The A Level Days Are Over!!

Hey! Here I am, re-emerging from the depths of exam woes to tell you that I am DONE with Sixth Form! I had my last exam yesterday morning. The relief hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I thought I’d give you all a little update (*cough cough* RANT) about how I found this exam season.

This exam season has without doubt been the hardest exam season ever. Of course, I knew A Levels were going to be hard but these exams really did push me to breaking point. Unfortunately, I have had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life throughout exams, which has been inconvenient to say the least. It really has been a struggle just to motivate myself to study or even turn up to exams because to be honest they felt insignificant whilst it felt like my life was crumbling around me. I do feel like this has affected by exam performance (I mean, I turned up to history Tuesday morning after having a massive breakdown at 1am so y’know) and honestly, I am a bit disappointed with myself, because I’ve worked so hard over these past two years and I feel like I majorly underperformed in some exams, however I know that most of the things that have been going on are outside of my control so I shouldn’t be to hard on myself. Anyway, I thought I’d do a little breakdown of how each of my subjects went, if anyone is interested, probably more for self-reflection on results day so I can see if the exams went as badly as I thought!

Argh geography! I’ve probably ranted about geography on here before. It’s been the subject I’ve struggled the most with during A Levels I think. There’s just so much content??? Everyone says geography is just colouring in maps but in reality learning about the world involves aspects of several different subjects, like biology, politics, history, maths etc. You need so many skills to do geography and questions range from statistical tests to long essays to analysing English language in one paper (I’m looking at you, human geog paper…why did we have to analyse the negative tone of a blog post!??). I feel like I never really mastered exam technique for geography, some of the questions are so vague you have no idea what the examiner wants from you. 

Paper 1 (physical geography) was probably my best paper, although at the time I thought it went badly because I did 40 marks worth of questions in 15 minutes because I was running out of time. The following papers however, were much MUCH worse. Paper 2 (human geography) was just??? I can’t even explain. Was it even geography?? Edexcel what WERE you thinking?? Why are we analysing postage stamps and the case study of Hull (which wasn’t even on the spec)? Also (I could have a whole rant about this but I’ll spare you the misery) my college really messed up with exam invigilators. I mean, they only had enough for one per exam, which is against the rules anyway, so in my Paper 2 exams our invigilator had to make two phone calls IN THE EXAM HALL to ask for extra paper and because someone needed escorting to the toilet. I was so annoyed I couldn’t concentrate and shortly after that, I asked for extra paper and the invigilator gave me a paper someone had already written in for a different subject?! It was A Mess™. But at least everyone found it hard so it wasn’t entirely my fault that I felt like I did badly. Paper 3, on the otherhand, that was entirely my fault. I was so tired and not in the right mindset to be sitting an exam. This paper is synoptic so it aims to cover all of the compulsory units from the other two papers. The actual case study that the resource booklet focused on was decent and I knew some stuff about it, and the questions weren’t awful, but my exam technique just went out the window and I felt like everything I wrote was a load of waffle. Oh well. So, I don’t think I’ve done as well in geography as I was hoping, which is frustrating.

History has always been the subject that I just sort of seem to be able to do without spending hours and hours on it. I was a bit nervous about the exams because I hadn’t revised for them as much as geography (and look what use that was. Ha!) but thankfully Edexcel were kind to us and gave us three really nice papers!!!!!! In total, I wrote 8 essays – 3 on the transformation of Britain’s democracy in the 20th century, 2 on USA boom, bust and recovery 1920-1955 and 3 on the 16th-17th century witchcraze.

Most of the questions which came up I’d actually seen before (or seen a version of) in the example questions in text books and revision guides (because we don’t have past papers), so that was great! In the Britain paper, we had a source essay on Thatcher’s economic policy which was something I was really confident on so hopefully that went well. And in the USA paper, the source question was on the KKK and was almost identical to one I had written and sent to my teacher a few days before!! And one of the sources was exactly the same!! So luck was definitely on my side for that exam. The witchcraft exam surprisingly went well too, even though it was my least favourite topic and I barely had any sleep before hand. 

The first exam I did this year was my French speaking, over a month ago now! I can’t remember exactly how it went to be honest. It consisted of two parts – talking about 1 of 12 topics we studied over the past two years (I had the choice of family or diverse society so went with the latter) and then our individual research presentation, which I can’t really describe other than being a spoken version of coursework?? I had to do a lot of research for my chosen topic – the Calais jungle. Both elements of the exam are followed by a spontaneous discussion and in total it lasted around 20 minutes I think?? I feel like the research project definitely went better than the card on diverse society, I almost had too much to say about Calais and my teacher had to cut me off! But overall I think it was okay?? I managed to use complex phrases and idioms, but whether my grammar was accurate is another question!

My other two French exams I did this week – paper 1 on Monday and paper 2 today. Paper 1 was reading, writing, listening and translation and makes up 50% of my grade. It was my longest exam and definitely the most tiring – foreign languages take so much concentration and effort! After I came out, I realised I made a few stupid mistakes, which is inevitable I guess. I can’t really tell how well I’ve done though, because a lot of the questions seemed as if they were trying to catch me out, particularly multiple choice. It wasn’t the hardest paper I’ve done, but it wasn’t the easiest either. Who knows!

Paper 2 this morning was an essay on the book and film we study – Un Sac de Billes and La Haine. I did a mock for this two weeks ago, and it went really badly, mainly because I chose the wrong question (it appeared easier at first but turns out I had no ideas after I started writing it oops) so I was so stressed about this exam. However I think it went okay?? I mean, my film easy was definitely worse than my book essay, which is sort of normal for me anyway, but I do feel like I didn’t mess up the film essay as badly as in the mock, my ideas were just a bit wishy-washy. I tried really hard to use complex phrases and grammar and a variety of vocab, so hopefully that paid off! I kind of wish I could have kept that paper because I was so happy with my Un Sac de Billes essay (the book) lol.

