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 🙂

Why I Love the Colour Yellow

At school, I am known as the “yellow girl”.  I have a friend in a younger year at school who dubbed me that whenever she forgot my name and it’s stuck.  It’s a nice name, a lot better than other ones I’ve been called I can tell you that!  But not many people know why I love the colour yellow.  Typically, people assume it’s because I love Heathers the musical and I’m going to extreme measures to live out my Heather McNamara fantasy.  Others just know I go overboard with my obsessions and that’s why I own so much yellow.  However, even though those two assumptions are partially correct, the real reason I love yellow so much is because of what it means to me.

I have briefly mentioned in the past I have some friends who I have fallen out with so badly that the damage is irreparable.  I won’t go into all the details because it’s quite personal and I don’t want to share that just yet.  However, one of the reasons we drifted is because I never fit into the “mould” of a girl they wanted.  They wanted shy, submissive, quiet, smart, subtle, and everything I am the total opposite of.  In one period, I was being forced so much into this mould my vigilante-self came out and I began standing my ground – a quality I’d never shown to others before then.  You may be wondering where yellow comes into this so here you go…

When the colour yellow was a big fashion trend, my friends hated it.  I’m still unsure why but they despised the colour so much, but I found it strange.  The clothes some of these girls were wearing on non-school-uniform days were beautiful.  It honestly made some of them glow like the sun. However, it made my friends red with anger.  So, me being me, I decided to buy something yellow.  As silly as it sounds, I decided to stand up for the colour yellow by buying yellow.  I love the film Clueless and I wanted a skirt like Cher’s and when I saw someone in London with that yellow skirt, I knew what I wanted.  I begged my Dad and he bought me the skirt from Pretty Little Thing.  I was so excited when it arrived, I immediately took countless photos of it and set it as my profile picture on WhatsApp.  I felt so empowered!  I hadn’t worn a skirt before then since I was 5 so it was exciting.  To me, this skirt wasn’t just an item of clothing, it was a fragment of another world I’d been trying to get into for so long, but I had been so afraid to.  This skirt was a new perspective of the world for me, a perspective where I could be a feminist and wear girly clothes.  A perspective where I didn’t have to be worried about what he would say.  A perspective in which I can wear whatever I want and not have to be worried about what people say.  When I put on that skirt, I wasn’t Tatiana, I was Cher, a slightly (well completely) clueless teenager who people loved who did make mistakes, but she owned up to and grew from them.

To this day I still wear that skirt and without fail, whenever I wear it, I feel strong, empowered and fearless. [I also feel hella cute – but that’s beside the point!]

There you have it!  That’s the story of why I love the colour yellow so much.  It’s because of what it represents.

Viva le resistance!  xo baby, Tati xoxo

P.S – Random Fact: I used to love the colour yellow when I was a titchy Tati so full circle!

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.