Growing Another Grade

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sadforsadboys
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Hi there! Welcome to my new GYG blog! It's been a while since I did one of these, so it's nice to be getting back into the swing of things. Having had the time past, I've lurked on a few blogs without really participating, seeing some new faces amongst old.

WHO I AM

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Things have changed quite a bit since I last made one of these threads, so let me reintroduce myself:

I'm Castillo, I'm 19 and I'm from Northern Ireland. I started GYG I believe in 2017 or 2018? Not too sure due to the time passing, but hey ho.

I came out as non-binary, going by they/them/theirs/thons (dating back to 1934), sometime during 2020 after looking for some sort of answer to the questions I've asked myself since I was about five or six.


ACADEMICS

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My academic history is a strange one. I've always been ahead in most of my classes but have been disadvantaged on a number of occasions due to my health which, y'know, sucks. This was most prevalent in my GCSE results.

Back in 2018, I received my results which ranged from 7 grades B to C (I got a C in Maths in 2017). I'm happy enough that I passed, but had I not been knocked out due to a very nasty menstrual migraine in September 2017 (which, spoiler alert is still affecting me almost 4 years on), I probably would've had higher results. Thankfully my results were strong enough to continue onto A Level at my school's sixth form which gave me ease.

I finished Year 14 in March 2020 due to the pandemic, gaining the equivalent of A*A in my ICT and Media Studies A Levels. I was also studying History but I had to drop out in January 2020 due to my health declining and having to make a choice that would allow me to finish the academic year.

I planned on doing a year of a course in the local tech college however that fell through and now I'm back to square one. I went in with great optimism and was ready to come out with a third A Level. That fell flat because I found myself having constant issues with the course and ended up leaving in March due to not wanting to sacrifice my mental health any further. On the bright side I gained a word processing qualification.

This coming September, I'm going to be studying a business-related A Level equivalent to give myself a full set of A Levels alongside another year of something to fall back on due to uncertainty with the pandemic. I'm so excited to do this because the pandemic has just kinda taken away my final year of school so getting this chance is very welcoming.


HOBBIES/INTERESTS

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One thing I've always been interested in is music. While I can't actually play any instruments myself due to medical issues, I pretty much spend all of my time listening to music on streaming, CDs or vinyl. My favourite artists are Sabrina Carpenter, Green Day, Beatles, Queen, Fall Out Boy, Cher, Paramore, All Time Low, My Chemical Romance, TINI, Lizzo, Lady Gaga, The Wombles, Lodovica Comello and Mika.

Lockdown allowed me to discover more music and grow my physical collection. I think at the moment I have over 200 pieces of music on vinyl, 400 CDs and have amassed over 1200 hours of streaming (and over 4000 different artists listened to) so far this year. I currently hold tickets to a few concerts - Hella Mega Tour, Queen + Adam Lambert and My Chemical Romance.

I'm also a huge fan of drag and Drag Race. I'm waiting to see seven different Drag Race related tours, and have tickets to a lot of local shows too. I'd say most of my pandemic TV watching has been Drag Race considering there's at least one new episode of the franchise a week starting January 1st.

I have quite a few hobbies that I've picked up during covid. The most notable would be writing and reading. I've written about different things like poverty (including food banks, how gentrification is causing low income families major issues), living on the autism spectrum (based on my personal experiences), litter (you can blame those Wombling folks), mental health and really anything else that plays on my mind.

Reading wise, I've taken to listening to the Book of the Week over on Radio 4 at night, reading different e-books on the Apple Store and buying myself a book from Waterstones about once every 2 months so I have something "physical" to read. At the moment I'm reading "Londoners" by Craig Taylor and will be listening to "One More Croissant for the Road" by Felicity Cloake.


VOLUNTEERING

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Before the pandemic, I would've regularly volunteered within school to raise money for the school charity. That was probably one of the biggest parts of the academic year for me, but of course me leaving school means that I don't have that anymore.

I've been part of Ten Foundations since May, a Northern Irish based charity supporting communities in the Philippines. We sell bags made by women in our livelihood village, giving them skills and a living wage to support their families. We have helped send many kids to school, many who are now graduates. For every bag you buy, one goes to a kid we support to go to school. Next year is the 10th anniversary of the charity so we're planning on having something big happening! We currently have a sustainable clothing shop as well as the school bag shop in one of Northern Ireland's biggest shopping centres alongside a furniture shop and another school bag shop in the shopping boulevard.

I'm also part of The Homeless Period which is designed to tackle period poverty in Belfast and beyond, campaigning for period products to be available in all public facilities and schools, as well as raising awareness through our Menstruation Matters campaign. I've been part of this charity since 2017 and have helped a few times during the pandemic in a small team of period packers (usually my sister, the founder of the charity and her friend, though sometimes we've had two others if we have a larger room to be distanced in). As someone who has had terrible menstrual health since they began their periods, this charity is very close to my heart.

