How to survive Christmas

Ok, so I know that a lot of people would lo0k at this title and think to themselves, “oh I love Christmas, best time of the year. I love spending time with my family, eating lots of food and giving and receiving presents”. However sadly it isn’t like that for everyone. In fact I think there are lots of people out there who secretly dread Christmas, or at least don’t particularly look forward to it. And there are obvious reasons for this, I don’t need to go through them all. However I want to make it clear that you are not alone, Christmas isn’t exactly my favourite time of the year either. So here are some tips on how to get through it X

1. Arrange to see friends, or family you won’t be seeing on Christmas day either before or after Christmas.

So even on the day would be cool, although I know that when we are away, or even if we are at home with a massive load of family who we don’t get on with surrounding us, it is impossible to “get away” on the day, however being able to look forward to seeing others surrounding Christmas time, can be really helpful. Meeting with people before Christmas can give you something to look forward to during the run up to Christmas, especially a couple of weeks before (I’m sorry, i’m too late), when everyone is going on about what they do at Christmas. Like Christmas day may suck but least there’s other people you can see before then, which may make the period of time; well- suck a bit less. Also it can put you in a better frame of mind on Christmas day, especially if you’re seeing the sort of people who are really good at lifting your mood. This way, it should put you in a more positive mindset on the day, so your mindset is less likely to go downwards as far.

Then seeing friends after the “day of doom” can also make things a little bit more bearable, by giving you something to look forward to on that particular day. I think that having something nice to look forward to shortly after Christmas which isn’t work or school, can be so beneficial! As it will enable you to focus on that, rather than focus on the negative vibes that Christmas day is giving off.

2. Go to a Christmas related event in your local area

Thiss can be a genuinely uplifting experience. For me, just going around and looking at the lights around Bournemouth gardens puts me in the “festive spirit”. Because not only I am able to appreciate the arrangement of the lights, but it reminds me that Christmas isn’t just about what happens about the day. But what happens around that time. And it makes me remember that there are great things to see and do relating to Christmas, which definitely don’t just take place on Christmas day!

I also think that getting involved in Christmas carols, whether that’s being in the choir yourself, watching others, or going to a thing where everyone has to sing lol can be a great way of bringing people together and putting everyone in the Christmas spirit. Where you also realise that the day itself is not the only part of celebrating Christmas. In fact I genuinely prefer the run up to Christmas tot Christmas day itself, even though I don’t exactly dread Christmas day these days. And I reckon that even if I did get lodes of presents (which I don’t) the same would still apply.

3. Remember the “true meaning of Christmas”

So I think that for anyone who may struggle financially this is important, and for anyone who doesn’t struggle financially this is even more important. This is because Christmas is NOT about receiving gifts, spending hours on end around shops stressing about what to buy for who, and receiving tonnes of usless gifts that you’re probably only going to use like once or twice. Instead traditionally it is a religious event. And I know that now it has been adopted into our culture as more of a materialistic thing. However, not being religious myself, I accept that it is now part of our culture but I most certainly don’t believe that it is now just an event where people buy then receive plasticy gifts for the sake of it. In fact I think it is extremely ssad how so many kids only sseem to get excited over their presents.

So instead I believe it is a time of reflection, celebration, and relaxation. And who you spend that time with should be up to you and it doesn’t have to be done on the day itself if that is difficult. So don’t count the tangible gifts, count the memories, achievements and the difficult times of the previous year and bring hope to the year coming.

4. Try to be optimistic, but no pressure

As previously said, Christmas should be a time of reflection rather than a time of obsessing over money blah blah blah. However, what if there is not much positive things to reflect upon. For people who have had a bad year, a period of reflecting on the year, and having to pretend to be happy is the last thing that you want. However think this way. Out of everything bad that happens, something good must bloom! Now I know this is still hard thinking like this. However one sort of positive thing you get after going through shit, is becoming a stronger person. Think about how resilient you are now, compared tot this time last year, lets say. I know it’s not always easy to think like this, but it is true. When we go through a difficult time, we don’t really have much choice apart from putting up with it, then getting through it. And if you have had a difficult year, this is literally what you have done! Inevitably, after putting yourself though a rough time, yoou will turn out a stronger person. Like it or not! And just think, what is this strong, boss ass person going to be able to achieve the following year due to getting through the time that has just come. Come on. Nott every year has to be bad does it.

5. Work towards something

Yep. So surly Christmas should be a break right? Yes of course. But when you are having a really shitty time, it is nice to be able to feel that you are working towards something positive. It can act as a reason to feel good about yourself and positive about the coming year, as well as being a distraction. Now it doesn’t matter what that thing is. Whether is is a Christmas DIY like a paper snowflake, baking or a more long term goal. Now doing something short term, will most certainly be the break you need from day to day work and life, whilst you will feel more accomplished by doing something positive with your time. Meanwhile working on a more long term goal, may make you feel better about yourself not just on the day, by taking another step to what you are working towards, but in the new year, having gone a bit further on the task that you never usually have time for. Now I know that can be quite strenuous, and for some it is better just to chill. But if you find yourself “bored” around Christmas day, and maybe needing distractions, this may well help.

6. Distractions

So this is an extremely broad topic, but this is basically what it says on the tin. If things are difficult, try doing something else. Whether this is for yourself or for other people. It basically gives your mind another place to be, instead of just the shit you are getting on the day.

7. Write a new years “Bucket list”

So if you’re not feeling particular optimistic about this time of year or about the year that’s just come by, then why not write a list of things that you would like to do in the new year. Nott only will it take your mind off what is going on right now, it will also put you in a more positive mindset about the following year. As realistically Christmas time is just a few days in the year, and what happens most of the time is more important. And as there is nothing you can do about the past, then why not play your part in making the next year as good as it can be.

7. Help out the family or whoever with the chores

So I know it sounds boring, and rather like a chore if you are going to be with family who don’t seem to appreciate you or vise versa. However just think how much they may appreciate a little help with cutting up all of the vegetables for the Christmas dinner. A rather straight forward taks may be immensely helpful to whoever is cooking the dinner, and it can be rather distracting and time consuming for you.

7. Help others eg volunteering

So if you are literally alone for Christmas ( sending a massive massive virtual hug. I love you so much and you have got this) or if you just want to help the less fortunate, then this is a perfect idea. Any sort of volunteering is so so helpful, and can literally change a persons Christmas time experience. Working in an establishment that provides free Christmas food for the homeless, may not change the world. But it will change those people’s world’s for that day at least. Just having 1 more person helping, means that this one person will be able to have a chat with many different people. Which like I say, isn’t going to have any long term effect on the world, but just think for one person who may not talk to anybody on Christmas day, talking to just one person can have a massive massive improvement. Furthermore if you are helping people who are homeless, you are contributing to providing shelter, nourishment and social time for so many people. It is such a lovely thing to do, and a brand new experience. And if you are struggling with Christmas, whatever type of person you are helping, you may be able to establish something in common. A struggle for Christmas is a start. The may be able to provide you with brilliant advise and guidelines. As at the end of the day, they are humans. Just like you and me

7. Go for a walk

Honestly just getting outside and moving a little can have some positive impact on the way you feel. Now we have all heard about how good “fresh air and exercise” can be for you, and its ttrue. So I understand when you are really feeling down, realistically the last thing you want to do is get up and go for a walk. However it can prevent you from feeling too low. For me, it really can distract as I am able to appreciate the nature and what else there is going on outside, rather than focus on my own life. As well, it is a safer place to reflect on the past and the future in a more positive way. Also it enables you to get away from the bother of it all:)

9. Alchol

WOW, so after all these relatively healthy coping mechanisms i’ve suggested, I decide to go and put alcohol. Rolls eyes. Ok, so I know that is far from the best choice on what to do. But lets face it. We are humans, we aren’t always going to choose what is typically “best”. And lets faced it, when we feel most down, we aren’t exactly going to do a bit of yoga down the park, before making a start on our project that we were intending on beginning, the following year. No of course not. However I don’t really think it’s that bad to have a drink. It can put us in a better, more relaxed mood and take us away from the emotional exhaustion of Christmas. So yeah it’s not great. But think about it… Drink at 5, bed at 11? That is 6 hours of peace.

7. Remember it is not that important

So after having to hear all the fuss about Christmas, coming from like literally everyone you know, you’re bound to feel rather overwhelmed that Christmas is right on your doorstep. So I think it would be nice, if sometimes people could just shut up about it. But honestly, in the scheme of things it is not that important. There are many other times of the year that we can look forward to, whether that’s spring time, April fools or obviously summer! When people don’t shut up about it, it is usually because they are stressed, and stress is not a good thing and they can’t really be having the most excellent time if they are stressed out of their minds now, can they? And with regards to the shops, it is all just a fat money making exercise. Hence why when you walk into a shop any time after Halloween, all you are able to spot is christmasy shit.

So yeah, it really isn’t that important. Just stay strong, you can get through these few days. Message me if you feel lost.

Sending love

Victoria Xx

General election rant (sort of)- Why I think the results turned out the way they did

Okay, so before I start, I’m not going to be using this as a platform to spread my own political views (at this moment in time) however I want to be able to post political content without it sounding too bias towards one party or the other if that makes sense.

So here we go, this is why I think that the results were the way they were.

So firstly you may be aware, even though Boris won a rather impressive “majority”, it doesn’t mean that the majority of the population, or at least the people who voted, actually voted for him. In fact they would have only won 288 seats under a proportional representative system, compared to 406 which they won under first past the post (basically “first past the post” is where the MP with the largest number of votes per area or constituency is elected, but they don’t need a majority). So that goes to show. Whereas smaller parties like the Greens and the Liberal Democrats won fewer seats in comparison to the number of overall votes. So this basically just shows how badly our politics is actually represented in parliament. However, considering that the conservatives still did get the highest number of votes compared to any other party (only they didn’t actually get a majority) why on earth did so many people vote for them?

