Join My Journey: Studying Fashion From Home (Part 2)

Join My Journey: Studying Fashion From Home (Part 2)

Welcome back to the ‘Join My Journey’ series in which I’m currently attempting to study the fashion industry from home as lockdown provides me with more free time. Join my journey!

A link to part one is here in case you missed it: https://ctrlaltesc.home.blog/2020/04/07/join-my-journey-studying-fashion-from-home-part-1/


I don’t want to set an unrealistic standards of productivity in this series because I think it is SO important that people spend their free time doing whatever makes them happy! If I’m completely honest, my motivation levels have decreased massively recently and I have spent many days moping around my house and spending lots of time on my phone. So, if you’re in a similar position and see people all around you posting about how productive they’ve been, remember that everyone has their down days, weeks or months. Productivity isn’t a competition and you should prioritise your mental health, especially at this crazy time in our lives.

With that said, my urge to learn more about the fashion industry remains strong! Despite my lazy days, I would love to share what else I’ve been doing to educate myself on the world of fashion!


Since the previous episode, I came to the conclusion that it would be beneficial to hone in on fashion journalism, analysing and studying my dream industry. So, for Step 6 of the series, I made many notes, summarising the advice I’d received from professionals in magazine writing, editing and publishing after visiting various websites and watching a plethora of YouTube videos. I also joined the Glam Observer online course for helpful resources revolving around fashion journalism.

So, what knowledge did I gain from this research?

  • There is no textbook route into fashion journalism. Many Vogue writers got their jobs by luck (obviously hard work too).
  • Internships and work experience are crucial! Most of them are not funded but the knowledge gained should be priceless and help in the future.
  • Digital journalism is growing in popularity and if you want to enter the fashion journalism world in the modern day, you need to acknowledge the role of social media and the internet as a whole.
  • Analytics are vital; Vogue House London has a screen in the offices that constantly refreshes statistics of each post. This information ensures you know what the audience enjoys the most.
  • It’s important to keep up to date with all elements of the fashion world, not just the most obvious ones or those that you have a personal interest in.
  • Robin Girhan is a fashion critic who “transformed fashion criticism into cultural criticism”, a perfect example of how you should see fashion as a deeper and meaningful societal expression you can comment on rather than just being aesthetically pleasing.

For more journalism education and experience (not solely fashion related), I studied using Coursera which was an amazing online learning platform!

For Step 7, I picked up two books I received last Christmas: ‘Vogue on Dolce and Gabbana’ and ‘Vogue on Calvin Klein’ which were so insightful and beautifully written, so much so that I finished them in two days. If anyone shares my interest in high fashion, you should consider reading these as they provide the backstory of some of the best global designers. This element of study intensified my appreciation for the leaders in the industry whilst also encouraging me to write more about fashion as the way in which the books were articulated and presented was stunning.

The next step was so exciting! I joined the ELLE Online Education programme (https://elle.education/masterclass-stayhome/) and watched some masterclass videos. What better platform than ELLE, the worldwide fashion and lifestyle magazine, is there to learn from? It was truly inspiring to hear from people who have thrived in their careers.

Step 9 involved two apps: Vogue Runway and Pinterest. Most fashion enthusiasts would be familiar with both of these but if you’re not, I thoroughly suggest you download them. Vogue Runway allows you to watch the majority of fashion shows for free! By having access to this, I was able to come to terms with my favourite designers and their best collections. Similarly, on Pinterest, I created a board of each designer and added my personal favourites. This means that I can clearly differentiate between brands and understand what makes them all unique. Currently, my top 5 designers are Jacquemus, Prada, Iris Van Herpen, Guo Pei and Maison Margiela.


As the weeks go on, my passion and enthusiasm escalate further. Consuming myself in everything fashion has ensured I am comfortable with the terminology and community.

Source: Pinterest

By sharing my journey in this series, I hope to encourage others to do what they love and work towards their goals, no matter how difficult or unrealistic they may seem.

