessons, spending more time on homework rather than just trying to get it done, but it’s important for me to balance my schoolwork with my mental health. 🙂 I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, and I want to keep trying to practice self-care, especially when I feel terrible. (Which is when it is most difficult for me.)

Aside from academic stuff this year, I’ve done cool stuff like starting to play the saxophone, joining a rad clarinet quartet, joining some cool clubs, helping out with the school play and making it through the school biathlon alive which I AM SO PROUD OF. I find running pretty difficult, so.

And that’s a wrap on my school year! I hope that next academic year I can continue to grow both personally & in my learning. Yes, I am in one of those REFLECTIVE GROWTH MOODS. Maybe it’s the summer. Whilst I’m not doing much work I can try and be positive about the idea of doing work haha.

if you’re still in education, how’s it going? how has the last year been to you? do you have any goals for the future?

 

 

Pride Month // i talk about queer things

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(A note: I use the word queer to describe myself and I’m going to be using it a lot in this post, just to let you know.)

I’ve said this approximately 192730 times already but IT IS JUNE, AND IT IS PRIDE MONTH, aka the month of the year where I not only think about queer stuff all the time but also talk about queer stuff all the time! And everyone else talks about queer stuff too! (Yes. I like Pride Month a lot.)

I thought that today it would be nice for me to talk a bit about my own — and I sort of cringe to call it this, but? — ~queer experience~. I know this might feel like a familiar topic, and I am definitely not super unique, but it’s cathartic for me to talk about myself. And who knows? Maybe it will help someone else. 🙂

The internet and by extension the blogging community have both been really formative for me in so many ways. One of these ways is that I essentially discovered that LGBTQ+ people existed and I could be a thing that wasn’t, like, a normative gender or sexuality. I initially thought I was asexual, actually. (And yes, fanfiction introduced me to this. It might sound weird but I think it made a difference to hear it described in terms of feelings?) I didn’t identify with what people around me were saying about crushes and attraction, and to be honest to this day I still don’t. But I’m really grateful to the blogging community for helping me to become more educated, and to discovering myself.

To be honest, I didn’t feel great about my identity for a long time. (I still often don’t.) But simply just talking about queer stuff and how I was feeling really helped me. I’m just looking back on my blog, and I think the first time I started blogging about LGBTQ+ stuff was early 2016? Yeah. In many ways I find it easier to talk to strangers over the internet, and it’s also cool that you can easily find other people who are similar to you.

The first time that I came out to my friends in real life was about a year ago — just after Brexit, actually. Anyway, one of my friends told me they were bisexual and then it turned out a bunch of my other friends were also LGBTQ+ which was cool! I don’t think I officially had, like, a proper coming out moment after that but somehow it’s sort of pervaded our friendship group that many of us are LGBTQ+ which is pretty rad. *finger guns*

I’ve had some people tell me they don’t like it when people put their orientation or identity as their defining feature. I really respect if you don’t want your identity to be a big thing, and of course I’ll try my best to not make a big deal of it! (I mess up sometimes, and I’m sorry.) But I do find it frustrating when people say that I should talk about queer stuff less so I can try and assimilate or something. I know that many people don’t want to talk about their identity a lot but personally I find it pretty stressful to keep everything inside.

Because I am always thinking about queer stuff. It might sound weird, but just being able to talk about it makes me feel so much happier. I know that I have so much privilege — because I’m white, living in the UK, able-bodied, I haven’t really experienced much homophobia or queerphobia — yet it still made me feel isolated to just not be talking about stuff I spent a lot of of time thinking about.

Of course this is something so many people have to do, and I respect you so much. I’m so lucky to be in a place where I actually can talk openly about queer stuff — I can go to a society at school and just chill being queer. And IT FILLS ME WITH SO MUCH INEXPLICABLE JOY. I LOVE TALKING ABOUT QUEER STUFF.

So, yeah, I’m really happy that in the last year or so I’ve been able to be more free with myself, and accept myself. I really hope that I can do that more in the future. One of the things I’d love to do would be to attend a Pride celebration! The nearest one to me is London, and currently I am planning on going, which I’m pretty excited about.  (If you’re thinking of going then and want to say hi then I’d love to hear. *nods*) I do hope that I can, and that I can be more happy with myself in the future, even if it isn’t always easy.

 

 

Post-General Election 2017

It feels a bit weird to be writing this post, about a year after I wrote these two posts about the EU Referendum, but the whole of UK politics has been weird for the past year, so. Here we go.

At the end of April I wrote about my thoughts on the snap election, what kind of result I’d be looking for and about how I wanted to be more informed. How did I do? Well, during May I kept track of how much I read the news, and I think I was doing pretty well! But once exams and revision started to creep up, I ended up having no energy to do anything. (Although I did still listen to Radio 4 sometimes when it was on.)

