#SeptemberStudies- BE HAPPY

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Today is the final day of September (for real?!) and so that means it's the last day in my recent blog series, #SeptemberStudies.

I've written about a lot of different topics relating to school, work, uni and college over the last month. I've written about furthering your career while at school, how to balance a social life with your studies, the importance of using a diary, school bag essentials and a multitude of other things. I've tried to write about all alternatives for students, writing about GCSE's and A Levels, going to uni, going to college, going straight into work, doing internships and doing work experience placements too. I've tried to keep this series as open to as many people as possible.

But all of that doesn't matter when it really comes down to it. It doesn't matter where you go after you've finished with school or what you choose to do as long as you are doing one thing: Being happy. 

Because really, what's the point in doing anything if you aren't happy? If you go to university to study a course your parents have chosen for you, you won't be happy! If you follow your friends and copy their decisions in terms of education or work, you won't be happy. In order to be well and truly happy, you must do exactly what is right for you, do exactly what you want to do! 

Don't let your friends, teachers, colleagues or family dictate to you what you should be doing. Yes, sure, take advice from them and follow their guidance. But don't let them make decisions for you. Don't put your future into their hands. No matter how scary it might seem, you must make the decisions about your future. If you mess up, so what? Try something different, start again. Life is for living and making mistakes and big decisions and endless choices is all apart of that. 

As Drake sings, "Everybody dies but not everybody lives". Life is too short to be doing what everyone else wants you to do. Make your own choices, do whats right for you and make sure that you are happy

Love from,
Florence Grace 

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#SeptemberStudies- Revision Tips!

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Exams are the bane of anybody's life, and revising for them can be not only difficult but dull and boring and irksome too. Now, I can't promise to make revision any more fun for you than it already is, but what I can do is provide you with some tips to make it a little easier. Sound good? Cool, keep reading.

Use flash cards
These are great when trying to remember key terms, remember facts about certain people or trying to remember words from another language. Keep them short, sharp and to the point so that you're not trying to overload too much into your brain at once!



Use post-it notes
And then stick them everywhere. Next to your bed, on your mirror, inside of the fridge. Anywhere that you'll be able to see them, read whats on them and attempt to memorise them is a good place to stick them.



Make notes three times
Re write your notes three times. One time will be the brief copy, then rewrite them again in a bit more detail, fully understanding what you're talking about. Finally, write them again and focus particularly on the key points in your notes that you really need to remember.



Read your notes out loud
If you speak your notes out loud, they're more likely to sink into your head. Read them to someone else, let someone else read them to you and then speak them out loud to yourself as well. Just keep reading them! Doing this with a revision partner or group is particularly helpful, especially if you're all revising the same thing.



Use highlighters and coloured pens
Our brains like to process colours, and writing down your notes in coloured pen, as well as highlighting black and white notes with splashes of colour will make particular notes stand out to you more, helping you to retain information more easily.



Make mind maps
Mind maps are a great way to get a lot of information down in short, snappy points that are easier to remember! Make a mind map for each topic you're trying to revise, not each subject. For example, if you're studying four different authors in English, make a mind map for each author, not for the English subject as a whole.



Stay hydrated and get lots of sleep
Your brain needs enough water and sleep to function properly. You won't retain information as well if you're dehydrated and exhausted- so don't stay up until the early hours of the morning revising, it won't work!



What are your revision tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace
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#SeptemberStudies- Don't be a sheep

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There isn't much to say in this post today. It's not a helpful list, a set of guidelines, some useful information. Today's post consists of one piece of advice, from me to you. 

Do not follow your friends.


I mean it! Of course, in this case, I'm talking about university and college etc. And my advice to you is, do not follow your friends. Don't select GCSE's or A Levels because you want to do the same ones as your friends. Do not select a college or university course based on what your friends are picking. Finally, do not pick a college or university, or to even go to college or university at all, based on what your friends are choosing to do. 

At 20 years old, I can safely say I have been 16, 17 and 18. I've been there, worn the t-shirt and I know what it's like. I know you want to be glued to the hip with your BFF's. I know you don't want to be the only one from your group of friends in a particular class. I know the idea of starting at a new university or college alone, without the safety net of your friends, is a scary move to make. 

But it is worth it. 

I am telling you now, if you make all of your educational decisions based  on the decisions your friends are making at the same time, you will be unhappy. You'll end up in subjects you might not enjoy, doing work you don't want to, going to a university you aren't happy with- all for the sake of your friends. 

Let me tell you, high school friendships are very fickle and you will probably not be friends forever (some people are, I have a very cynical approach I know). So if you make life long decisions based on a not so life long friendship, who is the real winner? It isn't going to be you. 

Make your own decisions, no matter how scary it may seem to be doing something independently. You will thank yourself in the long run and hey, you might even make some new friends! You're not going to be totally and utterly alone. 

Don't follow your friends to university or college or through A Level's and GCSE's just because you want to remain as close as ever with your friends. Real friendship will last distances and breaks anyway. Make decisions that are right for you and make you happy

Love from,
Florence Grace

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#SeptemberStudies- Things to include in your personal statement for UCAS

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Believe me when I say that writing a personal statement for your UCAS application is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do.

I'm being 100% serious. If your school are doing their job properly, they will make you draft it and draft it and draft it again and then edit and edit and edit some more and eventually, 100 copies later, you'll have the final thing ready to send off that your teacher is finally happy with.

It can be hard to think about what to include in your personal statement. What will make you sound incredible, unique, what will make you stand out from the crowd? Here's a handy list of things you can include, some of which you might not even have thought of.

Your job
If you have a job, or have had a job, you can write about this. It shows dedication, reliability, demonstrates that you have good time management and a bunch of other adult related stuff. It's even better if your job is relevant to the course you're applying for.