Thank you for reading… Part 3 is coming soon. Stay safe!

Grace x

Reflecting On Mental Health Awareness Week

Reflecting On Mental Health Awareness Week

As Mental Health Awareness Week comes to an end, we can reflect on how society should come together every day of the year with strength and love to acknowledge how every mind matters .


Focusing on mental health is crucially important in 2020 as we deal with the stress of the coronavirus which has changed the world and millions of lives. Many people joined the movement and supported both strangers and loved ones to ensure everybody feels loved in the midst of the global devastation. Hopefully, as humanity realises the importance of community and togetherness, the attitude will continue forever.

The theme this year was ‘kindness’ which is something that should always be prevalent in society. People were provoked to be kinder to themselves and those around them.

What happened? Who got involved? How did they make an impact?


♡ Individuals shared their personal stories of giving and receiving kindness for the Mental Health Foundation. Read them here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/kindness-stories

♡ ITV initiated the ‘Britain Get Talking’ campaign in October 2019 yet the vital message continues to be shared. In time for Mental Health Awareness Week, they shared an advert encouraged the importance of checking up on your friends, even if it’s just a simple text. Read their article here: https://www.itv.com/news/channel/2020-05-18/mental-health-awareness-week-2020-let-s-get-talking-1/

♡ Mind, a well-known mental health charity introduced #SpeakYourMind to provoke open conversations so that nobody feels alone. People from all over the world shared tips and personal stories and this created a beautiful support network between strangers. Watch the Mind video here: https://youtu.be/UdT4vxxCfv8

♡ Spotify teamed up with CALM to promote podcasts and songs that will uplift listeners. From low fidelity beats to happy music, they covered everything! Browse the selection of playlists here: https://open.spotify.com/genre/kindnessmatters-playlist-pick

♡ Social media was crucial this year as people can’t physically see one another. However, there were thousands of virtual hugs shared as people posted their own experiences, advice and quotes on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Here are some of my favourite quotes that can provide comfort when your mind forces you to overthink:

Source: Pinterest

Thanks for reading today’s post! Hopefully you’re looking out for yourself as well as those around you. Remember: your mental health is just as important as your physical help so reach out for help if you feel it’s necessary.

Stay safe!

Grace x

Iconic Met Gala Looks That Epitomize The Meaning Of Fashion

Iconic Met Gala Looks That Epitomize The Meaning Of Fashion

The Met Gala is a parade of couture excellence held annually to raise funds for the Metropolitan museum of art and costume institute. As the world’s most spectacular fashion event gets cancelled for obvious reasons this year, today we’ll reminisce on the best Met moments. Innovative, inspiring, invigorating… these looks are what makes the Met Gala so ICONIC.

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Last years’ theme, Camp, successfully encapsulated what fashion is all about: relentless expressionism and creativity. With most guests following the theme perfectly, it’s so difficult to narrow the list down, however, Lady Gaga makes the task a little easier as her costume springs to mind immediately. The metamorphosis queen, Gaga, created a jaw dropping performance on the pink carpet, transforming from a huge fuchsia dress from Brandon Maxwell to gorgeous black lingerie. With 4 separate and juxtaposing looks, she certainly was a transformative icon who took Camp to a new level with outrageous yet immaculate decisions going into her outfit. The attention to detail in the look ensured it was theatrical, exciting and all importantly – CAMP. What more would you expect from the co-chair and fashion experimenter that is Gaga?

It wasn’t only women who pushed boundaries and raised eyebrows at the 2019 Met Gala, Ezra Miller is a wonderful example of a man who owned the pink carpet and the entire night. Miller left us with an hundreds of questions, which is certainly a good thing as it embodies the camp theme. This curiosity sparks from his unexplained blank mask as an accessory, contrasting with his EYE catching face, as well as the Burberry suit paired with a dazzling diamond corset and not forgetting to mention his 7 eyes, obviously. Makeup was a large element of his costume, with intricate painting on the face being revolutionary. Although men have been wearing makeup for many years, especially in the music and punk industry, it still hasn’t been normalised enough in society so his look was far from basic. As face art advances throughout the years, Ezra Miller made a lasting impression which will inspire artists both now and in the future. You truly don’t know where to look with his outfit and that’s what makes it so beautiful.


If we’re talking about iconic looks, 2017 is a great Met Gala year to reminisce on due to the theme of: Rei Kawakubo and Comme Des Garcons. This revolved around creativity, recreation and construction due to Kawakubo’s iconic aesthetic and legacy.

Cara Delivigne looked like she’d stepped off a spaceship straight onto the carpet in 2017 debuting her bald head and metalic Chanel suit. The breath-taking silver look screamed for attention which is what it truly deserved. Again, the attention to detail was sensational. Delivigne’s chest was sprinkled with glitter to add yet another dimension to the look, perfectly connecting to the theme. The costume complimented her stunning figure as well as exemplifying a modern approach to fashion.

In a delightful Dolce and Gabbana gown, Zendaya was another Met gala 2017 icon. The design of the dress was just exceptional, hugging her body and accentuating her beauty. Covered in tropical parrots and flowers, you could anticipate the gown looking OTT but this was proven wrong as Zendaya floated across the carpet.


Let’s time travel another 8 years earlier to when the theme was ‘The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion” in 2009. It is truly jaw dropping to analyse just how much creativity evolved in just a century from 2009 to 2019, with stars much more inclined to get out of their comfort zone and societal boundaries nowadays. With that being said, guests of the 2009 gala did not disappoint, with Rihanna as an honourable mention. Women in suits: classic and timeless. Rihanna took it a step further than a plain black suit by adding large shoulder pads that almost met her ears to add an unusual structure and reshape the look, perfect for the theme. Her edgy hair complimented her stunning face shape, this along with her chunky heels were representative of her popular personality and ability to make herself stand out.


Founded by Eleanor Lambert, the Met was established in 1948 and continues to be a highly anticipated event every year. The media becomes more involved in the ball as the years go by and it’s interesting to see how this affects the dynamics of the hugely anticipated event annually. This year, the media has the biggest role yet. The high fashion twitter community (hf twt) have invented the best solution to the fashion shaped hole in our lives at the moment… a virtual met gala! Join the fun and innovation from young enthusiasts on Monday 4th May.


Thank you for reading today’s post! There are so many looks I could have mentioned so I’m sure there will be lots more Met Gala related posts on my site in the future…

Like it if you liked it and follow to read more. Leave a comment below sharing your opinions or your favourite fashion moments.

Stay safe. Lots of love,

Grace x

You Are Enough, Stop Criticising Yourself (especially during these unforeseen times)

You Are Enough, Stop Criticising Yourself (especially during these unforeseen times)

Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Am I being overdramatic? Am I too calm? Am I being lazy? Everyone’s working out… should I be working out?

I’ve said it before, your mind can be a bully and overthinking can be a terrible result of it’s unkindness.

Working on yourself is healthy and helpful, HOWEVER, crossing the line and taking it too far can be harmful! During this unforeseen and hugely difficult global circumstance, the free-time many of us have may allow your overthinking tendencies to increase and those with mental health issues may be struggling.

Humans love to compare. It’s in our nature. This attribute of mankind has been evident during the extraordinary times in lockdown but here is a reminder to make healthiness (physical & mental) your priority.


Generally, everyone has unique approaches to how they spend their time. We all have different interests and lifestyles, working on things in our own personal schedules. Similarly now during this pandemic, everyone is approaching these times in their own ways… and that is valid!

Key workers are busy, sacrificing themselves to save lives. Most others are on lockdown (UK) and this dramatic lifestyle change means some people are exercising, some are quizzing, many are baking and lots are chilling. As long as you are following governmental guidelines, you’re already doing one thing right!

Obviously I can’t address the entire population but here are some short affirmations.

