//Concerts, prom and leaving school…//

Where do I start? This week has literally been the busiest week of my life. It doesn’t even feel like I had my last two exams this week, on Monday and Wednesday – exams feel like they were years ago (well…not quite years but you get the point). I officially left school this week which was sad but it feels good to be free now and actually have time to do the things I love like blogging and sleeping and drawing and sleeping and playing instruments and sleeping…did I mention sleeping? I’m also getting back into rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which I started before exams but had to abandon whilst I was revising. I’m currently waiting to pick up a French copy of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone from the library and I can’t wait to actually work on improving my French over the summer. Anyway, let me talk you through this week.

Monday: chemistry exam ugh.

Tuesday: t-shirt signing day. It’s a tradition at my school that all the school leavers sign (and basically just ruin) each others school t-shirts. It’s quite cool because it gives you something to remember the school and all the friends you made there by. Also the canteen gave us FREE CAKE. I know, I was as shocked as you. The food at my school is usually REALLY overpriced but here they were handing out unlimited free cake. Amazing.

Wednesday: physics exam. Enough said. It was horrible grrrrrr. BUT in the evening I went to listen to an outdoor James Bay concert (I couldn’t go because my sister had an exam the next day so we stood outside and listened to most of it). James’ voice is actually so beautiful live and it’s made me want to actually go to one of his concerts even more now. I took a few videos which I will *fingers crossed* be editing and uploading on my YouTube channel soon!!

Thursday: PROMMMMMMMMM!!!!!! I was so nervous waiting around all day to get ready for prom that the only way I could stay calm was by spending 3 hours sketching James Bay.
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I was so relieved when it got to 3pm and I could start doing my hair and makeup which actually turned out exactly how I wanted it!! Me and my friends decided to hire a Buick Electra to take us to prom so we could turn up in style. However our plan kind of failed as we went for a drive along the beach before going to the school and got stuck in rush hour traffic. So we ended up being the last people to arrive at school and by that time the carpark was so crowded that I doubt barely anyone was able to actually see our car arriving. Plus people were too busy taking photos of them and their friends. But the car did do a wheel spin on the way out which turned some heads!!

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Prom was honestly the best night of my life. We had to get a coach from the school to the venue but the venue was absolutely stunning and well worth all the travelling. Everyone looked so beautiful at prom and at first it was hard to recognise who everyone was! I kept getting my friends names muddled up throughout the night, probably because I was so tired!

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The stage and dance floor

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We had a three course meal which was delicious in every way, especially the blackberry cheesecake. Me and my friends literally danced and sang for the whole night. We spent the whole time on the dance floor, dancing like crazy and it was amazing. I think all the other people in my year group who don’t know me that well were really surprised to see me actually dancing because I’m usually really quiet and shy but on the way to prom, something just clicked and I suddenly stopped caring about what people thought of me and I think I’ve gained a lot of self-confidence since then too which is great!

Friday: I felt like a zombie after prom (I ended up going to sleep after midnight) but had to drag myself out of bed to take part in the leavers festival at my school. Another tradition is that all the year 11s dress up in fancy dress and parade tgrough the school on any transport they can think of. Me and two of my friends decided to dress up as super heroes on bikes. I was Captain America so wore a blue t-shirt with a silver star pinned to it and made a shield as well as wearing a blue tutu. It was really fun and surprisingly I didn’t feel at all embarassed, despite having the majority of the school watching us. Afterwards everyone went into the hall for our final leavers assembly where we watched videos that each tutor group had made and watched out official prom photo from the night before. It was quite emotional but definitely a good send off. We hung around in the school for a while after the assembly because we just didn’t know what to do with ourselves now that we were finally free!!

