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One Dozy Day (GYG) watch

  • View Poll Results: What is the worst thing about school?
    Revising... and then revising again.
    Being tired - so tired!
    Aching everywhere, even if I've literally just been sitting.
    Wacky sleep patterns

    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #1

    Hiya, welcome to my blog!

    In an effort to try something new, I decided to start my own ‘Grow Your Grades’ blog, although I must apologise in advance if the content isn’t particularly inspiring.

    Education, whether that be GCSEs, A-Levels or University, is a challenging part of anyone’s life. People struggle with a variety of different things (for me, anything mathematical makes my eyes majorly glaze over!), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your school days – as unbelievable as that sounds.

    This blog aims to confront the most common demons of the school experience, and give little tips along the way as to how I revise - probably with a good deal of moaning about it all too.

    So, who am I?

    My name is Lucy, and I'm a 17 year-old A-Level student studying Biology, Chemistry and History. This is my last year in sixth form (I hope!) and whilst I've always been an enthusiastic learner, as I near university level, this has only grown.

    I've applied for Biomedical Science at University, but after that... who knows?

    To see why, have a peek beneath:


    Why I Chose Biomedical Science

    My decision to study Biomedical Science wasn’t an easy one.

    Since primary school, I’d wanted to study medicine (rather morbidly, 9 year-old Lucy wanted to become a pathologist) and that dream followed me all the way through my school years. It was interspersed with dreams to become an actress, or an author (or even, at one stage, a skydiving instructor), but these were sort of crushed by:

    (1)My extreme introversion


    (3) My absolute adoration of science

    Anyway, I miraculously managed to get through Year 11 and reach Year 12 – life was great! I was two years away from getting into medicine and starting my life!

    However, I was wrong.

    I’ve always been a very introverted person, and that’s always been a struggle for me, but Year 12 is when it turned from introversion to terrifying anxiety.

    The stress of such a huge jump academically, finding new friends, and the re-emergence of dangerous eating habits caused my brain to just go – NOPE!

    The amount of TV that I binge watched... I know the entire first season of Teen Wolf off by heart - because who wouldn't???

    I won’t go into too much detail, as my story is certainly not a unique one. The important thing is, that although it was (and still is) a pretty painful part of my life, I’m glad I fell down that particular pit as I realised that if I was having a panic attack at the thought of leaving my room, I wasn’t suited to a high-pressure situation like Medicine.

    (That isn’t to say if you have a mental illness you can’t pursue your dreams, but for me it highlighted that my personality never really suited the role)

    So, I researched more carefully into what role I would actually suit. Biomedical Science seems to be the best thing for me – I love to question "why?" and I’m part of a Microscopy society already. In fact, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before!

    I’m a lot happier knowing that I’m going to enter into something absolutely right for me, and so my advice for choosing your future career would be:

    *Be completely honest with yourself à If you think you’re terrible at problem-solving, don’t become a detective!

    *Base your decision off your existing interests

    *Don’t worry about 10 years in the future! Very few people stay in the same job that they started in, and no one can possibly know exactly who they are this early on in life. (I’d actually question if anyone really does )

    My main hobbies include:
    - Reading
    - Running
    - Microscopy
    - Drama
    - Taking pictures of 'sad' chairs
    (an odd mix - I know.)

    I hope to regularly post, even when life interferes!

    That's all for now!
    p.s. here's a picture of a sad chair I found a few weeks ago
    (If you spot any, don't hesitate to send it over - I'd love to see it!)

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    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #2

    Hiya, welcome back to my blog!

    Gosh, what a hectic week. As Christmas time draws ever nearer, things get monumentally crazy both in school, and out.

    I know a lot of people in county music groups etc. have been especially busy, so shout out to you guys - I honestly don't know how you do it!

    (I have one friend who described how she went to rehearsals at the Royal Albert Hall in the morning, had to run to the train straight after to get to an audition in Birmingham, only to have to race to the train again in order to get back to London for the actual concert, and only managed to arrive just as they were about to go on stage - I applaud you! :clap2:)

    As for me, I'm rather ecstatic about how all of my Christmas presents have been ordered and now just need to be wrapped up, which is a very different approach to the past six years, where most of my presents were bought 5 days before the big 25th... I know it's awful, but I procrastinate when it's something I find difficult.

    The rest of my week, I've mainly been revising for the January mocks

    As I study 2 sciences and History, I find that different techniques work better for these vastly different subjects.

    For example:

    In any scientific subject, past papers is an absolute must, however before that mindmapping can be fantastic for linking ideas.