  • Don’t feel guilty for sleeping in. If your body tells you to rest, you should! This is potentially your first opportunity to relax for days straight without work/school/commitments stopping you.
  • On the other hand, there’s obviously nothing wrong with wanting to wake up early. Spend your days however you like!
  • You may feel helpless, like you should be doing more to help. Remember, by staying at home, you are helping. There are other ways you can help from home such as volunteering or donating to local hospitals, charities or businesses if you have the money.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself if your motivation has plumetted, it is entirely normal when your schedule and surroundings change.
  • Don’t criticise yourself if you’re not doing as much exercise as others you see on social media. Although staying healthy is great, it’t not a competition. Set your own goals rather than comparing your routine with others.

Things you could do when feeling negative about yourself:

  • Write a list of things you achieve each day, be it small or big tasks
  • Start up a self love scheme or journal
  • Call a friend or family member as a reminder that you are loved

Due to the sensitivity and complexity of today’s topic, I probably rambled in this post but hopefully I managed to convey the message to prioritise looking after yourself as well as one another.

Lots of love,

Grace x

Dreamy Summer Style 2020

Dreamy Summer Style 2020

Manifesting a Summer full of healthiness, happiness and beautiful fashion…

Today I’ll take you through major Summer trends, along with my favourite garments in my unrealistic wardrobe wish list. If it gives the same aura as an ethereal perfume advert, it’s going in my virtual basket.


PASTELS


Pastels: a timeless trend associated with the beauty of spring and summer, blossoming trees, lavender fields, Easter eggs. Add these soft colours into your wardrobe for an effortless Summer statement.

EMELIA WICKSTEAD JUDE GINGHAM CLOQUE MINI DRESS

This first piece combines 3 stunning trends- pastel, gingham and a sweetheart neckline to create a perfect Summer dress.

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/emilia-wickstead/jude-gingham-cloque-mini-dress/1235416

VICTORIA, VICTORIA BECKHAM MINT TWILL WIDE LEG PANTS

Pair these elegant trousers with a tight fitted top for a chilled daytime look or add the matching jacket for a sophisticated summer evening outfit.

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/victoria-victoria-beckham/victoria-twill-wide-leg-pants/1237140

FAITHFUL THE BRAND, LILAC LILLA CROPPED SHIRRED LINEN TOP

Oh how easy it is to fall in love with this top: the airy material, adorable bow detailing and puffy shoulders. A dream.

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/faithfull-the-brand/lilla-cropped-shirred-linen-top/1193936


SILK / SATIN


Luxorius yet lightweight, silk pieces are guaranteed to make you feel like royalty throughout summer.

NILI LOTAN GOLD ARIZONA TIE-DETAILED SILK BLOUSE

Despite it’s subtle colouring, this blouse is both graceful yet eye catching. Also, someone needs to send it to Harry Styles immediately.

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/nili-lotan/arizona-tie-detailed-gathered-silk-charmeuse-blouse/1190056

ALICE + OLIVIA BLUSH ATHENA SATIN MIDI SKIRT

This material + pink are a match made in heaven. Imagine an evening on the beach watching the sun set, this is the perfect skirt.

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/alice-olivia/athena-satin-midi-skirt/1206318


ANIMAL PRINT


Whether it’s simple leopard print lining or zebra-all-over, animal print makes any outfit look bold and captivating.

SALLY LAPOINT IVORY BELTED COTTON BLEND ZEBRA TROUSERS

Zebra trousers are so popular right now and the hype is certainly understandable. These playful trousers and eye-catching alone but you can buy the matching top and jacket for a dramatic evening look.

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/sally-lapointe/belted-cotton-blend-zebra-jacquard-straight-leg-pants/1232998

REDEMPTION ZEBRA PRINT ONE SHOULDER RUFFLED BLEND DRESS

Make a wild statement with this one shoulder dress, beautifully designed with dramatic ruching and a figure hugging fit.

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/redemption/one-shoulder-ruffled-zebra-print-cotton-blend-dress/1238901


BAGS


A bag is often the most crucial element of an outfit, with the potential to make or break the look.

