Not A Typical Teenager: October 2015

Friday, 30 October 2015

Gaining a friend

I did a post sometime last year about losing a friend (click here for this post), and this is sort of carrying on from that. Very loosely.

When I say it carries on, the person I am referring to in this post is the same girl I stopped talking to.

Over the last 6 months, we have gotten closer again. And now, even though we are in different schools/colleges, we are as close as ever, and this is a really good thing, because it means that I can still go to her with my issues.

Don't get me wrong, I do still have other friends that I can go to with my issues, but in my opinion, if I am telling you my issues, then it should go vice versa. This isn't because I feel the if I tell you something  then you should tell me something. However, if you feel then you can't tell me your issues, then you won't give mean honest opinion, and sometimes I need that more than I need a shoulder to cry on.

It's really nice that we are close again, because I missed her so so much. And, like I said, I do have other friends who I am just as close with. But there is something about talking to friends you've known for ages. Friends who you have that many memories with just cannot be replaced, and I'd say that I have 3 friends like that. 3 friends that I have known for that long. 3 classics.

I would say that if you have drifted from a friend and you miss them that much, the best thing you can do is talk to them. Pop up on facebook, send them a text, go and knock their front door and ask for them. It may be awkward at first, but you'll be thankful that you made the first move and that things are okay now.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Views of A Level After 7 Weeks

Okay, I did I post not so long ago about what I thought A Level was going to be like (you can view that here), and I said at the end of this post that I was going to do another post about A Levels after I had been in year 12 for a few weeks. I will probably do this as a series, so this probably won't be my last post on this topic, but I just want to let you know how I'm finding it so far and what you can expect if you go up into year 12 next year.

For those of you don't know, I took Further Maths, Physics and Computer Science. Further maths usually counts as 2 options, but I only took it in one so I'll end the 2 years with 2 A levels in maths but it only takes up one option

1) The workload does go up
I do get a lot more work to do in lessons now, but I also get a lot more homework now than I did last year, but I'm only doing 3 subjects this year instead of 11.

2) You'll get frees
As I took three subjects (and I have to do the compulsory welsh bacc - ugh!) I get 9 frees a week, which mean that I have time to do the homework for all of my subjects in school and have free time after school.

3) Teachers will be on your back
 I have had tests in each of my subjects after just 7 weeks. That's not really that long, and I've had a few tests, just so that teachers know where I am and where I need to improve.

4) For me, I don't think things are really that much more difficult
I'd say the subject that has had the biggest jump in difficulty has been maths. Things are moving incredibly quickly and some are finding the pace difficult to keep up with.

I think, for now, that's all I have to say, but hopefully I can bring you another post like this at Christmas. What do you expect from sixth form? How did you find sixth form? Do you agree with the points I've made? Let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 18 October 2015

When Being "Smart" Becomes Your Identity

Since I was young, I have always done well in school. I have always been a nerd. I have never been picked on because of it, and I have always had friends. I was never bullied, but among my friends/class, I was known as the "smart" one up until about year 9, when I found an entirely different group of friends who were all "smart" within their own groups. We formed the ultimate nerd squad.

I would say within my friend group, I'm probably still classed as "smart", but this can be a massive issue for me. When I was growing up, if I did worse than an A/A* on a test, I felt terrible because I knew that I could do better. I knew that I could have done more revision and got a better mark. The situation was not improved when people who had done better than me started asking me about how I had done. I found it difficult telling them how I had done to know that they were going to celebrate and sort of rub it in my face.

Another thing that's difficult is when you do really well and, with things like results day where everyone is getting results in a lot of different things, you start to ask other people how they did. Other people would do really well and I would congratulate them and would genuinely be really happy for them. Then they would ask me for my own results and I would tell them.

For anyone who doesn't know, in my GCSE's I had: 4 A*'s; 5 A's and 4 B's. I was incredibly proud of how I did. However, when I spoke to some people, they would say "Ahh right, but you're smart so you were always going to do well."

No. I really wasn't.

The exam I would say I worked the hardest for I would say was geography, in which I had a B. I did a lot less work for maths and got 2 A*'s. I worked just as hard as everyone else in most subjects. Granted, I could have done more, but I did a lot of extra curricular activities last year and I did need some time to chill and rest my head. I used my lessons in school productively and didn't really do much work at home because of this.

Generally, I think what I'm trying to say is that as someone who is seen as "smart", I put myself under an enormous amount of pressure to do well, and failure is something that I really struggle with because it's not something I'm very familiar with. Failure scares me. A lot. I guess it's just something I have to come to terms with, and something that is going to happen at some point in my life.

Do any of you have issues with this? I would love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments or get in touch with me via email . Please get in touch.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Stop Taking our Sixth Forms!

I am a 16 year student who has just moved schools to do her A level.
Had it been my choice, I would have stayed in my own school
But it wasn't my choice.
The choice was made for me when my local government decided to build a sixth form college.
Now, don't get me wrong, I really really love my new school.  It is a fantastic school with good A level pass and fantastic opportunities available to me. And I am really enjoying it here. But the thing is, I don't have any teachers that I know already. I had been in my old school for 5 years, and I knew all of my teachers very well. I knew that if I was having a crappy day, I could down down to my music teacher and sit in the back room for a bit until I calmed down. I knew where all of the teachers would be hiding when they had no lessons, and more than anything, I had teachers I could trust and talk to.
In my new school, I don't really know many of the teachers. I don't know anyone in the younger years. I can't really talk to any of them and I don't really trust any of them as much as my old teachers. Why? Because the trust I had with my old teachers was built up over the course of the 5 years that I was there.
The college cost 33 million pounds to build. 30. 3. Million. That's a heck of a lot of money. Where I live already had a college, but I think the idea was that it was renovated and turned into a sixth form college. Some of my friends have gone to the college in my area and are in a form class with people a lot older than themselves. One of the best things about being is sixth form is being the oldest students in the school, yet when you go to a college, you can be among the youngest. In school, you get lots of privileges compared to the younger years, in a college you may still get those privileges, but the may be taken for granted because everybody has them.
I do believe that for some people, a college is probably a better environment for them to learn in. And one of the best arguments for a sixth form college I think I've heard is that it's a transition period from school to university. An opportunity for people to learn like they will at uni, with the same amount of support as they would in uni (obviously they can have more help if they ask, but if you don't ask, you don't get anything extra), but you can still live at home and have the same amount of support off of your parents. You can still live under your parents roof and scrounge off of them for food.
So had I been given the choice, I would still be in my old school. They gave us an opportunity to express our opinion, and most people said no. The college was built regardless of our opinion, and now it's us that are paying the price.
What do you think? Would you rather a college environment or school for your a levels? Do you think all education post-16 should become tertiary? Let me know in the comments.
Stay Un-typical
Ashleigh xxx

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Are Stereotypes Important In Todays Society?

We all stereotype. Regardless of what you say, you stereotype. Pretty much everyone we meet we put into a catergory in our minds. We cannot help it and we all do it.

I was thinking about this the other day. Me and my friends do not fit in at all, and I have always said that I do not stereotype because I have been stereotyped and do not fit in because of it, but I hadn't really taken much notice of the fact that I had done exactly the same to the people who had isolated me. Disregarded me.

If I was to mention the 'IT' crowd, you immediately have an image in your head of who you picture within that crowd, and possibly feel like from that simple phrase, we know what they like to do and we feel that we know aa lot about them becasue of the catergory we have placed them under.

We like to have a tidy mind and we automatically make assumptions about someone so that we can fit them into a tidy little place in our mind and move on.

Will we ever stop using stereotypes? No, probably not. not now, not ever. They play a huge role in most teen films about high school which means that we will probably never be fully rid of them. Not aslong as people continue watching mean girls.

Antoher issue is that stereotypes are kind of pushed upon us from a very young age. If you have ever watched a Disney or Nickelodeon, you'll know that stereotypes play a part in some of the stroylines. Even more so in recent years. We all know that Zack was a 'rebel' and that Cody was a 'nerd'.

Although I do think that these programmes do sort of help the issue. The characters are relatable and you can identify with them and the stereotype that they fit in to. I suppose people will have different opinions as to whether or not this is good or bad depending on whether or not there was a character who you could relate to.

What do you think? Do you think that stereotypes are necessary? Do you think we could ever get rid of them? Let me know in the commments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Mental Health and Self Harm

People with mental health issues often write posts to people who do not suffer with them, about understanding and things, and I get that you are trying to educate people and to help people understand.

There are people who do not suffer with mental health issues, and are trying to understand what you are going through, so please help them.

This has been the gist of so many of my posts to date, and I don't just want to reiterate this point again. So I thought I would take this post in a different direction.

This post is about not suffering with mental health issues and about my experience; one which I haven't shared in this much depth upon my blog before.

I have helped 2 people through mental health issues (or at least attempted to), and they have been 2 very different experiences. I am not going to name names or pin point anyone, but just discuss my experience.

The first person was someone who self harmed, and was a boy. He had self harmed for a few years before I started talking to them and continued to for a while after I started talking to them. I didn't really know much about mental health or self harming then (not that I really understand that much more now). But I tried my best to help him.

I was always at my phone texting this boy, and asking him if he was okay. If there was even the slightest thing wrong I told he could tell me and I think most of the time he did. There were times where we would talk and he would all of a sudden just go. Not text me back. And I didn't know what to think. Had he done something horrific? Had he taken this all too far this time? I would cry myself to sleep. I worried about him so much.

Things started to get better for him, and slowly he stopped self harming. He put the razors away and left it. Now it has been a year and 3 months since he stopped self harming, and I am so happy and proud of him.

The second person I have attempted to help has been a girl. God, do I love this girl so much. She is really amazing and I have known her for some time. I have had some quite in depth conversations with her about how she feels and I sometimes find myself wondering how she gets out of bed in the morning, but she does. I never know whether things are getting better or worse with her, because I think she likes to keep her feelings to herself about it all in fear of upsetting others.

I don't think this post will do much.

Because when you are helping someone who is in this position, how can ever feel bad? How can you ever justify any negative emotion you have when you know that there are other people in far worse positions and in a far worse mental state.

I kept so much from this boy when I was helping him because:

  • I didn't want him to stop coming to me for help because I felt bad, because I really wanted to help him.
  • I felt like my sadness wasn't comparable to his sadness.
I never did self harm. My sadness was never that bad, but I just needed someone to cry to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that perhaps we need to tell the people we help how we feel so they can know that even the happiest people feel down sometimes; and even we need cheering up.

If you need anyone to talk to, my email is . If you need to talk to someone, please don't be afraid to get in touch with me.

Stay Un-Typical 

Ashleigh xxx

image via here