    "Here's one I made earlier", as any good cook would say:

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    I spend around an hour making key notes on the diagram (and when I say key, I mean key. Like 5 – 10 key points depending on the complexity of the topic.)

    For example:

    Subject – Biology Topic – Proteins Sub-topic 1 – Structure

    5 Key Points

    1) Made of amino acid chains, which consist of amine group and carboxyl group

    2) All amino acids have a different R-group

    3) Peptide bond forms between two amino acids by condensation reaction

    4) Definitions of primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures

    5) If proteins are present in the biuret test, solution turns mauve

    If I don't actively do something, I turn a bit... confuzzled.

    Similarly, in History, mindmaps are very effective, but I suggest drawing lines between ideas – don’t even bother trying to make it neat… it will end up being an incomprehensible mess of lines and words – but the main idea is to get you thinking, and actively looking through your notes.

    (I won’t bother including a picture of that – it will only render your minds completely baffled, I promise.)

    Another top tip: Get Creative!!!

    In Biology, we used sweets to create diagrams of homeostasis of glucose levels in the blood. Now, I’ll always remember the processes involved because it made revision fun.
    (see attached image)

    And finally, I have a smidgen of advice, that I think everyone, not just students should use - can you guess what it is?


    My Best Piece of Advice
    I can't emphasise enough how important it it to relax once in a while.
    By all means, work hard during the weekdays, and do a bit of work at the weekend, but use the time you have with your friends and enjoy it!
    In Year 12, I was so stressed out and tired, that it was actually counter-productive.
    I think people sometimes forget how to relax. I know I did!
    When I realised that, I knew that I would have to structure my relaxation time. Here's a snippet of my relaxation schedule:

    Monday: 30 mins fiction reading before bed
    Tuesday: 1 hr Body Attack
    Wednesday: 1 hr Body Attack
    Thursday: Microscopy
    Friday: 5k Run after school (Make sure all homework is done before the weekend)
    Saturday: 5k run and hang out with friends/do whatever you want for the whole day!
    Sunday: 10 mile run and film night with family

    Of course, this depends on how busy I am, or if I get an injury from running.
    I also relax by cooking (I may write an article on the easiest student meals I make during the week)

    It's so important to do what you enjoy - you wouldn't expect a car to run forever without going to the garage every once in a while, so why should you expect that of yourself?

    So, I think that's all for this week - thanks for reading!

    Remember to letme know what your favourite revision techniques are, and how you like to relax - I know a lot of people have very different ideas to me XD

    Until next week
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    • Thread Starter

    Grow Your Grades #3

    Hi everyone!
    Just thought I'd give a quick update as I'm super excited

    A couple of weeks ago, I sent my UCAS application off - Oh My Gosh.
    It's a scary time for anyone applying to University.
    That anxiety of waiting for an email... (if you're confused, expand -->)
    For those of you who aren't applying for Uni, or aren't at that point in your education yet, when you apply, you do it through a middle-man (UCAS). You send them all of your information, your teacher reference and your personal statement, and then they send it off to your chosen universities.
    Those universities then tell UCAS of their decision, which UCAS passes on to you via email.
    It's a pretty good service really!

    So, about a week ago I received my first email - an unconditional offer from the University of Lincoln to study Biomedical Science. I was pretty buzzed about that, but as Lincoln ranks lowest in my list of choices, its a bit irrelevant at this stage (unless everything goes wrong, and I suddenly decide to make Lincoln my firm choice - then Lincoln's my absolute No. 1 and I've wanted to go there since the day I was born!!!)

    It was taking a while for my other choices to respond, but two days ago...

    University of Newcastle offered me a place!

    This I am excited about, as I've actually wanted to go here since I was 15. I have family up there, it's a great uni, and it's in a city.

    My mum, however... not so excited.
    For a bit of context:

    I live in the East Midlands, about 3-4 hours away from Newcastle. All my other choices are within 2.5 hours away. When I was younger, I wanted to study in Edinburgh, but realised that it was far too long a journey, especially considering I'd be making an enormous train journey back home with a ton of changes (or a flight, which seems stupid when we're still in Britain).

    I'll wait and see, but the longer it takes for them to get back to me, the more worried I get

    If you're applying for Uni, where have you applied? If not, what are you planning on doing instead? Let me know in your replies!

    That's all for now - have a great week!
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    :woo: Congrats on your offer!

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    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by Lemur14)
    :woo: Congrats on your offer!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #4

    Hi everyone, what a week!

    So, last week was quite exciting, but also quite scary for me.