Saturday: yesterday I went to a Catfish and the Bottlemen concert and ahhhhh it was sooooo good!!!! I haven’t been listening for them for too long – about 2 or 3 months – but I fell in love with their music immediately. Seeing them live was absolutely brilliant – they were really lively and their voices wee just as amazing as they are on their albums. Also the band themselves were really nice and cool (and good looking!) and great to watch. The atmosphere of the concert itself was a bit too wild for me – we managed to get in the front row on the right hand side and I’m so glad I wasn’t in the middle of the crowd as I don’t think I would have survived that mosh pit! I am now even more in love with Catfish and the Bottlemen arghhhh they were just soooooo good!! As with James Bay, I took some video clips and am hoping to make a YouTube video out of them too. I took some pictures and they actually came out quite well as we were at the front. I queued for like 20 mins after the concert to buy merch and came hone with a huge (and I mean huge – the only place it fits is on my bedroom door)The Ride poster (their new album which is No.1 in the UK at the moment). Now I’m having concert withdrawal symptoms ūüėāit was just BEYOND WORDS. What I’ve written could never do justice to it.

 

So, that’s how busy my week has been!! Despite now being thoroughly exhausted after 4 late nights in a row, I have loved every second of this week and wouldn’t change it for the world. I hope you’ve all had a great week too! ūüôā

 

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//Exams need to change//

I’ve been thinking about this for a while but today’s exam confirmed it. I had my second biology exam today and although I thought the exam went quite well, guess what? Only 14 of the 53 topics on the specification actually came up in the exam. That’s just 26%. Not only did the exam board fail to test us on the majority of the course which I have spent three years learning, they decided it would be fun to ask us about ‘the 4 elements all proteins need/have’ and ‘why red seaweed grows at great depths’ which aren’t even included anywhere on the specification. And what about the other 74% of the course? Was it even worth me learning that in the first place?

This got me thinking about how exams are really quite unfair. I mean, it’s only natural for everyone to have their own strengths and weaknesses within subjects. I know exams can’t always play to everyone’s strengths but I just find it really unfair how the topics that actually come up in the exam are randomly selected as surely this gives students who’s strengths lie within these topics an unfair advantage. You could get a grade C in physics for example because the 26% of the specification that is actually in the exam happens to be the bit you struggle with most so then you and everyone else will forever be thinking you’re just average at physics when in reality you could have A* knowledge on the other 76% of the course that you weren’t tested on and that your grade wasn’t determined by and in actual fact the only things in physics you are not too great at are describing how double-glazed windows work (thanks for that OCR physics – in case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t want to be a window fitter when I’m older so how am I supposed to know that?).

Not only is the way exams don’t actually assess you’re whole knowledge of a subject unfair, there is also far too much content for you to ¬†be able to actually leave school and remember a single thing about the advantages of using immobilised enzymes or what red shift even is. I don’t know about you, but I find that as soon as I’ve finished an exam, all of that knowledge is just forgotten because my brain knows it is taken up valuable, unnecessary space which I need to prepare for my next exam. So far I’ve done exams in RS (ethics and philosophy), maths, English literature and language, history, geography, French, chemistry, physics, biology and politics and to be honest I can barely remember anything I’ve spent the past three years learning (except French because my brain weirdly seems to translate everything I’m about to say into French before I actually speak). It seems like such a waste – and to be honest it is – but because we are forced to cram one 300 paged text books worth of information into our brains after the other, anything that’s not needed anymore has to go, no matter how much I want to be able to remember it.

In my opinion, exams and education in general would be so much more effective and useful if the course content was a lot smaller and all of it was actually included in the end-of-course exam. Otherwise what’s the point? Reducing the course content would give us more time to learn and understand the information we are expected to know so revising for exams won’t become so much of a¬†test of¬†how good your memory is but of how much you actually understand and are able to apply that subject knowledge. For me revision has just become a process of forcing myself to memorise facts but wouldn’t it be nice of instead of having to cram all these facts in without having time to properly understand them, we could just know those facts and concepts because we understand them fully and are able to apply them to everyday life around us? At least that way we are more likely to leave school actually¬†knowing¬†how catalysts affect the rate of reaction instead of just having a sheet of paper saying at one point in our lives we were able to recall this information under timed conditions only to have forgotten about it before we’d even left the exam hall. The whole aim of school is to educate us and provide us with the knowledge we need to pursue the careers that we want to but at the moment this is not the case as we are expected to learn so much that we never have time to fully understand everything and if we can’t understand stuff, then we won’t be able to put it into practice in real life which is a fundamental feature of effective learning. At the moment I’d be no more qualified to do job biology-related job with my *fingers crossed*GCSE biology than someone who has never studied biology in their life because I simply can’t recall anything I’ve learnt.¬†The problem with having loads of course content is that the only way we can pass our exams is by cramming all these facts into our short-term memory as we don’t have the time to understand them in sufficient enough detail for them to be embedded into our long-term memory.

