Monday, 21 December 2015


Where have you been Itunu? Everywhere. I have been up and down and really really down and up again. First of all let me start by saying sorry guys, I haven't blogged for over 2 months which is even surprising to me because I was really excited to start blogging about Year 13, that's until the pressure kicked in.
Year 13 has been difficult so far. I started the year optimistic about having a fresh start. I had already done a lot of research about my course, Politics and International Relations, and also the Universities I wanted to go to. I spent summer writing a few drafts of my personal statement and was really motivated to do well. So I was pretty much sorted right? Err not quite. A few weeks into the new school year I started second guessing myself BIG TIME. Do you really want to do this course? Are you ready for University? Do you even know WHAT ON EARTH you are doing? Instead of voicing my fears, I kept them to myself. When the conversation about applications started I was all ' UCAS, Applications, Exams, Responsibility, Life *manic laughter*' it was bad.
After a while, I realised that my secret panic was not doing me any good and spoke to my admissions tutor who told me , *I'm paraphrasing*,to keep calm, stay positive and complete my personal statement. After getting it checked over and doing a lot of editing my personal statement was done. Then it was applying. OH MY GOODNESS. There are so many Universities out there doing my course and picking 5 was hard. I finally got my final 5 and now it was time to apply. Again, I had another secret panic/hesitation before I finally hit the send button and was able to breathe freely for the first time in about 3 months.
I have got 4 of my offers so far but I am still a bit scared about everything; getting the grades I need, making the most of my time and coping at University. Wait let me rewind, I am really happy about my offers (don't want to sound like the girl who's unhappy because she got Evian instead of Voss) but I'm more freaking out than smiles. I guess that's why I didn't want to blog because 'fear is for the weak' and all that jazz buuuutttt if I want to blog about Year 13 I have to be honest don't I? And to be honest, Year 13 has been a whirlwind of emotions. The work load hasn't been greater for me but the mental strain has been GIGANTIC because for the first time I am working towards something that I really really want.
I decided to stay at my secondary school after GCSEs and was pretty certain I would get back in because, why wouldn't they want me *flicks braids*. But in all seriousness, since I didn't move school for 6th form this is the first time in my educational life (is that a thing 'educational life'...ahh well it is now) I am working for a tangible goal and it is mad scary. Sprinkled on top of that I'm leaving my friends, my school, and the comfy 6th form area with the paninis and sofas and I don't know if I'm ready for that change.
There is a lot of pressure because there is a constant reminder of not letting yourself and your loved ones down. There is also such a strong feeling of 'If I mess this up, I am going to ruin my life', 'if I mess this up, I will have failed myself' and then you hit a brick wall where the constant narrative is 'look at my grades/motivation level/brain activity I am failing, why do I even try?'.
I have always believed that school shouldn't make people sad,like it's really not that deep (or, rather, it shouldn't be). For the past few months however, I've come to understand why school can become a place where you have to muster up all your strength to go there every morning. It's difficult. It becomes a fight between wanting to grow up and leave school now and wondering if you're ready for independence and a new academic experience.
There's a quote that says 'enjoy the journey between where you are and where you want to be' and I guess we're all in the 'in-between' stage and it's important to work smart and be positive. Now, this is not a brush off form of motivation, where I go back to my perfect grades and life, I am in the trenches too, I am freaking out too but I know how important it is to think positively in order to get what you want.  
I am working to get through this with more smiles and less tears and I am encouraging, in fact URGING you to do the same because we're all worthy of happiness as we work towards getting through the jungle that is Year 13.
I wish you all the best in your Year 13 journey and remember we're all in this together amigos.

Plus I'll try and start blogging more often than once every few months :)
Itunu x
P.S Click here to vote for me as UCAS blogger of the year :)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Make the most of every moment