I also regularly donate whatever I can to my local food banks. While I haven't faced food insecurity myself, I have friends who have struggled with it and have been able to survive thanks to these food banks. They are a huge help in the community because something like 40% of the people where I live can easily fall into food insecurity due to a plethora of factors.


OTHER INFO

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I have 2 dogs - Sybil and Bob. Sybil lives with my mum, and Bob lives with my dad. Sybil doesn't like Bob, or any other animal for that matter, so I rarely spend time with them together.

I love stationery and have had to stop myself buying more. Of course that message doesn't stop family members picking up something for me when I don't need it but hey, I'm well supplied!

I probably won't be using emojis that often on here compared to my last blogs, so yeah. Text and more text.

MY STUDYGRAM


UPDATES
I'll probably update this about once or twice a week once I start college, but will update a few times as I get ready to start attending!

If you've made it this far, congratulations, here's a free bar of chocolate!
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sadforsadboys
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TAGS - this is from my notes so tell me if you want added or deleted!

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RazzzBerries
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Hey Castillo, this looks amazing! Please keep me tagged, I'd love to hear about your journey :yep:
Did you have a different username before by any chance?
Also, since we're kinda coming towards the end of the academic year, we may have to get this thread moved to the 2021-2022 academic year GYG forum (when it gets made by one of the TSR peeps) but we'll sort that out later :yep:
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Obolinda
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(Original post by RazzzBerries)
Hey Castillo, this looks amazing! Please keep me tagged, I'd love to hear about your journey :yep:
Did you have a different username before by any chance?
Also, since we're kinda coming towards the end of the academic year, we may have to get this thread moved to the 2021-2022 academic year GYG forum (when it gets made by one of the TSR peeps) but we'll sort that out later :yep:
yeah i was thinking the same thing?







Hey! honoured to tag along on your journey
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sadforsadboys
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(Original post by RazzzBerries)
Did you have a different username before by any chance?
(Original post by Obolinda)
yeah i was thinking the same thing?
Yes I did - it was pretty much my dead name so I decided to go for the rebrand before I started this blog.

Thank you for joining the journey! I'm glad to be back, it's been a while.
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Obolinda
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(Original post by sadforsadboys)
Yes I did - it was pretty much my dead name so I decided to go for the rebrand before I started this blog.

Thank you for joining the journey! I'm glad to be back, it's been a while.
fair
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5hyl33n
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(Original post by sadforsadboys)
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Hi Castillo!

This blog looks fantastic! :woo: I love the colours you have chosen for each section! :yep:

Sorry to hear about your health issues. You performed very well in your GCSE's/A-Levels despite that and you should be very proud of yourself. :hugs:Don't worry about having to drop out from your 3rd A-Level. Your health takes priority. Well done on getting a word processing qualification. The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty but I'm sure you will do great! You have already achieved so much! I'm so glad you will get all of your A-Levels this year. You must be very excited.

Have fun at the concerts! :cute:
Those are interesting topics you are writing about. Keep up the good work! I need to start reading more! What is your favourite genre?

I also did a lot of volunteering/charity in my school. One of my favourite events was a whole school charity walk at the end of the year. My friends and I never followed the directions outlined on the map and so reached back to school much later than everyone else. The teachers were never impressed. :lol:

OMG! :shock: I love stationery as well. What stationery do you own? :question:

Could I be added to the tag list? :hugs:
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sadforsadboys
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(Original post by 5hyl33n)
Hi Castillo!

This blog looks fantastic! :woo: I love the colours you have chosen for each section! :yep:

Sorry to hear about your health issues. You performed very well in your GCSE's/A-Levels despite that and you should be very proud of yourself. :hugs:Don't worry about having to drop out from your 3rd A-Level. Your health takes priority. Well done on getting a word processing qualification. The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty but I'm sure you will do great! You have already achieved so much! I'm so glad you will get all of your A-Levels this year. You must be very excited.

Have fun at the concerts! :cute:
Those are interesting topics you are writing about. Keep up the good work! I need to start reading more! What is your favourite genre?

I also did a lot of volunteering/charity in my school. One of my favourite events was a whole school charity walk at the end of the year. My friends and I never followed the directions outlined on the map and so reached back to school much later than everyone else. The teachers were never impressed. :lol:

OMG! :shock: I love stationery as well. What stationery do you own? :question:

Could I be added to the tag list? :hugs:
Thank you!

I certainly am excited for it. New start and new opportunities!

I enjoy more factual than fictional. Pretty much everything I've picked up has been historical or political, so I guess those?