An alternative to reducing the course content and including it all in the exam (because we all know the government would never agree to this as it would make exams ‘easier’ – nah m8, it would just mean us students were able to leave school actually knowing stuff but you don’t seem to want us to become educated…(stop starting conspiracy theories about the PM, Em, and stop getting over-excited about the incoming double-bracket)) would be to divide each exam into sections. These sections would correspond to sections of the specification which would give he course more of a clear structure AND allow the exam board to offer a choice of sections/topics in the exam so everyone gets the chance to show off their true abilities to the examiners and answer topics that play to their strengths. This would make exams a lot more fair and useful in my opinion plus it wouldn’t be too hard for exam boards to actually implement this change (although I’d never have the courage to actually suggest this alternative exam system to exam boards or the government myself…well, maybe one day).

So, that’s why I think exams really do need to change. I know the government is just beginning the process of making exams ‘harder’ so I’m sure I’ll end up writing a much angrier rant than this in a years time when I will have experienced being the ‘guinea pig’ year for the new ‘tougher’ a-levels, but if anything, the fact that I am able to waste an hour of my valuable revision time writing this rant at the moment proves that exams are too hard and unfair as it is and that these new reforms are only likely to make everything much, much worse. All I can say is good luck to everyone sitting the new reformed GCSEs – I simply can’t imagine how the can make them ‘harder’ than they already are but everything is possible I guess…

 

 

//#Thingsthatmakemehappy//

This post is inspired by the lovely Zin at Books and Feathers – it really cheered me up just reading her post and I think that writing my own version will make me feel a lot better too. Sometimes after having a bit of a rough day we need to remind ourselves of all the good things in life. I’m a hopeless pessimist – I find it hard to be optimistic about most situations so something like listing all the things that makes me happy really does help! If you’re not feeling the best right now, you should do this too and *fingers crossed* it will make you feel a lot happier. ūüôā

  • Sunsets
  • Talking to my internet friends
  • #Teenbloggerschat (an awesome weekly Twitter chat for teen bloggers)
  • Writing good blog posts and making graphics to go with them
  • Doing arty stuff
  • Making artwork for other people
  • Going camping
  • The sea
  • Photography
  • Finding good books and falling in love with them
  • Giving gifts to people and seeing them be happy
  • Listening to the radio
  • Looking at old photos
  • Looking through old notebooks/school books (as I did this weekend and found some very funny things – consult my Twitter feed if you’re interested)
  • My bedroom (which you can seehere)
  • going to theatres
  • Going to concerts
  • Speaking/writing in French
  • Cycling
  • Playing/watching cricket
  • Barbecues
  • Kind people
  • My friends and family
  • The blogging community

Okay that’s quite a lot for now! I’ll be continuing with things that make me happy on Twitter with the #thingsthatmakemehappy hashtag so feel free to join in and help spread happiness all over Twitter! All you have to do is tweet a list of things that make you happy and use the tag! ūüôā Again, I – and I’m sure Zin would be back me up here – would highly recommend writing a list of things that make you happy whether it’s on a blog post or on Twitter or just on a bit of paper, it really does make you feel a lot better so thank you for Zin for coming up with this lovely idea! ūüôā

//Is space a waste?//

If I’m being honest, I’ve never really liked or been interested in space. I’ve always wondered why that was – considering everyone around me seems to be so intrigued by what’s ‘out there’. Recently though, I’ve discovered that I’m not interested in space because I simply don’t believe in it.¬†I can understand if you think this sounds stupid, but let me explain. I’m¬†not¬†just being incredibly ignorant and refusing to acknowledge all of the years of evidence there is piled up against me here. I¬†know¬†we have proof that outer space is an actual thing and that there are other planets and stars apart form our Earth and Sun. I accept that we have a solar system, with eight other planets in it accept from Earth. What I don’t believe, however, is that there is anything more than just our solar system. I¬†don’t¬†believe that our solar system is just one of hundreds of millions and that there is ‘all that’ out there. To me, stars are just stars, not other suns with other planets orbiting them.

