All About My ALevels 

I know that for Year 11s the time is coming up to choose your ALevel subjects and begin revising for your GCSEs. I thought I’d write a post about my Alevels, how and why I chose them and all of that. 
When I chose my Alevels I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but by choosing these 3 I feel that I’ve left a lot of doors open. 
I do three Alevels then an AS in Core Maths. 

English Literature:

This was definitely the easiest choice for me, I have always loved English and continue to do so. It was my highest GCSE grade which gave me a lot of confidence going into it. 
I do the Edexcel exam board and we will do 4 exams all at the end of year13. There’s a poetry paper, prose, play and then Shakespeare. We’ve studied Beloved, The Picture of Dorian Gray, A Streetcar Named Desire and Othello. Then my poet that I’ll study is Rossetti. Obviously your school might be different. 
I really enjoy this course. It is very discussion based but independent at the same time. The skills I am developing will be valuable to me in the future. 
Workload wise, it’s usually 1 or 2 essays a week (2 being when both teachers give me one). Other homework tasks include analysis, reading and researching. 
Further reading is so, so important for this course. You need to have read famous texts and have a good understanding of literature. My teacher says to aim to read a book in two weeks and we are constantly encouraged to look up articles and books on the themes/context we are studying. 
This is my favourite subject and I’d honestly recommend it to anyone who enjoys literature at GCSE level. 

Psychology:

I didn’t think I’d love this as much as I do. I did Sociology GCSE but wanted something more scientific and in depth for my ALevel. Loads of people talk about Psychology and when researching the topic it sounded really interesting. 
I do the AQA course and it involved 3 papers with topics ranging from research methods to eating behaviours to memory. I find it genuinely interesting and really enjoy it. 
There is a lot to learn and remember for this course, I know more Psychologists than anything else. It’s a heavy course but is still enjoyable and interesting. 
The workload isn’t too much, it’s usually mostly revision to make sure everything you learn is sound in your head. Most homeworks are essay plans, research and evaluation of research/studies. 
I find extra reading quite hard for this and honestly haven’t done any. I’d say watching videos on experiments, reading about psychologists would be the best way around it. 
I really enjoy Psychology. 

Biology:

Well. I hated this till January, every lesson I hated and I very almost dropped it. But, now I’m into the course, found my revision style etc I’m finding it a lot better. 
I do the AQA course and it is quite interesting. For this I’d say you need to have a real interest in Science and Biology. It can be overwhelming at times and there’s a lot to take in. I’d honestly say only do Biology if it genuinely will aid your future or it really interests you. I picked it purely because I found it good at GCSE and wanted to keep a science and I don’t think they were the right reasons. 
Homework wise, I usually get exam questions every week or just a worksheet. Then from my other teacher we get exam questions most weeks. 
You can’t get away with not extra reading for Biology, it’s so important to do and will definitely help you succeed more. 

I find this the hardest out of all my subjects but I’m beginning to enjoy it a lot more. 

Core Maths:
I wouldn’t pick to do this, I only do it because I have to. I just really don’t enjoy and if you’re considering it look at past papers online and check it’s the maths that you enjoy. It’s real world maths and I just don’t enjoy it. I think it will benefit me in the future and think it is a good course for the right kind of person. 

That’s basically it for this post. If you have any questions about any of this (or any subjects because my friends do different ones) or grades or anything then leave a comment or you can DM me on Twitter (@rxsepetals_) or Instagram (@ifyouseejaz)

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Butlin’s Skegness 2016

We were so lucky with the weather on this holiday; it had become an ongoing joke that when the four of us go away the weather is terrible. The sun made our time in Skegness even more enjoyable during the days. The only thing I would say is that there wasn’t really anywhere air conditioned to go and sit meaning we were all constantly so warm.

There’s so many things to do as a family throughout the time you’re there. We did family sports day which was so much fun and also archery and kwik cricket. It was a good chance to interact with other families on their holiday and get to know new people.

The beach on the Butlin’s site isn’t all that nice but it’s a beach. It’s not horrible by any means they just haven’t put any money into it. It was lovely to walk along during the day and we even saw a jellyfish from where the tide had been in. My Step-Mum persuaded me to put my feet in the sea for one of the first times and it was so refreshing. Yes, the sea was slightly brown but we’ll just blame that on the sand!

They also have on oversized beach thing which was so cool. There’s big sand buckets, beach balls and a deck chair. This is such a good place for photos and I thought it was a really good idea.

The food was actually really nice, we had the premium dining plan which meant we had access to two of the buffet restaurants. As a family we, personally, preferred ‘The Deck’ as we managed to find a table that actually had air conditioning. There was lots of options to choose from and I managed to become obsessed with granola during our stay.

