School Year in Review // #evestudies

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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?

 

 

Beautiful People: Writerly Resolutions and Goals

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I swear that I’m trying to be a better writer this year. So I’ve decided to — finally, I know — link up with Cait and Sky for Beautiful People! I realised halfway through writing this that maybe it would have been better to go in with an actual functioning WIP, but STUFF CONVENTION. I did it anyway. I have to start somewhere, right? 😛

what were your writing achievements last year?
The Glass Kite Anthology workshop over the summer was awesome. I got longlisted for a poetry competition as well, which was pretty nice? Yeah. *nods*

tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
*manic laughter* WHAT WRITING PROJECT? No, seriously, I don’t really have anything I’m working on right now. (Though I wish I could say I did.) It was fun to get out my NaNo idea, but I’ve been working on that for ages and to be honest I just want something new. Maybe one of those many space opera retellings that I’ve been thinking about. (Guys. SO MANY THINGS ARE IMPROVED BY SPACE, okay?)

list 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
1. FINISHING STUFF.
2. Writing frequently and not just going crazy during one month a year.
3. Making actual plans with actual plot.
4. Thinking at least a tiny bit about what I’m writing and not going mad just to reach my daily goal. sensing a trend? pfft
5. Yeah. Just generally be more organised in the how and when I write.

are you participating in any writing challenges?
Um, not right now? I DON’T KNOW. But I’d like to. (Is NaNoWriMo a writing challenge? Because despite the complaints of literally everyone I know, I’ll probably be doing that again because I can’t write in any other situation.)

what’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I don’t have either of these, although it would be pretty cool! This year I’d really love to become more involved generally in the writing community — and to actually produce something decent to show you all. I’m hoping those two things will go hand in hand… I can provide you with many virtual cookies & hugs if you can nag at me to write!

do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
Pfft, every book is research. 😉 No, actually: I jus downloaded a copy of Henry V because I got some awesome ideas from seeing it on stage. I mean, I generally think it would be fun to read Shakespeare when it’s not being slaughtered by English lessons. But that one in particular.

pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
Hmm, doing this link-up with basically no WIP might have been a silly idea. But I want to make sure that I get to know all of my characters, not one or two. I always intend to write with a really small cast of characters, and then realise halfway through that it’s not going to work and adding some stupid filler ones. To be honest all elements of my writing in their current state need improvement in their current state. XD

do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
I might go back and edit my NaNo novel. Who knows. Yeah. I’m hoping to get a chance at editing… I think I need to let go of my perfectionism, since I always end up rewriting rather than editing the original. (I think it has got better, in all fairness, but I really do want to start something new.)

Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
HAHAHA. Filling the gaps in my reading material is my basic writing motivation. It’s very self-gratuitous. The things I most enjoy reading about are a) dark storylines, b) revolutions, and c) girlkissing. (Okay, it’s possible that those aren’t actual holes in the market, but there you go.) On a more serious note, I also really want to see more diversity in fantasy and general friendships happening.

what do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
If you haven’t grasped this already: AN ACTUAL FINISHED MANUSCRIPT. An idea that I reasonably like. Yep. And some more poetry would also be good, though preferably not tacked on as an afterthought like it appeared to there!

do you have any 2016 writerly resolutions? what would you like to see more of in books? just here for the cookies? oh well, here you are… *hands plate* 😉

The Start of a New Year

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I can’t believe we’re almost coming to the end of this year! I know it sounds clichéd, but it really does seem like only yesterday that I was writing the same kind of post last year. I don’t want you to bombard you guys with stats, since you’ve probably been getting a ton of these posts coming into your inbox, but ‘ve noted down a few achievments for the past year and stuff I’m excited about for the future.

Looking Back at 2014

Click here for a wonderful infographic of my stats produced by WordPress!

    • This year, I rekindled my love of words.. The library came into excellent stock, and I came across excellent books. This was the year I discovered Rainbow Rowell, The Mortal Instruments, The Grisha…the list goes on.
    • Not only did I fall back in love with reading – I also fell back in love with writing. I wrote and read stories far more frequently, and I even started a project during NaNoWriMo. My love of poetry was rekindled by the wonderful Topaz Winters (no, I’m not going to stop mentioning this!) and from there I’ve been bewitched by other beautiful poems. I’ve written a few of my own, too!
    • I read my first comic…ever? After much bugging. I was finally convinced by my friend to read the webcomic Nimona, and I am SO GLAD I DID. I binge-read all the available pages on a Wednesday afternoon and then had to suffer the next few months on just two pages a week. TORTURE. Anyway, I’m feeling a bit bereft now that it has ended, so if you guys have any recommendations then those would be great to hear.
    • I’m the same height as my mum. FINALLY. I don’t think I’m going to be a tall person exactly, but my one goal is to be taller than my mum. And we’re the same height!
    • I discovered the fandom. It’s a really fun community, but sometimes it bugs me that people tend to forget the flaws in books/movies.

Looking Ahead to 2015

    • I want to learn how the American school system works. It is just SO DARN CONFUSING. Even after reading all these books about kids in high school (?) I still do not understand which age corresponds with which year. (And honors classes?? What are they?)
    • I want to do a Goodreads reading challenge. I only just got my GR account, but I’m going to start at 60 books for 2015 and see how I go.
    • I want to finish a writing project. Preferably the one I started during NaNo, but you never know! I don’t want to block myself in 😛 To be honest, I just want to keep writing – as long as I keep practicing and improving and enjoying, I don’t want to stop
    • I want to watch some of the older episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix. I came onto the bandwagon way too late, and now I’m suffering.

And of course, there’s a whole load of books and movies like:

    • Nimona! In paperback!
    • Frozen Hearts, by the aforementioned blogger and teen writer Topaz Winters
    • ACOTAR and Throne of Glass #4
    • Fairest and Winter
    • CARRY ON SIMON GUYS IT’S HAPPENING OH MY GOSH
    • Insurgent, Mockingjay Part II, Big Hero Six, The Scorch Trials
    • News of Paper Towns and Eleanor & Park movies?

And, finally, I want to keep blogging and I want to keep happy. 🙂

Happy New Year! How was 2014 for you? Do you have any goals for the coming year?