Not A Typical Teenager: January 2017

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Committing To A Career

I have no idea what I want to do with my life.

That is a lie. I know what I want to do with my life; it's just that there are about 7 things on my list and I have to narrow it down to one. This is so difficult, because there are so many things I enjoy doing in my spare time.

I am currently doing a lot of different projects projects, (running a blog and all of the things that go with that; sort of playing with a band; I volunteer in different places; etc.), and I like to think I am doing them all well, but I am not yet ready to put all of my eggs in one basket. In my spare time, I am so artistic and I do so much artsy stuff, and I am applying to so many different things its hard to keep track of what I'm still waiting to hear from. Plus lots of these are engineering positions because of my a level choices.

Me pretending to be able to play ukulele while modelling for a
project you will see very soon
I have thought recently about trying modelling (thanks to America's Next Top Model), because it looks exciting and it is something I would love to try, and I've thought about pursuing journalism, and looking into writing for a living, but sometimes it can feel like I am deciding too late or that I'm not dedicated enough to any one thing. Do I need to focus solely on one project? Well, when I do, the general consensus seems to be that I am putting all of my eggs into one basket. Yet, when I am doing lots of different projects, I am told that I am spreading myself to thinly and that I should focus on one thing.

It is true that to do something well you have to dedicate a lot of time to it, and I am willing to put in the time to any project I start. It does make me wonder if I'll ever find something that I can commit to solely. It is also true that school puts a lot of pressure on academia and sciences. I have been told that academic subjects have better job prospects, and so that encourages me to go for more academic positions, because the sound of living on popt noodle after studying something and then not being able to find a job in said subject doesn't appeal to me. Teachers don't see blogging a a real job, nor art, nor modelling, and so how can I even contemplate the idea of pursuing something that isn't academic.

I have already mentioned that I am trying to pursue some arty things, like blogging and possibly even lookimg into the modelling industry. I just feel like there is so much I haven't even tried, and so how am I supposed to make a decision about what I want to do when I haven't even tried everything yet?

Many people my age are in the same boat as me and probably lots of people who are older who have started their careers. Lots of people still don't know what they want to do, but I'll be darned if I go into something without having tried as many other opportunities as humanly possible before I commit.

What do you think? Are you in the same position? Does the idea of having to pick a career terrify you without the knowledge of lots of other careers? Let me know your opinions in the comments, and thank you for reading.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Audiopi: The Ultimate Study Tip

I am always looking for ways to improve my study methods. I'm lazy, and so I want the easiest ways to revise, but also the most effective. I don't want to give up my social life but I also want to get the best grades I possibly can. I've tried lots of different method and there are some I like more than others. For example, flash cards I find great because they are portable and you can stick them around your room so your constantly looking.

I came across an opportunity to review a website and when I found out what this website did, I knew that I would be a great fit. This website is designed for students studying either a level or GCSE and it has designed podcasts for different subjects. You an pay £5 a month for every single tutorial across the site, or, you can pay a one time fee £14.99 for 1 whole module (for example, you could pay £14.99 for the whole Early Tudors for History A Level. There are so far only 5 subjects on there: English Language; English Literature; History; Biology and Physics. They are tailor made for different exam boards as well. From AQA to Edexcel, they are made from a variety of lecturers and examiners from the different exam boards.

I only listened the the physics modules, because I have a lot more knowledge about what is on a physics paper (and I understand a MOST of what I did for the first paper now). I tried making my own recordings of me speaking the notes, but that didn't help me, so it was quite interesting for me to try podcasts made by other people.

These podcasts are great. I really like the way they are laid out and the way that they talk about common mistakes made in exams. The physics ones were about 10 minutes each (roughly), and they are really great for on the go. I can listen to podcast while walking up to town to meet up with my friends, or on the bus to or from school. It just helps me solidify my understanding.

Issues with this are basically the limit to subjects and the fact that it is still a start up. I would love to see some Geography tutorials or some PE theory tutorials. I hope that this audiopi does decide to bring some of these to the site. I also think that we need more tutorials, as for Physics, at the moment, you can only access (for a level at least), tutorial for unit one for the CIE exam board. There are more to come for other exam boards and for more units for CIE, but I feel that for me, they'll come too late. I'm sitting the second year of my a levels and so by the time all of these tutorials go up, I think I'll have finished my exams.

Would I pay £5 a month for this? If I was a first year student at A level, then yes I would, because there are tutorials there that I would have benefited a lot from last year and so I think it would have been very good for me and my revision. This year, no I wouldn't pay the £5 a month yet because there aren't enough tutorials for me to use for A2, or my exam board. Although when they arrive I will most certainly be using them.

If you're interested, make sure to go to https://www.audiopi.co.uk and let me know how you get on in the comments. Also share some of your best study tips in the comments and I'll use them to pass my a levels.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Is Feminism Old News?

I have identified as a feminist since I first heard the word, because why wouldn't I want to advocate for equality of the sexes? Why wouldn't anyone want to advocate for equality of the sexes? It was really strange for me hearing people say that they weren't feminists, but then saying they were for gender equality. I thought that it was just that they didn't know what the word feminist meant, and so I would explain it to them time and time again, just to make sure that they knew what it meant, and yet they would still tell me that they weren't feminists.