This was originally written for my other blog 
A lot of the times we do not enjoy things because we have already set ourselves up to fail, to be scared or simply not enjoy ourselves.
Starting my last year of school I had already set myself up to feel stressed. I had scared myself into thinking, once I stepped into the building I would feel stressed by all the implications of being in my last year of school; exams, uni applications, head girl duties, leaving the school I have become really emotionally attached to. It was not a surprise that despite all the hugging and smiling, I felt really weird about being back at school.
I took a moment to reflect and think; if I continue in the vein of being ‘pre-stressed’ I will spend my whole year stressed for no reason and unhappy. Sure there are a lot of things that I have to do, there are a lot of people, places and traditions I have to eventually say goodbye to, but I still have months until all of that.
The focus now is on being present and making the most of every moment. We rob ourselves of happiness when we walk around thinking rigorously about all the things we haven’t done and will have to do in the future.
Instead of thinking about what is going to happen in the next ten minutes appreciate the moment you are in, so that the next ten minutes will feel great, instead of feeling like an obstacle when you finally get there.
I read in a book that you should focus on the 24 hours ahead of you, and make sure that you make the best of every single moment in those 24 hours. Now, this isn’t just a pretty concept it really works! I took this concept and applied it to my life last year, and I felt so much happier and more fulfilled, but like the silly human being I can be I stopped doing that and let the worry pour in (BAD MOVE ITUNU).
Focusing on the 24 hours ahead of you helps you to appreciate the moment you are in. You can sit in lessons and focus on what is being said, rather than organising what you will be doing in the next few months, or worrying about all the things you haven’t done.
I know that there are tons of things to think about and there is a main goal or goals we all have in mind but by focusing on the 24 hours ahead of us (and keeping our goals in mind) days become so much happier.
Keep Smiling!
Itunu :)

Click here to vote for me as blogger of the month

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Brontë and Blogging

This was originally written for my blog
Hello All !!! I made a deal with myself that until I finished reading Jane Eyre I would not blog  (I don’t know why I didn’t think of that earlier because I whizzed through the rest of the book). So here I am, free from Brontë and back to blogging yay (I will do a Jane Eyre review soon) !!!
In February I had the amazing opportunity to start writing as a student blogger for UCAS. (Click here to view my UCAS blog)  UCAS stands for Universities and College Admission Services and ‘it is a UK-based charity whose main role is providing the application process for almost all British universities’. (thanks Google).
Having the opportunity to blog for UCAS was amazing because not only was I writing on a huge platform I was also blogging about school; full of all its highs and lows and sharing advice about dealing with the jungle, that is school life.
In September I will be starting Year 13, my last year of school before University.I have had the opportunity to continue blogging for UCAS during Year 13, where I will be starting the University application process, getting really stuck in to my role as Head Girl and bidding farewell to the school I have been at for 6 years (ahhh the emotions). So keep on the lookout for my posts throughout the school year.
This is where you come in. I need to gather as many votes for title of UCAS Blogger of the Year before embarking on blogging during Year 13. I have had so much fun being part of the blogging community, both on WordPress and as a blogger for UCAS, where I have been able to reach out and help many students across the UK.
 I would LOVE to win the title (and left it quite late to gather votes *cringes*) so please click here and vote for me (itunu).
Keep Smiling (and vote!)  :)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


1. Be honest about how you feel about results day

If you're scared, say that you're scared. If you're confident, say you're confident. It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling about results day. If you are feeling very negative about it spend the rest of today channelling happy vibes and don't dwell on the negative feelings.

2. Open your results away from your friends
Now, everyone opens their results differently, so this is just my opinion. What I do is go away from friends, open the envelope, take in the grades (call my loved ones and let them know my grades) and then go back to my friends. For me, this has been the best way because you are able to take time to look closely at your grades and think about anything you have to address, instead of getting wrapped up in the grades of those around you.

3. Look at your results carefully
There is a tendency to look at your main grade and just accept it, however on your results sheet there is a breakdown of what you received on the individual papers. So if you get lower than expected in a certain subject look at the breakdown because it may be that a lower grade in a certain paper has brought your main grade down. If you think that you should have got higher in a subject, speak to a teacher or exam officer, because you may find that you were only a few points off the next grade and you could consider getting your paper remarked.

4. Don't compare your grades to other peoples
You can be happy about your results regardless of what good grades look like to those around you. If you worked hard for that C, be proud of yourself. Same thing goes for if you got a B but you really wanted an A, you are allowed to be annoyed but again don't dwell on it- it's not the end of the world and remember you've still done very well. You know how hard you worked, you know what grades you wanted, so don't compare your results to anyone else's because everyone expects different things.

