Start of term: stream of thought

Term starts on Monday and I’ve been back in the house for just under a week, and very busy with revision.

I’ve noticed when I have plans to see people in the evening I work a lot better, as you’d probably expect. It’s nice to have something to look forward to and a time you know you need to stop, and I definitely feel less lonely and more healthy, and I’m sleeping better. At home when my family get in from work I’ve been alone all day but all they want is some time to themselves, which can be frustrating and sad.

I’m having the weekend off now, and just had the best day shopping in town with my boyfriend. I managed to get some absolute bargains from New Look and a couple of charity shops, and have finally realised my dream of buying a leather jacket. I managed to find some new jeans, something I’m always on the look out for and I struggle to find. We had a break for tea and cake, and an all round lovely day. Looking forward to a small party this evening and another relaxed day tomorrow!

I’m a bit worried about the start of term, especially since it signals only three weeks until my exams start, and only four until they’re over. I’ve been doing past paper questions and still really struggling with organic Chemistry, which I’m really looking forward to dropping next year, and some of the Physics that I’ve spent less time on.

Everything else seems to be ticking along alright though, and I’m trying not to think about it too much for now!

An update

I’ve been looking back at some of my old posts and I used to do loads of little updates, which I haven’t done for ages!

It’s nearly the end of my second term of second year at uni now, and it’s hard work! The last few weeks have been particularly hectic, with both Chemistry and Physics lab reports to do, a massive programming assignment and a few tests. The minute everything started to wind down I got ill, as I wrote about last week. I had to take a few days off to recover, and immediately after the work began to pile up again.

I’m also trying hard to write as much as I can for the university newspaper and blog, which I started doing this term. I’m really loving it – it’s so rewarding to spend an afternoon researching and writing, and having something to show for it by the end of one sitting!

I’ve been looking for internships but so far been unsuccessful. I had a lovely day being interviewed in Edinburgh for one placement, but in the end nothing came of it. I’m hoping I can get some more applications in soon. I really don’t want to spend all summer with nothing to do, and it would be great to make some extra money and get some more experience. I’m hoping to do a lot of writing over summer, and maybe some tutoring.

I’m enjoying ringing still, and have got the boyfriend to join too! I’m the master of the society now, which sounds a lot grander than it is. I run the practices and Sunday morning ringing, and sort out things like quarter peals and striking competitions. I’m also organising a  tour to Birmingham for the coming summer, which is a big challenge for me.

I’ve had to take some time out from brass band, as my Mondays are just too tiring for me to want to go or enjoy it while I’m there. I’m still in concert band, and we have a concert coming up next week. I have a solo(!) so that’s a bit scary.

I’m looking forward to Easter, just to have time to really go through all my notes and do loads of questions. I’m feeling a lot better about exams this year than I did last year, but I didn’t do fantastically in the January exams so I hope it’s not false confidence. Hopefully I’ll be able to have a bit of a rest, and visit my grandparents and my boyfriend’s family.

That’s about all – it’s been a bit of a bullet point tour but it’s actually been quite interesting for me to go through each aspect of my life and think about what’s new!

It’s been a while

Once again I haven’t noticed time running by. After my ‘Five Week Blues’ post my mood actually got worse and worse. I was exhausted all the time and it made me irritable and impatient and my relationships and work suffered. I started to have panic attacks again, fight with my boyfriend more, shy away from social situations. I think in the six weeks after that post I didn’t have a single chunk of time longer than an hour to myself. I started cutting into time I should have been sleeping to get the simplest of things done.

This term I know I need to cut back. I need to keep the majority of my weekends free so that I can have that extra hour watching rubbish TV, that extra lie in, go out with friends and look after myself properly. I’ve established a bed time routine, I have a no technology past 10pm rule.

I thought last year I was doing so well with my big 8 hour a day plan, but I didn’t plan for anything else. I now need to be more flexible with my working time and allow myself a lie in or a skipped hour.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic but I feel better having said it. Hopefully this term will be better.

A day in the life

I thought it might be nice to describe a typical day of my life today since the things I’ve been doing recently are all about to finish and give way to bigger scarier things! I’ve been working for about 4-5 weeks this summer and am about to finish to go to university in two and a half weeks.

I get up at 7am to leave at 7.40 for work. My dad drives me (I’m working for him) and we arrive at about 8.15. I don’t have a set desk, so I have to find a free one to set up my laptop and start working. I spend the entire day seeking out health and safety certificates for the parts the company use to build their products, and inputting them into the company database, which is not that inspiring, but I’m glad to be doing something!

We have two ten minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and my dad, his friends/colleagues and I head out to the car park come rain or shine to drink our coffee (or water in my case). I find this really funny, because a lot of the time we just stand in silence! We have a 42 minute lunch time, when we eat in the also silent ‘grey room’, and then I head back to my desk to read a few blog posts or some of my book.

