Why Malala Yousafzai Inspires Me

For most of these articles, I need to think long and hard about my answer. However, this one came to my head without even really thinking. By far the person I look up to the most and who I hope I will meet someday is Malala Yousafzai.

When I was around 10 or 11, the book I Am Malala came out. I was in year six at the time and I didn’t know much about this woman. What I read changed my life forever.

For those of you who don’t know, Malala Yousafzai is a 23-year-old activist who spoke out against the Taliban, a radical terrorist group in Pakistan when she was only 10 years old. In an a futile attempt to silence her, she was shot in the head when she was twelve when she was on her way home from school. Being the strong person she was, she survived and managed to become the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate ever.

After reading her book, I completely re-evaluated my thoughts and feelings about so many things. Firstly, this is the book that really made me realise I was a feminist and that I wanted to change the world, and Malala made me realise I could do it. Her sheer power and resistance is something I will never stop talking about and I always hope that she knows she changed my life for the better. Secondly, she made me proud to be mixed race. Some of you have read my post about my Ethnicity, in which I spoke about Liza Koshy inspiring me to be proud about my skin colour. However, a mini turning point for me was reading this book. This strong woman who was Pakistani was standing up for what she believed in, and refused to let anyone silence her. Even after she was in fatal condition, she never stopped fighting for equality and for education for all.

This woman is such an inspiration and has shaped me to become who I am today and I desperately hope that one day I’ll be able to meet her, just to say thank you for helping me to accept myself and begin to become my best self.

I’m sorry this was rather brief, Malala is one of my biggest role models and I want people to understand that! Also, as I was writing this, I accidentally went down a bit of a Yousafzai-Spiral and it really made me realise how truly grounded this woman is, in one article I read she said all she needs right now is Netflix and Sleep and, honestly, who doesn’t! I think we can all agree that Ms Yousafzai is an absolute icon and inspiration to all young women in this world.

“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”

Malala Yousafzai

Voting Age – Tati Talks

Politics is shambles. You don’t really know what’s going on and neither do the leaders for about four years but then you blink and suddenly everyone’s having Brexit parties for some reason or another. There’s always some sort of non-political politics related scandal about an MP being a not-so-secret bigot or a US presidential candidate being accused of some horrific act which makes your blood boil. But hey! That’s politics! What a world we live in am I right? So, now I have stated my ever increasingly controversial opinion on politics, might as well go right to the deep end and talk about UK General elections voting age.

Figure One

Looking over these rules, overall, I don’t really have an issue with them, except for one. That one is the age. I have such strong opinions on it, I wrote a whole essay on it in my Year 10 mock citizenship exam. It was an 8 Mark question and I wrote well over two pages (I did get full marks though which is cool). So, to reiterate my point but to a larger audience, I think the voting age should be lowered from 18 to 16. There are so many reasons, but I am here to discuss a small three with you. Please comment your opinions below, I love hearing from people, and I love debates! DISCLAIMER: for many of these points I will be using hyperboles, and so even though the facts are true (I’ll leave the links I used at the bottom of this article) my opinion may be exaggerated to prove the point – debates must do. This is a controversial subject but I am not one to shy away and so I am going to face this head on. I mean no disrespect to anyone; these are just my thoughts and feelings.


Firstly, I think that the voting age should be lowered because anyone who is registered as a UK citizen can vote, and those under 18 are UK Citizens also. This includes perpetrators like those who have committed heinous acts against society. So, if we are giving permission to serial killers to express their freedom, why can’t we allow innocent 16-year olds to express their basic human rights to freedom and expression? (Article 19 – Universal Declaration of Human Rights). At this point, it begs the question, is this just a basic act of human decency Britain, or is it a deprivation of the human rights that we get taught about as soon as we start school?
Statistically, people do not want young people to vote because they feel there is no point as the voter turnout will not be affected. This is a valid concern since in 2017 43% of 18-19-year olds did not vote in the general election. This is staggering compared to the fact that a mere 16% of over 70-year-olds did not vote. However, the reason why so many young people did not vote is because they did not understand the concept. They were not fully educated on the matters which meant they did not understand what the difference between voting for lib-dems or the conservatives would make. There is a simple solution to this “conundrum”: We educate the younger generation on voting – we explain how to vote, why their vote matters, all the different parties, left-wing vs right-wing etc. Not only does this make young people more prepared for their future and make them more well-rounded individuals, but it also makes the voter turnout greater, meaning that Britain will be a true democracy with equal amounts of different demographics voting.

If we look at the laws that sixteen-year olds hold, they are very questionable and at some points controversial. The laws a sixteen-year-old hold are shown in figure 2:

Figure Two

Many of these laws are very controversial and would raise a few eyebrows. Furthermore, when you are aged thirteen, you are told you must choose your GCSE options, something which greatly shapes your future. The fact we are giving young people this control, but not to choose something which greatly shapes the future of this country is definitely wrong.
In conclusion, I think we should lower the voting age from eighteen to sixteen because it is the young peoples future, it gives them good life skills for the future and it increases the chances of an equal democracy.
Thank you for reading, please like this post if you enjoyed it, comment your views and opinions on this topic and follow this blog if you want to see more about what I write 🙂


xo baby, Tati xoxo

REFERENCE LINKS:
http://www.youthoria.org/home/life/rights/what-can-i-do/1238766403.391/
https://www.gov.uk/elections-in-the-uk
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2017/06/13/how-britain-voted-2017-general-election

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!