Anyway, before I end up making you all think I’m really dumb, let’s discuss why I think space exploration¬†is a waste.

1. Money –¬†it is no secret that space exploration costs¬†a lot¬†of money – the European Space Agency spent 4.3 billion euros on space exploration in 2014. To me, that just seems ridiculous. Why don’t we just spend our money¬†on Earth¬†where it is needed most at the moment to sort out our own problems of poverty etc. Space exploration seems like a bit of a lottery to me anyway – I mean, only a small proportion of space missions are actually successful and those that aren’t just resort in lots of wasted money which could be put to much better use on Earth. Apparently leaving the EU will give the UK ’16 billion pounds’ but that’s nothing compared to what we’d save if we stopped or at least reduced our funding of space exploration and research. No one really considers how much space actually costs us – everyone complains that the government is spending too much money on such and such but is space the real waste??

2.¬†Why do we have to know the answers to everything? –¬†A Little Daydreamer made an awesome YouTube video about this which you should totally watch because I really related to it and it inspired me to write this post (along with some hardcore physics revision earlier). Seriously though, why can’t we just let our imaginations run wild and all have our own interpretations of what space is? Why do we have to have a scientific explanation¬†for everything?¬†Why do we have to take away the ‘magic’ of everything by finding out how every single thing works and why it happens? Why can’t we just be content with the fact that we are alive on Earth and stop picking everything apart for ‘scientific research? I’m sorry but exploring space isn’t going to find a cure for terminal illnesses – there are much more important medical¬†research programmes that we should be investing our money into.

3. Exploitation –¬†we are already exploiting our Earth of it’s resources. Fossil fuels for one thing are near the end of their lifespan and on top of that we’ve destroyed animals habitats, caused the extinction of many species and just generally not taken care of the environment around us. Surely space is just another thing for us to ruin and exploit? There is already a lot of space debris just floating around in space from previous space missions and old satellites. It seems a shame to spoil such a natural thing as space with our man-made machinery and technology. Also, space debris poses a threat to our satellites that are actually in use now as even the tiniest bits of ‘space junk’ travel at extreme speeds and could cause satellites to blow up on impact. By the sounds of it we’ve succeeded in turning space into a deadly minefield of old space shuttle engines and broken satellites…

4. The ‘Goldilocks’ dilemma¬†–¬†even if all of out extensive space research¬†did¬†pay off an we were able to find another planet with the perfect conditions for human life, have you ever thought about what would happen down on Earth once we are equipped with this knowledge? The human race would be split over whether we should inhabit this planet as we’ve ruined ours anyway (what with global warming and climate change) or whether we should leave it be and pay the price for the damage we’ve done to Earth. Even if we did decide to inhabit this planet, who would go first? Most likely those who were able to pay the millions space travel would cost…and what about those who don’t want to go? Basically, it would just create one huge mess of problems that we really don’t need right now.

So, it’s clear that I believe that space¬†exploration and research¬†is¬†a waste but I respect the fact that I will be in the minority saying this. You are all entitled to your own opinions and I’d love to know what you think about space and whether it is a waste or not. (Also if anyone else is like me and doesn’t believe in the universe/things outside of our solar system, please let me know so I don’t think I’m going mad)!! ūüôā

 

//I’m leaving school – what!?//

 

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As summer draws nearer, so does the end of my 12 years at school. Last Thursday was my last official day at school – for the next week or so I’m on ‘study leave’ which means I only have to go to school for my exams and the lessons I still have exams in (which is just science). It’s been pretty scary and weird not seeing everyone everyday and not spending as much time with my friends. I only have 6 out of 17 exams left now, which is scary too. It feels like I’ve only just started exams but I’m already over half way through! To be honest though my brain stopped processing stuff after the mock exams in March so if you asked me what the date is, I’d probably say it was still March!

In 9 days time, I will have finished my last exam. In 10, I will be getting ready for prom. In 11, I’ll be at the leavers festival making a fool out of myself in fancy dress. Then in 12, it will all be over.