Overall, I’m not really sure how French went. I really, really wanted to get an A in French because it is my favourite subject and I’m going to be carrying it on at uni. Also I’ve been getting A’s all year so I hope I haven’t let myself down at the last hurdle with a load of silly mistakes! I guess only time will tell, but I am slightly more hopeful about French than geography.

So, that’s how my exams went. I had 9 in total, and although that seems like not many compared to GCSEs, most of them were over 2 hours long so I was absolutely shattered after finishing each exam. I am proud that I scraped through exams, with everything else going on, and I’ll just have to see what happens on results day. I know my place at uni is secured, unless I fail everything, so that’s some comfort at least!

I would just like to say to anyone that has been taking exams these past few weeks – or is not quite finished yet – I am so proud of you and you should be too! 

That’s all from me for now, I’ve got to sort through all my A Level notes and mounds of text books and paper, although I don’t think I can bring myself to recycle to years of hard work, stress and tears just yet!

Hopefully I’ll be back again soon with some more exciting posts now it’s summer. 🙂

(Featured photo is of the yellow roses in my garden which have been bringing me happiness throughout exams – THEY’RE SO PRETTY)

Things I’m Looking Forward To This Summer

Hello! Long time no see, as usual! As it’s exam season, I haven’t had nearly as much time or energy as I would have liked to devote to blogging, but nevertheless I am here now, taking a break from revision to enjoy the sunshine and plan for summer. There are many things that I’d like to do in the summer whilst I’ve got plenty of free time, so I thought I’d write a list to give me something to look forward amidst the stress of exams.

Amsterdam – probably the most exciting yet daunting thing that will be happening this summer as two friends and I will be travelling to Amsterdam in July – our first trip away as responsible adults without our parents.  We haven’t yet planned out exactly what we’re going to do, but I am really looking forward to it, considering I wasn’t expecting to be able to go abroad for the next few years! We definitely want to take a canal cruise, and there are a few places that we have in mind to visit, but if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

Snowdon – another exciting thing that’s happening is our family camping trip to Snowdon. I’ve never been to Snowdonia – or North Wales for that matter – and as a keen adventurer, climbing a mountain is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I absolutely love camping and being in the outdoors, so I’m really pleased that we’ll be going just after exams finish for a well-earned break. I’m sure you’ll hear all about my travels on here over the next few months.

Reading – honestly I have read about 1 and a half books since Christmas, and one of them was for my upcoming French exam. I can’t wait to be able to read for fun again – I still have the French version of I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson that I bought dans la librarie in Marseille last summer to read, as well as a book on the political history of France that I picked up for 10p at a library book sale ages ago. Not to mention my Goodreads TBR list, which continues to grow.

Blogging – of course how could I not mention blogging?? It’ll be nice to get back into the flow of writing non-academically and who knows, maybe I’ll start writing on my French blog again.

Preparing for uni – I am actually really looking forward to shopping for all my university supplies. I’ve got a few things but still much more to get before Fresher’s Week.

Beach days – I mean, I live in a seaside town with close proximity to at least three beaches, so I’ve got to have at least one beach day right?

Spending time with friends/family – it’ll be nice to have the whole family back together again when my sister comes home from uni for the summer. Also, I’m looking forward to spending time with friends, although I’m worried I will lose contact with a lot of friends from college and not be able to see my friends as often as I’d like as most of them have jobs. However, it’ll be good to spend at least some time with them before we all go our separate ways.

Well I think that’s all I can think of for now, other than the obvious ‘sleep’ which is becoming more and more elusive as exam season draws nearer. If you’re in the UK, I hope you’ve been enjoying this little heat wave and best of luck to anyone taking exams this term. 🙂

Study With Me: Easter Edition!!!

Hello! Although I – uncharacteristically – have lots of inspiration for blog  posts at the moment (namely philosophical musings about life inspired by public transport and weather and all sorts of other not-very-exciting-things-which-keep-leading-me-to-consider-deeper-meanings), I’ve decided to do another study with me, because I don’t have enough time to do any of these thoughts justice, but I still wanted to write a little update. Hope you enjoy 🙂

8:30 – Wake up (to the annoying sound of my alarm because otherwise I’d sleep until 10am lol). I had some breakfast, got ready and made my to-do list for the day.
Sticky note reading: USA flashcards and quizlet, geography coursework, la famille vocab and la famille speaking mock
I’m actually a day ahead with revision, because I did all of today’s scheduled revision yesterday, so I decided to do tomorrow’s today.

10:00-11:00 – History flashcards

I managed to get through half of the unit I’d planned to make flashcards on because it took a lot longer than expected, but that’s okay because I’ll finish them off tomorrow.

11:00-11:20 – History Quizlet

I typed up the key polices, dates and statistics from my history flashcards into Quizlet – which is quickly become one of my favourite revision resources. It basically allows you to create a virtual set of flashcards which you can complete various activities and games with to help you learn them, it’s particularly useful for language vocab but works for history too!

11:20-1:00 – Geography coursework

My coursework dealdine is in 8 days, so I’m trying to use any non-revision time to work on editing it. Somehow my word count keeps increasing even though I’m trying to make it shorter?? I’m already over the 4000 word limit so it’s going to take a lot of time to get it below that.