5. You don't have to tell everyone your grades
If you want to tell people your exact grades, that's 100% fine but remember you don't have to. You can tell people you are happy with your grades, or that they weren’t as good as expected but it's onwards and upwards. Don't feel pressured to broadcast your grades or even your feelings about grades on social media or to those around you. They are YOUR grades, so you can do what you want with them. (However, I would advise that you tell someone your grades, don't keep them to yourself especially if you aren't happy with them, and remember: a problem shared is a problem halved).
6. Whatever grades you get it's not the end of the world
Right, I say this as a complete drama-queen about everything so you can trust me: you have several opportunities to improve your grades in 6th form and college. Don't let your grades define you. If you do worse than expected let that motivate you to work harder, if you do better than expected let that also motivate you to continue working hard.
All the best for tomorrow GCSE guys! If you have any questions leave them in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer them.

Keep Smiling

Itunu :)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Thinking about University

'You're going to University next year'.

'No, next year is...YES I AM'!!!

I'm sure many of you can relate to this, that sudden realisation that in September you're going to be in Year 13 and next year you will, if it's in your plan, be going to University. There have been many changes over these past few years forcing us to look beyond the walls of the sixth form common room and think about the future. Although, thinking about the future is quite frightening the great thing about A Levels and IB is that you do less subjects so possible university courses, to an extent, are narrowed down. Now it's all about finding the appropriate resources to help you on  your search  of possible future careers.

So here is my fabulous list for all things University that will make you super organised before you start Year 13:

WhatUni-   What Uni is a great tool and it's free! It guides you along the way, from showing you what career paths people have followed with your subject choices and grades to University reviews. It also monitors your progress e.g. alerting about when you need to start writing your personal statement, this makes What Uni an amazing tool if you have absolutely no idea where to start.

The Student Room - From advice about University Courses to personal statements Student Room is the hub for all things University. All you have to do is login (it's free) and search to your hearts content. If there is a specific thing that you want to find out you can always start a discussion thread and get responses from the other students on the site.

Fast Tomato - Complete with information about the job requirements, salaries and different career paths Fast Tomato is also brilliant for career advice. It includes questionnaires about things such as your working style and personal interests, both of which are essential when making your University choices. Unfortunately Fast Tomato is not free but possibly if you talk to your school they can sort out logins for you(fingers crossed).

Morrisby Test- The Morrisby Test is also another great tool and although you have to pay for it, it is very useful if you have no idea where to start. The Morrisby Test  'assesses various factors including abilities, aptitudes, interests and motivations' and provides you with a detailed list of possible career paths that are best suited to your abilities and interests.

The Internet and Social Media- Google is your friend, as is YouTube and Twitter. Research anything and you will definitely find information. I have a habit of looking up Universities on YouTube because some Universities have student vloggers who talk about their Uni experience and their chosen course; which I find very insightful (and great when I can't be bothered to read). You should also sign up for emails or follow Universities on Twitter so you can get updates about open days and taster sessions.

Talk to people- Career advisor, current year thirteen students, university students- anyone. I have found talking to people about my ideas post year thirteen to be extremely useful, as not only do they suggest options that I would have never thought of- they also bring to light other factors that I should consider when making my University choice e.g. whether I want to be close to or far away from home or go to a campus or city University etc.

Apply for Open Days- Find out the dates of the Open Days of Universities that you like the look of and apply for them. Some just require you to sign up to show your interest, others need you to book for a place- so ensure that you research carefully. If you are completely clueless on where to start try researching the best Universities for the course you are interested in and pick a few Universities in the Top 20 to have a look at. (I say Top 20 because the lists tend to be really long- but obviously if you prefer widening or narrowing your options, do that instead). Also it is important to treat University lists with caution because they are not always completely accurate- The Guardian University guide is said to be a good one.

So, there you are, my fabulous list. I will try and add to or elaborate on the list in the near future. Feel free to add any additional advice in the comments below.

First University Open Day

Last Saturday I went to my first University open day at Warwick University. Initially I was not excited about the open day, or any open day at all. I thought that it would add to the confusion, the confusion being WHAT ON EARTH DO I DO WITH MY LIFE and that it would be an all-round scary experience; but I loved it. The open day was wonderfully organised, the student guides were friendly and the whole atmosphere was really relaxed and homely.
Once dropped off by the pick-up bus the first thing I realised was, if I choose to attend Warwick, to attend this strange, huge place, it is going to be my home for the next few years and some of these strangers are going to share the whole experience with me, now that was frightening. I felt like I was in Year 7 all over again, with the butterflies and overwhelming feeling of being in an unknown place for a significant part of my life. Once the butterflies had settled and I had soaked up the surroundings it was time to attend the talks about the degrees on offer.

