How to make the most of your study leave!

My study leave for my A-levels started Monday, and as usual, I made a pretty clear idea of what I want to do between now and when my exams end. Here are a few tips how to profit best from these stressful weeks to come.

  1. Come up with a plan for what you want to do in a day. You don’t have to write it down, and you can make it as vague as you want, but it’s a good idea to know when you wake up in the morning what you’re going to do in a day, including free-time, eating lunch and what revision at what time.
  2. Don’t stay in bed too late! At this point, you will start to appreciate how much during school time you really get done during the day. For example, if you’re getting up after 10, it will be 11 after you’ve showered, got dressed and had a cup of tea before you start your studying, and then you’ll barely get started before it’s lunchtime! I like to get up between 8 and 9, so I can get up slowly and get things done in the morning.
  3. Pace yourself. Don’t do too much revision at once! Free-time is important, as it will make you feel good. Doing straight revision for several hours will make you extremely bored, and you’ll end up not concentrating, and therefore wasteyour time.
  4. Exercise is important. It increase air flow to your brain and helps you to think clearer and feel good. You only have to do something for 20 minutes, so you won’t get distracted for too long.
  5. Be sociable. I don’t mean spending the whole day with your friends or family, but talking to people for several minutes at a time will increase your articulacy, and the ability to quickly phrase words on paper as well.
  6. Tone down the social life. If you’re stopping out until late and drinking, you won’t be as switched on the next day, and you will definitely be tired! Also, alcohol aids memory loss, so you might want to tone that down, too. But don’t become a recluse, either. You’ll drive yourself mad!
  7. Keep fueled. Having snacks can work as a good incentive for studying, as you can tell yourself that you can have your next one after you’ve completed a certain section of work, or after you’ve learnt a certain amount of key terms off by heart. For a healthy option, try some plain popcorn or some grapes. For a naughty treat, try some Maltesers or Doritos.

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Drinking: How to pace yourself, girl!

Before you read this post, I ought to cover my back to make sure you aren’t:

  1. Underage drinking (lol)
  2. Driving and/or operating heavy machinery.


On Friday, I finished school. Finally! This was, of course, a cause for celebration. And when you’re 18, celebration=booze. We were partying the night before, and about to do it all over again.

We must have started drinking that day at about 12.30. The AS-level students were cooking us a BBQ, and we were drinking cider. I had one pint, drank it slowly and mingled. It was VERY hot, and didn’t want to feel nasty too quickly, or make a fool of myself (a common side-effect of mine on alcohol) around the teachers. About an hour later, my friends and I made our way to the pub for our afternoon party, a fifteen minute walk away. Getting some fresh air was good for keeping well.

At the pub, I started off on perry (pear cider) which was very sweet and had a reasonably low alcohol percentage. With cider and beer, the percentage tends to be between 3-5.5%. The higher the percentage, the quicker you are going to get drunk. I tend to go with something 4.5% or lower, as I can enjoy my tipsy state for longer. I had a couple of pints of perry, before someone suggested I try a cider called Ashton Press. It was really nice, and again not to strong. It was probably not a bad idea to stay on that, because the people who were drinking Desperados (beer with tequila) were pretty wrecked VERY quickly.

Clockwise from bottom left: Kacey, Steve, Tom, Eddy, Cerian, Mary, Lewis, Emma, and me, as the cat.

After the pub, my friends and I went to Tesco’s to buy booze before going back to mine. We bought Sourz Fusions, Pina Colada, Everyday Value Vodka (70cl for £8!) and cider for the boys. We came back to mine, where we ate pizza and pasta bake. Stodgy food is a good foundation for booze as it stops you getting sick. We drank A LOT then, and got pretty silly. We played a few games, danced a bit, and then got ready for the final part of the day: the club.

The club our leavers’ party was at was called Capones, a pretty cheesy place with a zebra print ceiling. I had a lot of fun dancing, had some Smirnoff Ice, danced some more, then went outside with a few people to tell them how much I “appreciated” them. According to my friends, when I’m drunk, appreciating someone=sticking my tongue down their throat (whether they want it there or not) and sitting on their lap. Woops. Oh well, at least I wasn’t ill.

The two Matts, clubbin’ it up!

I could tell I’d had enough of Capones when my feet were starting to become unbearably sore in my fabulous ’90s-style platform sandals. My mum picked me up (I don’t know what time it was, but it was definitely after 4) and I had a couple of pints of water before going to bed. Waking up the next day, my feet were sore, my legs were sore, but my head wasn’t. I was tired, but definitely not ill.

And that is how you pace yourself! Remember guys, drink responsibly!

Tips for starting a new school

This is always a daunting prospect, whether it’s secondary school, college, high school or university. Here are some tips for making that first day so much easier:

  1. If you’re in to music, wear a band T-shirt on your first day. Someone may come up to you to compliment your good taste! If not, go up to someone yourself and compliment their good taste.
  2. Join a club. You’re bound to meet loads of people there!
  3. See a group of people having a good time? Don’t be shy, go up and talk to them! Just ask them politely if you can join in. If they say no, don’t try to force yourself on them, try someone else.
  4. Get your teachers’ or lecturers’ e-mail addresses. That way if you have a problem with the work set or in class,  you can ask them quickly and easily.
  5. Do some baking! Make some fairy cakes or some cookies to hand out. When people ask for one, ask for their name!
  6. Prepare the night before as much as you can. Put out your outfit, your books, maybe even your make-up. Changeable weather where you are? Put out two outfits!
  7. Dress smartly. It makes a good impression on potential friends, and on your teachers, too. A tea dress and some flats? A perfectly presentable outfit. Uggs and jogging bottoms? A definite no.
  8. Have to walk across a big campus? Wear sensible shoes. Obviously not hiking boots or anything, but shoes you know you’re comfortable in. No one wants to talk to the weird hobbly girl.
  9. Don’t look so miserable. Yes, you have to return to the grind after having a wonderful time off, but someone who smiles is a lot more approachable than someone who moans.
  10. Wear a quirky accessory. Or bring quirky stationary. They’re great conversation starters. Try a character pencil case, or a a fun hair bow.



Imaginary shopping spree: School bags

It’s a nightmare trying to find the perfect sturdy bag for all your school supplies; you would not believe the number of bags I have been through since I started secondary school! I tend to over-pack, so need something with a good, firm base.

School bags
School bags by smellyeli featuring back pack bags
This Domo rucksack from tillys.com is so cute! (£34)
This tote bag from Topshop has a really weird print. I love it! It has such a sturdy build for a tote bag. (£28)
This black and floral tote bag from Topshop is perfect for your books and pencil case. (£14)
A cute and quirky satchel from Modcloth is really fun! ($70)
This clean and tidy tote bag from Topshop will go with everything! (£10)
A comfy, slouchy backpack from ASOS. (£35)
This grey satchel from ASOS is really smart and will go with everything! (£70)
I love this brown leather satchel from ASOS! It’s got a great vintage look. I would definitely buy this myself. (£45)
A fun, red Hello Kitty backpack from Hot Topic. ($30)
This space-themed backpack from lazyoaf.co.uk is the perfect size for your notebooks and folders. (£55)
This owl backpack from Hot Topic is seriously so freaking awesome! ($40)
This brown leather shopper from ASOS is a brilliant size and bound to last the entire school year. (£60)

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