JACQUEMUS WHITE LE CHIQUITO MINI LEATHER TOTE

Jacquemus managed to create such a huge statement with such a tiny bag. This white version is perfect for the Summer (if you don’t have much to carry but still want a beautifully executed outfit.)

https://www.net-a-porter.com/en-gb/shop/product/jacquemus/le-chiquito-mini-leather-tote/1214462

DIOR DUSTY JADE SADDLE BAG

Dior’s saddle bags are charmingly versatile and can be paired with both summer and winter outfits. This dusty jade colour compliments neutral garments for a simple but gorgeous summer look.

https://www.dior.com/en_gb/products/couture-M0446CWVG_M52H-dusty-jade-saddle-grain-calfskin-bag

DIOR TROTTER SADDLE TOTE IN PINK

I’ve included another Dior saddle bag but this time, a more eye-catching pink one. This has been my dream bag for a long time now and is currently not on the Dior website so here’s a link to a pre-owned version!

https://www.farfetch.com/uk/shopping/women/christian-dior-pre-owned-trotter-saddle-tote-item


Thank you for reading today’s article! Hope you enjoyed having a look at some of my dream pieces- share some of your favourite garments or bags for Summer in the comments below.

Follow/ subscribe to my blog for more fashion related content as well as posts covering other topics such as beauty, lifestyle, mental health and more!

Stay safe. Lots of love,

Grace x

What to Watch: Fashion Edition

What to Watch: Fashion Edition

If you’re wishing you could be wearing your favourite clothing pieces rather than pyjamas, attending catwalks or shopping right now, here are some things to watch while in quarantine to fuel your passion for fashion from home.


WHAT TO WATCH: FASHION EDITION


NETFLIX

Next In Fashion – Hosted by Alexa Chung and Tan France, this series watches a competition between fashion designers in order to win prize money and a start up for their business. I’ve been binge watching this series and I can confirm it’s certainly worth the watch if you enjoy analysing the creative process of clothing designing. It’s versatility is an exciting aspect, with each episode focusing on a different theme or garment ie: couture, lingerie, shapes and patterns.

What I’ve added to my Netflix “list”

  • Styling Hollywood
  • McQueen
  • Franca: Chaos and Creation
  • Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer
  • Clueless

YOUTUBE

A staggering amount of YouTube content is fashion-related, with hauls, DIY’s, tutorials, look books and catwalks… there is certainly lots to chose from.

Arden Rose is an amazing YouTuber who is honest and ethical, unlike many other influencers, due to her awareness of how harmful fast fashion is for our environment. She explains the issue so eloquently and provides her audience with reasonable alternatives which I think is truly admirable. She also makes videos going through her closet, talking about how to restyle pieces as well as sharing which ones she’s going to give away so they can be worn by someone else rather than thrown away. LINKS:

There’s also high fashion/ designer related content all over the platform.

Vogue stands out to me as one of the most popular and top quality channels. With videos containing some of the most famous faces in the fashion industry, it’s obviously perfect for those who crave fashion content.

You could also watch runway content! Simply search your favourite designer (ie: “Jacquemus Fall/Winter 2020/2021”) and you can easily access and immerse yourself into the world of your favourite collections and fashion shows. I’m currently obsessed with Miu Miu.

Link to Miu Miu Fall Winter entire show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um_g5gEdIec


IGTV

Lots of people forget about Instagram’s IGTV content but if you want shorter and vertical videos, it’s perfect for you. Here is a list of IGTV creators (companies as well as influencers) to look at for your fashion fix:

  • @ dazedfashion
  • @ cosmopolitan
  • @ fashioninflux
  • @ oliviagraceherring

TIKTOK

Tiktok is one of the most relevant apps at the minute, primarily known for it’s comedy and dance videos. While I certainly enjoy watching those, there are also many fashion tiktokers!