This wasn't just coming from boys, but from girls too, and so I started asking why. Why aren't you a feminist if you support gender equality? They all responded with a similar sort of answer which always followed the lines of "I don't like the way some feminists promote it. It sounds like female supremacy" or "feminism only fights for womens causes".

I disagreed with this time and time again. This wasn't true. Yes, there are some people who identify as feminists but who can come across as female supremacists, but that's not their intention. The word feminist has been given a bad label, and there isn't really anything we can do about it.

I have been a perpetrator of this myself. When me and my friends in school were talking about issues we face as women, one of my male friends chipped in on the conversation and I knocked him down, telling him that we were talking about our issues. When this was later brought up with me by my male friend, I was pretty upset. I hated to think that I had shut down a mans problem just because we were talking about female issues, and if it can be done that easily without thought, then there is no wonder that it happens over and over.

With all of this in mind, I recently stumbled across a video on facebook (link here). This video is a response to a buzzfeed video titled "36 questions feminists have for men", and it opened my eyes to so many things I hadn't really noticed before, like how damaging the depiction of men is in modern rom coms. I also wasn't aware that the gender pay gap was an average of the hourly pay every man and every women in the US gets paid, not the pay for a man and woman for the same job.

Since seeing this video, I have taken a step back and really looked at how I view feminism. I am still for gender equality, but I think feminism is an old label, and maybe we need a new one that's more inclusive of all genders if we are going to conquer gender inequality.

Thank you for reading my blog post. I would love to hear your thought in the comments. Is the title feminist old? Do we need a new term? Do you think men are more negatively impacted by gender inequality that women? Let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Thousandth Floor - Katharine McGee - A Review

I saw this book in Waterstones recently and I knew that I had to read it. The back of the book really interested me. This wasn't because of the characters or anything, but more because it was set in the year 2118. I've always been interested in dystopian future themed novels, but this wasn't really dystopian. It was more realistic than your average dystopian book, and so I don't think it is classed as dystopia.

This book follows five characters about their life in New York city, where there is now a tower of a thousand floors. This tower has houses, schools, hospitals, parks etc. The tower isn't the only place people can live. You can leave the tower, and there are still people living outside the tower, but the tower is was a very desired place to live when it was first built.

There is a system in the tower. The higher up you live, the richer you are. People who live on the lower floors can sometimes work as maids or shop assistants in places in the upper floors, everyone attends school based on how much they are willing to pay etc.

I really enjoyed this book, and I was really happy to find out that there is going to be a sequel. For me, it was very much a teen drama book, but I liked the idea of it being set in a different time. The idea of this tower and that teens where only really friends with people who lived on the close floors because of the schooling system was a cool idea.

One of the main 5 characters is Avery Fuller, who lives on the thousandth floor. What I liked about Avery was that she was genetically engineered to be incredibly pretty, and this is interesting to me because the mothers of rich girls are usually portrayed as incredibly pretty and apologetic for not being around, but Avery's mother isn't either, and this was quite unusual.

I've heard a few people compare it to gossip girl (I've never watched it, so I don't know), but from my understanding gossip girl is a drama. I sort of agree with this as I felt that the book was a teen drama story, but I feel that that's how the book was meant to be and I liked the fact that it was set in the future.

if you'd like to buy this book, you can get it from amazon here. Let me know what you think if you'd like to read it and why in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx




Sunday, 1 January 2017

Can You Balance A Job And A Levels?

When I first started to apply for jobs, this wasn't something that really entered my mind. I just wanted some money and I knew a job was a good way to get me some of that. So when I eventually got a job and started working, I began asking myself this very question. Had I taken on too much? Was working going to affect my a levels? I was panicked to say the least.

When I started doing some research on this, my findings were interesting. I asked teachers and read sites for teachers who were all saying that students having jobs is bad because it impacts their grades, and that it can't be done. Many said a small part time job of up to 10 hours can be done but more than that and you see an impact.

I then looked at student forums and blogs, who were mainly saying the opposite. There were students who had come out of a levels with A*A*A and who were working 25 hours a week. It was nuts to see how different the views were.

I know that having a job as a Christmas temp certainly does not make me an expert but I have learnt a thing or two about this, and I'm going to share my opinions with you:

1) See how much time you need for studying
If you are going to do 10 hours a week of 'outside of lesson' studying, then you may have time for a job depending on other commitments. don't let your job change your study pattern for the worse.

2) Break it down
I sleep for 63 hours a week, I was working 20 hours a week (19.5 but I'm rounding for the maths),  was in school or travelling to or from school for 40 hours a week. That's 123 hours used out of 168. That leaves 45 hours for eating, studying and resting; which doesn't really sound so bad. (I've recently bought a planner for this which I will review soon).

3) Talk to your boss
If you have a job and they are giving you too many hours; tell them! If you didn't agree to work 30 hours a week at the start, then they can't be too surprised if you ask them to lower the hour count.

4) Put your studies first
School is more important. I know that money is nice to have and a lot of students at a level work because they need a little extra cash, but it's not worth it if it is going to impact how much you earn in the future. Aim for the grades you need to get you where you want to go next.

So those are just a few little things I have learned. Let me know of your own tips or concerns in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx