Mental health

A level chat- feeling low

Having periods of depression or ‘feeling low’ can often be viewed as a topic which is still very taboo. Some people I used to get the bus with often talked about it as being the fault of the person rather than a mental illness which can affect people for varying lengths of time and can have affects on all parts of a person’s life. I’ve had some periods in my life where I have felt very low throughout my life, sometimes due to my anxiety and sometimes with specific reasons such as friendship problems and bullying.

I’ve always been ashamed to even say this to people or to admit to this. It affected me more recently throughout sixth form, with it being extremely bad in year 13 due to coursework/exam stress and some very upsetting family issues at the time. I didn’t like the vibes in the common room due to how cliquey and judgemental many people in my year were even close to exams. I did occasionally sit in there to talk to friends but I felt much more comfortable talking to people in the library or doing work there. The library did help me to feel a bit more comfortable at school but I still had many panic attacks a day and didn’t feel comfortable. I sometimes felt like I couldn’t breathe properly until I went out of school itself. I had to go for a walk at lunch to have a break from it all and in one specific lesson I found it incredibly difficult to stay all lesson because of the toxic environment in the class itself. The only positive part of this class was my teacher who was not only an amazing teacher but also a friend in a very tough time for me in the lead up to exams.

It sometimes took all the willpower I had at the time to even go to school because of how mentally and physically draining I found it but I got through it with good A level grades and I am of to university in under a week. I wanted to write this post to not only get some negative feelings of my chest but also to help people who have or are finding sixth form or college difficult. So many people portray it as an amazing moment in their lives but this isn’t entirely true for everyone, myself included.

Larissa xo

Advertisements
Academics · Mental health

Exam chat

Hi guys, it’s been a while! Hope you all are doing well. I have had a lot going on in the past few months and have needed some to relax really!

I hope you had a lovely summer, if you got results I hope they were what you wanted and if not I’m sure it will work out for you in the end. I’m going to University soon so I thought I would do a post about current feelings about exams before I start to do University posts, woo!

Please never think exams define you, which many people say but I’m telling you it is true. Many people say that if you work hard you will succeed in exams; if you work hard you are more likely to succeed but it isn’t inevitable, exams are not full proof, there are many external conditions with both the exam paper, exam conditions and yourself. Even though special consideration is available, it doesn’t make up for situations which are very stressful for you taking the exam. Especially if you did essay subjects for A level like I did, the marking is so very subjective, with the line between A*,A and B occurring in a differing phrase used to describe your structure or content of your essays. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are bad at the subject at all, it is just a way an examiner has marked the paper in a certain period of time, one person marking a very subjective subject paper. There are many instances in which my papers have been incorrectly marked because either of examiners who are overworked or who haven’t read my work throughly for whatever reason.

This hurts. Very few people talk about results days in which you worked hard, expected to get certain grades, you didn’t get them and so have to go down the remark route which is a painful wait especially if you need to do it for university (which luckily wasn’t the case for me). If you can afford to get a remark, please try to, if you need it for university or even a future career. If not don’t worry, you might take an alternative route such as an apprenticeship or a different course ( you might be able to transfer to your original course after a year or so).

I’m sure you will get to the place you are meant to be and if not, it wasn’t meant to be and you are following the path to likely make you the happy and successful person you were meant to be. Exams do not equal happiness and success in the real world, you need many more qualities to succeed in the actual world

Larissa xo

Lifestyle · Mental health

Bikini confidence

At this time of the year everyone starts to develop their ‘summer bodies’ whilst I believe you should always do what makes you personally feel comfortable, I don’t feel the most comfortable in a bikini even if I am feeling more body confident on that particular day. Especially with the kind of people who were at my high school, it was almost an unwritten rule that if you go on holiday or for a swim you must post a bikini picture and if you don’t why? This is the type of culture created by shows such as love island which show people in bikinis often and show them being judged by their appearance in bikinis.

People often don’t realise that it can be difficult for people (such as myself) to wear a bikini in a busy public space, I’m ok where it is quieter but if I am in a busy place, wearing a bikini can make me feel overexposed and feel people are judging me. It is also difficult for me to wear a bikini in photos sometimes, I’m not the most comfortable in front of the camera by any means so posing in a bikini which also makes me feel uncomfortable is not a great combination! It would also make me feel extremely uncomfortable to share it on social media sites such as Instagram because it makes me more self conscious of what I perceive as my visable body flaws such as my thighs but that is ok! You don’t need to post every moment on social media for you to enjoy it and for it to be real, you also don’t have to post photos of yourself on the beach if you are not comfortable doing so, you might as well enjoy your time on the beach, reading and swimming than worrying about what you look like in a bikini!