4:45-6:00 – French speaking practice

I had a bit of a break in revision for lunch then I had to go to town to do some shopping and visit the bank. When I got home I was so tired I had a nap (#studentstruggles). But! Once I started French revision I got a lot done. I went through all the vocab for “La Famille” unit on Quizlet, then read through all the key facts/statistics and responses to “unpredictable” questions for that unit. After that I did a mock exam using a speaking card like the one’s we are given in the first part of our exam. We get five minutes to prepare (hence my scruffy handwriting pictured below) then have to give our responses and answer a few unpredictable questions for a total of 6 minutes. I recorded myself speaking as well (although in hindsight this wasn’t a great idea – listening back to yourself trying to speak a foreign language is the worst thing ever).

French revision guide with annotations
6:45-8:15 – Geography coursework

After dinner I went back to my coursework and tried to make some progress. I did a bit of editing but mainly sorted out my bibliography and positioning of photos (because aesthetics are important clearly). In the end I was too tired and kept going round in circles so I gave up for revision for the day and did a bit of yoga to wind down.
Thank for reading and, as always, hope you are well! 🙂

How To Have A Productive Day!

Hello! Lately I’ve had to learn to manage my time and be productive as exams are drawing nearer and my workload just keeps growing. Since we had two snow days the week before last, I’ve spent more time at home than at college, so I’ve been trying to maximise my time and be as productive as possible. I thought I’d share a few tips with you to help you be productive too. 🙂

To-do lists

The first thing I do after I’ve woken up, had breakfast and got ready is to write a to-do list. With A-Levels there tends to always be hundreds of things you need to get done and deadlines all over the place, so I find writing down what I need to get done that day/over the weekend a good way to structure my day.

If I’ve got loads of work and the thought of tackling it is stressing me out, I’ll make my to-do list into a table with four boxes to help me prioritise what needs to be done now and what could be done another day if I run out of time. Otherwise I just take a sticky note or piece of paper and make a standard list.

It’s so satisfying to cross thing off of a to-do list when you’ve completed them, and it also makes sure you don’t forget to do something you need to do.

Countdown timer

Something I’ve been starting to do recently is set a timer when I’m doing revision/homework. My lessons at college last for 1 hour 30 minutes with 15 minute breaks in between so I’ve started adopting the same structure for my studying at home. I’ll set a timer for 1 hour 30 minutes using this website, take a 15 minute break then set another timer. I aim to get through 2-3 lesson-length chunks of work each day, because I don’t want to exhaust myself. It really does help to give some structure to your revision and stop you from procrastinating as you know you’ll have a 15 minute break at some point.

Taking breaks from studying helps your brain to stay focused and ensure you don’t burn yourself out, so it’s really important if you want to have a productive day. I’m writing this post in one of my 15 minute breaks, for example, just to give my brain a break from the French revision I was doing! Breaks are also a good time to get a drink and a snack, take a walk around the room and stretch out.

No distractions!

Let’s face it, we all get fed up of our parents and teachers nagging us to put our phones away and work, but we all know that it’s for the best. For many of us phone = procrastination so if we want to be productive, we need to put our phones and other technology out of sight.

If you can, study in your room and make sure you’re away from TVs and computers (unless you really need your computer to do your work), switch your phone off and put it in another room. Even better, try studying in your local public or school/college library – the atmosphere will motivate you to work as everyone around you is doing so.

You’ll find you can be so much more productive when you’re not checking Twitter every five minutes.


I could go on about the benefits of studying whilst listening to music forever – it is honestly so helpful for motivating you to study and giving a “rythym” (I have no idea if I spelt that right) to your work. Of course sometimes it can be a distraction if you find yourself singing and dancing along, that’s why you have to be selective about what music you listen to and when.

If I’m doing work that doesn’t taken much concentration like writing up notes I’ll have BBC Radio 1 on in the background as it doesn’t matter so much if I lose focus a bit. Also listening to music you enjoy can help motivate you to tackle tedious tasks.

However if I’m answering exam questions or doing difficult homework, I need something a bit less distracting so I’ll listen to French radio stations such as Radio Nostalgie or Radio NRJ because I can’t understand what they’re saying unless I make a conscious effort so they tend to be less distracting.

Time management

I don’t know about you but I feel like a lot of my time is wasted during the day by things such as travelling to and from college (Google maps gladly informed me I spent over 40 hours travelling on buses last month!) or waiting for meals. For example, often I won’t bother doing any work between 5pm and 6pm, because I know I’ll have dinner sometime during that space so it’s not worth starting any work. However, I have recently made a list of “short” activities I could do to fill that time instead of just surfing the internet – things such as practising French vocab on Quizlet, planning exam questions and essays for Geography and History and testing myself on flashcards. These things only take around 5-10 minutes and they are really useful to make sure you are constantly refreshing and testing yourself on things you are revising to input them into your long-term memory. If you commute to school or college like me, you could make a list of things you could do on public transport – Quizlet for example has a mobile app so you can take your flashcard apps anywhere and study on the go. Or if you do languages like me, you could listen to a foreign radio station on your phone whilst travelling to practice listening skills. Being productive is all about using your time wisely!

So that concludes my tips on how to spend each day productively. I hope you’ve found some of these tips useful, and as always share any tips of your own in the comments!

Good luck!