Now some people, including Lily Allen believe it was due to “racism and misogyny running so deeply in our country”. Now is he a racist? Personally I wouldn’t say so however he has come out with some comments, of which some would call unforgivable whilst others would label as “banter”. Now I don’t know. As a journalist writing for mainstream newspapers like the telegraph you don’t just say these things, regardless on whether you mean it as a joke or not. As it is obvious some people will take offence. It is like with anything; if you know someone well knowing they won’t take offence, then it is ok to say something like that. But you don’t write something like that in a news paper millions of people are likely to read. So maybe he did it because he just wasn’t thinking straight, maybe because he didn’t care about any negative publicity it may lead to, or maybe he was sneaky and knew that inspite of the large amount of poor publicity he would get, a huge amount of the public would find his comments entertaining and agree with them. Now I still find the fact that so many people would have voted for him, based on their racism or dislike towards certain groups of people, considering the number of people I know who were disgusted by these comments. Nevertheless it could be true that people voted for him because of his attitude rather than inspite of it, when I consider the number of “borderline racist” comments that I do here. And that’s just the people who are open about it, and its quite possible that there’s a lot more people who have this attitude towards it secretly. So perhaps these comments did help him in the long run. As deep down people agree and I’m confident that there’s a few people out there who believe in his comments more than he does himself. However I still struggle to believe that he did get SO MANY votes for these reasons. There has always been racism going on in the UK, and I genuinely don’t know whether it’s actually got worse recently as I haven’t been around for long enough. But I just cant believe this has been the main reason.

Okay so another reason is obviously…. you wait for it…..yup here it is. Brexit (inserts laughing emoji which I can’t actually do because I am typing from a laptop). So I do think genuinely that an aweful lot of people who wanted to leave the EU would have been put off from voting from the labour party, even though the labour party is pretty split on Brexit. And infact many traditional supporters of Labour are pro remain, but many are pro leave. However Corbyn decided to take a “neutral stance” on Brexit when it finally came to it. So part of the results could be down to people, especially from up north, wanting to leave the EU and despite their previous support for Labour, they just didn’t believe that they would be able to take us out of the EU. This especially goes for the north east and some of the midlands, where the “leave vote” tended to dominate, however traditionally in lots of these areas people voted labour rather than conservative. However if you compare a map of the UK, showing the election results in 2017 compared to 2019, you will find that the clumps of red have shrunk in these areas, as some of the labour MPs have lost their seats in constituencies in these areas. Now this implies that people are literally voting to “get Brexit done”. This can also can be seen as the “Brexit party”, despite not getting many seats, they still got an impressive number of votes. Now this pretty much suggests that people living in these areas are fed up of their situation, seeing that back in the 80s many mines were closed in these areas, and very little industry up there has seemed to replace that. Now I personally don’t know how Brexit could make that situation any better or worse, being brutally honest I don’t understand the economic effects of Brexit, and in a matter of fact does anyone truly understand what is actually going to happen? Probably not. But I can understand how people crave change, and feel that staying in the EU will not achieve this, even though the same “tired old” party might.

Now I think the final possible reason that the tories did so well, is that people aren’t liking the Labour party. For many reasons… First some may be aware of past connections the leader has had/has with some terrorism organisations. and I think people are genuinely concerned about what he could have done if he had become prime minister. And to be fair, people have a good reason to be anxious. And the second issue is with the suspected antisemitism going on within his party. I think it is fair to say it has become a genuine issue by looking at the number of MPs who have shown concern including Luciana Berger stating that she had become ashamed of the party that she joined as a teenager and the 9 MPs who quit the party back in February. Where many sited Corbyns handling of antisemitism the reason for why they left. Now I know there’s not exactly millions and millions of Jews living here in the UK, but I think any Jewish person has the right to be extremely worried, like wise your average nice person who opposes all types of discrimination. So that could be part of the reason. If you are genuinely want everybody to be more equal, then surly you would strongly oppose any types of racism. So it is also quite possible that people who would have ppreviously voted labour, just couldn’t bring themselves to vote in this election. This is sort of proven by a slight drop in turnout compared to 2017, with just 67.3% which is about 1.5% less than previously. In fact, my Gran, having told me she’s been voting labour consistently all her life, didn’t vote in this general election.. Even though many times she was offered a postal vote to be arranged for her. And she says the Labour party now, isn’t the same party she knew it as, therefore she just couldn’t bring herself to vote labour. Or tory. However it is very likely other people who have been voting labour for a great deal of their lives have switched now to conservative, for this reason. Meanwhile a vote for any other party with this system, would easily be regarded as wasted.

