A-Z of Secondary School

All I seem to be posting about at the moment is school.  It’s probably a psychological cry for help because I miss it so much.  I don’t really know what to do with myself so I compiled an entire alphabet so you can be prepared for secondary school.  I had so much free time, I actually managed to compile three!  As I can only stay focused for so long, I’ve broken this down into three separate posts, one for each alphabet set.  This is a perfect post for anyone who’s in year five or six and is wondering about secondary school – maybe even worrying about it.  This is a perfect post for anyone with children who are about to move into secondary school and want to know all the “big kid ways” before they’re thrust upon them and you.  But most of all, this post is for that little girl, getting ready to go into big school and it scared senseless.  She’s had countless sleepless nights and is worrying out of her wits.  I just want to say to that girl: it’s ok, you’ll be ok.  It may not feel it and it may feel like there’s no end in sight when you’re stuck in it, but I promise, if I can get through it – Miss Problematic – you’ll get through it!  I promise you that much.  Well after that surprisingly deep and meaningful introduction, let me introduce you to… Tati’s Top Tips For The Terrible Teen Years: school (I thought about that title for a long time and I’m very proud of myself if you couldn’t tell 🙂

Ability – just remember, push your limits and always try your hardest!  Others may be a higher ability than you but as long as you try, it doesn’t matter!

Best Friends – People in secondary school can be mean.  Really mean.  But as long as you stay with your close friends, you’ll be perfectly fine, and no-one can hurt you.  It may take you a while to find your tribe, but that’s okay!  True friends are worth the wait.  Take me for example, the friends that mean the world to me, I didn’t find them until year eleven and now we’re totally inseparable!  People even mix me up with Blondie – friendly reminder she has blonde hair and I have black hair and her favourite colour is pink and mine is yellow, we also speak very differently.  But you know, she’s beautiful so I’m not complaining!

Creativity – Secondary school is the best place to let your creativity run wild!  Whether you feel your creative juices flowing through being an artist, a musician, a writer or even a performer, you’ll find your creativity here!

Dating – From the get-go, there will always be someone “dating” someone else.  In years 10 and 11 is when you should put your revision before dates (no rhyming sorry) but year 7 and 8 relationships are fun to look back on.  Someone I “dated” for almost a year in year 8 is now one of my best friends but someone I “dated” in year 11 is ready to kill me with a ping pong bat (long story).

Eating – no matter what, remember to eat!  Secondary school uses a lot of your energy and this is the best way to gain energy.  Try having a balanced, healthy diet – I’m posting a blog soon about a balanced, healthy diet so look out for that!

Fights – at secondary school, no matter how fancy the school may be, there are fights.  Try and steer clear from them as much as you can, or you’ll get caught in the crossfire.

Homework – I feel like such a teacher saying this but do your homework as soon as possible!  It’s so much easier to do it on the night it’s been set, that way it’s all fresh in your mind.  It’s the same with coursework.  The more you do now, the less you have to later and that is very true.

Independence – Secondary school is where you really gain your independence.  Make the most of it as the next step is adulthood.

June – also known as GCSE month.  It’s tiresome and you’ll be ready to quit but as soon as you’re done, believe me you feel like you can take on the world.  Just get your head down and revise, that’s the best support I can give you.

Kindness – just be kind.  It sounds corny but a smile at a classmate you’ve caught the eye of can really boost someone’s moral when they need it most.  It’s the little things, and it’ll make you feel good about yourself.

Library – go to the library for research!  It’s the best place to go and it’s full of information.  The librarian’s both at my school and at my local library are so lovely and kind, they’re always there to support you and I’m sure your librarian’s will be the same!

Maturity – some people you meet will be super mature for their age.  And when I say super mature, I mean they’re either the parent of the group or the grandparent of the group.  However, you’ll meet people on the other end of the spectrum who you can be pretty sure are three-year-olds stuck in a pubescent teens body (me).  There’s no in-between so be prepared to meet some crazies!  (They do give you great stories though).

Notes – take as many rough notes as you can in class.  That’s the best advice I can ever give you.  Jot down anything and everything the teacher says, then when you get home you can clean and condense.  It’s a perfect revision tool and a perfect way to make sure you don’t miss anything important which could show up in a test.

Options – choosing GCSE options can actually be really exciting.  I’m compiling a list of information about the GCSE’s you can take and peoples opinions on each subject.  That should be helpful for anyone struggling to choose.  Just remember, there are no “easy pass” GCSE’s.  I know so many people who regret choosing Performing Arts because they thought it would be easy to pass – there’s a hell of a lot of coursework involved!  Just make sure to be knowledgeable on whatever subjects you want to pick, knowing the specifications is really helpful for that too and you can find them easily online for each exam board for each subject.