Study With Me: Last Week

Hello! Long time no blog right? I thought I’d try something different and try to document what I’ve studied this past week and for roughly how long. Partly to motivate me to study so I can actually write this, and partly because I’m curious as to how much time I spend studying each of my three subjects. College recommends we do at least 4 hours of independent study per subject per week, so it’ll be interesting to see if I actually stick to that in a typical week and whether I spend more time on some subjects over others. I’ll also include how much time I spend in lessons as well to give you an idea of what my timetable is like as an A Level student. This post is going to be a bit mathsy and probably not the most interesting, but bear with me here! I’ve been struggling with ideas lately 😝


3 hours French lessons

1 hour 30 minutes geography homework

1 hour 30 minutes history revision

Wednesday’s aren’t usually this productive for me, because I’m usually quite tired after I get home from college (gotta love getting up at 6:30) but yesterday I got given quite a bit of geography homework due in on Thursday so I had to spend a lot of time on that, and I skipped the history revision that I’d scheduled in for yesterday, so I had to catch up on that. For the history revision, I did some essay plans for the politics and economics unit (my fave and least fave – politics is cool but economics is SO CONFUSING) and I also made a flashcard set for the key policies and events from the unit on Quizlet (because they are a nightmare to learn). I wanted to find some sort of website where I could make a big interactive timeline sort of think to help with history, because the period we study is massive – 1918-1990 – and I can never remember which Prime Minister was in power when, what party they represent and what policies they enacted. It’s really difficult to write the essays without knowing who was in power, so if anyone has any tips for revising history I’d appreciate the help!


3 hours geography lessons

1 hour 30 minutes history lessons

15 minutes geography homework

Today I wasn’t very productive outside of lessons. I had a 3 hour gap between geography and history as usual, but I only managed to do about 15 minutes of work before I got distracted by my friends. Then by the time I got home I was too tired to do anything but oh well, tomorrow us a new day!


30 minutes history homework

1 hour geography homework

30 minutes French revision

I never have lessons on a Friday, so you think I’d have plenty of time to do work right? Well, I slept in a bit too late this morning, then spent ages trying to fix my laptop and just generally got a bit distracted. Oops. I did manage to finish off some history and geography homework/classwork though and made some flashcards for French.


1 hour 30 minutes rewriting geography notes

15 minutes rewriting history notes

45 minutes French homework

30 minutes geography revision

1 hour 30 minutes history coursework

The weekend is where I usually try to rewrite my notes from the past week, because often my class notes are messy and we miss out stuff from the text book so I just go back through each chapter and write my notes up nearly so they’re easier to revise from. I had to do two chapters of geography this morning which is why it took so long, and then had to file away various worksheets and assessments. I managed to do 45 minutes of speaking practice for my French speaking mock next week which basically just involved talking to myself and answering questions about the topic I’m being tested on. Then I worked on my history coursework as I have to have the final draft ready for next week.


1 hour 30 minutes French homework

I cycled 15 miles. I am exhausted. I just want to sleep. It’s not even that far but I haven’t cycled in months. So therefore I have been very unproductive today.


3 hours history lessons

30 minutes geography revision lesson

1 hour 30 minutes geography revision

2 hours French homework

I managed to finish off the French homework I started yesterday, it took ages!! I had an extra geography lesson at college where we went over exam technique, so when I came home I did a bit more exam practice.


1 hour 30 minutes geography lesson

15 minutes French revision

1 hour geography revision

I went into college early before my  lesson to do some geography revision then because it was parents evening, my French lesson was cancelled this afternoon so I did a bit of revision for my French speaking test tomorrow, although I still don’t feel prepared 😂


12 hour 30 minutes of lessons

7 hours 15 minutes of geography homework/revision

3 hours 45 minutes of history homework/revision

5 hours of French homework/revision

Well…I’m pretty surprised at the totals to be honest! I didn’t realise I spent so much time studying – 16 hours in total – which is more hours than I spend in lessons. It just goes to show how much independent work A Levels require. It’s interesting to see that I spend the most time on geography, but I suppose it makes sense as we get a lot of homework and I do find it hardest so I spend more time trying to understand the content. History is my least favourite subject, so I don’t spend much time on it but I do enough to keep my grades up and although there is barely any content for French, it does require a lot of practice which is why I spend a lot of time on it.

So I met the recommended 4 hours a week of independent study for 2 out of 3 subjects last week, which isn’t bad! I think the amount of studying people do at A Level varies, depending on which subjects you find more difficult or which ones you want to prioritise – I know I wouldn’t meet my target grade for geography if I didn’t spend the most time on it. I hope this has been an interesting guide to those of thinking about A Levels or studying them currently. 🙂

How To Bullet Journal

Hello dear people of the interweb. I have unfortunately come down withsome sort of cold/flu thing (urghh) and although I am falling behind on college work, I don’t have the strength or focus to tackle much of it, so I decided to blog instead, because that’s still productive right?

I’ve been saying to various people that I will write a post about bullet journalling for a while now, so I’ve finally got round to it!

Disclaimer: the photos aren’t great quality because I couldn’t stand around for long without feeling dizzy this morning, so sorry about that!

My bullet journal

I’m going to start off by talking about my bullet journal. I started journalling back in September a few weeks into the new school year because I thought it might help me to be more organised and the creativity of a bullet journal would help me relax. Those two things have proven to be true, as I will explain further into the post.


This is my bullet journal, the one with the green/blue/beige zig-zag pattern. It’s a bit smaller than regular bullet journals, as you can probably see compared to the other notebooks in the image. I bought it from TKMaxx (because they always have awesome notebook collections in store) but it was actually made by a German company (of which I can’t remember the name).

Bullet journal set-up

When I started my bullet journal I had to do some research into the general set-up of a bullet journal (what pages you need, what layouts you can use etc.). I started mine off with an index page as you can see below that I add to as my bullet journal grows. I just write the title of the page/section and then put the page numbers in brackets.