I had the opportunity to attend the Politics and International Studies (PAIS) and English Literature talks. Right now, my major battle is which path to pursue, Politics which I am really interested in and seemed to provide a much clearer pathway career wise, or English which I am completely obsessed with and would miss dearly if I leave it after Year 13. A little bit of me wanted to hate the English talk just so that PAIS ,which seemed like the course that provided the clearer path, would become more attractive to me. Unfortunately (ahh who am I kidding it wasn't unfortunate at all) I loved the English talk, the degree sounds incredibly flexible at Warwick and as you progress with the degree you gain a lot more freedom on what you want to study. There are also various opportunities to meet with experts in the different areas of English, whether it’s poets or authors. The English and Creative Writing talk blew me away, in that you are immersed in the whole English world but there is also the focus on the creative aspect and how to develop it.

After realising that dumping English (I have a strong emotional attachment to the subject if you haven't already guessed) would be harder than I thought it was time for the PAIS talk. The quirky professor, the cool students and the encouragement of debate within the audience made the whole degree seem amazing. With a focus on both British and American politics, PAIS seems like the wonderful degree to expand my limited knowledge of politics and gain a deeper understanding of the world and how it works. The political buzz in the room was intimidating especially for someone who pledges no severely strong allegiance to any political party or leader, however, the debate, disagreements and different viewpoints served to show just how challenging and interesting PAIS would be as a course. I also realised that just like English, the course does not offer a straightforward career path, both subjects are equally flexible and can lead you to a variety of careers in the future.

I left Warwick with a fresh outlook on the future and prospect of leaving my little town for the strange world of University. I am still scared and not entirely sure what I want to do, but pursuing what I love seems like a starting point, so we'll see where it goes from there.

Have you attended any Uni Open Days yet? How did you find it? Are you still not sure what course to pick or are you the complete opposite? Feel free to comment below :)

Third Week Back, Head Girl Duties and Year 6s

Third week back in school and yep we're still doing work. I've finished one book for English which makes me so happy. On Beauty by Zadie Smith is a great book and the way Smith writes is unlike any author I have ever read. She is able to present the emotions of multiple characters with equal depth all the while maintaining a great storyline. I was pretty distraught after finishing the book, not because it was sad but because I wasn't reading it anymore; it was over, no sequel, no movie, just over. If you've ever become completely engrossed in a TV series or movie you'll understand the horrible emptiness of knowing that it's over. But I'll find another book to become obsessed with soon.

Now back to school.

School has been full of group presentations- History is all about America pre Civil War, I'm in the American South group focusing on the economic and social developments up to the 18th century. In English we are working on presentations for both the prose and poetry lessons. For prose we're looking at House of Spirits by Isabel Allende and Victoria by Knut Hamsun, and our poetry ranges from Pablo Neruda to Simon Armitage. For both sections we get to select a song of our choice that best encapsulates our given extract or poem, which has been very fun so far.

Head Girl duties have also begun to kick in, we have been working on establishing what we want to represent and be advocates for (I say we because we have two head girls at my school) and also planning for and being part of different school events. I reckon my organisational skills will improve tremendously having this role, and that was not just a pretty comment for UCAS, that is a genuine life achievement for me considering that I have spent 5 years getting made fun of for having a bottomless pit of a bag and losing my phone every day. It's really exciting to have this role and represent my school community and still be my normal goofy self.

On the topic of goofiness we had our Year 6 Transition Evening a few days ago and I decided that it would be appropriate to put my hair up in two buns, like a life size Minnie Mouse despite supposing to represent this cool older girl to all the Year 6s. Instead it was more I never really left primary school, I’m 17 and still consider being Minnie Mouse as a possible career option. Meeting all the Year 6s, however, was an amazing and bizarre experience. It was like a flashback to being the nervous but over-confident Year 6, who was determined to make friends and be amazing. (Making friends, I managed, being amazing, still a work in progress). I got to talk to the Year 6s,and find out what they were looking forward to and what they were nervous about and it was beautiful to have the chance to be a part of, albeit a little part, in  their progression into secondary school.

