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Balancing the creative and the academics of a-level Watch

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    Hello!

    So i'm not a complete stranger: My name is Eve, i love creative writing (and am determined to write a book one day), art, staying in on Friday nights, spending time with my friends, the colour yellow and vigorous overthinking!

    This seems like a very daunting thing for me to do, always worried to put myself out there but it's my last year of formal education as i'm in year 13 and wanted to document my experience as something to (hopefully) look fondly back on.

    I decided to start this blog to uncover some of the joys and struggles of balancing creative subjects with my academic subjects. Give my personal approach to dealing with this workload and the ways in which i'll be tackling revision, coursework and exams.

    I am studying English Literature, Philosophy and Ethics and Art textiles and did Geography as an AS. Throughout school, I had always steered towards English as this was my strongest subject and one i related to most; but in the last two years, during my A-level time I have fallen in love with Art and textiles. While this is exciting, it's also very daunting, abandoning something i always thought i'd purse for a new found love and this is definitely something i'd really like to talk about in this blog to help anyone conflicted in their choices or anyone who's interested.

    Regardless of grades i'm not going to university next year, but doing an art foundation course instead. I think (hope) this will help me confirm that textiles is what i really want to do and if i end up deciding it isn't anymore, i don't see it as a year wasted as i'd always regret not knowing if i didn't do it. From there i'm not sure which university i'd like to study at or which specific course, hence the year out to gain experience and decide!

    I hope this will help anybody, especially the anxious among us as this is another element of school and daily life i struggle with and this will hopefully act as a little breather. Sorry for the essay, congratulations to anybody who made it all the way through! I shall end with a few photographs of the start of my textile project entitled 'anatomy' to let you into some of my creative world and also a photo of my new pupper Ted, enjoy!

    some background info...

    GCSE's
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    English Literature - A*
    English Language - A*
    Maths - B
    Double Science award - A*A*
    Textiles - A
    Philosophy and Ethics - A*
    Geography - A
    Spanish - B
    ICT - A*









    A-levels (predicted)
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    English Literature - A*
    Art textiles - A*
    Philosophy and Ethics - A









    AS
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    Geography - A




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    Tidy Space, Tidy Mind! - getting organised

    Hello again!

    It was at approximately 11:30 last night having just completed my first blog entry that i decided it. Right. If i'm going to take this thing seriously I've got to get my act together. There's only one place to start...

    For my birthday this year i asked for art supplies, art supplies and more art supplies. This was the first time i was taking it seriously and if i was going to dive straight in i needed the equipment to go with it. Alas! July came around and i was drowning in paints, crayons and fabrics and while this was amazing there was nowhere for it to live. It all ended up in a chest at the bottom of my bed jumbled and disorganized and it drove me crazy.

    So last night i begged my mum to let me have a fairly vacant shelving unit relocated to my room and she agreed! What followed was an hour and a half reshuffle of materials accompanied by The Jackson 5 on loop!:banana: It was a long job but i'm so happy with how it turned out!

    I just wanted to share to show the importance of keeping organized, i genuinely feel so much more on top of things again and it's really motivated to keep up all the work, including this blog!

    I'll leave some pictures of my new set up for anyone looking for a little organization inspiration

    Happy organizing! Bye for now!
    Eve
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    Awww Ted is so cuute! And damn I wish I could be as organised as that, My work is just in a massive pile I have to treck through. Loving the blog (especially the font, Courier New has a soft space in my heart) , I'll be sure to watch!
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    Starting with the spec

    Good evening!

    Today was such a productive day for me, and i actually did some work out of school hours at home which is very unusual for me. i tend to get my work done in my free periods at school so i can relax at home but today i felt super motivated so started some revision

    Aim: compile all the specifications for my Philosophy, ethics and belief exam (this may seem like a simple task but the subject will be the death of me)
    What i did: so as well as finding the specification itself (edexcel for anybody wondering) i decided that due to the sheer volume of content, i needed it to be clear on one document in front of me. So I've begun to lay out each element of the specification and leave a space next to it to fill with the relevant information. Again, sounds easy...it's nearly impossible. Once i'd completed one element i transferred these to flash cards as i went along as a way of testing myself
    Success?: so far so good! as i say, this subject is extremely content heavy but i think this is a good way to pick and choose the best notes i have to keep it relevant. This is something new i'm trying out; my general revision style is mind maps so once i have this document sorted i'll transfer these notes into a mind map, which i will exemplify further down the line as this is my favorite revision technique

    If anybody else is doing the new edexcel course for philosophy and ethics please let me know how you're finding it. It's really interesting but i can't even believe it's one a-level it is so content heavy, especially the new belief element they added (of which our school chose Buddhism)

    I'll keep you updated on whether this technique works in the long run and i'll leave some pictures to show you what i mean

    Hope everyone's had a good day! See you soon,
    Eve:bunny:
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    awww yayyy !!! :yay::happy2::grin: seeing you so organised and sorting everything out gives me the motivation to do the same!!! keep it up so far your blog looks amazing!!!
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    Awh thank you so much! i'm glad you're enjoying it and found it helpful :laugh::laugh:
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    Real life balance of the creatives and academics!

    Hello!

    So i had written a really long blog post last night about GCSE's and exam tips and i can't see it on my profile at all so it has mysteriously disappeared which is very annoying! I will rewrite it tomorrow as i posted some useful tips for scheduling and preparation i'd really like to share from my experience of GCSE's.

    But tonight i am way too tired so i'll give you a little rundown of my day.

    period 1: i had textiles first period which is by far my favourite lesson and would rather have this scheduled than a free period because it means i have a fun excuse for not doing work (oops). I finished a task i had started but was really unhappy with how it turned out. In this aspect i'm definitely a perfectionist and although my friends were all saying it had turned out well i knew it would bug me so started again
    period 2: i had a free period but stayed on in the textiles room as i was really set on getting it right this time, but i ended up getting more frustrated and hit a bit of a wall. This is the aspect of textiles i find hardest. I'm either super into it and could do hour after hour of work and not get bored or i'm completely stuck and everything i try isn't how i want it
    period 3: i had ethics which i enjoy most of the three elements of RE (philosophy, ethics and belief) and we started the topic 'ethics and morality' today which sounds really interesting so i'm looking forward to it. Going to try stay on top of this topic and make notes as i go rather than leave it to the end like usual!
    period 4: i had a free period again and went to the silent study room. Initially i was going to do some revision but decided to get some homework due tomorrow done first.
    period 5: i had another free and worked through my English coursework which is the theme of oppression in the handmaid's tale and the yellow wallpaper. So anyone studying these texts let me know how you're finding them! I enjoy these kind of essays and find my biggest struggle isn't writers block but quite the opposite. i'm a rambler (as you can probably tell) and am wayyyy over the word limit so i've been working on that

    at home: i've felt most accomplished this evening, focusing myself on my creatives. I think this was a good structure to my day, allowing myself time for both academic work and creative tasks, something that i often struggle with usually because i'm drawn to ignoring essays and doing art instead. But using my free periods effectively has really helped me manage this balance. Anyway...after the first two periods of the day in frustration i finally made something i'm very happy with so overall a successful day!

    Sorry for the pretty boring recap, and my inactivity over the weekend...i did technically post yesterday it has just disappeared, but i shall rewrite it tomorrow so keep your eyes out for that!

    See you tomorrow!
    Eve:bunny:
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    GCSE Throwback

    Hello everyone,

    sorry for the mishap yesterday, here is attempt number 2!

    i thought i'd share some GCSE advice for anybody taking there's this year or to help will some skills applicable to any exam that i will also be doing this year after learning from my GCSE experience

    I've heard a mix of really positive and really negative things about mindmaps and that depends completely on your learning style and for me they were perfect. Much like A Levels, i think GCSE success starts with a clear specification so you know exactly what the exam could ask you. From there, 'd find relevant notes and put them straight into mindmap form. My mindmaps aren't necessarily what you'd call typical mindmaps, they're more visual posters and they help me to picture them when revising and in the exam. Colour is important. Use colour to chunk down information and not just display, make sure you don't get bogged down making your notes look perfect, that's not what you're graded on.