So the final issue about Labour, is the rather ambitious, but controversial manifesto. So I personally strongly approve of it on a moral basis however it doesn’t mean that I believe it would work practically. Okay, so providing everyone with free broadband, spending immense amounts of money on the NHS and of course enabling people to have “4 day weeks” when currently it’s a 5 day week but we all know that realistically many people are working 6 or 7 days just to make a living! So it’s perfect morally, people have more time for themselves, the NHS won’t be fucked and lets face it, in the 21st century broadband is a necessesity. However the typical question asked by people who like to take the piss out of Labour is: “where will they get all the money from?”. And it is a very good question. Raising taxes for the “rich” and big businesses alike sounds like the obvious answer to me, however if the taxes are raised too much then these people will get pissed off and would be quite likely to leave the country. Which I believe is very sad. It just shows how humanity as a whole is greedy and selfish, or at least has these tendencies. It is extremely sad, but it is the world we are living in. So other ways of raising revenue is to get people to avoid tax dodging, which a huge number of large businesses do. Which I think this policy would be an excellent way of raising revenue and would definitely be worth a try. But even then, you don’t know how likely it would be for people to leave. So this kind of explains why people like myself don’t believe it would work.. I also believe that he (Corbyn) did admit that he wouldn’t JUST raise tax for the rich, but he would do so for other groups of people too. Quite possibly because he knew that. Therefore I think that people are worried that they won’t get their fair share of extra expenditure. Annd economically it won’t be affective as it will leave more people with less disposable income. So there’s less of the spend spend thing. So basically people don’t want communism. So that was a bit of a rant but I hope it explains why I don’t think that Labour are becoming mor unpopular. Because people aren’t liking their policies, as they either believe they’ll be ineffective, or unfair on themselves. Which I suppose there’s an element of selfishness to it, but also a huge element of fear.

So I am going to leave it at that. It was a bitt of a long rant, and I am very aware that I don’t have lots of knowledge on this and some of what I’m saying may be inaccurate. But it’s basically just my views on this…

Christmas sucks!

Hellooo, I’m the most disorganised, disorientated person out there so I have come onto here, without much of an idea on what to write.

previously I was wanting to rant about how Halloween is actually alright and about how trick or treaters aren’t all planning to frighten all the old ladies in their village.. However I left it a bit late didn’t I. Haha.

So instead I will rant about how I personally think Christmas is the most overrated time of the year and about how we always prep for it far too early.

So first things first, If you are reading this between now and December the first and you have a little sense, you are probably thinking why the hell is she ALREADY posting about Christmas. And yes you are spot on! It is far too early, and I need to get a bloody life.

But in actual fact there are two very good reasons why I am choosing to post about this.

Firstly because I know that if I don’t do it now, I will be sat here like a muppet in February thinking “oh shit, I wanted to post a rant about Christmas, but its a little late for that now”. And secondly, lets face it. Already lots of people are talking about Christmas, getting unnecessarily hyped up for it. And if I just walk down the street, I am going to be bombarded with gimmicy lights dazzling in my face. Not to mention the fact that pretty much all mainstream shops have been selling Christmas stuff ever since Halloween ended, which I can understand why they do that. And the fact they’ve already tarted up Bournemouth gardens, with a load of fake lit up Christmas trees (I can certainly understand why they have done that:/ ). It looks quite nice to be honest, but come December the 25th, does anyone actually feel christmasy?

So this is why I feel Christmas is overrated.

1. It’s a money making excersise

So like I said a minute ago, shops need to make money. And when does a better opportunity arise than Christmas? But I think some people, especially children these days are more excited about that than anything else. When I was younger, I remember getting all over excited gazing through shop windows at all this crappy technology, thinking how much better my life would be if I had some of this stuff. Then come Christmas day, sod the family and the dinner, all I was interested in were the presents! And i’m sure other kids are the same, in fact they’re probably worse now. Whereas in previous generations even middle class kids would only get like… an orange. Now sadly even though I am older and i recognise this is shit, I haven’t changed. Despite the fact now i’m not greeted with a sack full of presents on Christmas day ( too old for that, being almost 17 ugh), if i look in a shop window and see like a pretty dress which I may look half acceptable in automatically I am drawn to it. As well as if I see makeup, stationary, chocolate or even the kitchen sink. There’s no doubt about it, I’m a materialistic person and I love money. But least I recognise there’s more than that to life. but that’s what its encouraging nowadays , materialism…

2. More importantly unfairness and inequality

So One thing that I can’t really imagine as fortunately I have never bee through it, is being in the situation where you literally cannot afford to celebrate at all. No turkey (ha fine with me i’m veggie anyways), no cute lil gifts, no Christmas pudding. But no food, no warmth possibly, no where nice to sleep. It is tragic. And I don’t know but for people in these situations, the thought of everyone celebrating may lead them to feel worse about themselves and their own lives. I know that lots of people do help these people at these times of years though, which is very positive. But what is questionable is tthat, should we all be making more of a considerable effort to help these people in need, before indulging ourselves. Myself included…