Next I have my future log, which is where I write down events/plans for the future in a list so I remember to add them in to my weekly spreads. Once an event has passed, I cross it off.


I should add that after the index and future log, I left a spare blank page in case I need more room to add to them.

Then I have my “year at a glance” which spans across two pages and has each month laid out like you would find on a calendar. I’ve highlighted national holidays in one colour and birthdays in another, just so I can have an overall view of what’s happening this year.


These three sections are the basic set-up for a bullet journal, and after that there are a variety of different things you can do. I decided that I would do a sort of “month at a glance” page at the start of each new month, where I would write out all the dates and fill in things I have going on on each day. This is my January one, which is next to my “Hello 2018” page. I haven’t got much going on this month as you can see, but some months are busier than others!


I also use the month at a glance page to set out the colour scheme for the month. January’s colour is red, so I used red pens/pictures to decorate the page. This means that all the weekly spreads in January will have a red theme too, it helps me keep structure to my bullet journal and when it comes to making the spreads, it’s a lot easier as I know I just need to find red materials to make the pages.

Here are some of my weekly spreads from previous months that show the different colour schemes:


September and it’s orange theme.


October was blue.


November was purple.


December was red/green (alternate weeks) for Christmas.


And as you can see again, January is also red.

Using symbols

As my bullet journal is mainly used for academic purposes, a lot of what I write on the weekly spreads is homework or revision, so I use a square symbol to signify that it is something that I need to do and when I’ve completed that task, I’ll tick the square or if I haven’t managed to do it, I’ll put a cross in the square so I know I need to reschedule it.

I also use a triangle symbol to signify events such as birthdays and meetings. I tried using heart symbols for memories, but I didn’t keep this up very long as I decided to use my bullet journal mainly for college.

Bullet journal materials

To be honest you can use any sort of pens and pencils for your bullet journal, and it can be as artsy or basic as you want. Sometimes I don’t have time to do complex weekly spreads so I just take a biro and do a basic set-up.

There are some pens I do tend to use in my bullet journal though, including Stabilo Pastel Highlighters, Zebra Mildliners “Cool” Pack, Flying Tiger Brush Markers (£2 for three double-ended markers is a bargain let’s be honest) and Staedler Rainbow Ball Point Pens.

This is just stationary I’ve accumulated over time and most of it stays in my pencil case so I use it on a daily basis for college and revision, but they do come in handy for bullet journalling too!

Alongside stationary, I also cut out pictures form magazines and newspapers that fit with each months colour scheme or I’ll use post-it notes or paint colour swatches from the local hardware store to decorate my pages. Occasionally I’ll draw or paint something, but that is very rare!

Fitting bullet journalling into your life

The ironic thing about using a bullet journal to organise and schedule your life is that sometimes your life is too busy to find time to journal. I have to admit, if you want to make some really creative weekly spreads then it can take a lot of time, but ti doesn’t have to! I usually set out my weekly spread for the following week on a Sunday afternoon when I’m having a bit of a break from college work. Typically it’ll take me about 20-30 minutes to do a spread but it can be less if I do a really basic one. If I have enough time, I’ll try to do the spread for the week after as well so I can have a weekend off if things get busy.

It can take a lot of commitment to stick to it – to be honest I’m surprised I’ve managed to keep going for so long! But it really does pay off because I feel so much more organised since I started bullet journalling and doing something creative for half an hour a week is really relaxing!

I think that’s just about ti as far as my guide to bullet journalling goes. If you have any questions and tips, please leave them below! Otherwise, happy journalling!

//The School Routine Tag//

Hello! So the other day Eve did the School Routine Tag over on their blog, and I thought it was an interesting and cool tag to do, so I thought I’d give it a try (even though I go to sixth form college not school but hey ho)! I love hearing about different people’s experiences of school haha.

1. How long does it take you to get to school?

Well, it usually takes between 50 minutes and an hour on the bus for me to get to college, but sometimes it can be a lot longer as the bus service is really unreliable (when you end up stood at the bus stop for 45 mins waiting for a bus service that’s meant to be every 10 minutes…does anyone feel my pain??). When I was at secondary school, it was only a five minute walk away so it’s quite a different journey to back then! The annoying thing is, by car it only takes around 20 minutes to get to college but I don’t drive so have to use public transport (buses are painful argh).

2. What do you like to eat for lunch?

It depends on what I feel like really. I usually pack my lunch the night before to save time in the morning and my lunch usually consists of sandwiches, a cake of some description, a muesli bar, grapes, sometimes dried fruit or an apple as well and sometimes crisps. Although once a week I make myself some pasta with tomato sauce and in the summer I ate pasta and salad a lot, so it really depends on the season and what I feel like eating, and obviously what food we have at home!

3. What classes are you taking?

I’m taking three subjects  – A Levels in French, history and geography. 🙂 In the UK, it’s the norm to take 3-4 A Levels as they are so intense!

4. What’s your favourite subject?

Ahhh this is hard! It’s difficult to pick when you aren’t studying a great amount of subjects, but I’d probably say it changes between geography and French. I love geography because I have a great group of friends in my class and we have really academically-stimulating discussions (as well as laughing at pretty much EVERYTHING) and I just generally love how I feel more connected and knowledgeable on world affairs by learning geography, BUT I really don’t like physical geography, which makes up half of the subject, so it can’t be my favourite if I don’t like 50% of what we’re learning! French is another contender for favourite though as my classmates are really friendly and funny and I feel really comfortable talking French around them, which is very important when learning a language. Plus there are only 6 of us, so it’s a pretty unique experience and I love learning in a small group. The lessons feel more laid-back to my other subjects as you learn languages in a completely different way to everything else, plus the topics we do are very up-to-date and interesting, like at the moment we are learning about diversity and marginalized groups of people in France and french-speaking countries. But obviously sometimes I find French very hard and stressful, which takes a bit of the enjoyment out of it she says whilst mere weeks away from applying to do French at university.