It takes time to grow confident on the beach for some people but finding a swimsuit to compliment your figure can also help, whether this is a swimsuit, a bikini or a costume with a shirt over if that makes you feel more comfortable. Here is a link to an article which gives details on different types of swimsuits for different purposes- https://www.swimoutlet.com/swimsuit-styles-101/. Here is another link to an article regarding swimsuits for different body shapes- https://www.popsugar.co.uk/fashion/Best-Swimsuits-Body-Type-43711575

However, you have to make sure that you are with people who make you feel comfortable because it will make you feel much more at ease!

Larissa xo

Academics

How to write your personal statement!

As many of you know, I have just finished year 13 and will be studying Law at university in September. I am writing this post to help those of you who are going into year 13 and perhaps year 12 too, it is never too early to start thinking of what Uni course you want do and consequently your personal statement. It took me a long time to get my personal statement right, around 30 odd drafts I believe as I am a perfectionist! I got two unconditionals for Law and I believe this most likely was due to my personal statement which myself, my mum, some older friends and some of my teachers worked very hard at. If you guys do want to increase your chances of getting an unconditional (because it does take a lot of pressure of), it is vital to do your research on the student room and talking to present students at universities because only certain universities for certain courses give unconditional offers so this is something to bare in mind! If you guys have any more questions about this, feel free to message me! To help you start your personal statement you might want to use a writing frame which I believe you can find at some University open days or online. This helps to show you in a basic form about what different areas you need to include in your personal statement to give the impression you are a perfectly well rounded individual! You need to make sure you link your different activities to your subject whether this is setting up a club in your subject area, doing mentoring at school, doing a team sport, you need to make sure you can effectively link these activities to your course to show your enthusiasm for the course. You need to include a wide range of activities; not just academic or sports related. This brings me onto my next point… You need to show enthusiasm for your subject, you need to write your personal statement to make admission tutors think it would be a travesty not to give you a place! Read around your subject, not just focusing on A level content. This will help to show your wider grasp of your subject but further showing your enthusiasm through the research you had done! Do not feel like you need to use complex language or phrasing, universities do not want you to ramble on! You only have a certain number of characters, you need to keep it to the point! Try to start your personal statement as early as you can and do as many drafts as you can! I wrote over 30 drafts of my personal statement to get it right because it is a difficult style of writing to get your head around! I hope this has been helpful! Larissa xo

Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Beginning of summer favourites

Tv shows

Outlander. One of my favourite TV shows I have ever watched. It is a massively underrated show despite having amazing actors and a gripping storyline, it even linked to my A level History with the Jacobite storyline! The central premise of the show is a bit confusing at first but it revolves around Claire who is transported 200 years in the past (from the 1940’s) through some magical circle of rocks in Scotland. She meets the dashing Jamie Fraser (of course) who becomes her love interest and eventual husband, there are so many twists and turns in their story which is very fascinating.

The Split. Another amazing programme (which was on the BBC) and is centred around female lawyers which really appealed to me as someone who will be studying Law at university from late September and is also a staunch feminist.

First Dates. This is a show I have recently been really enjoying. It can become very addictive in watching the various first dates, the show seems to do such a great job at matching people together!

Merlin. What an amazing show. It has a gripping storyline and such great characters who are 3 dimensional instead of being more one dimensional as many characters on TV tend to be. It also has magic so what’s not to love?

All the above photos are from google images, they are not my photos.

Films. I am not a huge fan of watching films, I can watch episodes of TV one after the other but I in general struggle to sit through films unless they particularly impress me. I have enjoyed watching two films in particular recently

Wonderwoman. I really enjoyed watching this film. Firstly, I love the mix of Classical myths and History in relation to the First world war, I think it works well for the storyline of the film. I also adore the character of Wonderwoman herself; as she was brought up by the Amazons she is a very strong woman who can do anything she sets her mind to, (even going above the trenches!)

Ocean’s 8. I went to see this at the cinema recently and I loved it, it kept me entertained throughout. I loved the differing characters in the team and their differing personalities and how they worked together to make the plan a reality, I also loved the use of humour in the film, it had some genuinely funny moments! Finally, I loved the gorgeous outfits in the scenes in the Met Gala, especially the beautiful dress worn by Anne Hathaway.