I finish at 4.45pm and normally have to wait quite a while for dad to finish what he’s doing, so I generally read some more of my book or occasionally sort out some email stuff. Dad drives home, and we’re normally in by 6.30.

What happens next depends on the day. On Mondays we eat as a family, and then Dad and I head out to a bellringing practice. On Tuesdays my sister has horse riding lessons so I eat with my mum and have a free evening. On Wednesdays my parents go out so my sister and I cook pasta together then I either have more free time or go to the windband I play in. On Thursdays we go Tesco shopping after work (exciting!) then the rest of the evening’s free for me after a family meal, and on Fridays we have a family meal and then I’m free.

At school I used to have things on most evenings, and of course a lot of homework, so it’s really nice to have so much free time now! There’s quite a lot to sort out for uni (accomomdation, enrollment, module picking, insurance etc. and even some holiday work), so I use some of the time doing that, and organising some things I still need to do (dentist’s, haircut…). Otherwise I generally do some trumpet practice and maybe play a bit of piano, and then watch some TV or YouTube videos in bed.

A quick update

I haven’t been around for a while, so to start afresh in my endeavours to blog more regularly I thought it would be a good idea to bring my blog up to date.

I spent the last fortnight on a family holiday in the Algarve in Portugal, which was really, really fun. I plan on writing a post about that before the week’s out, hopefully with loads of photos! We did a lot of sightseeing, which really is typical of my family, even when we go to a tourist resort! The weather, the villa we stayed in, the sights and history and beaches were all awesome, but by far the best was that I got to spend quality time with my family.

As I prepare to leave for university in September (results willing!), I’ve really come to value family time a lot more. As part of a family which is always busy rushing around and barely having time for each other, it’s really great to be able to spend so long relaxing and sharing experiences with each other. I have no idea where I’ll be this time next summer, and no idea if I’ll be able to join my family on their holidays, and this has really reminded me how important it’s going to be to me to keep in contact with my family all the time I’m away.

To add to my post-holiday blues, I’m now back at work. I’m hoping to work for about another week, then have a free week and then organise loads of fun things with my friends and, if they have the time, my family. My mum’s gone to visit my grandma (who’s lives about 5 hours away) without us, which never happens, so I’m worried about my grandma’s health and sad that I can’t see her, but I’m keeping faith that everything will be ok.

As results day fast approaches I’m getting more and more nervous, but I know there’s nothing I can do now, so have to try to ignore it! Hopefully the next few weeks will work out well for me…

A little update

Spring has sprung, Easter’s come (and gone but luckily the chocolate hasn’t yet for me), and it’s time to think about new beginnings.

Except not so much for me, since I’m desperately revising everything I’ve learnt in the last two years for my A2 exams this June. Revision isn’t fully underway yet, only the topics that we’ll be tested on for our EMPAs in two weeks (these are practical exams which we’ve already done which have a written paper requiring us to know a selection of topics from the syllabi for sciences). It’s not really time to get stressed yet, and lessons have for the most part taken on a more relaxed/revising rather than learning atmosphere.

So in general, this is a fairly nice time for me, although school’s trying to tell us all different by talking about the proximity of exams all the time. It may not be a complete new start, but it’s a mini new start, where things have changed around a bit.

In other news, I finally passed my driving test (third time lucky!) which I’m super happy about, and enjoying the independence. Plus my boyfriend’s been home from uni for three weeks and is here for another week still (not thinking about after that yet, but hopefully I’ll be glad I’m not tempted to see him when I should be revising!

Everyday stresses

My life’s getting pretty hectic at the moment – I’m in my last year of college and we have practical science exams for the next few weeks and soon after that we have our A2 exams (the ones we really need to pass to get into university). My teachers don’t seem to understand that we just want enough time to do the work we think’s necessary and to get done what we need to do, and keep piling up the work that they think’ll be helpful, or even the work they need us to do to make sure we get through the syllabus on time.

I’ve had a teacher today give us a list of pages of the textbook to make notes on, questions to do, revision notes to make and past papers to do over the Easter holidays. I think that’s very unfair. At my school we’re (almost) all very hard working, and already have plans for the revsion etc we want to do. If the teachers haven’t got through the work surely that should be their problem? We don’t have time to do all these extra things that shouldn’t be our responsibility.

Conversely, we don’t need to be told how to revise. We’ve been in high school for 7 years now, with exams at the end of every year, GCSEs under our belt, and not to mention countless lessons about discovering how we learn best and the best revision techniques for us individually. Why then are we still being exactly what to do by way of revision?

Anyone in the same boat as me? Or any teachers out there? What do you think?