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The Anxious A-leveler watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hello TSR!

    I’ve decided to enter Grow Your Grades on a bit of a whim - I’ve seen it happen for a few years running, but have never thought to enter! I’m hoping that it will give me the motivation I need to succeed at A level...? 😬😂

    I've never been much of a poster on here (mainly because I don't fully understand how TSR works... glad to see my computing GCSE has evidently helped with my tech-y-ness...), so we'll see how this goes. Bear with me - I can guarantee that the formatting of my blog is going to be TERRIBLE at first, but I'm hoping that I'll quickly become accustomed to how it works!

    For my first post, I thought I'd introduce myself to you all with some facts about me. So, here you go...

    • My name is Alice (as you’ve probably guessed from my username!).
    • I'm 16 (and turning 17 in April).
    • I've just started year 12 (first year of A-Levels)
    • I’m taking Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.
    • I’m not sure what I want to apply to do at uni yet - possibly biomedical sciences, biological sciences, neuroscience or psychology.
    • I do quite a lot outside of school (which makes life a bit more difficult as I never have much time to do work after school!) including ballet, singing (lessons and in a choir) and tennis.
    • I am aiming for a minimum of AAB in my A levels... but we’ll see how it goes! 😬
    • Here are my GCSE subjects and results (under spoiler), if anyone’s interested:

    English Lit: 9
    English Lang: 9
    Maths: 8
    Core Science: A*
    Additional Science: A*
    Triple Science: A*
    Computing: A*
    History: A*
    Geography: A*
    Religious Studies: A*
    Spanish: A*
    BTEC Dance: Distinction*

    (It feels really weird to be sharing my results with a load of strangers on the internet, but it seems like everyone has so now I am too..!)

    • I’m finding A levels really difficult BUT am also finding them really interesting and am enjoying them so I guess it’s okay..?!
    • I am a massive Potterhead and also am obsessed with Hamilton (WHICH I AM GOING TO SEE IN JUNE THANKS TO MY AMAZING UNCLES!!)
    • I actually already have a blog called ThatGirlCalledAlice about life in general (I keep trying to restart it but forgetting to post... whoops).
    • I have one sister (who is two years younger than me) and a dog called Bella (who is a rescue from the RSPCA - this is a picture of her looking longingly at my plate of food).

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    I feel like that's enough info for you all for the time being... my life is pretty uneventful!Hopefully I’ll post weekly, but we’ll see how this goes - my track record with regular blog posts has been pretty appalling in the past!

    See you soon!
    ~ Alice

    (Original post by AliceV_647)
    I've never been much of a poster on here (mainly because I don't fully understand how TSR works... glad to see my computing GCSE has evidently helped with my tech-y-ness...), so we'll see how this goes. Bear with me - I can guarantee that the formatting of my blog is going to be TERRIBLE at first, but I'm hoping that I'll quickly become accustomed to how it works!
    Good luck! Let me know if you need any help with using TSR - I know it can be confusing sometimes, but your first post is really nice!

    Your dog is soooooo cute :emog:
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by Fox Corner)
    Good luck! Let me know if you need any help with using TSR - I know it can be confusing sometimes, but your first post is really nice!

    Your dog is soooooo cute :emog:
    Thank you - I really haven’t got my head around how to work it yet haha! And I love her so much ☺️🐶
    • Thread Starter

    Good evening everyone...

    Today has been, in a word, draining. I'm ill with a cold (as I have been for the past 2 weeks) and am just really, really tired for some reason! I have no energy to do anything. On top of it all, I've got a ridiculous amount of homework and school work to do, plus a biology exam tomorrow morning that I'd completely forgotten about so haven't revised for yet... safe to say I'm not expecting to do well in it!!

    At the moment, it feels like everything is coming crashing down around me. The work keeps on piling up and I was keeping on top of it until this weekend when I took a day of rest (I got back from work at around lunchtime on Saturday and just completely crashed rather than doing any school work) and then realised just how much work I had to do. I just don't know how I'm going to be physically able to catch up again - the next couple of weeks are going to be super busy for me extra-curricular wise and I'm just so, so tired... It doesn't help that it's flu season so my anxiety levels are through the roof! (Yay for emetophobia... :sigh:)

    Sorry that it's such a short post today - I'm just really struggling to find the motivation for anything (including revising for my test tomorrow) and I can't bring myself to write a longer, thought out post.