  • @ mayahavana reinvents old pieces in her wardrobe, shows the sewing process and provides tutorials
  • @ fashioninflux posts trend-relevant fashion videos and inspiration
  • @ nichole.ciotti shares fashion life hacks on her page
  • @ thatgemruby creates aesthetically pleasing videos revolving around effortless but effective fashion

Hopefully this helped fill the fashion shaped hole in your life at the moment! Let me know what you’ve been watching or if you have watched any of the programmes/ creators I have mentioned above.

Thanks for reading, follow and like if you enjoyed.

Stay safe. Lots of love,

Grace x

You Are Not Useless… Here’s Why.

You Are Not Useless… Here’s Why.

Hearing others refer to themselves as “useless” or insinuating this belief with other words breaks my heart. Many people struggling with anxiety, depression or confidence issues may be familiar with the feelings of worthlessness or incapability but I want to assure you that your mind can be a bully and relentlessly bombard you with negativity even though you are definitely NOT useless. You ARE: worthy, necessary and USEFUL… here’s why.


Not a single person out of the entire population of the planet (7.6 billion people!!!) is the same as you. Your voice, smile, face, personality… everything about you is unique.

Your self reflection shows that you are conscientious, you want to put the best version of yourself out to the world. This in itself is admirable.

Making mistakes is not a sign of weakness or stupidity. Everybody messes up but you probably only notice when it happens to you. These accidents or errors will help you grow as a person: embrace them as much as you can.

You have a multitude of talents and passions even if you haven’t discovered them yet. You’re capable of learning new skills or enhancing current ones whenever you’re ready to work on them.

Negative comments from other people are not equivalent to them disliking you as an entire person. As mentioned earlier, you can have flaws but they are not a reflection of futility. Accept rejection and take criticisms as a way of improving yourself rather than punishing yourself.

The people around you are grateful for your existence. Friends, family, peers, strangers. Even though you don’t always notice, you are surrounded by people who appreciate you.

You’re allowed to be sad. You’re allowed to be happy. You’re allowed to be anxious. You’re allowed to be confident. Your feelings are valid and natural.

The list could go on but hopefully by now you can start your journey of understanding how worthy you are. May your confidence flourish.


If these feelings are becoming overwhelming and are negatively impacting your life, please reach out to somebody for help.

I’m not a professional so here are links to some websites that may provide more information, help or support if necessary:

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/feeling-worthless

https://psychcentral.com/blog/when-you-feel-worthless/

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/open-letter-feeling-worthless

I am here for you all! Although my audience is small, I really hope to create a supportive community that can have open conversations without judgement. Please share any thoughts or ideas you could add with regards to this post in the comments.

Thank you for reading! Follow and like for more.

Stay safe, lots of love,

Grace x

Music Inspired Fashion

Music Inspired Fashion

The magic of music lies in it’s ability to depict a different story and aura to each individual. Today I decided to create something new and merge two art forms (music and fashion) and show how music can potentially inspire outfits.


#1 Adore You, Harry Styles

Walk in your rainbow paradise
Strawberry lipstick state of mind
I get so lost inside your eyes”

Revolving around the overwhelming infatuation and excitement in the early stages of a relationship, this song conveys colourful happiness and the state of being carefree, hence the bright, loose clothing. The enticing and kaleidoscopic nature of the single, inspired by the 80s, encouraged me to add a pair of flared trousers.

Head to toe details below…
  • Sunglasses: Gucci, inspired by Harry’s kissy Instagram post
  • Eyeshadow png: Polyvore
  • Top: Kay Top in Bright Green, h:ours, Revolve
  • Trousers: Annina Trouser Jean in Idyll, Citizens of Humanity, Revolve

#2 Visions of Gideon, Sufjan Stevens

I have loved you for the last time
Visions of Gideon, visions of Gideon

This heartbreaking yet tranquil song is a reminder of the beautiful aesthetics in the movie ‘Call Me By Your Name’. The biblical reference, susurration and vocal vibrations influenced soft, neutral tones in the garments I featured below. Gold is a colour connoting illumination, prosperity and is representative of the spark between lovers.