As I'm going to be making the transition to University next year, it's amazing to see that the fears are still the same as the Year 6s. Will I cope? Will I make friends? Will I get lost? Will I survive this alien place? There is a whole load of progression made between ages 11-17 (apart from hairstyle choices maybe) and in seeing the Year 6s bubbling with enthusiasm about this new journey they are about to embark on makes me think, you know what  maybe just maybe everything is going to be ok.

How has your time back in school been so far? Are you getting nervous about University, or are you the complete opposite? Feel free to comment below :)

My First Week Back

As part of my whole plight to document Year 13 (you can read about that here) I decided to start writing little diary entry type posts- this is the one for my first week back at school after study leave  and I thought I'd share it with all you lovely people :)

I'm back to school, and how do I feel? Erm, well a bit confused. I thought the week would be a chill, sitting down in lessons doing nothing, getting a textbook or two and some sheets, maybe watching a little film. I was so wrong! It's Friday and I have books to start reading, poems to start analysing and presentations to start preparing. I guess when they said we would be starting the Year 13 syllabus, they really meant it. But you know what? It's not all bad. We are starting the most AMAZING topics in English and History. In English we are learning about Love through the ages, which is a big difference from AS The Struggle for Identity in Modern Literature. Initially when I heard the A2 course was Love through the ages, I thought 'eww why? ‘As much as I love English the thought of spending a year talking and reading about love was so unappealing, but now I am literally doing laps about how amazing the  course sounds (because I often do laps around my home whilst typing, that's how talented I am). Basically every novel has a film equivalent, which is a dream come true. I'm planning on reading The Great Gatsby (because the film is stunning), The Virgin Suicides and On Beauty by Zadie Smith. We have to read Jane Eyre and after reading an extract I just know that the language is going to be on another level of WHAT IS SHE SAYING, but it is a challenge that I am completely up for.

Then there's History, oh History, in one half of the course we are learning about Russia, which is always going to be interesting, and in the other half we're learning about 100 years of American History and get to write a huge essay on a question of our choice. I'm planning to write about The Emancipation of the Slaves, and the excitement about that is unreal. What about my other subjects? One half of Psychology is about Research Methods, which is always going to be boring, then the other half is all about addiction and why it occurs, and I'm loving it. Spanish is about technology and in the in the other half we are watching a film, which is going to be the main focus for our writing in Year 13.

So, forgive me for this dorky post but I'm super excited about learning new things in Year 13 and I'm sure you secretly are as well.

Are you still in shock that you are back to school doing actual work? Is there any thing that you are excited about learning in Year 13? Feel free to comment below:)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