5. What’s your least favourite subject?

Regrettably this would have to be history. For the whole of my secondary school life, I was convinced I wanted to be a historian, but to be honest I’ve sort of been put off by A Level. I mean, the A Level programme is well structured and there is a lot of flexibility over what your teachers can choose to teach you, but I haven’t had the best experience. For one I don’t really feel comfortable around my classmates , not to mention the fact that we had three teachers last year because they kept leaving and we ended up being taught the same stuff multiple times and missing out huge chunks which meant I had to spend ym summer catching up. So yeah, history isn’t my favourite, but I am enjoying it a bit more this year as we’ve got a good teacher and we’re learning about the witch craze, which is so strange but surprisingly interesting lets not mention my 4000 word assignment due in in two months that I haven’t started yet.

6. What grade are you in?

I’m in year 13, so the last year of compulsory education in the UK! (Although I am going to go to university next year because I clearly haven’t had enough of studying)

7. What time do you get out of school?

Because I go to a sixth form college that isn’t attatched to a school, we don’t operate a normal school timetable. So, the times I go to and leave college are different each day – Friday’s I don’t go in at all! – and everyone has a different timetable dependent on subjects, so some of my friends I hardly see because we’re in at different times. So Monday’s I finish at 12pm, Tuesday’s I finish at 4:30pm, Wednesday is the same as Monday and Thursday I leave at 4:30pm. Some of these days are half days though, except Thursday which is 9-4:30pm.

8. What do you like to wear to school?

I usually go for a pair of comfy jeans and a t-shirt or shirt, depending on how cold it is. Sometime I’ll wear my denim jacket over my t-shirt for a bit of extra warmth and in the winter I tend to wear woolen jumpers and hoodies. Occasionally I’ll wear a dress, skirt or shorts with tights.

9. How early do you have to wake up for school?

If I’m starting at 9am, which is three ays a week, I have to wake up at 6:30am *sighs* because I have to get the bus at 7:40am. But on days where my lessons don’t start until after lunch, I don’t set an alaram so I usually wake up between 8am and 9am.

!0. What’s your favourite item in your backpack?

I’m probably gonna have to copy Eve on this one and say my pencil case. I’ve had it for about three years and I love the design so much, plus stationary is one of my favourite things in life and I couldn’t survive at college without my pencil case! (Mainly because I wouldn’t be able to make my notes pretty).

That was quite fun to do so if you want to give it a go, consider yourself tagged!

//Last week; ft. Year 13, bullet journals and Dutch//

Hallo mein Freunds! Today I come to you with a little catch-up of what I’ve been doing over the past week or so since my last post. Last week wasn’t particularly busy for me, despite starting back at sixth form on Monday but I thought I’d do a little list of things I’ve done anyway.

  • Read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. I had mixed feelings about this book. I mean, it wasn’t written really well but some of themes were a bit heavy and perhaps it wasn’t the right time for me to read it, but I didn’t find it a particularly uplifting book…I don’t know.
  • Completed an introduction to Dutch course with the University of Groningen. I’m quite proud I actually finished this course, considering I started it at the beginning of august and only finished yesterday, so it took over a month, but it was really fun to get an intro to the wonderful Dutch language and I particularly enjoyed sinking my teeth into all the grammar rules.
  • Started Year 13. Of course I couldn’t do a weekly roundup without acknowledging the fact that sixth form existed. It was a bit of bumpy ride last week, some classes were good, others not and I can’t say I’m particularly happy to have returned to college despite initially not wanting to break up for summer. But I’m sure once I get back into the swing of things it won’t be so bad.
  • Got my new timetable. Obviously this links in with the last point, and maybe it should have come before it but oh well. Anyway my timetable is quite different this year from last year. Last year I was in Monday 9am-5pm, Tuesday 10am-3pm and Thursday 9am-4:30pm, so I had Wednesday and Friday off. This year however I’m in Monday 9am-12:15pm, Tuesday 1:15pm-4:30pm, Wednesday 9am-12:15pm and Thursday 9am-4:30pm. I get Friday off still this year but it’s hard to adjust to going in four days in a row instead of having a midweek gap. Having three 9am’s I’d not great but I think having shorter days will be better for me as I used to be exhausted on Monday’s and Thursday’s last year. However this year on Thursday afternoons I have a three hour break between lessons (a.k.a. an excuse to nap on the common room sofas) which is a bit of a nuisance as by the time my last lesson comes around, I’m not in study mode any more.
  • Took my sister back to uni. Well that was last weekend, but yeah we helped her move into her new house and met her house mates, who all seemed lovely, and hopefully we’ll be going down to visit next month.
  • Started bullet journalling. I decided to start a bullet journey today, because I love being creative and organised, so it’s the perfect combination right? I found an old notebook and ripped some pages out that I’d written in, and although the cover’s a little scruffy, it’s the perfect size for me and saves me having to buy a new one. Here are the spreads I’ve done so far:   You might be able to see that I accidentally gave February 29 days in the “year at a glance” section as I was talking to my mum and got a bit distracted 😂. I decided to make mine follow the acedemic year, as I’m starting September, so I’m planning on doing it from now until August. I’m trying to keep it quite minimalistic because I know later on in the year I won’t have so much time to spare making it look artsy, so a few photos from magazines here and there will probably be the extent of my embellishments 😂. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out, even if it took me a few hours to measure everything and make sure it’s all lined-up and evenly-spaced!
  • Excerised. Would you believe it…I went walking for about an hour and a half yesterday, then did a 45 mins cycle ride today. I have plans of running on Tuesday morning but I don’t know if my exercise streak will extend that far 😂.