This is honestly such a scary thought. Part of me doesn’t want to leave the safety net that school provides and part of me just can’t wait to go to college and take more control over my future.

The whole thing about leaving school has been so surreal – everytime I read through what people have written in my year book I keep having sudden realisations that this is ACTUALLY HAPPENING and in September I won’t see half of these people again.

Not gonna lie though, the whole year book thingy has been pretty cool as I now have loads of little messages from friends amd teachers that I can keep with me forever and whenever I read them it makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

The past 12 years of school have been a bit of a rollercoaster but I’ll never forget all the memories and friends I’ve made. It’s scary to be leaving it all behind and there are so many things that I wished I had the confidence to do like staying in the school netball team and becoming a prefect and helping out with open days tours but overall I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve grown. I think everyone should look back and be proud of how they’ve developed and grown as a person throughout school and be able to look forward to what the future brings – I certainly am!

Best of luck to everyone else who is leaving school this year. Sorry for such a short, random post. I have loads of time to blog now I’m on study leave but zero inspiration. I keep starting posts and not finishing them so I have about 50 draft posts right now because I can’t seem to write anything right. I’m hoping this isn’t a sign that I’m falling into a blogging slump *gulp*. I’ll keep working on posts throughout the week though and *fingers crossed* I’ll manage to write something more meaningful by the end of the week! ūüôā

//Why politics should be taught in schools//

Throughout my 12 years in education in the UK, it was only 9 months ago in September that I first came across politics at school. Previously to that, I had very little knowledge of politics – to be honest I didn’t even know what the difference between government and parliament was or that there was such thing as the EU, let alone be interested in politics enough to dedicate a whole blog post to explaining the pros and cons of the EU. But now, after studying AS level government and politics for 9 months, you could say I’ve completely changed.

It seems ridiculous that, for 15 years of my life, I lived without even the basic knowledge of politics or how government worked – politics was just some ‘adult’ thing that us kids didn’t need to worry about until we were 18 and were suddenly expected to vote on important stuff. And quite frankly, it¬†is¬†ridiculous.¬†I mean, it’s compulsory for 11-16 year olds to study and take exams in subjects such as English Literature but not politics? Clearly it is much more important to be able to write a 3000 word essay on how the plays Of Mice and Men and Death of a Salesman¬†present the tragic reality of America in the 30s/40s than to know what government actually is, how our electoral system works and what the EU¬†actually¬†is. Politics is something that we are¬†all¬†expected to participate in and know about as adults yet English Literature (not slating English Lit entirely, just using it as an example here) – which only a small proportion of people will go on to pursue careers in – has a whole three years worth of GCSE dedicated to it. I’m not saying we should all aspire to be politicians, nor am I saying that a GCSE politics should be made compulsory (which may lead to political apathy) – I’m purely saying that politics should be taught and offered in the UK at an earlier stage than a-levels, which, by that time, you are already 18 and expected to make an informed vote.

So, without further or do, I present you with an awesome, very important list of why politics should be taught in schools:

  1. ¬†When it comes to voting, knowledge is key:¬†so, you’re 18 years old – congratulations you can now vote! But hang on, what’s all this about registering to vote? And what the heck is this manifestation? Manicure? Manifesto-thingy that I’m supposed to read? Do I tick the box or cross it? Does it matter? How many people can I vote for again? Why can’t I just vote for who I want to be Prime Minister? Ok so I’m¬†not¬†saying everyone is this ignorant to politics at the age of 18, but if it wasn’t for me taking AS politics this year, I believe I certainly would be. I honestly had no idea that in the UK we have constituencies (not constitutions as I used to call them, although we have one of those too…sort of) and that in General Elections we have to vote for an MP to represent our constituency in the House of Commons. I genuinely thought we just voted for whichever party we wanted to ‘win’ and form government, not that the government is formed of the party that has the most seats (MPs). If you don’t know anything about the electoral system in the UK (which is called first-past-the-post in case you didn’t know) then you are likely to be having the same misconceptions of how it all works as I was. The only way I escaped the state of viewing elections as some ‘distant, mysterious event that no one really knows much about’ is by studying it at AS level, something few people in the UK seem to do.
  2. We are the future generation of politicians:¬†young people, yes, you and I, are the ones who will grow up to fill the shoes of the politicians we see in the news now. Believe it or not, someone you know from school will probably end up with some sort of political career, whether it be a politician themselves, a pressure group activist, a civil servant – whatever. The point is, we are going to be the ones forming the government in 10, 20, 30 years time. Now, it is a well known fact that the House of Commons is not representative in the sense that most of it’s members are older, white males who have had some sort of private education. Clearly, the whole population of Britain is not older, white, privately-educated males so how can it be fair that the people with the most power in society represent a small proportion of those they govern? The truth is, it’s not.¬†In my opinion, the only to solve this representation dilemma is to make politics more accessible to young people from all social and educational backgrounds and encourage young people to pursue careers in politics, no matter whether they went to Eton or the local comprehensive. At the moment, the earliest possible time you can actively study politics is at a-level, as I’ve mentioned a few times, and even so not many people actually choose to study it because they’ve had no previous experience of studying it and hence don’t want to waste one of their four a-level options on a subject they might not even like. So, if politics was introduced or offered in schools at a younger age, it would give young people more of an insight into the political world and the jobs available ad perhaps make it easier for people from all walks of life to have political careers, instead of the select ‘elites’ that dominate the government.
  3. For the sake of democracy:¬†fun fact: democracy derives from the Greek words ‘demos’ and ‘kratos’, meaning ‘rule by the people’. But how can we have a true democracy if we aren’t equipped with sufficient knowledge to be able to make an informed vote for a party/candidate that best represents our ideological views? How can we even¬†form ideological views without political knowledge? I wonder how many voters simply chose a candidate because their tiny, 2-inch photo ‘looks’ the nicest out of the half a dozen others on the ballot paper or because they have the ‘best’ name…If a lot of people are making uninformed votes because they simply do not know anything about the candidates and what they stand for, then how can the results of the election be an accurate, true representation of what the people stand for? The thing about our representative democracy is that our MPs are ‘supposed’ to represent the views of their constituents but if their constituents don’t know who their voting for, then it isn’t really a true representative democracy. So, for the sake of democracy, we should be educated about politics at¬†some point¬†in our education to allow us to actively vote for candidates who actually represent our views and to help us figure out where our ideological standpoint actually is.
  4. Apathy needs to be reduced: why am I even letting myself get started on apathy? If there’s one thing about politics that deeply annoys me (ok there is more than one thing, but don;t get me started on them either) it’s apathy. In case you don;t know, political apathy basically means not being interested in politics, like, AT ALL. So much so that you can’t even be bothered to travel 10 minutes to your local polling station on election day or, even worse, not even be bothered to spare a couple of minutes of your time to register to vote¬†(by the way, all those lucky over 18 year olds who can vote in the EU referendum, you need to register to vote BEFORE the 7th of June – I even included a handy link for you).¬†Most people who are politically apathetic have that ‘view’ of politics being a boring thing that they don’t need – or want – to care about. But you SHOULD care – it is your chance to have your¬†say on issues that affect¬†your life. Also you might be apathetic because you just don’t know anything about politics or understand it so cannot see the value of it. This is exactly why we need¬†to be taught politics in school. I’ve recently been made aware of an organisation/campaign called Bite the Ballot¬†which aims to get more young people interested in politics and is driving young people to vote and #turnup for elections/referendums. I think it is a really great campaign and I would absolutely LOVE to get involved with it one day. Their website is very informative and as loads of shocking figures about 16-24 year olds politically apathetic attitudes (for example in the 2015 General Election, only 43% of 18-24 year olds voted) that really motivates me to want to make a change and help young people #takepower. I highly recommend you take a look, even if you are not in the slightest bit interested in politics – you never know, you might just change your mind! Anyway, back to the point – increased political education from an earlier age would surely help to reduce apathy amongst young people however I am aware that making – for example – GCSE politics compulsory could lead to more apathy as students would get bored and fed up of if they were forced to do it. I still think we should at least be taught politics in the run up to GCSEs (e.g years 7 and 8) and offered politics as a GCSE so that, with prior experience of the subject, more young people will actively be taking an interest in politics.
  5. Reducing the stigma of politics:¬†at my school, as I’m sure is the case at many others, politics is seen as a bit of a joke. I mean, we all have a good laugh about how certain politicians resemble kids TV show characters (of the transport variety) and animals for the most part, but, does anyone actually¬†know¬†anything about these politicians and what they have achieved? Amongst young people, I find you are often seen as ‘boring’, ‘nerdy’ and sometimes even ‘mad’ for being interested in politics and backing up all these politicians that are becoming the source of teenage banter by explaining the good things they have done (although sometimes this is quite a challenge) for our country in counter to the bad and sometimes stupid decision they make that teenagers seem to hold a grudge towards politicians for. Perhaps the reason that most of our politicians come from privately-educated backgrounds is because in state schools politics isn’t viewed as being ‘cool’ and isn’t socially acceptable amongst young people. This is, in my opinion, purely because youngsters lack knowledge of politics and, as I mentioned earlier, often view it as an ‘adult’ thing that we don’t need to worry about or take seriously. But, if politics¬†was to be taught in schools, then surely it would reduce this stigma and not only encourage more youngsters to follow political career paths, but to actually bother to inform themselves about political parties and to turn out to vote without fear of feeling ‘uncool’.