Books

The private lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman

I found this book so interesting. I studied the Tudor’s as part of one of my History papers (which was Tudor rebellions) and so I found this was an interesting read as a background to my course but also in general as this book has lots of information about each of the Tudor monarchs

The children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes. I have been really enjoying this book recently, it tells the stories of Oedipus and Antigone from the point of view of female characters but with a twist from the traditional stories.

Snacks

Italian cookies (which I believe you can find online). They gave these cookies out for breakfast where we were staying and they are so delicious, they are also gluten and dairy free which is perfect.

http://eshop.farmacomspa.it/catalogo/Celiachia/Merendine-e-Snack-Dolci/RICE-&-RICE-Riso-Delizia-all’Arancia-33g/co/produttore+desc%2C+nome+asc/o/1/act_filt/%7CC/c/436/p/18468.html

Mango peaches. They are so refreshing and yet filling. You can find them at grocery type stalls and sometimes supermarkets.

Aldi snack bars. Aldi are winning at the moment with their snack bars, my favourite Is the cacao and peanut butter one which is also gluten and dairy free.

Sauces

Mango chuctney. The perfect addition to any meal but goes perfectly with any type of curry

Fashion

My favourite outfit of the month is this gorgeous dress from Primark, these old shoes from Clarkes and this pair of sunglasses from John Lewis

Youtubers

Hannah Meloche. Such an uplifting youtuber with lots of amazing travel videos and day in my life videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/hannahmeloche

Marie Senechal. She makes such informative and comforting mental health videos, it is so amazing how she uses her personal experiences to help others

https://www.youtube.com/user/marieroseee

Elena. Another uplifting youtuber with such positive videos. I specifically enjoy her travel videos and her videos relating to college.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDBroOWVP4aN8SYM0br6s

Ibz Mo. I adore his channel! He makes such funny videos but they are also very helpful in terms of university application and life at university too.

https://www.youtube.com/user/ibstars

Larissa xo

Lifestyle · Thoughts for the day

The Georgian period

I am writing this post about the Georgian era which is a period of history which I feel is very under appreciated in comparison to periods such as the Tudors which are widely studied. I feel like this is such a shame considering so much of our modern world was constructed in the Georgian times. I studied the making of Georgian Britain as part of my OCR History A level and I really enjoyed it so I thought I would do a post dedicated to the Georgians today! It is a period which is so modern in many ways and yet still has many areas of life which were very set in their time too

The Bank of England. The creation of the Bank of England in the 1690’s was revolutionary in changing the way money was lended not just to the monarch (by safeguarding people who lent money to the monarch because parliament safeguarded the loans) but normal people too. The Bank of England also stimulated business by lending money to differing businesses allowing for growth including trade to areas such as North America. It also saw the creation of cheques which allowed money to be transported over larger distances which further stimulated internal trade.

Modern politics. In many ways the modern political state originated in the Georgian era. The development of the two main parties (the Whigs and the stories) largely originated from the Exclusion crisis; with the Whigs wanting to bar the future James II from the throne due to his Catholicism and absolutist type views. The Tories wanting to safeguard James succession because of their strong believes in the divine right of kings or in other words them being divinely appointed by God.

The first proper prime minister Robert Walpole was also a key political player in the Georgian times. He was prime minister from 1721-1742 and had a very influential position in the country. An example of this is when he managed to lessen the outcome of the South Sea crisis (which in essence was a company which never did any trading but people bought shares due to loose promises, when people realised the company was doing very little they shared to sell their shares which led to the price of shares plummeting and some people lost everything). Walpole dealt with the situation in some ways by exchanging the worthless south sea stock for stock in the profitable East India Company which provided assistance to people who lost everything in the south sea scandal.

The establishment of London as the seat of power encouraged the existence of ‘the season’ as seen in books of the period (commonly in Jane Austen books). The social ‘season’ coincided with the parliamentary season from November to May; if led to an abundance of balls in which people tried to find a husband.

Consumerism. The establishment of the season in London also expanded the consumerism in England due to people wanting to find various new goods in new shops which were also advertised in new weekly newspapers. This established cities as places to ‘see and be seen’ with people parading around in their new wares in parks such as St James.

I hope you enjoyed this history type post and it has encouraged you to do more research on the Georgian period!

p.s. The photos are from google images and so all credits go to them!

Lifestyle

Travel diaries: Italy

I recently went on a short trip to Italy and I thought I would do a post about what we did and some of the delicious restaurants we went to.

