My GCSE Results!

The morning of the 20th August 2020 will definitely go down as one of the most panic inducing mornings in history. Why? It was the day of my GCSE results.

This year GCSE results were very different… for obvious reasons. The thing that stressed me out the most however, was the fact that we had no idea how we’d done. We only had mock papers from school to go on and that’s not the most accurate source of data.

On the night before the mocks, I lay awake panicking. I was on the phone to my friends until 4am because I simply couldn’t sleep, then only to get a grand total of two hours sleep that night. I was terrified. My whole life I’d had people telling me I’d never amount to anything and that I was a good for nothing whore. Even though that’s total bullshit, I felt like this was my one chance to prove them wrong.

All I was hoping was that I would pass five exams with at least a four; including English lit, English lang and maths. My actual results were better than I could’ve hoped for.


if you’re confused:

After my first set of mocks in January, I was predicted the following grades in each subject:

Citizenship: 5

Science: 4-3

English Language: 3

English Literature: 5

Maths (foundation): 4

Media: 3

Design and Technology: Textiles: 1

History: 4

Performing Arts: Merit

As you can tell, I passed a few, but not exactly monumental. After getting back these results in January, I began really putting the work in and thankfully, it paid off. My results in August 2020 were as follows:

Not only did I pass everything with a high pass, but I majorly surpassed my expectations with all the grades I got! In particular, I didn’t just get a distinction in Performing Arts, but instead a distinction* – the highest grade you can get!

Even though the results are clearly not by any stretch of the imagination amazing, considering my mental health was not amazing and I struggled lots with focusing and trauma. If I can do something like this while struggling, imagine what my A Level results will be like, when I’m passionate about a subject and I’ve left behind all the toxicity!

If anyone’s about to take their GCSEs, my advice would be, follow the deadlines, work hard on coursework, revise a fair amount, and make sure you understand the work! Ask questions and, as aforementioned, stick to the deadlines! I have lots more tips and tricks on my school page. There, I talk about focus, mental health and information about revision I wish I knew! I hope it’s helpful to you and I hope you enjoyed this article! I know I’ve been messing up the 30 Day Writing Order, but by the end of August, there will be 30 posts out, just maybe two in one day. Sorry for any inconvenience caused, all the best, love you all!

xo baby, Tati xoxo

The Future

Ever since I was younger, I’ve enjoyed having long-term goals for myself.  I felt they gave me a purpose and something to achieve.  Even though the goals have changed quite drastically (Mum, Dad I assure you I no longer wish to be a “Hula-Hula Girl” on the “Streets of Hawai-i-i” – whatever that was) my aim has overall been quite simple: not lose sight of my morals, try make a difference, and do what makes you happy.  Corny I know, but they are all quite logical and I hope that by following those three steps, I’ll be able to do what I love.

Whenever I speak to someone about their future, the natural thing to do is completely panic.  That’s completely fine!  I’m in the same boat as you: great-aunt Patricia has finished asking you about school and she goes onto the question that makes every teen tremble with terror: “what do you want to do with your future?”  Sure, her intentions are innocent enough, but your mind suddenly draws a blank and you have no clue what to say.  Talking about your future is a scary thing as a teen, considering you’re not allowed to go to the bathroom without permission but you have to deal with people telling you that if you don’t pass your GCSEs you’re essentially a failure.  The way people put pressure on those choosing their GCSE options is ridiculous.  You’re barely a teenager and you don’t even know what’s going on in your bodies, let alone your future.  To anyone about to choose their options, I promise you, it’s not something to lose your head over.  You chose what you enjoy, and what you’re good at.  If you’re unhappy with your options by the time year eleven rolls round, don’t even stress it!  You’ll be onto a bigger and better thing soon enough.  There are always night classes and retakes and so many other options if you want to change your career path.  No pressure just be who you wanna be.

Once you get over the initial fear and panic of your future, you’ll probably have some ideas about what you want to do when you get older.  For me, this is quite simple, I have my ideal fairyland dream, my realistic dream, and my backup dreams.  I’ll walk you through each one.  Even though it may look like I’m facing the impossible, I’m not giving up and I won’t back down.  I will achieve my dream and my goals for the future and then some.  The future is as bright as you make it and my future is a freaking LED power efficient lightbulb with a control which changes the colour.  It doesn’t burn out and it looks jazzy and snazzy too.