We got these activity passes which were really worth it, they allowed us to do six activities for around half the price it would have usually cost. We did bowling which was really good, go karting which admittedly I was slightly rubbish at, adventure golf (this is so good and this is the one thing I’d definitely recommend), pool and Quasar (this is basically laser tag and I loved this it was so much fun).

For the evening entertainment we got ‘B-Line’ passes which allowed us into the venues fifteen minutes early; I think this was worth it just because it meant we didn’t have to rush for a good seat and also the queue was shorter.

On the first night we saw a comedian who I can’t remember the name of for the life of me. He was really, really funny and also was raising money for ‘Help the Heroes’ which I admired about him. I met him after the show and he was so lovely.

I dragged my Dad along with me to see Union J and this was so, so good. I’ve always liked them as a group and they were brilliant live. They interacted so well with the crowd and their voices are amazing. They covered ‘Run’ and it was so beautiful, in fact the whole set was incredible. Afterwards I was lucky enough to meet them and they were all so lovely and really chatty.


The highlight of my holiday was probably seeing Diversity, they were phenomenal. When you watch them on the tele you think they’re really good but live they’re something else. The amount of precision and accuracy in every single move is incredible as is their energy. The interaction with the crowd was also so good, getting us involved in the show and making it even more memorable. Every routine they did had me fixed (as a result I took barley any photos) and the whole performance was one I won’t forget in a hurry.


We went to the circus on our last night and I’d never been to one before so I was really looking forward to it. It was acrobatic and the talent was insane. The strength and bravery of the people was admirable and I jumped out my seat more than once. If you’re visiting Skegness’ Butlin’s this year I’d definitely recommend seeing the circus. 


Obviously Butlin’s isn’t the most exotic or exciting holiday destination but I had the most amazing time away with the beautiful weather. I laughed till I cried most days and honestly enjoyed myself so much and I’m so grateful for the company I was surrounded with.

Disneyland Paris 2016

I was lucky enough to visit Disneyland Paris and the city of Paris recently; we stayed for four days which was plenty of time and the weather was so beautiful throughout our trip. 

Hotel:

We stayed in the Newport Bay hotel which is one of the Disney hotels and it was so, so lovely. The room was the perfect size for the amount of time we were in it and it everywhere was always so clean. The hotel had both an indoor and outdoor pool that had loads of floats and things, both pools were really nice and the sunbeds beside the outdoor pool were really good.

The park was around a ten minute walk from the hotel or about a ten minute journey on the shuttle bus that went to the Disney hotels then the park; either way the park was easily accessible – this factor probably being my favourite of the hotel.

The food was actually really nice in the hotel; they had two restaurants with the same buffet; I’m guessing that was just for extra seating. There were so many options and the staff were so lovely.

If you book into a Disney hotel you get two hours early entry into the park which was so good, although it’s only the main park opens it’s so worthwhile. There were more characters around and the queues were short as well; we managed to meet about four characters and go on some rides before the park officially opened.
 

Disneyland
:
 
Disney is beyond magical. The thought that has gone into every part of both the parks is incredible; the visuals on the rides are incredible and every detail is incredible.


Disney Studios contained the ‘bigger’ rides I suppose, there are a few rollercoasters and other rides. Even though the queues were quite long it was really worth it, you can get a free fast pass for some of the rides but we just decided not to aa they give you a specific time. All the rides were so good and worth the queue time; the visuals and the intensity of the rides were incredible. I’m not really a ride person but with all the visuals and the atmosphere it made the rides so enjoyable.

The main Disney Park has the vast majority of characters and more rides; I’d say the rides in this park are more child friendly apart from maybe one or two. To meet the princesses you have to go to the Princess Pavilion, the queues were always so long when we were there – if you want to meet a princess and you’re in a Disney hotel then I’d recommend going to queue at around half nine or before. There’s also a Meet Mickey Mouse area were again you queue to go into a different area; we were lucky enough to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse together and if you look around enough you mind fine him. To meet the other characters if you look at the programme you can see when and where they are in the park and some queues are obviously longer than others.

  
The shopping in the park is so good, there’s so many shops although it is quite expensive. There’s such a range, there’s clothes, sweets, souvenirs and so much more. There’s also loads of restaurants within the park and within Disney Village; the service is quite slow but it’s all good food.

