My year in review 2015

It's that time of year again where I review my past year. I've done this for the previous two years, which can be read here and here.

It's been another intense year with ups and downs but many achievements. I finished my first year studying Law at university and moved into the second with a pass rate I am very pleased with. University has been the best choice I have made as I have made so many great friends, become independent and battled my anxiety head on. I have some amazing memories and laughs from this year which I will never forget.

I have been to numerous concerts and met my idol for the third time, reached a one year anniversary, had many nights out and great times with friends and family and moved into my own house!

This Summer has been a massive achievement for me. I travelled back from Germany to London completely alone, worked in a charity shop for two months, did a weeks work experience in a law firm, held my blogger meet up and did lots of travelling. I also took my driving test for the first time, but unfortunately failed. Nevertheless, because it is one of my biggest anxiety triggers I am so proud I took it. I retook my driving test for the second time and passed! A three year battle which I've won!

Of course, as with any year there have been battles that had to be conquered and I've still battled my anxiety and depression this year and some stages were definitely more tough than others. But, I have felt that by going to university the struggle has lessened. As I look back at my years in review, it's encouraging to see the improvement over time. I still continue to work with it and battle it and I'm hoping that maybe even next year I will be able to come off of my medication. 

I am immensely proud of this year and what I have achieved. You can do it!

Amy Xx

Teenage years and tears!

I am now a few months into being 20 or twenteen as I like to think. Unfortunately, this means I am no longer a teenager and half way to 40! Now being at the other side of the teenager years, I thought I would reflect and look back at any life lessons I've learnt:

You are still naive in your younger teenage years, and you won't realise it until you're much older. The quotes you once used to love as a thirteen year old are really cringe worthy and I am glad I have found better ones now.

The teenager years are a battleground of hormones, which can be utter hell. You've just got to hold on in there!

Never give in to peer pressure. I never did and I am so glad that I was the person I wanted to be the whole way through my teenager years.

study hard!

Don't worry if you're not keeping up with your peers. I am 20 and I'm still not doing some things that my peers are, but that's okay because I know my achievements are different to theirs. 

Your dress sense has always been a bit different, but that Goth and punk faze was totally awesome.

Girls can be awfully mean during the teenage years. Even your friends may turn their backs. I still can't quite get over how mean some of the girls during my school years were.

The problems you face aren't half as big as you think they are (presuming they're not serious!)

Sex, drugs, alcohol (and rock and roll) are all personal choices and it's completely up to you as to whether you undertake any. Never give in to peer pressure because it's 'cool'. I've always agreed with that from a young age and I'm glad I have made my own choices in my own time in regards to this.

Never be afraid to talk to teachers and parents!

All of the 'cool' stuff really isn't as 'cool' and hyped up as everyone makes it out to be.

Having fun is super important!

You'll be friends with some people you met during you teenage years even after they're over. I know I still am and I love them to pieces!

Don't stress too much about relationships during your younger years. It's not really worth it. 

Things change, people change, you change and it may be tough at times and even though it is a rollercoaster, you've just got to stick with it. Besides the struggle with being bullied and my mental health issues, I have had some fantastic times and memories I will never forget. 


What would you add?

Amy xx

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Facebook is fake?

Comparison and competition on a daily basis can be hard enough without the influence of social media. However, social media is such a huge and normal part of our lives that sometimes I don't think we can see the damage it is doing.

Throughout the years of my mental illness journey, I have noticed that I have't always been at the same stage as my peers and this can be another mental battle to add to the list. Using social media on a regular basis has given me the information to feed this comparison culture that many of us have engrained. This not to say that social media is bad, because I find it very useful. I am constantly using it and it's a great way to keep up to date, share photos and meet other like-minded people. I think it's great! But, as reminder, we have to look at the issues it can create. 

The main point here is that people pick and choose what goes on social media and generally speaking it is the best bits. You don't see the bad days, the things that didn't go too well or the break-ups. You see the good bits; the holidays, the passing of driving tests, the academic success and the closeness that they have with friends. Of course, even this can be fa├žade; they may hardly speak to their 'Facebook' friends for example. Social media to an extent must be taken with a pinch of salt and with an understanding that this person's life that looks so perfect, is only a snippet and on a lot of occasions may only be for the show of virtual friends. In this way, the comparisons we make with another may not be accurate nor fair. It's also important to remind yourself that you are on your own journey, and the 'race is only with yourself.'

Don't get me wrong, we can all get caught in this trap. However, when social media starts to do damage with comparisons and competition to our mental health, it's time to take a break and remember that no one's life is perfect and social media can be fake.

What do you think?

Amy Xx

Part 2: the process of revision

Its been almost been two years since I wrote my post on revision tips. I thought I'd write a part two, which is more about the practical side of revision. I have written in the past about generalized revision tips, but haven't given a full method as to how this is done and since exams will be coming up soon, I thought this might be useful. 

Preparation:

Preparation in life's a wide range of processes. For me, it's organizing my folders, gathering my notes together and most importantly creating mind maps to help me to revise. I may do this over the school year, so when it comes to revision I am prepared and ready to start.

Revision itself:

My other post has tips on how to revise, which you can find here. Revision itself can be a chore, but you have to remember that it will pay off in the end. Make sure that you follow the curriculum and learn all that is needed for the exams. These videos might give you some encouragement:

Practice:

Whilst you are revising or perhaps after you've revised it all, you can begin to practice questions. Personally, I like to revise first. However, if I've revised a chapter I then like to test myself with an essay: timing is the absolute key. Once I've revised it all then I can do a mock, and figure out all of the parts which I need to focus on.

Key Checks:

Write a list of the other things you need to work on. 

Amy Xx