In the idealistic fairyland dreamworld, my blog will really take off.  I’ll become an empowering activist, speaking about feminism all over the world, helping the world to become a safer place to live in.  Unfortunately, as much as I wish, hope, and pray that it’ll happen, the chances are exceedingly slim.  I’m a realist so I have my realistic dream and goals for my future.

My realistic dream is not the easiest path, but I am driven and as always, I’m a girl on a mission.  I want to become a legal barrister – either for defence or prosecution, I haven’t decided yet.  I want to work my way up the ranks and become a judge at the crown court.  This, of course, is a very big dream but I am so committed, and I really want this.  I’ve always been fascinated with the legal system, even more so recently as I love true crime and the barristers for those cases always appear so put together and persuasive.  I think barristers do an interesting job and I’d love to be a part of that.  I enjoy debating and making a change so being a lawyer combines two of my favourite things.  How am I going to do it?  Well, the plan is as follows: ace my A-Levels, get into an amazing law school – possibly international, hired as an apprentice at a law firm after my graduation from uni, rise up the ranks there, etc etc.  I’m a woman on a mission, what can I say?

Of course, I have my plan C (and plans D through to Z but we don’t need to go into that).  Plan C is to become a journalist.  It’d be just like my blog, except for a wider audience and a different array of topics.  It sounds like a fascinating job and I wouldn’t mind it at all.

There is no pressure to think about your life goals right now.  You have all the time in the world!  Just keep your head down and you’ll be A-Okay.  I wish you all the best, don’t forget to like, follow and comment – I love hearing from you all!

Tati over and out 🙂 

What I Wish I Knew Before GCSEs

If GCSEs were still going ahead, today I would have had my first official GCSE.  If they were still going ahead, I would have published this article at the end my exams.  However, as that’s not happening, no time like the present!

Since I chose my GCSE options, I have had many times where I have thought to myself damn, I wish I had known this sooner!  Of course, there’s no point in dwelling on the endless possibilities of life – that will just get you nowhere.  Instead, I’m here to give anyone who’s about to choose their GCSE subjects some advice that I wish I knew.  I have compiled a list of things that my teachers didn’t tell me until it was too late or just didn’t tell me whatsoever.  I hope that these pointers will help you on your way to achieving your true potential. 🙂

1) Start revising ASAP The sooner you start, the easier it will be. The topic will be stored in your head for longer and it’ll be way less work for you in the long run. It’s a perfect way of working out your weaknesses for each subject. The absolute latest you should start revising is the end of year 11.

2) Try not to miss class! Remember, the teachers are there to help you. They want you to get the highest grades possible so you have to at least try and apply yourself in each and every lesson. Of course, you’re bound to have off days and that’s completely fine, just rememer to take notes and focus as much as you can. Asking questions will also be really helpful so you don’t get stuck when revising at home.

3) Push out of your comfort zone and crack the whip! The best way to actually revise is to get into a mindset where you actually want to do well and will go to lengths to achive that. As soon as you accept the fact that doing well in your GCSEs is impossible without putting in the time and effort, you’re halfway there. Be strict on yourself, make sure you actually revise at least once a week. In the long run you’ll be so much better off for it.

4) There are no “easy pass” subjects. Contrary to what everyone says, every subject you choose will have an aspect which is very tricky. As long as you choose options for yourself, not for anyone else, you’ll be fine and hopefully won’t regret your options as much.

5) Use notes, flashcards or posters. I’m a visual person so I have to physically write something after seeing it to retain the information. I find posters work best, but depending on what style you learn best from, you can differ your revision style. I go into loads more detail about revision in my blog article https://totallytatiana.com/2019/11/30/totally-tatis-top-ten-revision-tips/ which you should check out after this. I have lots of websites and ideas which helped me pass my mock exams.

6) Take mocks seriously! This was definitely a regret for lots of my friends. You never know what’s going to happen before the final exams (proof right here). It’s also a perfect chance for you to find out how you would score in the real thing. Areas of weakness become apparent and you can tailor your revision timetable accordingly.