Paris:
 

We had a day in Paris and I fell in love with this city; it’s so beautiful. We did the open top bus tour and I’d definitely recommend this, it allows you to go to all the main places in Paris and it’s so easy and stress free.
The sites were beyond beautiful and I loved exploring the city and seeing its beauty. The restaurants along the Chanselise all looked so good; we went to a pizza and pasta place and it was lovely. 


We also visited the Eiffel Tower, we didn’t go up it because of the queues but the views from the bottom were spectacular. I’m so happy I got to visit Paris as I loved it so, so much and would definitely go again.

Summer Plans 2016

I’m so determined to make the most of this summer, although I got annoyed at every teacher telling me it’s the longest one I’ll ever have and to make the most of it they’re right. I really feel that throughout exams I lost myself a little bit, I didn’t make time to so things I enjoy and threw myself into all of my exams and revision and now feel full of random Science facts of poetry analysis than the person I really am.

I go to Disneyland Paris this week which I’m really looking forward to. It’ll be so nice to spend some time away and really relax. I love Disney, it’s so magical and I can’t wait to make some really good memories.

I am also going to the Butlins in Skegness later on in the month, I’ve been before and really enjoyed it. It’s such a lovely family holiday and there’s so much to do within Butlins and around Skegness; I love the typical British holidays and I’m really looking forward to spending some proper time with my Dad and Step-Mum.

In between these holidays I think I’m going to do some volunteering at one of the charity shops near me. Not only will this look good on my CV or application forms, I think it will be such a good experience and help me to feel good about the things I’m doing. I really want to help others more and show more support to my local organisations.

As well as volunteering I really want to start looking for a job, even if it is just for the summer. Since turning 16 I’ve wanted to get a job but it didn’t feel right to do so till I’d left school. I’m definitely going to be handing my CV in some places and keeping my eye out for any opportunities. I really want to start gaining some work experience and become more independent.

I’m looking at going up to Manchester at some point to stay with my Uncle; I’m honestly in love with this city and try to go as much as I can. It’ll also be really nice to spend some time with my Uncle and perhaps go on the Alton Towers trip he promise a while back.

I have a reading list so, so long and can’t wait to get back into reading. I have visions of reading with smoothies in the garden but the British weather may have other ideas. I also have Happy Valley on DVD to watch which I got for myself for after my exams; I’ve only heard good things about this show and can’t wait to watch it.

I got my keyboard and all the piano learning books back in January but have had barley any time to teach myself; I really want to make an effort to do this over the summer as I currently can only play around two songs properly and the scales. I also recently got the book for my next Violin grade and my teacher has recorded a few of the pieces for me so I’m looking forward to playing them and learning them.

In terms of finding myself again I think I need to start doing the things I love again and spend more time with the people I love. I want to go on more walks and give myself more thinking time and also really look after myself. I’m really looking forward to making the most of this summer before I begin my ALevels in September.

Let me know your summer plans in the comments!
 

June Favourites 

Reading:

Finishing my exams has been such a blessing as it has meant I have time to read again. “The Collector” is on my reading list for Enlgish Literature but as soon as the opening paragraph was read to me I wanted to read it. This book is gripping and intruiging whilst making you question certain things. I am gripped by the writing style John Fowles chose and I can’t wait to finish this book and unravel the plot further. 



Movies:

Confessions of a Shopaholic was one of the films I watched this month and I enjoyed it so, so much. It was such an easy watch and perfect for a movie night in with friends. There’s comedy and more serious parts. The film basically follows a young woman who’s come into debt due to her shopping habit and her journey to reach the job she’s always dreamt of. It’s light hearted but also teaches you about priorities and taking and appreciating all your chances. 

I watched Fantastic Four (2015) with my Dad and Step-Mum one evening and I honestly loved it. We watched the one where they four gain their powers and how it happened. I honestly loved this and was gripped the whole way through; I’m definitely going to be watching the others at some point.  

TV Shows:

New Blood is a show I was unsure I would enjoy but I gave it a go anyway. I am so glad I did because I love this show, it keeps me intrigued and gripped. The writing is phenomenal and the storylines are intwined so cleverly and it just works. Mark Strepan is phenomenal and I’m so glad I’ve discovered his talent through this show. I am a bit behind because of exams (yawn) but am catching up so quickly – this show is so gripping. If you haven’t watched this then I definitely recommend catching up on BBC iPlayer asap. 

Holby City has always been a show I’ve watched at but when Rosie Marcel went on maternity leave I stopped watching. Since she’s returned I’ve been so busy with exams and only this month have I been able to get back into the show. The death of Arthur was my favourite episode this month it moved me so, so much and was beautifully written and acted by everyone. The episodes recently have been so engaging and enjoyable and I’ve been really enjoying the show again. 