    I got all 5 of university offers!

    Yep. It's official - it's now all down to me. Of course, I'm ecstatic to get the offers, and I know there are far worse situations to find yourself in, but it feels remarkably daunting and a little too real...

    This weekend I spent hours alternating between being uncontrollably happy, to hiding in bed from how overwhelmed I felt (Suffice to say, Saturday was a rather uneventful duvet day).

    However, by Monday I'd had a thought that sort of changed my perspective on the whole thing.

    In my school, we have a programme called Big Sister, Little Sister (see below):


    Big Sister, Little Sister
    This is a scheme set up by Sixth Form students, where small groups of Year 13s are assigned to their own Year 7 tutor group, and for a few months we lead activities and sessions to help build their confidence and give them a fun Friday tutor session.

    (I absolutely adore my form - it sort of makes me want to be a teacher!
    If teaching wasn't warned against so much, I might have considered it in the future.)

    The whole theme this term has been New Beginnings, and settling into life at a new school, or just generally.

    I was doing some preparation for a BSLS session (mid-way through one of my hopeless slumps) and it got me thinking about how hypocritical I was behaving.

    For the past 5 weeks, I've been saying that the future can be exciting, but not to stress about every minute detail of the future.

    And yet there I was, stressing out over the £5 difference in railway fare! (and other things, obviously...)


    That shook me out of my self, and I went back to revising Nucleophilic Addition-Elimination, instead of slowly morphing into a duvet caterpillar.

    The moral of my story?

    Whatever it is... it's not the end of the world.

    I might become a Biomedical Scientist in Sheffield, or in Birmingham, or even in Newcastle. I might end up somewhere entirely unexpected!

    I'm still going to work hard, but I realise now that I can't let little worries consume me... especially if it's over something I can't control.

    That's all for now! Good luck at whatever stage you're at - and don't worry!

    p.s. Here's a picture of a sad chair
    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #5

    Hi everyone!

    I hope you're beginning to get into the festive spirit a little bit - I've officially started watching Christmas films... even though I should be revising

    This week has been... strange.
    (see below)


    The inevitable spreading of winter germs has finally reached me (the week after I'd run out of hand sanitiser, coincidentally) and for this past week I've been flickering in and out of sleep.

    I'm pretty much 100% now, but I'm really behind on my revision schedule.

    On the plus side, I did my Grade 7 LAMDA exam (drama) at the weekend without fainting from my random symptoms - yay!

    Because of that, the weeks leading up to Christmas (20 days!) are going to be even more chaotic than I'd previously anticipated.

    So, to kickstart my revision I've started a few posters, which I always find helpful to summarise a topic.
    The picture attached is a poster on myelinated neurons and non-myelinated neurons.
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    Also, I'm starting a German History timeline, which I might upload to Get Revising, in case there are any A-Level History students who might use it.

    Side Note: I did a really fun practical (AQA Required Practical 11) this week that made me pretty happy. It's making dilutions on glucose and creating a calibration curve from which you can work out the concentration of an unknown "urine" sample.
    It wasn't supposed to turn out like this, but everyone else's did too - so I technically got it right!
    I just thought I'd share it with you, as it was tres cool. (The coloured precipitates settled down and I was able to measure the absorbance a couple of days later.)

    So, that's kind of it at the moment. My wild week of work has only just begun...

    I intend to:
    - Do a practice exam on the Carboxyl group and Amines
    - Do a practice exam on Thermodynamics and Rate Equations
    - Make a German History Timeline showing the establishment of Weimar Germany and a separate timeline on the Rise of Hitler
    - Do 2x AS Level Biology Practice Exams
    - Complete a first draft of my History coursework
    - Read half of Jane Eyre (for my Grade 8 LAMDA)

    Have a great week!
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    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #6

    A quick update!

    Today was super busy:
    • Did a Thermodynamics test
    • Revised thermodynamics (in my frantic free before the lesson)
    • Finished my Weimar Timeline
    • Collected some missed work from a couple of teachers
    • Signed some paperwork to finalise my EPQ (even though I was the first to hand it in - and that was months ago... not that I'm frustrated that my teacher only just started marking it.)
    • Booked an appointment to give blood for the first time :eek3:
    • Summarised collectivisation in note-form
    • Organised a sleepover with my best friend (because everyone - even a social leper like myself - needs a bit of a social life)

    In summary, its been busy and stressed out - but I'm starting to feel less like this:

    And a little more like this:

    I hope wherever you are in your life, you start to feel a little more like Sheldon from TBBT, rather than Max from 2 Broke Girls.

