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WildPyromancer's journey to achieving AAA watch

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    Short intro:
    This will be a blog about revision, UCAS and general life.


    Previous academic results:
    GCSE: 9 D's, 5 C's, 1 B (Short course)

    AS: 2 B's

    Currently studying: WJEC Sociology, WJEC ICT, WJEC Welsh Baccalaureate


    My goals:
    To procrastinate less and be more productive, however also make more time to relax, as I found that during my AS study, I was extremely focused on studying and nothing else.
    I want to achieve at least 2 A's, but 3 A's or even A*'s would be great!


    Uni choices:
    I'm looking at studying sociology at Bath, Bristol, Birmingham City and Cardiff, with offers ranging from AAB-BBC.


    UCAS predictions:
    TBC
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    Yer an adult! I'm a what?!
    Since I'm 18 and finishing A2 this academic year, I guess you could call me a "proper adult". (Although I don't feel like it!)
    Along with other adult things I can now legally do, it's time for my first ever job.
    As it's almost Christmas time, shops are looking for temporary assistants to help them manage the Christmas rush.
    I applied to two, Flying Tiger (Used to be known as just Tiger, or Flying Tiger Copenhagen is the full company name), and Primark.

    Unfortunately I didn't get an interview for Flying Tiger, however I did get an interview for Primark for the 25th of October.
    As it was my first ever interview, I felt a bit :eek:
    After attending the interview, I received an email on the 27th offering me the job! :woo:

    I start mid-November now, so hopefully it'll be easy to settle in.



    Improving my style?
    As part of Primark's dress code requirements, you need to have completely dark shoes with dark soles, with no logos showing.
    As my usual go to are Converse shoes, I thought I'd treat myself to a pair of Dr Marten boots.
    More specifically, I bought the 1460 Mono Smooth in black, along with a pot of Wonder Balsam.
    The total would have been £136, however using my UniDays 10% discount code, this was reduced to £108.80.
    (If my maths isn't wrong, I'm pretty sure the discount code is 20% though, as if it was actually 10% it would come to £122.40. :confused:)

    They arrived today, however they were slightly too big.
    I usually wear a 7 in street shoes, but I should've sized down.
    I did have a pair of thin insoles left however, which helped a little, which when combined with heel lock lacing has helped moderately.
    Enough so I can walk around comfortably until I can buy a pair of Scholl's thicker insoles at least.



    Don't make me do actual work (pls)
    Over half-term, my teachers have given me homework which I feel will really help me consolidate my learning, as I have been fairly confused at how much information has been crammed into lessons.
    I have been mainly focusing on ICT, as I wouldn't say I'm 100% confident with sociology, I just feel a bit more comfortable with it, although I do need to revise both equally.

    As I was enrolled to use a computer to type my exam up last year, all my assignments will have to be typed, which is more convenient for me, as I find that it's easier to organise and rearrange your work if needed.

    I'm mainly planning on revising sociology and ICT today, although not too much.
    With ICT, it's a bit strange, as we started learning Topic 6: Database Systems, and Topic 9: Systems Development Lifecycle, however this is because it'll help us understand the detail of our coursework which is to build our own relational database system.

    I still don't feel too confident understanding relational databases, so I may start with ICT first.
    Luckily sociology is a bit more linear in terms of things studied.

    Although all my exams are with WJEC, I've found that Ken Browne's AQA Sociology textbook and revision guides have been invaluable, as it's structured better than the WJEC textbooks.



    The complicated UCAS path
    Applying for university has been..interesting.
    I can't stray too far from my hometown, as I need to come back to get monthly orthodontic adjustments.
    (Just until the end of my first year at university apparently which isn't too bad.)
    I still don't know why I agreed to have three teeth pulled and braces put on at 18, but after waiting about four years on the NHS waiting list, it's kind of pointless to just decline free treatment.

    Writing a personal statement was especially tricky for me, as I find it extremely difficult to write about myself and my achievements.
    (Anybody else? )
    Although I did finally manage to finish it, pay and send the week before half-term, now all I have to do is wait for my reference to be written.
    One less thing to worry about. For now. :grin:
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    Goodbye to my boots
    After buying a pair of Scholl's work insoles and cutting them to size, there was still more room than I was comfortable with, especially since Dr Martens are supposed to mould to your feet, as with all leather products.

    I did find out why this is; Dr Martens have outsourced their production to China, Vietnam, etc. which means that unless you are buying from the made in England range, will be one size bigger than advertised.

    This meant having to send back my shoes. :sad:
    I did order a pair in the size down, which I'm picking up tomorrow though. :excited:
    Spoiler:
    Show




    Still out by God knows how much money until my refund is processed though.






    Begone foul books!
    There comes a time in every student's life where they just don't have any room.
    This has happened to me recently with my books.
    I've realised I just don't have time to read anymore, with books just sitting idle on my bookshelf.