Hmm stationery, let me think. Right now I have Zebra mildliners, Crayola Super Tips, Staedtler Fineliners, Staedtler colouring pencils, Sayeec brush pens, Uni Emott, a backup of BIC ballpens, BIC magic markers, these metallic markers I picked up at B&M, and a pen I got from my secondary school currently sitting at my desk.

Totally!
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JT_888
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Hey Castillo, I don't actually remember who you are - I follow quite a lot of people and vice versa. But do keep me on the tag list.

Sorry to hear about the health issues, but it sounds like you're performing well academically despite this. It's also lovely to hear about the volunteering stuff - it definitely makes an individual become more well-rounded.

Good luck with your studies for the upcoming academic year. I also have a GYG blog, but I won't create a new one for my third year at uni until next week.
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5hyl33n
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(Original post by sadforsadboys)
Hmm stationery, let me think. Right now I have Zebra mildliners, Crayola Super Tips, Staedtler Fineliners, Staedtler colouring pencils, Sayeec brush pens, Uni Emott, a backup of BIC ballpens, BIC magic markers, these metallic markers I picked up at B&M, and a pen I got from my secondary school currently sitting at my desk.
That's so cool! :eek3:
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flaurie
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Omg you’re back!! :gah: Guessed it was you from the Sabrina avatar :giggle: and Castillo really suits you!
Definitely keep me on the tag list :hugs:
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sadforsadboys
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(Original post by laurawatt)
Omg you’re back!! :gah: Guessed it was you from the Sabrina avatar :giggle: and Castillo really suits you!
Definitely keep me on the tag list :hugs:
And now I am my other alias... Dr Brian Harold May 😎
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flaurie
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(Original post by sadforsadboys)
And now I am my other alias... Dr Brian Harold May 😎
:thrasher:
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sadforsadboys
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(Original post by laurawatt)
:thrasher:
I wanted to send a gif but nothing is working so here's a pic
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sadforsadboys
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(Original post by JT_888)
Hey Castillo, I don't actually remember who you are - I follow quite a lot of people and vice versa. But do keep me on the tag list.

Sorry to hear about the health issues, but it sounds like you're performing well academically despite this. It's also lovely to hear about the volunteering stuff - it definitely makes an individual become more well-rounded.

Good luck with your studies for the upcoming academic year. I also have a GYG blog, but I won't create a new one for my third year at uni until next week.
Just realised I forgot to reply!

Please tag me in your blog!
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Obolinda
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heyy castillo this is so random and maybe you don't care about this at all but did you see that song Sabrina released yesterday called intro??? I think she released the lyrics on her mailing list and it got unlisted on her youtube.

it's so emotional it sounds like it's about her fatherrrr
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sadforsadboys
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(Original post by Obolinda)
heyy castillo this is so random and maybe you don't care about this at all but did you see that song Sabrina released yesterday called intro??? I think she released the lyrics on her mailing list and it got unlisted on her youtube.

it's so emotional it sounds like it's about her fatherrrr
I did yeah! I had the sound on my phone so when it dropped it woke me up. SC5 is gonna be emotional, explicit album isn't it?
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Obolinda
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(Original post by sadforsadboys)
I did yeah! I had the sound on my phone so when it dropped it woke me up. SC5 is gonna be emotional, explicit album isn't it?
seems like it
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sadforsadboys
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(Original post by Obolinda)
seems like it
Sabrina this era:
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sadforsadboys
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UPDATE 1 - I'm Scared (Justin's Mix '92)

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I had my interview this morning with tech just to confirm that I'm enrolling. It was pretty quick (thankfully) and now all I have to wait for is information on when I'm actually going in for induction! I already received my schedule which is looking loooooovely and it gives me Fridays off for volunteering

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(look at my parents)

I've been busy volunteering as usual. The last few weeks I've been running up and down between our school bag shop and our clothes shop has made it easier for me to get around. We've been selling lots of school uniforms and school bags this month on the run-up to the new academic year. I've also been making so many new friends! We have a steady flow of volunteers (over 50 of us in the group chat!) meaning we're now up and running like every other retailer in the centre.

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Outside of academics and volunteering, I've been busy writing as usual. Given the recent results revealing 70% of fee-paying school candidates got As and A*s, it's made me curious as to just how deep these academic inequalities are. I've always been aware of there being a divide between the haves and have nots in education, but do I really know how it's changed and developed over the years? A local journalist has talked about the costs of uniforms alone for our schools and I've definitely seen an upsurge in uniform donation and collection points across Belfast and Lisburn. It's got me thinking what we could do.

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Oh and... STREAM BACK TO THE LIGHT BY BRIAN MAY!!

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pls he's never plugged anything as hard in his life than this rerelease 😭


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