15 Things Year 12 has taught me

Note: Let me start off by apologising for being away from the blog-o-sphere for so long. I had school, revision, exams the whole shebang but I'm BACK and hope to produce more great content for you all.
This was originally written on my other blog- you can check it out here 
After writing  about 15 things attending an all-girls school taught me (check it out here) , I thought since I’m going back to school tomorrow I should write about the 15 things Year 12 has taught me,so here it goes:
1. Freedom is Sweet
Free periods, are literally a God send. You can sit in the café area, eat and do nothing (oh actually you can revise and do homework because that’s what we all spent our time doing), it’s great. Especially when you need to catch up on sleep, or just don’t feel being in a classroom. (Ok I really don’t understand the concept of attending school) but FREE PERIODS=ETERNAL HAPPINESS.
2. Freedom can turn Sour
So you are sitting there in the common room, you know that you have coursework due in a week, you have to give in your EPQ and you’ve only written the intro and you have 5 million tests to revise for, but are you going to do anything? OF COURSE NOT. It is in those very moments that having deep discussions about religion and politics, painting your nails, watching vines and buying all the food in the café area seem like much more pressing issues.
3. Looking nice becomes the least of your worries
You start off every term fleeky; eyebrows on fleek, outfit on fleek, life on fleek BUT by the end of it, you’ve worn the same shirt 3 days in a row, you haven’t brushed your hair and resemble a wild animal, and you generally look like hot mess. But, fear not young ones, because everyone else looks like a mess too (apart from that one person, who always looks great, but as every science and maths student knows we forget about the anomalies because they ruin the data… or something like that, ahhh GCSEs were so long ago).
4. You make friends with the most unexpected people
In my case pretty much all my friends take science, so whilst they laughed about some Chemistry related joke, I could only watch and die a little inside because come on guys I dropped science for a reason, and this sucked for a while , but then I made friends with people who did my subjects, were in my frees and my lessons and they are fab. And for the record we have much better conversations than your conversations about covalent bonds and hydrogen, so there!
5. Class discussions give you headaches
I’m tired, I’m hungry and we are spending 30 minutes having a debate about whether or not Freud is the Darwin of Psychology and you know what I just want to crawl into a hole and never hear the words ‘opinion’, ‘discussion’ or ‘Freud’ EVER AGAIN.
6. After mocks, you have heard pretty much every failure related quote known to man                                                    
Mocks in January are not fun, but once you finish them things start to feel alright – that’s until you get your results back. Knowing that many people are gutted about some of their grades, teachers find it necessary to do the whole, ‘try, try and try again’, ‘the real failure is when you stop trying’, ‘failure is the opportunity to try again more intelligently’ and then there’s my absolute favourite- YOU ARE NOT YOUR GRADES ( Yeah, that’s uplifting, unless I get an A, then sorry I am an A).
7. The closer you get to exams, the more dramatic everyone becomes
I include myself in this tbh. I cried, felt like Carol Ann Duffy despised me and thought that life was pretty much over and although it was sad at the time, looking back on all the conversations where people would say ‘you know what I can’t deal, I’m just going to become a slug’ it was actually hilarious.
8. You realise just how hard learning a language is
Just because you were an avid Dora the Explorer fan as a child, and have been studying Spanish since Year 7 doesn’t make it any easier. Subjunctive, preposition, past participle- Bye Felicia. (but s/o to my Spanish teachers for keeping me sane this year).
9. You have a closer relationship with food
Ahh, how could I not have a point dedicated to food? The 6th form common room is basically food paradise. You have about three lunches every day; one during your free, one at break and one at lunch and in year 13 you have more free periods so I’m really excited about that (might have to turn my locker into a makeshift food store hmm…),
10. ‘Why am I here?’ becomes a regular thought
You sit there in your frees, break and lunchtime and you have one of these weird feelings where everyone’s noise merges into one and you think, of all the places in the world why on earth am I here?
11. Assemblies are used to  remind you exactly why you are there
To thrive, to succeed, to get rich so you can go on holiday to Bora Bora (this has to be one of the best things a teacher has ever said). It’s like teachers know that you are silently pondering why you should attend school the next day, so assemblies become mini Ted Talks/ Inspirational speeches.
12. There’s always that deception person
Let me explain, this scenario has probably happened to you at least once
You: ‘ I don’t really get this topic, doubt I’ll do well in the test’
Deception: ‘You don’t get it, I have NEVER got it. It’s so hard, you’re lucky you will probably get it eventually, I’m screwed. I might as well not even sit the test. I might as well never come to school ever again. I might as well just move to another country. So sure I’m getting a U’
*Gets tests results back*
Deception: What did you get?
You: D, what about you?
Deception: Oh, 100%
You: *cries all the way home*
13. If you start the year loving a subject. You’ll hate it by the end
Ah, my friend sent me this one, and although I can’t testify to it personally, it was tear worthy and a tiny bit funny sometimes, to see people who previously loved their subjects give you the look of death when you ask them about it three months down the line.
14. The jump from GCSE to A levels/IB is lethal
Right let me tell you a story: During P.E in Year 9/10 we did high jump and only God knows what was wrong with me that day, I jumped over the poll and instead of landing on the mat, I landed at the very edge, rolled over and crashed on to the floor, that’s what the jump from GCSE to A levels and IB is. But you know, we laugh to hide the pain.
15. You realise just how much will-power you have
Year 12 is basically over and we are still alive, and operating (although, you may have broken a few cogs along the way) but yeah we are still alive! Year 12 shows you just how strong you are, because there are so many times when giving up seemed like the best option but you still hung in there. So to all my fellow Year 12s I’m so proud of you and I hope we all go on to BOSS Year 13.
Is there any point that you can really relate to?
What has Year 12 taught you?
Feel free to comment and share :)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