    Good luck!

    I LOVE your blog. Especially with the GIFs sprinkled in. Keep going and congrats on getting all five of your uni offers
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by bookloverlolly)
    I LOVE your blog. Especially with the GIFs sprinkled in. Keep going and congrats on getting all five of your uni offers
    Thanks! That's so nice!
    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #7

    Hi everyone!

    Sorry for such a long wait!
    I'm sure it's been a pretty weird week for anyone in the Midlands because... IT SNOWED!

    Not that I enjoyed it. I was ill for the two days that school was closed

    And I'd love to say that I used that time to my advantage and did loads of work... but I'd be lying, and so would pretty much everyone else.

    Instead, I caught up on sleep, watched Series 1 of Dawson's Creek, Series 1 of Crazyhead, and finished a book ("How We Live and Why We Die: The Secret Lives of Cells" by Lewis Wolpert).

    However, the week prior was mental.
    You may recall I had a list of things to do:

    - Do a practice exam on the Carboxyl group and Amines
    - Do a practice exam on Thermodynamics and Rate Equations
    - Make a German History Timeline showing the establishment of Weimar Germany and a separate timeline on the Rise of Hitler
    - Do 2x AS Level Biology Practice Exams
    - Complete a first draft of my History coursework
    - Read half of Jane Eyre (for my Grade 8 LAMDA)

    -- = Done
    -- = Half-Done
    -- = Not Started

    And I managed to do most of it, so I'm pretty chuffed about that!
    In fact, here's my Weimar Timeline that I made -->
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    Downside - I got an E in my End of Term Chemistry Test (in my defense, that was the second highest grade in the class!)

    But from this, I've looked at what I struggled with most and done a set of questions on the topics I struggled with:
    - Nucleophilic Addition-Elimination
    - Born-Haber Cycles
    - Ligand substitution
    - Conditions of reactions

    I think the reason I did so poorly was because I hadn't properly revised the organic stuff (I assumed it was just Inorganic and Physical) and there was actually a lot Organic chemistry.

    However, a few days later I did an organic end of unit test and I think I did a lot better with all the extra revision, although I haven't got the result back yet.

    My main focus now is to finish the first draft of my History coursework, and so I'm going to traipse up to my local Uni to use their library all day Saturday.

    TOP TIP:
    Many universities offer public memberships to the University libraries for a small fee, or free if you are at school.
    They can be great for specialist topics that your school probably won't have.

    Now, since I've made most of my revision mindmaps for my subjects, I'm going to be doing past papers (first without notes, then going back over with my notes, then with the mark scheme).

    Over Christmas, I have a neat little schedule - courtesy of GetRevising ( https://getrevising.co.uk/planner ) - of short revision sessions for the A2 material, mixed in with the trickier concepts in AS.

    I'd suggest this to anyone with a deadline, as I've spent some Christmas' too obsessed with the abundance of movies and food to do any work.

    However, if you schedule it in, you're way more likely to actually do it.

    So - have a wonderful week! Good luck with your revision

    p.s. I'm feeling a little Grinch-y right now - does anyone else increasingly hate Christmas the older they get?

    Just me?

    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #8

    Hello! Welcome back to my blog!
    I hope you all had a fantastic time over the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

    I suppose I should kick this off with an explanation as to why I've been a little negligent with my posting...


    Why I haven't posted:
    Over Xmas, I visited family, as a lot of people do. However, mine live about 6 hours away when the traffic is bad (which it usually is) and unfortunately have no internet.

    Before I went I had some fantastic plans to go to the local University and sit in the library to revise and hijack their wifi - but like pretty much everytime I plan to do something, my anxiety decided to step in and make me house-bound.

    I didn't leave the house pretty much all week.

    So, yeah... No TSR.

    Despite that, I did manage to get quite a bit of work done!

    Here's a list of the stuff I managed to do:
    • Revised Biology (cells, microscopes, ventilation, immunity, DNA and protein synthesis, photosynthesis)

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    • Revised Edward VI and Mary I using cue cards (see My Resources)
    • Revised Henry VII and Henry VIII foreign policy by comparing them in a table
    • Read a million pages of my Russia textbook and made like 12 pages of notes ready for this term's lessons
    • Revised the whole of Hitler's Rise to Power
    • Read... Probably more than I should have done... --> this was more of a nice relaxing thing for me, that I don't get a chance to properly do during term time
    • Biology questions on Epigenetics and read ahead for this term
    • Did an organic mechanism pathway chart again and tested myself over, and over, and over, and over...