Head to toe details below…
  • Top and Skirt: Sawyer in Gold, Majorelle, Revolve
  • Bag: Bianca Ball Mesh Handle Bag in Gold, olga berg, Revolve
  • Paired with a beautiful glitter eyeshadow look (cc: Pinterest)

#3 Young and Beautiful, Lana Del Rey

“Will you still love me
When I’m no longer young and beautiful?

Written for the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby, this song relates to the flapper girl image and the reality of the twenties. Lana’s ethereal voice corresponds with the graceful beauty expected of women therefore I have selected pieces that are loosely inspired by the twenties (opulent feathers and sophisticated colours) and ‘The Great Gatsby’ that are still fashionable now.

Head to toe details below…
  • Bag: Jacquemus Black Le Grand Chiquito Top Handle Bag
  • Dress: Revolve, Hailey Dress in Ivory and Black, LPA
  • Shoe: Revolve, Alea Heel In Black, RAYE
  • Perfectly paired with a bag in one hand, a champagne flute in the other

Thank you so much for reading! This is a new idea so I only featured three songs with brief descriptions, however, dependant on feedback, I could add to the list in the future. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Stay safe! Lots of love,

Grace x

My Advice for Year 12 Students

My Advice for Year 12 Students

As a Year 13 student myself (not really anymore because of coronavirus), I would love to provide some tips and advice regarding the last year of school education.

I understand that this situation may be daunting for year 12s who may worry they are missing academic time which could be detrimental to their exams next year.

If you’re in that position or know somebody who is, hopefully this post will help. I’m neither an A* student or an expert but I’ll cover topics such as revision tips, exam anxiety, studying at home and balancing life and revision.

#1 MOTIVATING YOURSELF TO REVISE (AND WORK FROM HOME WITHOUT A TEACHER)

You sit in your room and there are probably hundreds of things you’d prefer to do instead of revision. I get it, motivating yourself to revise can often feel impossible, however, when the exam date nears, your stress will be reduced and confidence in the subject will be increased if you revise. Three motivation methods:

  • Think about how you want to feel on results day. For me, I had a dream university and set of grades I desired… imagining results day and potentially not getting into university really inspired me to revise on days where I had little motivation.
  • Reward yourself. Set goals and when you achieve them, give yourself a reward i.e. have your favourite snack after 40 minutes of revision. This should strengthen your self control and motivate you to get things done.
  • Create a desirable revision space. I doubt you will feel inspired to revise if your desk looks like a bomb site. Create a place to revise that you feel relaxed and satisfied by. I tried to keep my desk tidy so that when I came home from school I could motivate myself to continue with some work.

#2 FINDING THE RIGHT REVISION TECHNIQUE

Everybody has their own ways of revising therefore I wouldn’t force a technique upon anyone but research has shown that testing yourself regularly is a great revision method to ensure information goes into your long term memory.

Try out different ways of revising and find which one was best for you personally. Here’s a brief list of methods to attempt:

  • Revision cards (question on one side, answer on the other)
  • Past papers and practice questions
  • Quizlet online tests
  • Watching videos on the topic
  • Recording yourself talking about the topic
  • Teaching information to a friend
  • Key word practice
  • Make your own PowerPoint presentations
  • Stick post it notes around your house or in your room

For me, revision cards were the best for me because I would make them as soon as I covered the information in class and then could always come back to them as a quick way of recalling the information. I sometimes took them on long journeys with me or up to bed the night before exams to refresh my knowledge. Finding the effort to do entire practice papers was difficult but doing them is a really effective method because realistically, it aids the skills you’ll need in the actual exam.

#3 TACKLING EXAM ANXIETY

I’m a naturally very anxious person and I found exams very stressful throughout my time at school so my advice may not be perfect despite coming from experience. I would literally get anxious about getting anxious and it became a vicious cycle. Infact, I had to sit my GCSE exams in a separate room because my anxiety would make me feel physically ill to point where my vision was blurred and I struggled to read the questions through the dizziness.

