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Physics and cacti GYG 17-18 Watch

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    Grow your Grades 2017-18! My blog on physics and cacti

    I’m in year 12, and I’ve started my A levels in Physics, Maths, Further maths and Biology. I’m not taking AS as my school doesn’t offer them, so I’m sticking with four A levels all the way through.

    In my GCSEs I got 6A*s (in all three sciences, maths, art and English language), 2As (Geography and Music) and 2Bs (French and english lit), I also did Advanced FSMQ which I got an A in.
    I’m looking to go and study Physics at uni, and I’d love A*s in physics and (further) maths, and I’d love an A in Biology as I don’t know if I’m quite A* material for Biology.

    As I’ve only recently started year 12, I’m not sure of the grades I’m working at at the moment, but my physics is pretty solid, so is my maths, and my biology is alright – no one in my class got above 60% in our first test (which was an open book test…) so I’m not too worried yet as I got 60% and like 99% of my class are planning on going for medicine so they’re not exactly stupid and will probably end up with As and A*s.

    So as well as just ‘growing my grades’ I want to enjoy my subjects more. I want to write about the around subject books that I’m reading. I also want to take better care of myself, as recently I was called into a meeting being told that my teachers are concerned about my mental health so… I’m currently being assessed for mental illness. I’m trying my best to sort myself out so I want to grow more than just my grades. I want to grow myself.

    Expect pictures of cacti, flowers, slightly messy workspaces, bullet journals, tea and then my struggles and worries about life. I’m only human, after all. Also I've got a cat and all my cacti have names.

    Thanks for reading <3

    -Clipsi
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    (Original post by Eclipsi)
    Expect pictures of cacti, flowers, slightly messy workspaces, bullet journals, tea and then my struggles and worries about life. I’m only human, after all.
    :eek: omg, yes! I'm really looking forward to reading your blog, and I'm in love with your confidence :five:
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    (Original post by Amefish)
    :eek: omg, yes! I'm really looking forward to reading your blog, and I'm in love with your confidence :five:
    Aw that makes me feel loved <3 I'll be posting tomorrow, I've written the post I just need to get some pictures of my desk in daylight rather than 10pm at night.
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    (Original post by Eclipsi)
    Aw that makes me feel loved <3 I'll be posting tomorrow, I've written the post I just need to get some pictures of my desk in daylight rather than 10pm at night.
    That will be great! I love pretty pictures to liven up a blog I'll keep an eye out for it but be sure to quote or tag me in when you've posted it!
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    Saturday 14th October 2017

    So today it’s the start of half term break and I have quite a bit of catch up work to do, as towards the end of this first half term I’ve been a bit mentally under the weather as someone I knew quite well died 8 days ago. I’ve got some Statistics probability catch up to do for maths, as well as biology catch up from a lesson I missed when I was away at a STEM conference in Cambridge, and we’ve got a test on Biological molecules on the first day back, so I need to start revising for that.

    I’ve been given a chapter of the textbook to teach myself this half term for stats (maths A level stats module, not stats A level), but once I finish that I get to move onto mechanics which is my favourite! I’ve got quite a bit of maths work to do this two weeks but I do further maths which is two A levels and so I have two A levels worth of work to do for it!

    For Physics I actually have been set no work this half term?? A bit odd but it’s given me time to consolidate what I’ve learnt so far as I have a test looming from the hints my teacher has given although she hasn’t given us a date. At the moment the topics that we’re doing are electricity (at the mo we’ve just done IV characteristics of diodes) with one teacher and forces and motion (currently projectile motion) with the other.

    Not got much planned today as I couldn't sleep at all last night. So far today I’ve organised my work space and filed my work from my “to and from school” folder into the individual module folders, and I’m going to write some more flashcards on a revision program on my laptop called “Anki”, which gives me cards to learn every day and based on how well I respond it then gives them again to me either 1 day or 3 day or 7 days later. This works well for me as I find it a great way to remember things. I managed to memorise the elementary charge in like a few days! I really recommend it, but only if you go on your laptop often as otherwise you’ll forget to do you cards. Since I’ve been unwell I haven’t done them for around a week so I’m catching up now.

    For my extra reading which I’m quite committed to, I’m currently reading “The Road to Reality” by Roger Penrose. It’s a physics and maths book and it’s very long but it’s fascinating! Penrose is a Professor of Mathematics (and he’s a mathematical physicist that’s worked on black hole theories) at the University of Oxford, and he’s just so cool. Because that book’s way too big to bring to school, I’m also reading “Reality is not what it seems: The Journey to quantum gravity” by Carlo Rovelli, which is easier to bring to school and read at breaktime and in form time.

    I am taking a relatively easy half term as I am under the weather and I can tell that myself and so I’m going to do the work I enjoy doing – ie. Physics but I’m not going to push myself too hard. I’m recovering and I’m looking after myself.

    I’ve attached some photos of the stuff I’ve done so far today! The first photo is my folder filing with my sweet rhubarb tea in a Ravenclaw mug. In the bottom photo is my porridge made with oat milk with banana and milled flaxseeds (I'm vegan). The cactus in the the bottom picture is called George.