3. Broken families

So everyone’s situation is different, but there’s nothing more frustrating for a young child than having to worry about what is going to happen with their family over Christmas time. The fuss made over Christmas likewise is especially unhelpful, and maybe slightly leess fuss over Christmas would be nice to make things run more smoothly. as whatever happens matters less. So less stress on the poor kid. Problem sorted! Well sort of not really. But it may help. Also lots of people may not have families to go to, or may have to pretend to like everyone that they have to see, whereas in reality by the end of the day they want to kick everyone out of the room, and just stay in with the cat! Yeah it sucks.

So now hopefully you can see why I personally see a lot of reasons why Christmas may not be as good as its often hyped up to be. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s positives which come out of some of these too. Christmas doesn’t have to be all bad. No, its all chocolate and sparkles or whatever.

In fact I think I will try to produce a list of positive aspects about Christmas. But that will HAVE to be after December the first!

Why I think all 16-18 year old collage/sixth form students as well as apprentices should be provided with a basic understanding of politics

Hi, so I originally wrote this to send to the BBC’s “young reporters competition”. Now if technology lets me, I still will do. At the very last minute I expect, as that’s what tends to happen, when I face anything technological. Anyway here it is…….

Do you find it shocking that a survey, carried out by the ONS in 2014, found that 42.5% of 16-24 year olds stated that they had no interest in politics? Compared to just 21% for over 65s. You might well be thinking this is because we are just choosing not to take interest. However I would strongly disagree. Considering that there’s been a general trend over many years, showing a smaller proportion of the younger generation have voted in events such as general elections compared to the older generations, there must be a reason why. Now I feel the lack of factual, unbias information readily available to us plays a huge role in this; leaving us afloat to slowly gain a reasonable understanding over many years.  Therefore I feel that any 16-18 year old student or apprentice should be provided with a curriculum which gives us a basic understanding of the political system as well as an insight into our ever changing political climate. This wouldn’t be an examined subject, but instead a few hours per school year.

To begin with, it goes without saying that if we were educated, we would be transferring a much more informed and educated response onto our ballet papers. Which would also correspond with our personal views a lot more. As well, people who would otherwise choose not to vote, would be much more likely to show up and would likewise give an educated response.  Therefore this would not only raise our political awareness, but it would reduce the gap between the proportion of younger and older voters.  Now concerningly this gap may have influenced results in previous general elections and referendums, which would have been unfair to our own as well as previous younger generations. Most recently however, take the B word “Brexit”.  A much larger percentage of the younger voters chose to stay in, in comparison to older voters who voted the same way. Nonetheless there was a much lower turnout of younger voters. Now is it really fair to us that results of this and potentially future referendums will be influenced this way?  Really the only way forward is to educate us so that we are more aware of the potential consequences or benefits of decisions that we have been given the right to make. Thinking in about in the distant future, all electrodes would have been taught basic political knowledge.  Just consider where this may take our country in the future.

Furthermore our generation are being bombarded with bias, inaccurate and even false information. And the amount of this we face is only going to get higher.  The average person now aged 16-24 spends shocking 34.3 hours on the internet a week. This way we are inevitably going to come across a huge number of online articles and videos which could therefore potentially influence our views in a superficial way.  As well we are much more subject to views held by certain “celebrities”. Just by aimlessly scrolling through our twitter feed we are becoming more and more informed on the views of people like Russel Brand.  Instead of alternatively gaining an understanding of the topics he may hold these views on. Moreover what I’m most concerned with is the rise of “fake news”. Due to the rise of the internet, it has become easier and easier to publish false information, which many people would just assume was true. Unlike in a mainstream tangible newspaper: where if anything false about a person was published, they could be sued, the internet is much harder to control. Therefore a lot of false articles go unnoticed, nevertheless make us believe these stories which may lead us onto developing bias views towards certain topics or groups of people.  Now on the country, you may argue that a teacher would be more likely to preach their personal views to the class, rather than teach us from a neutral perspective. However as an A level politics student, I found that both my teachers are excellent at delivering the subject to us in an informative and neutral manner.  I’m also aware that in a classroom environment it would be likely for there to be a range of views held by some people. Nevertheless being exposed to this wide range, we will have the opportunity to consider these different perspectives and finally develop more balanced educated opinions.