Work experience
More likely to be relevant to your uni course than a job, work experience shows you have experience in a particular field, are dedicated to your career choice (because you've willingly worked unpaid hours in the industry) and again show time management, dedication, responsibility etc. etc..



A blog or website
If you have set up your own blog or website, you should definitely include this in your personal statement. It demonstrates commitment to a specific project as well as a variety of modern, technical skills such as coding and web design.



Hobbies
Long time hobbies are brilliant things to include. They give the university a taste for your personality, they (again) demonstrate a long term commitment, meaning that you're likely to commit to a course, they also show that you're passionate about things, so much so that you learn about them and stick with them because you genuinely want to- this is how you should feel about your uni course! It is even better if your hobby can somehow link back to your course but this isn't 100% necessary.



Special Skills
If you have any special skills, such as you are fluent in five languages or you can swim underwater for five minutes or you can ride a horse backwards, whatever it is that makes you stand out and shows you're an extraordinary person, include it. I fought at the Bucks Youth Games and won a trophy in Judo and saw this as an incredible achievement, so included this in my personal statement. It didn't really have any relevance to my course but its a cool thing to brag about, right?



School achievements
Were you a prefect at school? Head girl or boy? A buddy to a younger pupil to help them in lessons? Include it! This doesn't just show that you're a great pupil, it means your school think you're great, which speaks volumes to a university. Furthermore, it shows you're willing to get involved with your school, which means you'll hopefully feel the same at university, and this is something uni's really value. 



Clubs and extra curricular activities
Particularly the ones you participate in within school. Universities have a huge number of societies and clubs that students can be a part of, and there's always the opportunity for students to start their own ones too. Universities like to see involvement at school level from potential university students. 



Remember, your personal statement is a small amount of words able to sum up the best version of yourself. It's okay to brag, boast and speak highly of your achievements- universities want to hear about how well you can do, because they only want the best of the best!

What did you include in your personal statement? Leave some ideas in the comments below to help readers out! 

Love from,
Florence Grace

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#SeptemberStudies- Should you take a gap year?

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Gap years, gap years, gap years. They can be so problematic, can't they? 

When I just started out in secondary school, I thought that gap years were for travelling. You travelled the globe for a year and then came back and resumed life as normal- and yes, some people do do that. But that's not all that you can do! Some things you can do in a gap year include:

  • Continuing to study, for example, studying a short course to prep you for university
  • Working to save money for uni
  • Travelling
  • Volunteering abroad 
  • Interning
  • Completing an apprenticeship
  • Chilling (hey it's not the best option, but if you just want need to take a year out, you do you, boo)
  • Re sit some exams if you're not happy with the results

That's already a huge list, and there's probably more I don't know about! You don't have to just stick to one thing either, some people choose to work for six months then travel for six months, something like that. But that's not what is important here- what's important is the million dollar question. Should you take a gap year? 

The answer is, it's up to you. 

I know right, how unhelpful am I? 

To be honest, I'd recommend a gap year to everyone. I took one myself and used the time to study a short course at my local college to prepare me for my three year university course. It was during this time that I discovered I didn't actually enjoy what I had applied to study at uni, I wanted to pursue a totally different career altogether and I used the year to begin following this one, completing a huge number of work experience placements and internships. In the space of a year I had progressed massively with this new career choice and by the end of the gap year I had withdrawn my uni application, knowing that it wasn't right for me. 



I think a gap year can be good for lots of reasons though, not just for giving you additional time to think about what you want to study. After 13 solid years of school, learning and exams (particularly those nasty A Levels that you finish off with), sometimes a year out is necessary. You just need time to be you, relaxed and carefree, doing what you want to do and doing it when you want to do it. School can be so damaging to our mental health, more than we usually realise, and a year out can really help with that. 

If you're looking to travel, taking a year out is an excellent way to learn about different cultures, maybe pick up a language or two and get some real experience of the world, before heading off to uni and trying to gain what everyone calls "life experience". It's also an excellent opportunity to make some new friends too, which is always a plus. 



I never viewed my gap year as a "gap year" because I was studying throughout it, but when I look back I realise it was a gap year. It was a gap between education to mess around with career ideas, explore what subjects I actually enjoyed and to finally decide what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing (or my twenties, at least!). 

Of course, gap years aren't for everyone- if you took a year out from education, you might never want to go back and that would not be helpful! However, if the opportunity arises and you feel up to it, I couldn't recommend taking one more, no matter how you choose to spend it. Sometimes, just to do something different from five days a week of school is highly beneficial and, more importantly, a lot of fun. 

Did you take a gap year? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments below! 

Love from,
Florence Grace


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AUTUMN WARDROBE Part 2

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Yesterday I shared the first half of my Autumn Wardrobe shoot with you- and I must say, it seems to have gone down a treat! You've all been so lovely on Twitter and Instagram about the outfits and the photo's, so thank you very much! I really appreciate that! 

Today is the second half of the shoot and there is a greater variety of outfits aside from my black Joni jeans! Again, nearly all of the items are from Topshop and Boohoo.com but if you want to know where something specific is from, leave a comment below and I'll let you know! 

Enjoy the second half of the shoot! Who knows, maybe I'll do a Winter one in a couple of months...

Casual Crop






From Office To Bar










Fun in Faux Fur








Bombers 'n' Boots







Femme Liberte






Girl Power Glam








Bold in Black











And there we have it! The second half of my Autumn Wardrobe! I hope you enjoy this post and let me know if you'd like to see more like this! Also, let me know which outfit is your favourite in the comment below! 

Love from,
Florence Grace 

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