    Today’s targets

    Write up my recent notes as Anki flashcards.

    Read some of ‘Reality is not what it seems’

    This half term’s targets

    Catch up my statistics -> writing notes and doing exercises.

    Revise biological molecules

    Revise forces and motion

    Complete all my set work (stats – teach myself chapter, pure – set of questions sheet, biology – question sheets and notes on membranes)
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    23rd October 2017

    So the first week of half term is up! As I reported last Saturday, I’m having a pretty relaxed half term.

    On Monday I was prescribed some anxiety meds (propranolol if anyone else has experience of it) and it’s been making me a little dizzy, nauseous, tired and my vision’s a bit funny, so sorry if I have any typos! I’m getting used to it now, but for obvious reasons Monday and Tuesday I didn’t do an awful lot of work (though my teachers told me to take a break this half term because of my mental health) but I did print out an AS Physics Challenge (the AS version of the British Physics Olympiad) to do for fun, and it was fun. I really like physics

    Also, one of my cacti seems to be dying. Charlie’s started going brown and he’s been like this for a while but I think now’s the time to give him some terminal care. :l

    Nevertheless, Wednesday I did a bit of work!
    Biology: As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve got a biological molecules test on the first day back so I decided to write up some online flashcards on Anki (I explained Anki in my last post if you missed it) for this topic. I’ve got a separate “deck” for each module that I review every day. I only had time to just put lipids notes on them.
    Further Maths & Maths: For maths I did some catch up from a stats lesson I missed last week. It was probability so not very hard, just some sample space diagrams and a couple of exercises.
    Physics: I didn’t do much physics set work, I started writing some research question essay answers but I had a read of Roger Penrose “The Road to Reality” for an hour.
    Other than work I went into town and sorted out my cosplay outfit for Sherlocked next week!! I’m going as a female version of Sherlock, as I couldn’t afford a male suit that I’d probably never wear again, so I got a suit I can wear for school.

    On Thursday I did a bit more work. I’m a bit drowsy in the mornings and I’ve found that I work best late afternoon/early evening.
    Physics: I put up some flashcards on Anki for my Forces and Motion module.
    Biology: Put up some flashcards for proteins Unfortunately I lost my proteins and lipids revision sheet which is my homework. Although I texted someone in my class
    Further maths & maths: I did two exercises of maths homework that I was set, the year 1 pure chapters (maths not further maths), but it was slightly tedious and dull. I love maths but repetitive exercises are really boring. They were graph transformations which I kind of hate but am starting to actually remember how to do them now.
    Again I did stuff other than work! I went out and bought some new fancy running trainers in prep for my new training schedule (which I wrote today) for the half marathon I’m running next May.

    On Friday I reviewed all my Anki flashcards and went for a bit of a walk but didn’t do that much to be honest…

    Saturday I did a bit more maths, some flashcards but again not much, as much as I regret it.

    Sunday! I decided I was going to really focus and sit down and finished all of my stats, and I did it! I finished this massive set of exercises and I felt really good when I finished.

    So today then (Monday) I was really quite generally anxious and didn’t get out of bed until midday and in the afternoon I just went for a bit of a walk to tesco and back but then just wrote fanfictions on my laptop. I’m having a tough time at the moment but I’m trying to crawl back.

    Review of last Saturday’s goals

    I didn’t manage to do many anki flashcards last Saturday but as you can see from my post I’ve done them now, rather than just giving up on them.

    Review of this half term’s goals

    Catching up stats – I caught up on Thursday!

    Biological molecules revision – I’ve been making the flashcards so I’d say I’ve done about 40% of the revision that I intend to do, but revision’s more of an ongoing thing.

    Forces and motion revision – all I’ve done so far is written up a few cards, so I’d say I’m only 20% of the way through, but I’m still on track as we haven’t actually been given a date for the test yet so I’ve still got a few weeks.

    Set work – I’ve done 3 pieces of maths but that’s it. I’ve still got the “Proteins and Lipids” sheet that I’ve lost, three more set pieces of maths and I’ve got to finish off my research essay for physics.

    Tomorrow’s goals:

    Finish all my compulsory work so I can go and enjoy my convention without being worried about work.