    Case in point, I used to be obsessed with the "Skulduggery Pleasant" series, in fact I have all the books from the main series, with 3 being hardbacks.
    I stopped reading after the release of the final book which was in 2014.

    The series has been gathering dust on my bookshelf, along with some other books, so I've decided to just donate them to the charity shop.

    More space on my bookshelf for revision guides and textbooks (yay.).





    Finally revising! (I can't believe it!)
    Unfortunately I haven't actually done any revision, but I have finished my sociology 40 marker homework which involved looking through my textbook.

    Today, I'm definitely planning on revising database systems and systems development life cycle for ICT, and 1/4 of crime and deviance for sociology.





    Where do you want to spend the next 3 years of your life?
    Thinking about what university I want to dedicate 3 years of my life to is pretty tricky.
    All my university picks are located in big cities, but I'm still not sure where I would like to go for definite.
    It doesn't help that I haven't really visited any open days (Honestly, it's way too expensive to visit), so I'm hoping to visit when I get my offers to decide for definite.
    My heart is more leaning to Birmingham City, but it's a bit far and my parents don't approve (Then again, they didn't approve when I wanted to leave my secondary school to go to college, where I'm much happier now), so I'll have to think about it more.
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    Finally revising! (Hallelujah!)
    Although I didn't get as much revision as I wanted done, (didn't revise any ICT unfortunately) I did finish revising and making notes on the functionalist explanations of crime and deviance for sociology!

    Please excuse my untidy handwriting.
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    Let's give this another go...
    This week has been...interesting.
    I can't believe it's only been a week since I've been back in college, it feels like a lifetime, but I'm sure time will feel like it's speeding up pretty soon.
    Although I'm sure it was made to feel longer due to some certain factors...



    Oof ouchie my feet!
    The first thing on my to do list if you remember from last week's post was to pick up my Dr Martens, as I ordered a size 7 which is my usual shoe size, but DM shoe sizing is actually bigger than the stated size, so I had really gotten a size 8.
    I can safely say that they actually fit this time, and my heel wasn't almost completely coming of the boot when I walked!
    Success?
    No.

    Next, I had to face the new obstacle of wearing DM shoes; blisters.
    Some people say DM's are extremely tight around some certain areas which is certainly true; my instep felt tight, but it wasn't much of an issue except for some mild discomfort.

    My real issue was the back of my ankle.
    It seems one of the boots is slightly bigger or my left foot is slightly smaller, as every time I walked, my foot would rise up slightly and rub against the inside.

    I have bought some moleskin to stick on the inside of the boot to hopefully fill up the little extra space, but it'll be difficult to tell if it's actually working until my blisters stop being sensitive.



    Are my feelings unreasonable?
    I'm a bit wary to type this, as it doesn't sound particularly normal, but after coming back from a break from whatever, does anyone else just feel off until they get back into their routine again?

    More specifically, it's like an empty feeling where nothing feels quite right.



    We've done how much work?!
    Along with feeling strange, I've sort of 'snapped out of it' if you will, in terms of realising just how much we've covered and that it's almost Christmas time.

    After looking through my file, I've realised that we've actually covered quite a lot of work in such a short amount of time.

    I feel for ICT it's not so bad, you can make up some examples to back up your answer as long as they're relevant to the question.

    For sociology, it's a bit of a different ball park.
    Although both subjects have about the same in terms of memorisation, for sociology examples on feminist theory of crime, etc. you need to memorise specific theorist viewpoints and who said them which may prove difficult.
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    Busy bee...
    This past week has been busy.
    I started work at Primark on tills which hasn't been too bad and I feel I've gotten the hang of it fairly quickly, with my colleagues being quite nice and helpful.

    Although I've taken on working, I feel my revision has suffered somewhat as by the time I get home, I don't really have much time to revise like I used to.

    I'm planning on revising during my college lunches though, as I feel as if I'm falling behind quite quickly, especially compared to the pace of work being set.



    Compeed plasters are a lifesaver
    I bought two packets of moleskin to help me to break in my new Dr Martens, which hasn't really helped me too much if I'm being honest.
    I've found that it doesn't provide enough cushioning and usually comes off and sticks to my sock.

    I had heard about Compeed blister plasters but I was a bit sceptical as they cost £5 for a pack of 5 (which is such an odd (no pun intended) number, since surely 6 would make more sense, 3 for each foot?) but I had nothing to lose, so I bought a pack of extreme medium ones and a variety pack.

    I've found that they are a complete lifesaver and even better than moleskin.

    The design of them is that they're meant to protect existing blisters, as they react with moisture and sort of swell up to provide more cushioning, with the adhesive being extremely strong, being designed to stay on through showers.