It was unfortunate the election was right in the middle of exams, really — I can’t imagine how it would have been if you were taking public exams. (Kudos to you!) Especially in the last two weeks I started to feel pretty horrible, and I just decided that it would be better for me to spend time doing nice things for myself. I had an exam the morning after the election, and I was pretty worried about how I was going to concentrate. I tried to avoid the news until afterwards, although some of my friends did try to convince me there was a Tory-UKIP coalition. *glares*

Yeah. The last little while has been difficult. Words don’t feel adequate, but send my love to anyone affected by conflict. ❤ I don’t really know what I can do but continue.

So. Yes. The election. I’m not going to pretend that I know loads about politics, but I am pleased that the Tories are weakened? If you couldn’t really tell, haha, I just…don’t really agree with many of their policies. I think the government has really messed up the NHS, and I don’t think we should be focusing on reducing immigration instead of like, improving public services, or not cutting disability benefits. I also don’t see how the hard Brexit the Tories are currently going for can be positive.

I also watched some interviews with Theresa May and it really struck me that sh doesn’t seem like a great public speaker? This doesn’t mean she’s necessarily a bad PM in and of itself, but even I can tell that repeating the same thing robotically in answer to every question is not a good option. Who knows what will happen with Tory leadership now. I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO TRY AND PREDICT ANYTHING. There will probably be many dramatic developments by the time this post actually goes up, since I’m scheduling it, but there you go.

However, although Labour’s result was unexpectedly positive, and I’m especially super happy that there was a high youth turnout, it’s still not amazing. The Tories are still the biggest party and the DUP seem pretty awful in terms of islamophobia, homophobia, climate change denial, anti-abortion and stuff. I admit that I sort of forget abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland? (And also Ireland.) Which is not good, and I’m sorry.

To be frank I just don’t quite know what to think. I’m frustrated that one year on we still basically don’t know anything about Brexit. I have no idea how talks which are about to start will go. I’m still upset about it.

There was probably some more I wanted to say in this post that I’ll forget later, but I don’t want to just write random stuff to pad it out so HERE WE ARE. A messed up collection of thoughts on the election, much like the messed up thing politics right now is! *finger guns* I hope you’re all well, and I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have.

Revision Week & Self Care // #evestudies

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I’m currently in the middle of my school half term, which is also what ends up being my revision week for exams. (Next week I have 5 days of internal exams, as well as two extra English exams the week after because there is just Too Much English.)

So… how has my revision been going? I’d been intending to do about 4 hours a day; whilst I know these are internal exams, I’m also about halfway through my GCSE course and I thought it would be good to consolidate information. But I think this is also partly down to me putting pressure on myself to do well, since I just…feel like I need to do well? I am trying to do that less, but I’m not very good at letting go. I always want to do my best, even at the expense of other things.

But I’m trying really hard to be more kind to myself! Revision was pretty difficult, especially at the start. I felt pretty horrible and overwhelmed. I still do feel a bit overwhelmed, since I’m covering topics from last year too for many subjects. I’m currently still going to be doing revision into exam week which isn’t ideal, but I don’t want to do any more than I need. (Also: yes, since you asked, this post is pretty much going to be me talking over my thoughts.)

Probably my most stressful subject to revise is History. For me, I feel so overwhelmed with all the content — there’s always more that you can revise and learn. The exam is also a very condensed test of all the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt over the course so far. I find that pretty daunting. However, I’ve been trying to really break down the detail into only the very necessary stuff so that I can actually learn something instead of just feeling bad.

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History revision (of my Russia course)

Although sciences, in particular Biology and Chemistry for me since we have more content, have also been quite stressful, I find them a lot easier to revise. I get to make pretty mindmaps! Which is GREAT. So I think they’re subjects I look forward to.

I mentioned that I’m trying to take care of myself more… I’ve been feeling pretty tense and gross at times. I’m trying to do more exercise like swimming in the morning and jumping up and down to songs I love. I have been thinking a lot about London Pride, which I think I’m going to be able to attend this year!! I’m also motivating myself with chocolate between revision. (I LOVE DARK CHOCOLATE SO MUCH Y’ALL.) I’ve been doing some meditation and yoga too — which I’m sort of new to, but I think they’re helping. Yes.

Currently I’m watching Brooklyn Nine Nine, which I’ve just started — I like it a lot so far! I don’t really watch many (or any) comedy shows so it’s kind of fun for me. Plus, I’m watching a Spanish show called Cable Girls with my mum which I’m loving. The production is just SO AESTHETIC and I can pretend to learn Spanish haha. Everyone is just, like, really attractive, and it is unfair?

My exams start Monday, and I don’t think I’m going to be very active on the blog during the next week, so here is some advance notice. I’m least looking forward to Tuesday (which has both Physics and History, yikes) but the other days are mainly okay. I’m also nervous for the election, and I’m frustrated that I’ll probably be extra worried about that on top of my exams. If you’re doing exams, I hope they’re going well, and good luck for any future ones you might have! Take care of yourself, my friends. ❤