    I’m going to add my photos tomorrow but my phone that I took them on is dead so I’ll upload them tomorrow hopefully
    -Clipsi
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    29th October 2017
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    Photos like I said! just got home from Sherlocked convention and doing some last minute maths and physics before school tomorrow. Longer post coming in the next few days. I'm really tired from the convention today and I have a bit of a cold but I've got my work done for tomorrow and I'm looking forward to getting back to school after half term!
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    30th October 2017
    Another evening check in! Just finished my maths homework on Transforming graphs. I've been pretty productive today on my first day back. I only had half a free period today as I had to go somewhere for the first half - usually if I'm halfway through a free I'd just go sit in the common room and do nothing for the second half but today I went upstairs and worked solidly consolidating some physics (electricity) that I had done the previous lesson.
    I had a Biology test today on biological molecules that I'd been revising for but it was really hard and I don't think I've done very well but I won't know until I get it back (probably on wednesday). There's nothing I can do now about that test but once I get it back I'm definitely going to review what I don't know.
    Other than school I had quite a bit of energy left over when I got home so I cooked myself some pasta from scratch instead of heating a veggie burger which has made me feel a bit better about myself.
    I shall now go and do my Anki cards!
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    31st October 2017 - Halloween
    Had a very bad day today. People said things about my anxiety that made me feel really bad, so I stopped taking my medication. I then proceeded to have a panic attack in my Biology lesson and I left without saying anything, and teachers were looking for me (they found me eventually, eating sweets in the common room). Needless to say, I don't think I'm coping very well right now and my teachers agree. My plan of action that I've agreed with the head of sixth form is that I'm going to actually take my medication, get on the waiting list for counselling and have an exit card so I can leave lessons when I want to but with permission so I don't feel like I have to disappear so it won't feel too awkward coming back in.
    I feel like I need to say something positive though. Although I wasn't there to get my test back as it was after I left, I got an A in my biology test (not yesterday's biological molecules one, a cells test from before half term) and my biology teacher told me after I had to go and see her because the teacher that found me said I did.
    I'm getting on with some work now so I feel less miserable.
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    4th November 2017
    Did a bit of work today. Had a bit of a tough week but I got there in the end. It turns out I got an A in the Biological molecules test as well! So that's As in both the bio tests I've had so far this term which is a great encouragement and start to sixth form.
    Biology So today I wrote up my plan for the assessed practical I'm doing next week, the method for core practical 4: we're doing the effect of alcohol on the permeability of the cell surface membrane. That's all for today.
    Maths I started off on a textbook exercise but got stuck on a question so asked someone in my class but they haven't replied to my message so I kinda gave up, I'll give it another stab tomorrow.
    Physics Didn't do any set work as I finished my homework in my free period yesterday. Instead, however, I started getting the ball rolling on my EPQ. I think I've finally decided my topic. I don't want to do it just on quantum gravity anymore but instead I think I'll do it on black holes - not sure what aspect yet, maybe using them as a tool for thinking about time, looking at different theories of gravity and looking at how gravitons can't exist in relativity then looking a bit at virtual particles. Then Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems, maybe some entropy and rotating and non rotating black holes. Yeah I won't bore you with the details. I'm not sure about how I'm gonna narrow it down but I've started. But I think black holes are more doable than quantum gravity.
    Enough for today anyway. Sleep time <3
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    19th November 2017
    The past few weeks haven't been easy for me but I've had time to reflect and I've come to a decision. You may not think it's relevant to growing my grades but this is relevant to me and so will affect my grades. I've had a lot of people worried about me on my back for all kinds of reasons, but mainly I've been walking out of lessons, I've been generally looking anxious and depressed. I've thought about my lifestyle, I've tried to make changes but I've made a decision.
    I don't want to change who I am. I am, and always will be, a bit of a workaholic. Whenever I drink I drink a bit too much, and when I'm having a bad day I watch a bit too much TV and just don't move, I've mixed caffeine pills and my anxiety meds before because I'd gone to sleep at 2 and got up at 4 so I could get my work done. Over the past two weeks I've done my best to change myself to make other people happy but it's made me worse.
    Basically, long story short, what I'm doing right now isn't working, but I've decided I don't want to change who I am. Yes, it's not particularly healthy the amount of lack of sleep that I get some days, but talking therapies have never worked for me and I'm not going to take medication. The only thing that I really enjoy is physics, and people telling me to "get rest" and "take time off" isn't what I want, because watching TV doesn't making me happy like understanding a difficult concept after sleepless nights pacing around brainstorming on my walls. Realistically no matter what I try is ever going to make me "happy" and "neurotypical" so why can't I just accept who I am? That doesn't mean wallowing in a pool of self pity, that means not pretending I'm having a good day if I'm not and not lying to people saying "yes of course I got a good night's sleep last night" and just accepting "yep stayed up last night all night" and damning the consequences. Of course this could mean I'm going on a spiral of self destruction again like I've done before, but if it doesn't make me happy that I can trek back to my GP office. I just don't like people all that much. They scare me a bit too much and even before I got an anxiety disorder, I've always been someone who's on their own. It's hard to judge whether what I'm doing is right so please no one comment saying what I've got to do as I'm absolutely done with people telling me what I "need" to do.

    In other news, I got a bronze in the senior maths challenge and it's the first year I've done it so I'm pretty happy with that, but I was one mark off a silver. Yes, I beat myself up a bit about that but that's not going to do anything to help. I still came third in my year out of about 50 doing maths so... and I had an existential crisis about halfway through that wasted a bit of time.

    I'm going now to go and finish my core practical write up for biology due tomorrow morning so I'll hopefully report back later on in the week.

    I have been questioning whether or not I should post this because I don't want negativity from people who don't know about my circumstances. Everyone has different needs and these seem to be mine.

    I had myself a bit of a spa day today, did a face mask and filed my nails then painted them with fancy nail polish whilst watching Doctor Who.
 
 
 
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Updated: November 19, 2017
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