I watch Eastenders religiously; I always catch up on the school bus and have been loving it this month especially. We’ve seen Bobby finally be sent down and the acting in that storyline recently has been amazing. Also, the storyline line regarding Andy and Ronnie has been gripping and I’ve really enjoyed watching it become more sinister and engaging throughout the month; Samantha Womack is one of my favourite actresses and I’ve loved seeing her in the show more again. 

It’d be wrong for me not to include Coronation Street in my favourites this month. Admittedly I’ve not been enjoying this show anywhere as much as I used to but the Sarah storyline has been phenomenal this month. Tina’s acting has been beyond incredible in recent scenes, seeing Sarah progressively become more distressed has been gripping and the episodes definitely worth the watch. 

Music:

On Spotify I usually stick to the same few albums or the same few artists but this month I discovered a new playlist that I’ve been constantly listening to. It’s an acoustic playlist full of beautiful songs and amazing voices. Some of my favourite songs are on this playlist and I honestly love it. If you want to listen you can do here.

If you haven’t yet watched Adele at Glastonbury then you should definitely take an hour and a half to do so – it is the best live performance I have watched in ages. Adele’s stage presence makes her so amazing to watch, her engagement with the crowd and her light hearted nature. Adele’s voice gives me goosebumps, she makes it look effortless and her shows are always incredible to watch. I think what made this performance so special was Adele’s humbleness and her joy and gratefulness when performing. It’s available on BBC iPlayer if you are yet to watch this performance.   


Beauty:

Kiko is a brand I fell in love with last year when I discovered it in Ibiza but it was always so hard to find in the UK. I was beyond happy when a Kiko store opened in a shopping centre near me. I purchased the eyeshadow in 176; the price is so good for a product of this quality. The pigmentation is amazing and it blends so nicely with other shadows. 

I purchased my favourite perfume in Ibiza last year and finished the bottle quickly; the shipping for the perfume is just as much as the actual perfume so I never ordered a new one. I was in River Island the other day and found that one of their perfumes smells identical to the one I got in Ibiza; I was so happy to find it and have been loving it so, so much since I got it. You get 75ml and it’s honestly such a good price at £12 when the scent honestly lasts all day on my wrists.


I purchased this coat for my dress up day at school but ended up falling in love with it. I love the colour agains black or white and it is so light weight which is perfect for the summer. I also love that it folds away which is going to be perfect for travelling plus it is waterproof. I have been wearing this so much and really love it – it was from Primark and was suh a good price for a coat.  

Managing Anxiety When Travelling 

It’s coming into Summer now (although the weather suggests otherwise) and many of you may be going away on holiday or beginning to travel. I know anxiety can get difficult to manage when travelling, mine definitely does, so I wanted to share some tips with you.


Music

Create a playlist with all your favourite songs so you can listen to them at anytime, familiar music that you like may help to calm you.

Download some relaxation music that you can listen to, this can concentrate your brain and relax your body. 

Spotify have some really good relaxation playlists, this is my favourite. They also have a Summer playlist I’ve been finding relaxing recently. 

Lists



Make a list of everything you need to do before you go, once you’ve completed this list you’ll know you’ve done everything and got everything. 

List things you want to do whilst you’re there so you know what to expect from your time away. Perhaps have certain times for certain things; I definitely find a routine helps my anxiety to subside. 

The Journey



If you’re going somewhere you’ve never been, Google the airport you arrive at before you go. By doing this you know what to expect when you arrive. 

Google your travel time so you can plan things to occupy on your journey. Perhaps take your favourite book or film.

Search up the hotel you’re staying in so you are sort of familiar with it when you arrive.  

People



Try to travel with people or a person you’re comfortable with and who you know. This will make you feel more relaxed as you know you have someone with you at all times. 

If you’re travelling without family maybe let them know what you’re doing each day as a source of comfort for you (and probably them)!

If you’re alone at any point whilst away let someone know where you are so you know you’re not completely alone. 

Anxiety Tips



If you’re feeling anxious breath in for seven counts and then out for eleven, this should calm you down.

Always carry water with you and drink this when you’re feeling anxious. 

Take deep breaths, breath as if you’re pulling the air up from the bottom of your body to the top.

I use the Rescue Remedy spray all the time and it’s definitely calms me down when I’m travelling. Take two sprays of this if you’re beginning to feel anxious. You can get it here. 

I hope these tips were useful to anyone who needs them. If you are going on holiday or travelling I hope you have an amazing time and enjoy yourself. If you have any questions leave them in the comments or tweet me @KeepWalking_T – feel free to leave any blog suggestions too!