In Year 13 however, I really tried to work on this, researching methods to ensure I could go into the exam hall and sit the exam with all my attention on the question paper rather than anything else.

Things to consider if you get anxious about exams:

  • Your feelings are common, don’t be hard on yourself.
  • Breathing exercises before you enter the exam hall can distract your brain from it’s panicked state and they help focus on relaxing yourself instead.
  • There is somebody you can talk to if it becomes too overwhelming to deal with alone. Perhaps a parent, sibling, teacher or friend.
  • Take a bottle of water into the exam hall.
  • If you’re anxious the night before, fragrances such as lavender aid sleep and should make you feel calm.

Please speak to a professional if you get extreme anxiety. Speaking up is the best thing you can do!

FINALLY, #4 PREPARING TO ENTER YEAR 13

Enjoy your Summer break as much as you can. Realistically, you aren’t going to want to revise everyday during your break, nor would that be good for you. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself.

Perhaps look into what you’ll study next academic year and read ahead on some books or just key words.

Find a balance between work and social life with a timetable or just loosely planning ahead.

March Favourites

March Favourites

March 2020 will be described as bizarre, monumental and intense by many including myself, however, I’m dedicating this post to positivity and my favourite things I discovered and enjoyed during the month despite the circumstances.

WHAT I WATCHED

If you haven’t watched it already, ‘This Country’ on BBC is the best mockumentary series I’ve ever watched and I thoroughly reccomend it. The characters are so endearing and everything about the programme is hilarious. I watched it with my family and we laughed our way through the series within days.

On YouTube, I’ve been watching ‘Freddy My Love’ who creates aesthetically pleasing, girly videos on all things fashion. Take one look at her channel and you can see the worthwhile effort she puts into making her content beautiful.

I also really enjoy watching interviews of actors and actresses after I watch a certain movie or tv shows, infact I’d love to become a show business journalist myself one day. Throughout March, I watched many Timothee Chalamet interviews because his dedication to his art is amazing to watch and hear about. With reference to earlier, I’ve also watched interviews about This Country to get more information on the creative process of creating such a raw, funny programme.

WHAT I LISTENED TO

For my birthday, I received a Google Nest speaker and the volume and quality are incredible, it’s certainly one of my March favourites as I’ve been playing all my music on it whilst relaxing at home.

My top 3 albums to listen to recently have been Fine Line (Harry Styles), The Divine Feminine (Mac Miller) and Lust For Life (Lana Del Rey), none of which were released this month but I just adore them all. My Harry Styles concert has been postponed until 2021 so I have to make up for that by having virtual concerts in my room.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a podcast to listen to rather than music, The Receipts Podcast should make you smile. The girls are down to earth and consequently hilarious, perfect to listen to if you’re ever feeling down or lonely during self isolation.

WHAT I WORE

I’ve been wearing comfy clothes most days for obvious reasons (staying at home) so my favourite pieces have been casual. Mens Primark joggers are so comfy and the right fit if you size down. During February, I went to a Vintage Kilo Sale and bought oversize jumpers which have also been perfect in March!

I’ve spent most of my days with a bare face but sometimes I put some makeup on to make myself feel better, even if I’m just staying at home. This may sound ridiculous to some people but I know many girls who are the same. Bad Gal Bang from Benefit is my current favourite mascara which is great for adding volume to your lashes and you only need to use a tiny amount! Additionally, I’ve started doing winged eyeliner (also using Benefit!) which I found impossible at first but have now mastered the right technique with this easy to apply eyeliner. The final makeup product to mention is Gimme Brow eyebrow gel which I use on days when I’m creating a minimalistic look.

… ♡

Ultimately, my favourite thing in March has been writing. Starting up this blog again and planning new ideas has been really exciting. Similarly, I’m currently taking an online course in fiction writing which has kept my brain active and occupied.

Thanks so much for reading. I hope April is happy and healthy for you! Feel free to share your March favourites in the comments below.

Grace x