That’s pretty much it for last week, and all I can say is hopefully I’ll have a stroke of inspiration next week and find something more interesting to blog about. But for now I hope you all have a lovely week!

//Sixth Form Stationary Haul//

Hello! As I’ve probably mentioned too many times already, I’m starting year 13 in September – my second year of Sixth form – so I’ve been stocking up on my stationary throughout August to make sure I’m prepared for the year ahead (also there are so many good back to school deals at this time of year, so I’ve bought *hopefully* enough stuff to last me the whole year).

Some of the stationary I bought last year I am going to re-use this year, so I’ll divide the haul into new stuff and reused stuff just so you can get the whole picture of what stationary I use at Sixth form.


I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good stationary shopping spree?

Papermate Inkjoy set of 8 black pens – Sainsbury’s <£3

I bought these in a sale so I can’t remember the exact price, but it was under £3 I think! Inkjoy just write so smoothly, and their triangular shape is so comfy to hold. As a leftie I love them because they don’t smudge loads, which prevents me messing up all my work and being covered in ink!

Pukka 400-page Refill Pad – WHSmith £3.49

Okay so at the moment these are on sale for £3.49 (down from £4.99), but I bought my a few months ago when they had a good two for one offer, so I have two of these pads and one 200 page pad. Obviously you can get much cheaper own-brand paper, but I love Pukka Pads becayse the quality is good and they read out well (which I find most own-brand don’t). I also buy some really cheap paper from a local diy sort of store to rewrite my notes onto (although maybe I should rewrite my notes onto the expensive paper and use the cheap stuff for rough notes?? Who knows).,

Extra strong file dividers 20 pack – Sainsbury’s £1.50 (down from £2)

These! Are! Honestly! An! Essential! They’re plastic so they don’t rip like some of the card/papers ones do, plus you can label the tabs with little stickers which you can peel of and replace so you can reuse your file dividers!!! Honestly they helped to keep my folders so organised last year and they’re nice colours as well! They come in packs of 20 and I use 10 per folder as they fit nicely, plus it’s an even number to divide units into. One thing I would advise is to stock up on them now (because last year I only​ ly bought one pack, so had enough for two folders and had to buy cardboard ones for the other five) as last year Sainsbury’s didn’t stock them anymore after the back to school period in August/September, so that’s something to bear in mind! (I still need to buy another pack as well so I have enough for French).

Staedtler Rainbow Ball 432 ten pack of pens – Ryman £3.99

I haven’t tested these pens yet, but I’ve heard many good things about them! When it comes to note taking, rainbow ballpoints are my go to (for some reason I just can’t get into fine liners??). I used to always use the Papermate Inkjoy set of 10 rainbow oensy, but now it seems they’ve decommissioned that set and you can only get an 8 pack or a 16 pack (or pay ridiculous amounts for the 10 pack on Amazon) so this year I had to switch loyalties and try out Staedtler. The good thing is, the colours are exactly the same as the Papermate ones! (Also the pens are upside down because I took them out the packet to look at them and couldn’t get them back in the right way).


Sometimes you can save money on stationary by reusing stuff from previous years!

Blue floral pencil case – Sainsbury’s

I cannot remember how much this cost as I got it way back in year 10 for Christmas, but no matter as it’s not available anymore anyway. However I still love it and although it’s went on the corners, it’s still perfectly useable! It’s also just the right size to fit everything I need in but not be too bulky in my rucksack. I actually washed it recently because I didn’t want my new stationary to get dirty 😂 A pencil lcase is definitely an essential though to carry around all your pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers etc.

Stabilo Boss Pastel Highlighters 6 Pack – Sainsbury’s £5

I bought these last year for my revision as a treat and also because my other highlighters were running out. They are such lovely colours, are long-standing and really smooth to use! Would definitely recommend. I’ll be keeping them at home this year to use when I’m rewriting notes and revising as I always found that whenever I was doing homework, I would need my highlighters that were in my school bag in the cupboard under the stairs, and me being me couldn’t be bothered to go and get them all the time!

Ring binders (middle) – Wilko £1-£2

Slim ring binders (right) – Staples £1-£2

Lever arch files (left) – free!

All of these folders (+ more) were used in my filing system from last year. I experimented with different ways of organising my notes, and found that all three folder types worked best for me. I have one slim ring binder for every subject, which I use to transport my notes from the last few lessons to college on a daily basis (lessons dependant) then when we’d finished a unit/topic, I would transfer that unit (with it’s own dedicated folder dividers) into the normal width ring binders. I had two normal ring binders for geography (one for human and one for physical) and history (one for Britain and one for America) and one for French (because you take less notes). At the end of the academic year, my dad got hold of some lever arch files for me which his work was (and still is) giving away to employees for free. I transferred all my notes from my normal ring binders into these lever arch files, so I now have one lever arch file each for geography, history and French, meaning all my normal ring binders and slim ring binders are free to use for this year! I’ve but my lever arch files into storage under my bed, and my dad has me three more lever arch files that I shall transfer my second year notes into next year. Now I’ve got a good set of varying folders, I’ll keep reusing them throughout my education.

Everyone’s filing system is different – some people keep current notes in notebooks before transferring them to ring binders, others just have one ring binder that they take all their current subject notes in on a day to day basis – there’s so many different ways of doing it! It definitely took me a month or so of trying different things to figure out which I preferred!

