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    • 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
    Attached Images
    • 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!
    • TSR Support Team

    :woo: Congrats on your offer!

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    • Thread Starter

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

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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