    So, I'd say it was relatively productive - turns out being a total social flop has its positives too!

    Now I'm back at school, things are okay.

    I like structure. If someone gives me a timetable, it's like simultaneously giving me the key to immortality, and also the safe of Richard Branson.

    I've made myself a revision schedule, which I have to reshuffle every now and then, but am managing to stick to pretty well.

    And that brings me to my final point for the post - the dreaded New Year's Resolution.

    Click here for cynicism:

    Why New Year's Resolutions Suck:
    I seriously don't believe in New Year's Resolutions - they more often than not entice people into the dangerous and completely idiotic world of fad diets, risk-taking and expense before ultimately crashing back to normality.

    This 'All-or-Nothing' reaction is never effective.

    My 'New Year's Resolution' is basically to just keep doing what I'm doing and not breakdown before exams are over.

    That's it.

    I used to set stupid resolutions like 'Lose 3 stone in weight' (which would probably have killed me if I'd achieved that unhealthy ambition).

    Now I have a list of things that I aim to do during the Summer instead:
    • Edit my book
    • Have a Harry Potter marathon with my friends (or just me... probably just me, actually)
    • Read - a lot. Like a lot, a lot. Like, beyond normal.
    • Run a half-marathon plus.
    • Make 6x Microscope slides
    • Complete LAMDA Grade 8
    • Visit Poland

    These are achievable and most importantly, enjoyable.
    And that's what I have resolved to do.

    P.S. Some NYRs can be helpful! As long as it isn't something that's going to do you harm
    e.g. 'Talk to someone new', 'Visit the library', 'Set up a bank account'
    'Lose half my body weight', 'Learn to fly a plane in a week', 'Stalk my ex', 'Become the first half-human, half-dolphin hybrid' etc.

    That brings me to the end of this week's rant.

    Tell me how you're feeling about being back at school! Happy? Sad? Resigned to eternal damnation?

    Have a wonderful first week back at whatever you're doing - let's hope 2018 isn't as ridiculous as 2017?

    P.S. Here's a list of books I read over Christmas, in case you were wondering:
    1. Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli (twice in a week )
    2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    3. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
    4. Awakenings by Oliver Sacks
    5. The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
    6. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
    7. The Great Ape Project
    8. Junk DNA by Nessa Carey
    9. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (One of my all-time favourite books which I read whenever I'm a bit down - I'd definitely recommend!)
    • Thread Starter

    One Dozy Day #9

    Wow. It feels like a long time since I've posted.
    As many of you may be aware, these past few weeks have been full of revision and exams.

    I've already done my Tudor History exam, which actually went surprisingly well!

    What to improve on:
    I've learnt from this that actually doing exam questions is really important, as I struggle with specifics and choosing what points to make.

    Also, today I did my Chemistry exam... which wasn't great, but what do you expect? It's Chemistry!
    So, yeah... Apparently I know nothing except electron configurations and IUPAC naming!

    But that's okay. I'm living in blissful denial that it will be okay currently.
    Tomorrow I have German history - which I feel okay about, even though I haven't done as much as I'd like to have done.

    So, what have I been doing?


    My Revision
    - Chemistry Past Papers
    - Biology Exam Questions (I asked my teacher if he had any - he was unusually obliging)
    - Biology Mindmaps
    - History Flashcards (see them on my profile!)
    - Planning essay questions
    - 3 essay questions (I know this might not be a lot, but I find that if I do too much, I get a bit too despondent and bored)
    - Revision books
    (I love revision guides because although they aren't a substitute for the textbook, they often have really good comprehension questions.)

    I think it's important to not stop doing what makes you happy just because of exams. Otherwise, you end up too stressed out and anxious to focus.
    Therefore, I've been regularly running and re-started weightlifting (oh my god I ache sooo much), as well as regularly writing and cooking.
    I still feel relatively sane

    As for my exams, they've been quite positive. Not in the sense that I got a good grade (duh!), but because it's quite clear where I am losing marks and struggling, and thankfully it seems quite fixable.

    How to Improve:
    e.g in Chemistry, I lost most marks in experiment questions, so to fix that I should do more Paper 3 questions - easy!

    My final point today - I've found it useful to shake my revision up occasionally. I walk to school, so I get to school quite early but I never do much revision.
    However, I've been getting to school half an hour early so I can get in a couple of hours of revision beforehand and I'm getting waaaay more work done.
    Just a suggestion

    So, that's it for now. Have a fantastic week of excitement - and good luck!!!
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