Finally just consider how relevant politics is to us today! What with our forever changing political climate that our country and the world is in, as well as the smaller things which may not be covered on the news as much. These will effect everyone on a day to day basis.  For instance just think of how much things could change for Great Britain and Europe if we end up leaving the EU.  Surly as a citizen of any country, it’s essential to have some basic knowledge on how their country is as a nation and how this may be changing! We also need to know what decisions the parties that we choose to vote for would be making on our behalf.  Whether this is to cut tuition fees to give students from normal working families a better chance of going to university, to increase pensions so that elderly people experience  a more comfortable retirement in which they deserve or a higher amount of spending on mental health services.  It is only fair that we know how the decisions we make may affect us, our parents and our grandparents.  However it’s not only economic decisions that are effected by politics.  Politics dominates issues that our planet as whole if facing; from issues including feminism, the threat of terrorism and of course the climate change crisis!  Now a huge number of people, if not everyone is affected by these issues and there are in fact many young people out there who do take a very strong interest! Just look at the accomplishments of people like 16 year old Greta Thunberg who has inspired over 6 million people, mainly school and collage students, to partake in peaceful climate change protests in order to raise awareness. Perhaps as we are the generation to currently be effected the most. Now heavily implies that we are only more than eager to get involved in global issues.  Therefore if we were all educated then we would all be wanting to get involved in other political areas as well. 

To conclude: I hope that from this you can see why I think that a basic education for older students should be essential.  Votes would be more informed, so results in the future would reflect our opinions more. It would also lead to a significant increase in voter turnout of the youngest age group meaning a closed gap between the proportion of younger and older voters, as well as a significant rise in votes, enabling our democratic system to flourish.  Finally we can’t forget how important politics really is to everyone and how it effects us even if we don’t necessarily realise. Therefore you should be able to see why providing us with political education for just a couple hours a year, would certainly not be a waste of our time or our country’s resources. 

Wow, I feel like I have just written some persuasive writing essay for GCSE English, or some low standard A level essay for god knows what subject here. Anyway, its not exactly top notch standard, but I do genuinely hope you can see why I think everyone should be taught politics.

Seriously though. Half the people who do end up voting at elections, probably have no real idea or understanding themselves, having just been fed on if any, then bias information. Seriously though, it wouldn’t kill.

I have also noticed this and my last entry have been extremely school related. SO SO sorry. I promise that my next entry won’t be. Hopefully it will be a little more exciting haha.

GCSEs: The experience with the new system from an average(ish) teen

Edit: So I’ve been trying to post this and edit this for AGES, and it’s now the 20th of October and I’m just coming to post this (hopefully). And this is due to wordpress being horrifically slow on my laptop. So I’ve edited some of this just now. Anyway, please try to enjoy my rant about GCSEs.

Well it is that time of year again; September. Back to school, work, collage, or even university.

And it is also that time of year where some of us will have had those exam results back rather recently. You would have dealt with the dielemna of whether you have done “well enough” to move forward to where you want to go next with life, foreshadowing the actual opening of the envelope.

So ok; by now we all know. We are either very pleased that our results have enabled us to take the next step forward towards our dream career, or that we would be in the middle of finding a path around it. A plan B or a different road towards plan A. Honestly when there’s a will there’s a way. Theres no reason to stress. Rant over with!

Anyway this isn’t the point. My point is that, at least within my school environment, there are so many people who are no longer satisified with sufficient grades. Instead we are becoming increasingly obsessed with being the best. Having a set of numbers which are as high as possible. They look pretty on the page, define how good you are, and supposing they show how good you will be at a subject in a few years time. As if the stress of A levels and the outcome of them, as well as anything extra curricular doesn’t show enough. Hence the 9. The new A**. Supposingly they enable the “strongest candidates” to stand out more to the top universities. However are they really necessary?

Firstly I strongly feel that what is more important is what you are like as a person and how driven you are. So I understand that grades do show this up to an extent. Very high grades indicate the person has put in a lot of time and effort into their studies. And also hopefully an exceptionally high grade in a particular subject would imply that this person may have a strong passion for it. But is a 9 really necessary? It has become known to me that often people who achieve the top grades at GCSE level don’t necessarily do as well at A level stage, whereas those who don’t get such impressive grades at GCSE go on to do exceptionally well at A level. Thinking about that this way, leaves me unable to see any logical reason why the GCSE grading system needed tto be amended.

Furthermore people panick in exams. We mess up and make mistakes which we wouldn’t make under less stress and more time. And some people panick more than others.

So fair enough. If you went to a decent school i’m sure you’ve seen the specification for each individual question enough times. Therefore I imagaine that there would be people who could glance at that then majestically know exactly what to write. In any subject, not just English. Meanwhile other people would take one look, and probably be more confuzzled than before. As for some of us, its not exactly clear what the examiner wants, regardless of how many times we have seen the specification. So theres a skill, not directly related to any subject. Spotting exactly what an examiner wants. UGH! So usually anyone who is good at a subject is likely to get a higher mark. Nevertheless those people who are somehow able to organise themselves in a way that they can write the exact words the examiner wants to read, and happen to be good at that subject will stand a much higher chance of achieving that top 9 than somebody who is good at the subject but doesn’t have that strange skill. In addition, it is unfair to somebody who hasn’t seen this specification. They may not know it is accessible. They may not care that much. But they are still at a disadvantage. And I think that the more grades that are available, thee more important it is to know what the examiner wants if you want to achieve that top, in my opinion unnecessary, grade. So that advantage of being shown this specification, as well as having the ability to see through it and write to the examiners preference ((which may vary in any case) puts certain people at a great advantage. And the ability to do this, is not the same as having a great ability in a certain subject. UGHH!