    I've found that they help protect hotspots from turning into blisters, although Compeed does do a chafing balm that does the exact thing, but this was if a blister does develop at least I have a plaster on it.
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    Oh bother...

    It's been an extremely long time, please excuse me.
    A lot has happened since November, some good, some bad, so this might be a long post.




    Top brace; check.

    I touched upon the fact that I recently had my braces put in at 18 years old after about 4 years on the NHS wait list.
    In December, I finally had my top brace fitted, as the first appointment, they only put the bottom braces in.
    Something about the gums still looking a bit sore after my adult tooth extraction.
    Now I have my top brace in, it does feel weird, not like the bottom ones where I can't feel them at all, even now.
    I have learnt to be wary about eating semi-hard foods like biscuits, especially around the gaps where teeth are missing, as the archwire can get bent easily.
    It seems that I have made progress, as there's an annoying chunk of archwire poking out of my top brace, but my appointments are 3 months apart.
    Only a couple more weeks to go until I can get them adjusted!




    You're hired!

    I got a permanent contract at Primark!
    I did choose to switch over to a weekend contract however, as working for the whole week just wasn't going to work for me, as I would often get home at 9, and would need to be in bed by 11 for college the next day, which left no time for revision.
    I don't particularly feel too happy on a weekend contract, as the staff weren't the ones I started with, so I feel a bit uncomfortable and a bit like an outsider.
    I am hoping to switch stores when I go to university however, so I'll see if I can also switch back to a weekday contract, especially since I'll need all the money I can get since I'll have to support myself.




    Goodbye...

    One thing that particularly shocked me and my class was my sociology teacher leaving.
    She has every right to take control of her own future, especially since she said she wasn't happy teaching anymore, (with the things I've heard going on in my college, I don't blame her) but when you've been taught for multiple years by her, it's difficult to face the fact that sometimes change happens.
    Sometimes planned, sometimes not.
    Granted, she did wish she could've left after the academic year was finished, but employment contracts aren't always forgiving.
    The new teacher hasn't really taught us much so far, so I feel that I should revise from the textbook, as I really don't have time to waste this year.




    Revision

    I couldn't think of any other title to give it really.
    In terms of revision, I really don't feel at all prepared.
    I have been trying my hardest, but there's so much content to learn, and I haven't even started making a list of sociology theorists which I was meant to do in January.
    It does feel like I am putting way too much pressure on myself this year, as I feel a bit stuck, with my free time spent revising, I don't really make time to do anything fun anymore, but I am trying to change that.
    Trouble is, I need money for that, with most of my money going into a savings account that I've promised myself I cannot touch under any circumstances unless it's for an extremely good reason, like university deposits, things like that.



    Coursework hell

    As part of my ICT qualification, I need to complete some coursework, the same as last year.
    Problem is, this year I need to make a database to exact specifications, on a piece of software I've never used before.
    As you can tell, it's pretty frustrating, with my teacher spending well over half an hour with me last lesson when they finally checked up on me to check how much progress I've made (hint: not as much as I'd like), so I'm hoping to maybe finish it over half term and finally start on the reports, which is where I should be at apparently.



    New phone

    Towards the end of January, I bought a new phone, as I'm visiting a university taster day soon, and my old phone didn't have a gyroscope which is apparently extremely important in GPS, as seen when I got lost once trying to use it.
    I now have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4!
    I wanted a bigger screen as I find that smaller screens are difficult to use, however the Note 4 is also NFC enabled which is useful for me cause I'm always too lazy to, you know, actually get my card out (which isn't NFC enabled anyway).



    Taster day

    I've been invited to a Birmingham City taster day, which I've all booked, travel sorted.
    I have nobody to go with though, so I've decided to just go by myself and hope for the best.
    I've got my phone, so it shouldn't be too bad, especially with maps, so now all I've got to do is hope that my trains and everything run smoothly, and that I get to the university on time as my train is meant to arrive at 9:45AM with the event starting at 10:00AM.
    It'll give me the chance to explore the city a bit as well, as it'll be where I'll be spending the next three years of my life after all!
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    New posting schedule, let's try this out, eh?

    I feel my posts are a bit too long winded and have too much writing and not enough images, so I'll be trying to posting more regularly, maybe every day, detailing exactly what I'd revised that day (Which is the whole point of this anyway ).


    A day of peace and quiet
    19/02/2018

    It's been a long and tiresome term, with too much happening all at once.
    I'm glad that it's finally half term, although that doesn't mean I'll be slacking in revision.
    I'm planning on going to my college library to revise for the rest of the week (it's too distracting at home), except today, as you've got to have a day off or you'll burn out.
    I've also booked work overtime for Friday, so I probably won't be revising then either.
    My Steam library is silently staring at me, waiting to be played, so I think I'll catch up on Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and maybe some Grim Fandango today.
 
 
 
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Updated: February 19, 2018
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