7) Listen to lo-fi hip-hop. I find it near impossible to work in complete silence. I get distracted way too easily but when I listen to music I find myself recreating the music video, pretending to be Lauren in the Kinky Boots Soundtrack, or dramatically becoming Anne Bolyen in Six the Musical. So, what do I do? I listen to a music genre called Lo-fi hip-hop. It’s instrumental music designed to help you relax and focus (and not unleash your inner Taylor Swift). I love it because it’s so much better than sitting in silence but as it’s lyricless, I can focus more on what I’m reading instead of the song.

8) Focus on you, not boys! I wish I had done that. I spent way too much time that could have been spent revising chasing after jerks who just wanted one thing. I spent so long crying about the he-said she-said that I didn’t focus on my future without these idots! Going into sixth form all I’m doing is getting myself a future, if I find a boo along the way then they can come along for the ride.

9) Plan in the exam! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been running out of time in an English exam so I quickly bullet point my answers. That stuff saves my sorry sleepy ass. Once I was running out of time on an English paper so I bullet pointed my plan for a 40 mark question and started a kick-ass introduction. How many marks did I get? 21 Marks. It’s so much better than just accepting defeat when you have five minuites left. Every mark counts!

10) Keep up to date with coursework! I took two GCSEs which relied quite heavily on coursework: Performing Arts and Technology. I cannot stress enough that the best way to pass these classes is by listening to the deadlines and completing as much work as you can. It gives you so much free time at the end to edit and improve your work and it’s a lot less stressful! Trust me, future you will be eternally grateful!

Finally, take each day as it comes. You’re only human and at the end of the day you can only try your hardest. If you’re having a bad day, that’s completely okay and understandable. People won’t think any less of you after you get your results as long as you give it your all in that exam hall. It will all be worth it and GCSEs are merely a stepping stone to the next bigger, better part of your life.

Good luck, you’ve got this 🙂

A-Z of Secondary School

All I seem to be posting about at the moment is school.  It’s probably a psychological cry for help because I miss it so much.  I don’t really know what to do with myself so I compiled an entire alphabet so you can be prepared for secondary school.  I had so much free time, I actually managed to compile three!  As I can only stay focused for so long, I’ve broken this down into three separate posts, one for each alphabet set.  This is a perfect post for anyone who’s in year five or six and is wondering about secondary school – maybe even worrying about it.  This is a perfect post for anyone with children who are about to move into secondary school and want to know all the “big kid ways” before they’re thrust upon them and you.  But most of all, this post is for that little girl, getting ready to go into big school and it scared senseless.  She’s had countless sleepless nights and is worrying out of her wits.  I just want to say to that girl: it’s ok, you’ll be ok.  It may not feel it and it may feel like there’s no end in sight when you’re stuck in it, but I promise, if I can get through it – Miss Problematic – you’ll get through it!  I promise you that much.  Well after that surprisingly deep and meaningful introduction, let me introduce you to… Tati’s Top Tips For The Terrible Teen Years: school (I thought about that title for a long time and I’m very proud of myself if you couldn’t tell 🙂

Ability – just remember, push your limits and always try your hardest!  Others may be a higher ability than you but as long as you try, it doesn’t matter!

Best Friends – People in secondary school can be mean.  Really mean.  But as long as you stay with your close friends, you’ll be perfectly fine, and no-one can hurt you.  It may take you a while to find your tribe, but that’s okay!  True friends are worth the wait.  Take me for example, the friends that mean the world to me, I didn’t find them until year eleven and now we’re totally inseparable!  People even mix me up with Blondie – friendly reminder she has blonde hair and I have black hair and her favourite colour is pink and mine is yellow, we also speak very differently.  But you know, she’s beautiful so I’m not complaining!

Creativity – Secondary school is the best place to let your creativity run wild!  Whether you feel your creative juices flowing through being an artist, a musician, a writer or even a performer, you’ll find your creativity here!

Dating – From the get-go, there will always be someone “dating” someone else.  In years 10 and 11 is when you should put your revision before dates (no rhyming sorry) but year 7 and 8 relationships are fun to look back on.  Someone I “dated” for almost a year in year 8 is now one of my best friends but someone I “dated” in year 11 is ready to kill me with a ping pong bat (long story).