    Timetabling is also important and something that at times i stuck to really well and helped a lot with structuring my revision. However, two tips for good timetabling:
    1) don't spend ages writing out an unrealistic timetable that you break on the first day and spend another 5 hours making another one. I must've spent so long making sure my timetables were structured and compact, thinking it would help motivate me. In reality i'd spent time i could've used revising doing something that i would do again the next day
    2) be realistic! i can't stress this enough! don't expect yourself to work solidly for 7 hours a day, it isn't going to happen unless you're a machine! I would also not advise giving revision slots set times as if you miss the slot it'll be an excuse not to revise, and sometimes you are on a roll and want to keep going but you're 'slotted' to move onto the next thing. Rather than being motivating, it can be demoralizing, especially if you don't manage to do all the work you timetabled to do

    How i'd do this differently now: This year i will leave enough time to ensure i will be able to cover all aspects of the spec without cramming and forcing myself to work 8 hours a day! i think i am going to try create weekly timetables rather than one that goes on for 6 months prior to exams. This way i can prioritise and be more realistic. I am going to set up aspects of the spec i want to cover in a day, not a time scale i want to work on a subject for. This can again be too broad and make you feel overwhlemed with information.

    During GCSE's i worked really hard, although i knew grades were not the most important thing in life, i really wanted to do well for myself and prove i could do it, especially in the science subjects which i always struggled most with. At times i think i fluxuated, wither being xrazy motivateed and went overboard and other times doing absolutely nothing. That's why i'm hoping this new timetabling system will help keep a level of consistency without ever reaching either extreme (i'll keep you updated). But for anybody who finds exams crazy stressful and don't give themselves a break: please don't put too much pressure on yourself! do the best you can do and work hard but allow time for rest an fun that isn't school associated, this will keep you calm leading up to exams and sane during revision!

    I'll leave some pictures of my GCSE revsion to show the type of mindmaps i did, possibly where i went a little overboard. My mum wasn't so keen on the design updates and to be honest i do think it was a little much (the photos are just my science revision) so will hopefully gove you an idea of balance too!
    I hope this has helped a few of you with feeling organised and help of you're feeling swamped with work!

    See you soon!
    Eve:bunny:
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    I made a timetable!

    Good evening,
    Sorry for the lack of post last night i wasn't home and didn't have any of my things with me to construct a post worth posting!

    I have finally made the timetables i have promised i would! not going too far into the future as i know these are unrealistic but sticking to a short term plan so that if i can't keep up i can push it forward to a new timetable without feeling like i've failed myself! I'll leave some pictures of what they look like - they are pretty basic but like i said i didn't want to spend ages on making them look good and no time on actually revising.

    Once i had completed them, i jumped straight in a did an hour's solid revision in the study room as well as having double textiles which was reallllly productive.

    I also want to talk about motivation. While this timetable will hopefully help, i have been really struggling at the moment on spreading my attention equally between all three of my subjects. I spend almost all my work time at home doing textiles simply because i love it but it means in some areas i'm falling behind. I have my art foundation interview coming up so it is important that i use my time to prepare for this but i feel like it's taking over to an extent. For example i knew i had a timed philosophy paper the next day and i knew i needed to revise but i couldn't tear myself away from my textiles. So if anybody has any tips on how to stay focused i would LOVE to hear them.

    Other than that, it's been a pretty good week, i have an inset day tomorrow as well as such a nice day planned which i'm really looking forward to since i haven't had a proper break from either school work or my job in so long! I had parent's evening tonight which went really well, on track to reach all my predictions if i continue putting in the work (which i need to step up on) but it's reassuring to know if i try i can do it (just like you!)

    See you tomorrow!
    Eve:bunny:
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