Furthermore higher grades available leads to: higher stress, higher expectations and lower self esteem.. Now I went to a school where i knew a lot of people who were expecting 9s. Lots of bloody 9s. If they got an 8 instead,, they would feel awful about it and themselves. Now i think they worked extremely hard to achieve these top marks but i know for a fact there were people who accomplished that. Unfortunately some people are perfectionists, so anything that’s not top isn’t good enough. Nonetheless I asked someone in this boat, and they agreed that having these top grades available was actually unnecessary. Even though they achieved top grades themselves. Therefore I think that really, the availability of 8s and 9s doesn’t put these types of people at much of an advantage. Instead it means they are under more pressure and more stress, which could potentially put their mental health at risk. And I have seen this myself…

I personally reckon part of this is to make certain schools stand out against the so called “mainstream” ones. Enabling private schools to boast about their grades, so they stand out. Now that isn’t putting their pupils under any advantages, its putting them at considerable stress in my opinion. Giving them ridiculous expectations to live up to. Whilst it potentially puts the rest of us at another disadvantage. In fact I stumbled across an article which implied some private school was thinking they should introduce a “10” as so many students of theirs were getting 9s. All I can say is WTF!

Now what about the rest of us? People who don’t get 9s and who don’t really want them? If this system only effects such a small number of people in reality, then why is it such a bad thing. Surly everyone else is just under the same level of stress as previously, whilst the “most able” students can reach out for those top grades. A complete dream for most of us. Well from my experience this is not the case. At this point in time, I would happily stand on the top of a building and shout “I DIDN’T GET ANY 9s” because well, I didn’t. And it no longer matters to me. But there were times when I felt terrible, absolutely useless. Whilst the teachers would be teaching the “brightest kids” the grade 9 standard stuff, I would still be at there, looking completely dazed at something more my sort of level, afraid to ask the teacher for help at times as I thought it was assumed by everyone that I would have understood the more “basic” stuff already. And its true, loads of people would be aiming for this highest standard, getting the highest grades. And I mean good for them. Meanwhile I would say complete rubbish about my self such as “I’m going to fail everything”. Or “I’m rubbish at this subject, I’m rubbish at everything. Why am I even trying” Or just calling myself a “shit show”. Complete nonsense. But I’m sure there’s many other hardworking teenagers out there, eager to pass. Or get a high pass or whatever. But feeling they’re just not good enough. Since when was a 5, a high c/low B perceived as a “rubbish grade”. When it is a strong pass. Meanwhile it seemed like everyday I would hear people moaning they “only” got a 6. A B. Or even dissing themselves for getting 7s. Once upon a time a 7 was an A (well it still is lol). But now there’s two grades above it? GCSE exam questions are undoubtedly becoming harder and harder, hence why I literally couldn’t cope with nearly half of my maths paper, but I got a grade that I am pleased with. And don’t even get me started on science! grrrrr

So, my rant on education is over with. Until next time haha! The point is the new GCSE system is too much stress for everybody, is now apparently making marking more inaccurate hence why so many people have had their papers remarked, and also it doesn’t really mean anything.

Views on pride and LGBT+ rights

Hii, so I haven’t been on here for a LONG time; so much for saying that I would update this every week from some time in January?

Well unfortunately that was mainly because I was so caught up with GCSEs (sigh), which looking back on them now, I feel that they were almost consuming me. But I will get onto that in another entry.

Anyway, I thought that for this entry, I would express some of my views on pride, since my local one just happened this previous weekend.

So first of all, i am supportive of LGBT+ rights. Ok, I just thought i would clear that.

But i shall start on pride. I sadly didn’t actually attend this year but I went last year. So last year (and I’m pretty sure it was the same this year), there was meant to be entertainment from Friday onto Sunday. So on the Friday night it was basically the evening entertainment and live music that under 18 were allowed to attend ass well as everyone else. And it was alright… Then on the Saturday it was the standard parade, followed by everyone just hanging out afterwards. Now crazily enough i got to be in the parade, only because I was (and still am….) a member of a LGBT+ youth group. Now at the time I really really enjoyed it because it was the first pride I had been to. The colours were beautiful: there was plenty of multicolour balloons, face paint and glitter. Not to mention the flags which were pretty much in every pub, or bar window. What more could you want? Well, if it was just down to the atmosphere at pride, i would have certainly come again. But my personal experience wasn’t the best, not going to lie.