Eating – no matter what, remember to eat!  Secondary school uses a lot of your energy and this is the best way to gain energy.  Try having a balanced, healthy diet – I’m posting a blog soon about a balanced, healthy diet so look out for that!

Fights – at secondary school, no matter how fancy the school may be, there are fights.  Try and steer clear from them as much as you can, or you’ll get caught in the crossfire.

Homework – I feel like such a teacher saying this but do your homework as soon as possible!  It’s so much easier to do it on the night it’s been set, that way it’s all fresh in your mind.  It’s the same with coursework.  The more you do now, the less you have to later and that is very true.

Independence – Secondary school is where you really gain your independence.  Make the most of it as the next step is adulthood.

June – also known as GCSE month.  It’s tiresome and you’ll be ready to quit but as soon as you’re done, believe me you feel like you can take on the world.  Just get your head down and revise, that’s the best support I can give you.

Kindness – just be kind.  It sounds corny but a smile at a classmate you’ve caught the eye of can really boost someone’s moral when they need it most.  It’s the little things, and it’ll make you feel good about yourself.

Library – go to the library for research!  It’s the best place to go and it’s full of information.  The librarian’s both at my school and at my local library are so lovely and kind, they’re always there to support you and I’m sure your librarian’s will be the same!

Maturity – some people you meet will be super mature for their age.  And when I say super mature, I mean they’re either the parent of the group or the grandparent of the group.  However, you’ll meet people on the other end of the spectrum who you can be pretty sure are three-year-olds stuck in a pubescent teens body (me).  There’s no in-between so be prepared to meet some crazies!  (They do give you great stories though).

Notes – take as many rough notes as you can in class.  That’s the best advice I can ever give you.  Jot down anything and everything the teacher says, then when you get home you can clean and condense.  It’s a perfect revision tool and a perfect way to make sure you don’t miss anything important which could show up in a test.

Options – choosing GCSE options can actually be really exciting.  I’m compiling a list of information about the GCSE’s you can take and peoples opinions on each subject.  That should be helpful for anyone struggling to choose.  Just remember, there are no “easy pass” GCSE’s.  I know so many people who regret choosing Performing Arts because they thought it would be easy to pass – there’s a hell of a lot of coursework involved!  Just make sure to be knowledgeable on whatever subjects you want to pick, knowing the specifications is really helpful for that too and you can find them easily online for each exam board for each subject.

Pastel Highlighters – People, say it with me: pastel highlighters are not what make you pass your GCSE’s, hard work is.  Pastel highlighters are great, and they look really pretty, just make sure you actually spend time revising, not highlighting!  Although, exam tip, take a highlighter into exams with you, this way you can highlight key words in a question, and it decreases your chance of misreading the question.

Questions – I’m sure you’ll have loads of questions about secondary school, I did!  So, if you ever want to talk to someone who’s been there, done that, my inbox is always open, so just drop me an email at totallytatiana.contact@gmail.com  I’ll reply to anyone and everyone!

Rumours – something which is impossible to escape, no matter how hard you try.  It’s no fun, but you just need to hold your head up, ignore people, and don’t spread them about other people.  It hurts and it just leads to more issues than necessary.

Studying – Study as much as you can!  Take notes, ask questions, go to catch up sessions, all that jazz.  It’ll pay off massively in the end and you never know, you may find a new passion!

Teachers – Love them or loathe them, at the end of the day, they are there for you.  They care about you and they want you to reach your potential, even if it feels like they don’t at times.  Just trust me, they want you to pass as much as you want to pass and they’ll root for you.

Uniform – more schools in Britain have school uniform than don’t.  It’s an age-old debate about whether or not we should have uniforms but that’s not what I’m here for.  Follow the uniform rules as much as you can in the first few weeks of term, then if you’re feeling rebellious (like me) push the limits slightly.  Bend the rules as you see fit, just don’t go crazy.

Victory – that last day of school feeling when you realise you survived another year at school.  It feels good.  Just know the end is always in sight, even if it doesn’t always look it, it’s there and it’s rooting for you.