Sights

Pisa

The main tourist sight in Pisa is the iconic leaning tower which is set amongst many beautiful buildings including Pisa cathedral which has very ornate sculptures and columns which excited my inner Classicist I must say! I did really enjoy seeing the leaning tower but I must say it was very busy (as you might expect), with crowds of tourists trying to get the iconic ‘holding the leaning tower’ photo. I did manage to get the photo after a fair few attempts I must say!

Florence

One of the most beautiful sights in Florence is the iconic Duomo with the stunning white, peach and green marble which compliments the building beautifully. The attention to detail on the Duomo is exceptional with lavishly decorated columns as well as biblical imagery. We got lots of lovely photos of the Duomo but we unfortunately didn’t get chance to go inside due to a seemingly enormous queue each time we tried to go inside.

There are lots of other buildings in the square surrounding the Duomo which are also worth a visit including the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower which is also worth a visit for its beautiful architectural design!

Museums

There are a huge number of different museums in Florence but we decided to go to two of the main museums. We firstly went to the Palazzo Vecchio. This was a beautiful museum which was located near a sort of square which had a variety of mythical sculptures in it which were interesting to look at. The museum itself was so very ornately detailed with a wide variety of golden imagery on the ceilings which included references to mythological stories and on the walls too which also included marble sculptures. I found some of the friezes in the museum to be particularly impressive especially in their attention to detail in the representation of war!

The other museum we went to was the Uffizi gallery which is a very iconic gallery in Florence. The Biblical imagery in this museum was also very impressive with lots of vivid colours being included in the paintings. A very iconic painting in the museum is the ‘birth of Venus’ which was a stunning painting with such vivid colours being included in it. One of my favourite parts of the museum was the hallway which included busts of famous Roman leaders and also sculptures linked to mythology which also interested me due to me taking sculpture and architecture as one of my Classics papers.

Another place which is worth a visit in Florence is the Mercato Centrale which was an amazing market! It had lots of leather shops which were actually quite reasonably priced and some shops to buy souvenirs too. The market also had a wonderful food court which had a wide variety of Italian cuisine and also had an extensive bar!

Lucca

San Michele in Foro. We didn’t go inside it but we took many nice photos outside of the stunning architecture, including (you have probably guessed now) the beautiful, ornate columns!

Lucca cathedral. The Lucca cathedral was absolutely stunning, one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have been in. I particularly loved the ornate ceilings with the golden and blue imagery working in unison alongside the images of heaven and angels. The stain glass windows were equally impressive, the coloured biblical scenes are so vivid!

Piazza dell’ Antiteatro. This was one of my favourite sights in Lucca, it has an array of buildings in the circular amphitheatre shape. There were many nice shops and restaurants in the square.

Restaurants- food is an important part of every trip! It can be difficult to find gluten and dairy free restaurants on holiday so here are some restaurants we enjoyed on our trip!

Pisa

Ristoro pecorino. We went to this restaurant for lunch on our first day in Italy. They had amazing gluten free sandwiches with foot long loaves; I had a salmon and spinach sandwich which was so delicious. They also had very filling gluten and dairy free salads too.

Florence

Mista pizza. It has a beautiful location near the Duomo in the centre of Florence which is stunning in the Italian sunshine! I am not exaggerating when I say that they had the best gluten and dairy free pizza I have ever had; the pizza dough was so soft and the dairy free cheese was so creamy, a perfect combination! They also did gluten free salads which were also very filling and delicious. I found a new favourite drink at this restaurant, the typical Italian drink of aerol spritz with prosecco which was an amazing drink and very refreshing!

Perche no! This is an old style gelato place with a huge selection of dairy free ice creams including chocolate and various types of fruit ice creams, you could also get them with gluten free cones which was a perfect combination. It was also a very reasonable place for the fact they did dairy free ice cream, much more reasonable than some ice cream places near me in the UK surprisingly enough!

Starbene. Starbene is an entirely gluten free bakery shop with many dairy free items too. The pastries were honestly amazing with my favourites being short bread biscuits covered in dairy free chocolate and the small flower shaped apricot cookies they have!

Lucca

Gelateria Veneta Lucca. Another amazing gelato place which had a couple of flavours such as chocolate and summer fruits, also with gluten free cones.

Angolo tondo. This restaurant has a stunning location in the amphitheatre of Lucca, it is a stunning place in the sunshine! We had pizza here which was good but not quite as good as the pizza in Mista pizza, they also didn’t have dairy free cheese but the pizza was fairly good without it to be fair to the restaurant!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Do you have any places you want to travel to? Comment them down below!