    See you all soon - hopefully I'll have got myself out of this slump by then...
    • Thread Starter

    So today I am feeling.....
    .....much the same as I was the last time I posted.
    *collective sigh*

    Let down, right? Things haven't really improved this week tbh - in fact, they've got steadily worse. I'm tired (although less ill, yay!) and demotivated, and struggling to see any hope of getting decent A level grades. In an effort to get it all out and pinpoint what went wrong (so I can hopefully avoid another slump), I'm going to make a list here...
    (I know this isn't very interesting to read and is more like self-help therapy, but don't worry - I'm planning to do a desk tour post this weekend when I have the time to write it!)

    1. (This one is a bit eww): My sister was ill and was being sick all Monday night. Which meant I didn't get any sleep on Monday.
    2. Because my sister was so ill, my stupid brain upped my anxiety levels and made me horribly paranoid about also getting ill (gotta love emetophobia... :unimpressed:), meaning that I avoided going home until late whenever possible - so I got minimal sleep on Tuesday and Wednesday (which in turn made me feel worse).
    3. Because my sister was ill, my 'safe place' (home) became 'unsafe', which was exhausting because it meant my brain was on high alert all the time (except from in my bedroom because I sanitized everything). This made me less focused and more anxious during school hours, which led to me not getting enough work done at school and adding to the build up of work I have to do at home.
    4. My chemistry teacher hasn't been in (she's ill), which means I couldn't ask for help with the really tricky homework questions that she set us. They've ended up taking me (and the rest of my class - we worked on them together) waaaaay longer than they should have and we still don't think that we've got them right. It sounds stupid, but it's super demoralising to work on something for so long and to still not get it - it's made me go back to viewing chemistry as too difficult and impossible for me to get a good grade in.
    5. I haven't spent enough time looking after myself. It's important to take breaks, and I haven't stopped once yet this week to think about my own needs.
    6. I've been putting myself down for not understanding things, when in reality it's not my fault and I just need to go over them and have someone that I understand explain them to me.
    7. I'm stressed because my ballet exam is in 9 days and I feel like I'm going to do terribly in it.
    8. I haven't voiced how much I'm struggling (except to my best friend) which means that no one can really help me because they don't know that this week has been hard.

    Now that I look at that list, I realise how much of it is based on irrational thoughts and things beyond my control. However, there are some things that I could do to help alleviate the situation, so now for a more positive list...

    1. Remind myself when I feel myself getting anxious that I have an immune system for a reason and it's doing a good job. Also, reminding myself that the 48hr mark has passed, so both I and my house are 'safe' again. Oh, and stupid compulsions for 'cleansing' myself are pointless and don't work. (I'm not sure if that would make it worse, but ah well.)
    2. Find another chemistry teacher (or older student) that might either be able to help us or provide us with the answers to the homework so that we can work out what we got right/wrong and how to get to the right answer. This would avoid the demoralising feeling and give us all some closure in terms of those questions!!
    3. Remind myself that I CAN do chemistry - I got the best grade in my class on the last test we did - and that just because I'm finding something difficult doesn't mean that it's the end of the world!! I just have to work really really hard at it, which will be challenging at first as I didn't have to work so hard (in comparison for how much I'm having to work now) to understand content in my GCSEs.
    4. Force myself into making time to relax. It's difficult, when the work is piling up, to relax as I feel the need to be constantly working. However, when I'm stressed I'm way less productive than when I'm relaxed! So I need to make time for #selfcare
    5. On a similar note, I need to do everything I can to get more sleep. Sleep is important and necessary, and I feel a lot less in control of my emotions and brain in general when I'm tired.
    6. I need to spend some time going through my chemistry work and finding different ways of understanding it (e.g. browsing different videos on the topic, reading online explanations, asking a different teacher to explain it to me) rather than just sitting and feeling sorry for myself.
    7. I need to run through my entire ballet spec at least once to give myself more confidence that I know what I'm doing!

    Sorry for the weird post today - I know it's not directly grades/study related, but I feel that until I sort my mental health out, my grades can't improve as I won't be in the right mindset for hard work! Also, writing it all down is seriously therapeutic...

    I promise that my next post will be directly study related!
    Until then, bye!
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