So, I’m hoping you’ll agree that there are lots of reasons as to why politics should be taught in schools in the UK. From searching the internet, I have so far only discovered one reason against my viewpoint – that teaching politics in schools could lead to teachers ‘injecting’ their political views into their students. However, I’m not saying that teaching politics in schools would involve evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of political party (because we all know that would end in some biased lecture about how so-and-so ruined our such-and-such) but that we should be taught about all the non-partisan things such as how first-past-the-post works, what democracy is, the difference between government and parliament etc. Therefore, I believe that there is in reality no reason why we shouldn’t have a better political education in the UK and, until we do, I shall be campaigning for the implementation of one.

//#ProudtobeProud//

So I’ve seen a couple of bloggers doing this – Elm, Just a Blank Space, Naming My Voice – and though it was a really good idea so decided to jump on the bandwagon (so hard to resist going into an explanation of the bandwagon effect of polls right now TOO MUCH POLITICS REVISION). Anyway, so the #Proudtobeproud tag was created by Luna who I have only just cone across but I’m sure is a very lovely person. The idea is to say between 5-15 things that you’re proud of.

I think it’s such a lovely idea because, as everyone else has said, it’s good to recognise our achievements and have pride in what we’ve done every once in a while without feeling as if you are being selfish. So, here are some of the things I’m proud of:

Telling my family about blogging (they all know now)I’m still not entirely comfortable with them knowing and I don’t think they are either but I’m working on helping them to understand why I love blogging and having internet friends.

–¬†Persevering¬†in situations where I feel uncomfortable¬†– mainly being alone at school and not feeling as if I fit in at Explorer Scouts.

– Going out of my comfort zone and video calling bloggersI’m really, really awkward talking to people but I’m so glad I’ve done it because it’s great to speak face-to-face with people you’ve been talking to online for 9 months or so.

– Improving my blog those of you who followed my old blog may remember that my blog posts where quite frankly a load of rubbish but now I feel as if my writing is more¬†thoughtful/meaningful. Plus I¬†haven’t written one negative post on this blog yet!

– Working really hard at school and in exams.

– Being more relaxed in social situations and being able to have fun with friends without over thinking everything.

My post on the EU Referendum I feel like I structured it really well and felt as if it helped a lot of people to understand more about the referendum.

– Teaching myself ukulele again.

Making a YouTube channel – something I always wanted to do but didn’t have the confidence to.

– All of my blogger friends – because they are consistently so amazing and wonderful and all of their achievements making me feel incredibly proud.

– Reaching out and talking to people when I’m not feeling great instead of bottling all my feelings up.

Okay so I managed to think of more than I thought I would! I think you should all give this tag a go because it really does make you feel better about yourself as you can just take a moment to stop and look back on all that you’ve done. ūüôā Thanks to Luna for creating this because it is truly awesome and I’ve loved doing it.