So I had a little moment at  about 1am one morning and decided to tweet The Student Room urging them to write something about how to approach revision when you are a night owl. In case you don't know what that is, a night owl is someone who prefers to work (and is most productive) at night time and sometimes until the early hours of the morning. They (The Student Room) suggested that I start a discussion thread, which I did and, alongside my own research, I was able to get a few useful tips for all my fellow night owls about revising. 
1. After school go home and have a nap
The worst thing about being a night owl is that you are literally awake for the whole day and although night time is when you're most productive, you still feel a bit drained. Sleeping when you get home from school for a couple of hours will help you to feel refreshed and have energy to make the most of your night time revision.
2. Don't tell yourself you can only revise at night
I am 100% guilty of this. I can feel mentally prepared to revise in broad daylight but convince myself that until the sky is black, work will not be done. DON'T DO THIS! If you are ready to work, WORK or else you're just wasting your time and end up being even less productive.
3. Have a set time you finish revising everyday
During school time doing work until 3am is not a good idea because sleep is necessary. You may think that you can hack it the next day, but not being able to concentrate or feeling like walking dead in school is not a good idea. Having a set time you finish revising everyday, perhaps 11pm on school days, is key to ensure that you are working hard and sleeping well.
4. Don't revise at night just because you want to put more hours in 
If nothing is going in, if your notes are a blur and you find yourself thinking about how comfortable your bed would feel, it's time to stop. A few more hours of sleep is much better than a few hours spent writing notes that you don't understand and won’t remember.

All in all, it's possible to be a night owl and revise effectively. Just make sure you work smart and remember beauty sleep is essential.


Itunu :)

Sunday, 8 March 2015


In a few months you will be doing your GCSEs, well done me for stating the obvious. I'm sure that you have heard a million tips on how to revise effectively for your exams but please let me add the extra one as someone who went through the whole process just last year. Below are my five tips to approaching your GCSE exams:
Just start. Not next week, not even tomorrow, RIGHT NOW (after you finish reading this of course) REVISE!!! The trap that a lot of us fall into is both procrastination and convincing ourselves that we need a clear cut plan before we start doing anything. Planning is good; but don't spend more time making a revision plan than actually revising.
Revision plans are quite fun to make; that is until you realise how much you have to do, but fear not my young friends there is hope. Revision plans are there as a guideline and they should be realistic. Make sure you have some sort of list of all the topics that are going to be in your exam for each subject; then work your way through, ticking them off as you go. Focus on the topics that you find hardest first and do a few hours of revision every day (2 to 3 hours)  then do a lot more revision at the weekend. Oh and take breaks. Snack breaks, walking breaks, sitting down and feeling proud of how hard you're working breaks, just make sure you treat yourself and don't burn yourself out.
This is a point all on its own because I avoided past papers like the plague. I did not like sitting down and timing myself and feeling all pressured when I got things wrong, but after a while I realised that past papers are extremely useful. A lot of the time, especially in science papers, questions are repeated so it is likely a similar question will be asked in your real paper. You also get the hang of exam technique and realise the sort of things that the examiner wants you to write. If you haven't already, spend this week printing off tons of past papers, or ask an older friend if they have any spare and start working on them.
GCSE prep is very much a psychological thing as well as a school requirement. You are going to hear many people say 'I'm going to fail anyway' and you might be saying that as well. Now is the time to STOP! The 'I'm going to fail’ mentality is enough to throw you off track, so stop thinking and saying it and stay away from anyone or anything that reinforces that negative way of thinking. When preparing for exams it is so important that you do all you can to channel happy vibes because sometimes it gets hard.  Everyone gets stressed during this period, which is normal, some people's stress, however, is just not what you need so stay away from any negativity.
Right now you are worrying because the teachers are saying that you may not finish the syllabus in time, you have tons of homework to do and you are worried that there is not enough time for you to revise. Take a deep breath and relax. Everything falls into place. It feels stressful now but don't let things get to you. It's all about putting in effort. What you put in is what you will get out.
Hopefully these tips have helped you feel more at ease about your exams. For more advice feel free to drop any questions in the comment section below.
Have a lovely week
Itunu :)