Worrying – It’s completely ok to worry and stress, just don’t let it take over your life.  Try distraction and relaxation techniques to calm yourself down, once you find one that clicks, it’ll do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Xanax – Yes, I’m talking about meds.  If you take meds for your mental health or if you don’t, it’s nothing to be ashamed of!  It’s completely fine, as long as you’re as happy and healthy then it doesn’t matter.

YOLO – God, I feel like a 2010 Tumblr kid again.  Just remember, your secondary school life only lasts for so long.  Make the most of it because it can be fun.  A lot of fun.

Zits – you’re a teen, going through puberty.  It’s natural so don’t stress!  Just drink water as that helps and eat a balanced diet.

Teachers We’ve All Had

I was in the mood for some light-hearted article today and I was thinking about how I’m leaving secondary school soon.  I was racking my brains to make a quirky, original post about school, which year 11’s will find relatable.  What did I come up with instead?  A post about stereotypical teachers I’m pretty sure we’ve all had throughout school years – secondary school in particular.  Let’s go!

  1. That one teacher who single-handedly made you fall in love with a subject.  For me, this was my Year 10 English teacher.  Going into year 10, I despised English – English Literature in particular.  This teacher not only made me appreciate the subject, but also encouraged me to take it as an A Level later on in life.  If it wasn’t for her, I’d still have no real ambition for the future.  It’s crazy how one teacher can change your whole viewpoint on life.
  2. That one teacher who should really be in retirement by now.  No hate here but I feel like my younger readers will understand this one.  There’s always that one teacher who you either see around school or have as a supply teacher who just seems that little bit too old.  Normally, these teachers are some of the sweetest people, but they should be enjoying retirement, not having to deal with screaming teenagers on a Thursday afternoon.  Poor, poor souls.
  3. That one teacher who is like a Mum.  For me, this is my Chemistry teacher I’ve had since Year 9.  It’s becoming a running joke now that she is my in-school Mum, who is very lovely.  She has that amazing sense of humour which I only know Mum’s to have, she always talks about her actual child to me and it’s so sweet just watching her face light up when she remembers something her child has done.  I love this woman, and she’s one of the main reasons I’m staying on at my school for Sixth Form.
  4. That one teacher who is very strict and very stressed.  The amount of times I have coughed in one of these sort of teachers lessons and they pounce.  Throughout the years, I’ve managed to work out that if your last lesson is with a teacher with a short temper who’s had tetchy teens the whole day, it won’t be a fun lesson.  As long as you get your head down and don’t breathe too loudly, you’ll be fine!
  5. That one teacher who cares too much whether they’re liked or not – down with the kids.  I always feel slightly sorry for this teacher because they just want to be one of the popular kids who seem to forget they need to enforce discipline.  They let you get away with anything in class, I’ve once had someone throw a book out of a second-floor window and not get any repercussions.  It’s wild.
  6. That one teacher who doesn’t care at all.  They’ll put the work on the board, a documentary or even just give you a textbook and let you get on with it.  Typically playing games or drawing, this teacher doesn’t care what you’re doing, just as long as you don’t kill anyone.
  7. That one teacher who is just really good at their subject, just not the nicest person.  I have had countless teachers like this.  The best advice I can give you for these lessons is to leave personal issues outside the classroom and just listen to what they have to say.  I had a teacher some time ago who had some interesting opinions about politics and he wasn’t afraid to share them.  As much as I wanted to kick up a fuss, if they’re good at what they do, just get your head down and work, there’s no point in having a shouting match with a teacher you’ll lose to no matter the outcome.

I’m sorry my posts have been so sporadic recently by the way, I’ve been dealing with lots mentally and I’ve had my second set of mock exams so I’ve been exhausted.  As soon as my final GCSE comes around (15th June) my aim is to post at least once a week.  I have some amazing this planned this summer and I will be sure to share them here!  I’m also taking a break from social media, so if you normally get updates on when I post through one of my social media accounts, just be aware I most likely won’t get them back until either Easter or even after GCSE’s.  I haven’t decided yet, so the best thing to do is subscribe to my posts by popping in your email address.  That way you’ll get notified every single time I post a new article.  Thank you all so much for being so incredibly patient throughout all this, you’re all amazing and I promise you everything will be back to normal by June.  Until then, I’ve been Tatiana, and I’ll see you sometime in the near future!