So nothing actually happened, but I just felt like an outsider there, as i was surrounded by all these people from this group, but none of my actual friends were in it.. Plus none of my other so called friends at the time invited me to go. I mean fair enough 😥

Hence why i didn’t choose to go this year. However if that is still the case in two years on from now, when im old enough to go during the Saturday evening, ill just turn up anyway. Who cares lol.

So another thing that everyone went through was the anti gay protesters there. So I didn’t hear anything about them this year; perhaps they didn’t go or just that no one noticed them. However they were basically holding up bible quotes, which imply that us gays don’t have rights. So they were just stood, hanging around. so I guess they had every right to be there… But why cant people just accept others for who they are. Plus I wouldn’t be at all surprised if half of them were secretly gay, aha. In my opinion, if they were true Christians they would be 100 percent accepting; as aren’t they supposed to love everyone. Also why interfere, we weren’t doing any harm to anyone, and many people have been through so much having to worry about whether they’ll be accepted by others (and often that isn’t the case) and having to have been working on accepting them selves, which will probably be life long challenge. So please just let us enjoy the few days we get a year to celebrate how far our rights have come, without bombarding us with pointless opposition. We are harmless beings!

So I am aware arguably that having a whole “pride month” in June is a bit over the top, whilst the veterans in the USA only get one day. And like here in the UK, it is just remembrance day. But with pride month, there is historical relevance to it, which can be googled! But sometimes one day is more powerful than a whole month. Like each year with remembrance, there’s a whole tv show which lasts a number of hours, as well as a two minute silence. And I believe this is extremely important, and needs to go on for ever. Meanwhile, I have never heard about pride month being mentioned on the tv. Therefore one day is more significant, as its peoples only opportunity to commemorate it, whilst when its a month, no one really pays attention as a month lasts between 28 and 31 days. Usually nearer the latter. So i think and hope that most people (discluding the extremely ignorant)always aknowledge the 11th, whilst pride month itself is a time for people to reflect, maybe more in their own times. Whilst the festivle pride is detached from that, as its more of a festival/celebration which anyone can enjoy.

So I appreciate i probably sound like some typical 14 year old ranting on (i’m 16 lol). If there’s any questions anyone wants to ask or if anyone has their own experiences they would like to share then please do so.

Thankyou, V x

Hey, so I have decided I am going to give a better idea on what I’m likely to be putting on here and when, rather than spontaneously uploading random content with no particular timing routine or structure.

Therefore I have decided that every other Monday I shall upload a post to do with mental and emotional health. I think that we all have our own experiences with mental health, whether living with a diagnosed condition or not. I feel like a lot of us still feel isolated, despite there being so many of us going through similar experiences. However we are still feeling the need to suppress our feelings.

Furthermore I believe around my sort of age, we tend to feel most vulnerable so it is important we share our feelings more frequently, to hopefully help everybody.

So the other thing I wanted to do was to do a “rant of the week”; on alternate Mondays to when I post about mental health. This is basically because I enjoy a good moan, and I feel there are plenty of topics to choose from.

So I will also upload other varying content including and life updates or topics (personal), or travel experiences. Hopefully I will be going to Wales after GCSE’s and I’m also doing NCS. I hope to blog about them both…

Wish me luck.
Anybody reading this, take care

Victoria x

Introduction Post

Right so hi.

I’ve decided to do this short post just to introduce my self to anybody who could possibly be reading this just so you know a little more about myself and the “purpose?” of this blog?

Also to motivate me to actually post on this now considering that by the time I’ve finished writing this I shall have a post on here.

So lets (finally) get to the point. So I 16 years old, living in the UK and I am currently taking my GCSE’s (deep sigh). As well as writing I am into music and play two instruments (at a rather low ability) as well as sing. In fact I even attempt to write some of my own stuff which I will occasionally upload onto my youtube channel (“Vicky Rose”; check me out!). Furthermore I am into Kate Nash, Marina and smaller bands like Colour me Wednesday. There are other groups and artists I listen to as well. I love going to concerts and wish that I was able to go more often.

So I suppose the main reason I am starting this blog is because I’m considering going into Journalism as a career path. Like I’m not certain but it sounds interesting and there is lots of variety with what you can do. Therefore this blog will basically enable me to practise producing content which makes sense.

Here I will probably post a variety of content; from opinionated rants, strange stories and possibly music reviews. As well if I have been anywhere nice I shall write up about that too.

Now realistically i’m not expecting this blog to become big or anything, but if I somehow manage to get a few people to read this then it would be nice to get a few comments going, and possibly discussions about something if I have written about an issue.

So I already have a fan account on Instagram and I am thinking about getting a photography account. For the time being I think I will stick to opinion polls for what I write about. My aim will be to post about every week or so.

So thankyou for reading! Don’t want to bore you too much so that shall be it for now.

Victoria 🙂

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