Monday, 2 March 2015

Back to School, Dividers and the E-Word

 Back to school!!! 'Why the exclamation marks?' I hear you scream. School was actually really good last week. Such a plot twist, I know. After a much needed break I was totally ready to get back to work. Folders organised, pencil case with pens that worked. I was pretty much prepared for world domination from first lesson Monday morning. At least that's what I thought; I mean I had folders with dividers. DIVIDERS!!!
Once I got back to school the one thing on everyone’s mind was the e word- EXAMS. I couldn't even pretend that exams weren't going to happen with everyone giving me a countdown. Exams are soon, that's all I am going to say, and it seems that now is the perfect time to start preparing for them. According to Student Room 60% of students say that the best time to start revising for A-Levels (and GCSEs I would add) is in February. Student Room has some fantastic advice and resources for you to prepare for exams (check out the link below) but here is my advice on exam preparation:
GCSE: Make a proper revision plan. When I say proper, I mean proper. Make a really specific plan with the subjects you are going to revise every day (you could even do sub topics if you want to be really detailed).  I got through GCSEs by spending my evenings revising. I would get home and relax,watch TV listen to music , and just forget about everything for a while, then a few hours before I went to sleep I would revise. It means that you are always revising in a practical way without burning yourself out. Of course, everyone is different but I would say that during the school week revise for about 2 (maybe even 3) hours a day. That way you leave time for homework and relaxation. Then go all out at the weekend. With food, coloured pens and a snazzy notebook revision becomes a bit more bearable-trust me. Don't beat yourself up if you don't follow your plan exactly either; sometimes other things will get in the way of your plans but just make sure you are working frequently and effectively. (I’ll do a really detailed post for all of you doing GCSEs next week)
A-Level: I am in Year 12 so I can't really give advice based on experience because I am too busy EXPERIENCING it all. I had a read through Student Room discussion threads however and it seems 2-3 extra revision a day is advised. The importance of consolidating your knowledge is also stressed, so looking back on your notes frequently and making absolutely sure that you understand everything is really important.  For more detailed advice, past exam papers and to make your own online study plan  check out this link on the Student Room website.
Have a lovely week
Itunu :)

Sunday, 15 February 2015


Half term is finally here!!! 

I left school on Friday feeling absolutely drained and I promise you that it had nothing to do with me writing my 5,000 word Extended Project draft in two days (not a good idea). It also had nothing to do with me cramming revision for a Psychology test on stress, which was quite stressful (oh wow that really was not funny) and it's definitely not because I got the results for my mocks. The whole week was literally a music video for 'cry me a river', except there was no Justin Timberlake and the river was my tears. It wasn't even a river; it was more like cry me a Niagara Falls, jump into it, swim to a deserted island and make friends with endangered animals. And yes, it really was that deep (OMD the irony).

It was the 'oh Itunu you look so sad', that snapped me out of my 'I'm-so-done-with-this' mood and I spent my free period channelling the happy vibes and sorting out the rest of my Extended Project. Yay PRODUCTIVITY!!!

When the day was over one of my friends brought up our mock exams and said 'I know this sounds bad, but I always compare my grades to other peoples. If one person gets the same grade as me but has an extra mark I don't feel as happy about my result'. Yes, yes and yes, someone finally said it. I totally got what she was saying. Despite a whole assembly on  'you are not your mock grades' and us being encouraged to see  our mock results as a learning curve; the frustration of not getting the grades you want ,coupled with the 'comparison bug', makes you feel rubbish. It's true. Ok, so that's the problem, what is  the solution?

Constant comparison will never give you satisfaction.

We have all fallen into the 'I revised so much more than them, so why have they got a better grade than me?' way of thinking, but:

1) You don't actually know that you revised more than them (unless you've got your whole year under surveillance- then yeah you should stop that)
2) Even if you do know (again stop with the whole surveillance thing) stop caring. They aren't you, you aren't them. The End.

The 'comparison bug' is on the verge of becoming a sixth form epidemic and I think that if we all relax and see mock results as an opportunity to improve, then we can stop it spreading. If your mock results were not great, or even if they were fabulous, use them to encourage you to work harder and smarter. You can even start this half term!

So, if you caught the 'comparison bug' when you returned to school, shake it off and remember that you still have time to turn things around.

Have a lovely week and remember WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. 

Did you catch the 'comparison bug' last term? Comment, share and let me know what you think.

Itunu :)
P.S Just realised that I made a HSM reference. BLAST FROM THE PAST!!! and just in case you missed it check out my last post.