Well, that’s the end of my mini stationary haul. There are other things that I use such as post-it notes and index cards, but I thought I’d just cover the essentials (mainly because I need to stock up on the other things)! I hope you enjoyed reading 🙂

//Tips for starting Sixth Form//

Hello! As you probably know by now, I’m studying A Levels here in the UK at a sixth form college. This September I’ll be going into year 13 (eek!) so as I’ve been learning in a sixth form environment for a year now I thought I’d share some advice and tips with you for any of you who will be going into year 12 this September, or in years to come!

Before I start, I have written some posts giving advice about sixth for before, so if you would like some tips on how to manage your work load and revise for exams or want to read about my experience of year 12, then you may want to check out the linked posts as well!

As I do tend to rant quite a lot about A Levels on here, I’m going to be talking more about Sixth Form itself today, because the prospect of starting year 12 at a college or sixth form that isn’t joined to your secondary school can be quite daunting!

Try to relax – everyone is friendly!

know this is much easier said than done, but honestly I was so nervous about starting sixth form that it took me a while to settle in and I didn’t take advantage of the first few weeks as much as I should have done in terms of making new friends. Of course you’re bound to be a little nervous, but it’s important to remember that everyone else is in the same boat. If you’re lucky enough to have friends from secondary school at your sixth form/college, then that’s great – they’ll already make you feel a bit more comfortable, but if not, you definitely won’t be the only person who doesn’t know anyone. It may be hard to believe but people at college are a lot more friendly. For my first week – induction week – I literally didn’t know anyone in my group, and it was scary at first as I was the first to arrive in my allocated classroom for that week, but as soon as more people started to arrive I wasn’t the only one who was on my own and a group of friendly girls sat with me and we hung around with each other for the first week, which really helped! So I would say don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people and try not to let your nerves get the better of you!

Teachers aren’t always intimidating!

When I first started year 12, I did find most of my teachers quite intimidating, purely because I didn’t know them as my college isn’t joined to my old secondary school and the way that A Levels are taught was new to me, so at first it was a little overwhelming when they kept using complicated language that I didn’t understand and it felt like they had high expectations of us already. But really your teachers are there to help you, so if you’re stuck ask! Now I’ve got to know them better, my A Levels teachers are some of the best teachers I’ve ever had and you can have a lot more relaxed relationship with them than at school. Whatever you’re stuck with, they’re always there to help, not to mention they have an incredible knowledge of their subjects!

Enjoy the freedoms of being a Sixth Former

Something important to remember is that as a Sixth Former, you typically will have more freedoms than you had at secondary school. For example wearing your own clothes instead of a uniform and having free periods. I think sometimes this is what makes the whole sixth form experience more enjoyable as you have more freedom to express yourself and more responsibilities. It really helps you to mature and learn to manage your time better as well once you have to decide what the best use of your free periods are.

Try to buy your text books early on up

It’s best to try and get all of your required text books early on in September as otherwise there may be a sudden rush as every A Level student in the country tries to get their hands on the same books, so you have to wait for more copies to be printed (*cough cough* AQA French). Bear in mind that they are expensive though so maybe have some money saved if you can. If you can’t get your hands on the text books however, you could take them out from your sixth form library in the meantime as you don’ want to get behind in your learning.

Sixth form can be expensive

This kind of links in to the previous point, but as well as the cost of text books, there can be other significant costs that you’ll have to pay out when starting and during sixth form. To give you an idea, when I started last year I had to pay out around £120 on my textbooks (for three subjects) alongside £70 for a bus pass for the autumn term (as my nearest college is about an hour away). On top of that, I had to buy lots of stationary that I hadn’t previously needed at school such as ring binder folders, plastic wallets, tonnes of paper and refill pads, folder dividers, French dictionaries ect. and although I can’t remember exactly how much I spent on it all as I didn’t buy it all at once, it was probably around £50-worth of stationary. The good thing is that most of your stationary you can reuse for the next year of sixth form. As well as buyg the basics you need to do your course, there’s also the added cost of clothes to think about as if you go to a sixth form that doesn’t have a uniform like me, then you may find that you don’t have enough clothes to wear everyday or that your clothes (and shoes for that matter) wear out quickly. 

Now I’m not trying to put you off by outlining the costs, but it’s important to be aware of them so you can put some money aside and make sure you have everything you need for sixth form. However, it is worth investigating if your college offers bursaries for low-income families and to see if you are eligible. This has been very helpful for me as it means I get some money each term from the college to cover the cost of books and stationary, as well as them paying for my spring and summer term bus passes. They also paid for half of my trip to Marseille with college which I am so grateful for as although it wasn’t extremely expensive, it definitely helped my parents out to not have to pay for the whole trip. So bursaries are definitely something you should look into if you think you may struggle with the costs of college but as I mentioned before, teachers are friendly so if you are having any financial problems throughout the year, you should definitely seek advice from them and they may be able to help you by loaning you a text book until you can pay for it for example.

Look after yourself

My last tip would be to make sure you’re taking care of yourself too, as well as all your academic needs. Starting college or sixth form can be quite an upheaval and although you may think you’ll be able to cope as you’re older than when you started secondary school, sometimes the stress can affect you in different ways. So of course make sure you’re working hard and meeting deadlines, but don’t forget to schedule in times to meet up with friends or relax at home with a book, because everyone needs a break sometimes and you’ll be able to focus much better because of it!

Well, that’s all my tips for today, all that’s left to say is good luck to anyone starting sixth form and everyone else who’s heading back to school in the next few weeks! If you have any questions about sixth form, then I’m happy to answer them as always. 🙂