Totally Tati’s Top Ten Revision Tips

First of all, yes. Yes I did choose this title just because alliteration. That’s what you have to deal with when you decided to come on my website – which now has its own domain name! My Dad got it for me as an early Christmas present so thank you Dadddd xx

Anyway, I’m back! It’s been a while since I’ve been super busy trying to revise and also being ill. Oh, the life of a youngster. So, if you take GCSEs you’ll know, you have to do mocks (or PPEs) before June. My mocks for #GCSEs2020 are in January and I know not many people have begun to revise. I can hold my hand up and say that although I try and revise, I get sidetracked by things like cleaning my room, creating new hairstyles, playing the ukulele and even looking out of my window. I have friends who aren’t revising as “they’re just mocks!” (I’m sorry for calling everyone out, I love you really I promise) but the more you do now, the less you need to do later! However, if you do wish to start revising now, you need to know how to start revising and where to look if you have no clue what to do. So, to help my fellow #GCSE2020 friends, or anyone who needs to revise, here are ten tried and tested tips and tricks which can help you to revise.

1) Make a revision timetable – ensure it’s as realistic as possible. It’s all well and good having a timetable which shows you working for 9 hours straight without breaks but you need to think: will I really be able to achieve that? If the answer is no, work out what is best for you. Spend more time on subjects you struggle with and are less likely to get a higher grade on. For example, I struggle lots with Science and maths so I am spending more time on those subjects than citizenship.

My Revision Timetable

2) Past Papers are the most magical things. As they say, practice makes perfect and past papers can really help you get a feel for the style of questions and reading through the mark scheme will show you want the examiner is expecting. They’re also super easy to obtain. Just find what exam board you’re using – for example I’m doing AQA English – you’d go to the AQA website and search for past papers – the AQA website lets you select which subject, spec, qualification and series. Then you can just complete and mark them! It’s the easiest way to get example questions with answers. Links for some exam boards are below:

3) Find resources which help you. Websites, workbooks and textbooks are all amazing… If you can find good, helpful material. A website I will never shut up about is one called Seneca. They have a wide variety of subjects which they explore in explicit detail and they help you to understand the topic quickly. Another website which is very helpful is BBC Bitesize. It’s an oldie but a goodie and they provide lots of information which is easily understandable. If you want textbooks than I strongly advise CGP’s. They fit the new spec, have lots of information and even example questions. You can also get them for different exam boards and I have CGP books for Maths, English and Science.

4) Get a revision folder to put all your revision in. It’s easiest to keep it all in one place and it’s far more organised. I have my revision timetable, login details as well as my revision.

My Revision Folder

5) Get an aesthetic! It may sound bizarre, but personally it makes me more motivated to work and I’m prouder of it when I’m done. I also have a higher chance of looking back at it which means I’ll memorise it more

Jack the Ripper’s Victims Information Sheet

6) Have a space where you can constantly revise. It’s got to be a place with minimal distractions and it’s got to be relatively clean so you can focus for longer.

7) If possible, find out if your teachers hold catch up lessons/interventions before, during or after school. They will not only help you understand the subject more and give you tricks to remember for the exam but will also put your mind at ease and make you less stressed.

8) Put away the phone! It helps you to focus! Trust me on this one I know from experience. Even writing my blog earlier, I got sidetracked by my phone and facetimed my boyfriend for almost an hour. You could simply leave it downstairs while you revise upstairs, put it in a cupboard which is nowhere near where you’re studying or even give it to someone to look after so the temptation isn’t there.

9) Keep healthy! Ensure you’re eating enough, sleeping enough, drinking enough and exercising enough. It’ll help you to remain focused for longer and you can avoid falling asleep while analysing Macbeth seeing a dagger before him (true story – I’ve fallen asleep while revising way too much.)

10) Take a break! Just because you’re revising doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Personally, after I do at least an hour of strong work, I’ll take ten minutes to calm down, stalk peoples social medias and just collect my thoughts. I’ll also factor in a couple of hours a week just to socialise with friends. It’s also a good way to stop my mental health from deteriorating.

Thanks for reading, I hope you found it helpful and feel free to comment other revision tips. See ya soon,

xo baby, Tati xoxo