Pastel Highlighters – People, say it with me: pastel highlighters are not what make you pass your GCSE’s, hard work is.  Pastel highlighters are great, and they look really pretty, just make sure you actually spend time revising, not highlighting!  Although, exam tip, take a highlighter into exams with you, this way you can highlight key words in a question, and it decreases your chance of misreading the question.

Questions – I’m sure you’ll have loads of questions about secondary school, I did!  So, if you ever want to talk to someone who’s been there, done that, my inbox is always open, so just drop me an email at totallytatiana.contact@gmail.com  I’ll reply to anyone and everyone!

Rumours – something which is impossible to escape, no matter how hard you try.  It’s no fun, but you just need to hold your head up, ignore people, and don’t spread them about other people.  It hurts and it just leads to more issues than necessary.

Studying – Study as much as you can!  Take notes, ask questions, go to catch up sessions, all that jazz.  It’ll pay off massively in the end and you never know, you may find a new passion!

Teachers – Love them or loathe them, at the end of the day, they are there for you.  They care about you and they want you to reach your potential, even if it feels like they don’t at times.  Just trust me, they want you to pass as much as you want to pass and they’ll root for you.

Uniform – more schools in Britain have school uniform than don’t.  It’s an age-old debate about whether or not we should have uniforms but that’s not what I’m here for.  Follow the uniform rules as much as you can in the first few weeks of term, then if you’re feeling rebellious (like me) push the limits slightly.  Bend the rules as you see fit, just don’t go crazy.

Victory – that last day of school feeling when you realise you survived another year at school.  It feels good.  Just know the end is always in sight, even if it doesn’t always look it, it’s there and it’s rooting for you.

Worrying – It’s completely ok to worry and stress, just don’t let it take over your life.  Try distraction and relaxation techniques to calm yourself down, once you find one that clicks, it’ll do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Xanax – Yes, I’m talking about meds.  If you take meds for your mental health or if you don’t, it’s nothing to be ashamed of!  It’s completely fine, as long as you’re as happy and healthy then it doesn’t matter.

YOLO – God, I feel like a 2010 Tumblr kid again.  Just remember, your secondary school life only lasts for so long.  Make the most of it because it can be fun.  A lot of fun.

Zits – you’re a teen, going through puberty.  It’s natural so don’t stress!  Just drink water as that helps and eat a balanced diet.


Teachers We’ve All Had

I was in the mood for some light-hearted article today and I was thinking about how I’m leaving secondary school soon.  I was racking my brains to make a quirky, original post about school, which year 11’s will find relatable.  What did I come up with instead?  A post about stereotypical teachers I’m pretty sure we’ve all had throughout school years – secondary school in particular.  Let’s go!

  1. That one teacher who single-handedly made you fall in love with a subject.  For me, this was my Year 10 English teacher.  Going into year 10, I despised English – English Literature in particular.  This teacher not only made me appreciate the subject, but also encouraged me to take it as an A Level later on in life.  If it wasn’t for her, I’d still have no real ambition for the future.  It’s crazy how one teacher can change your whole viewpoint on life.
  2. That one teacher who should really be in retirement by now.  No hate here but I feel like my younger readers will understand this one.  There’s always that one teacher who you either see around school or have as a supply teacher who just seems that little bit too old.  Normally, these teachers are some of the sweetest people, but they should be enjoying retirement, not having to deal with screaming teenagers on a Thursday afternoon.  Poor, poor souls.
  3. That one teacher who is like a Mum.  For me, this is my Chemistry teacher I’ve had since Year 9.  It’s becoming a running joke now that she is my in-school Mum, who is very lovely.  She has that amazing sense of humour which I only know Mum’s to have, she always talks about her actual child to me and it’s so sweet just watching her face light up when she remembers something her child has done.  I love this woman, and she’s one of the main reasons I’m staying on at my school for Sixth Form.
  4. That one teacher who is very strict and very stressed.  The amount of times I have coughed in one of these sort of teachers lessons and they pounce.  Throughout the years, I’ve managed to work out that if your last lesson is with a teacher with a short temper who’s had tetchy teens the whole day, it won’t be a fun lesson.  As long as you get your head down and don’t breathe too loudly, you’ll be fine!
  5. That one teacher who cares too much whether they’re liked or not – down with the kids.  I always feel slightly sorry for this teacher because they just want to be one of the popular kids who seem to forget they need to enforce discipline.  They let you get away with anything in class, I’ve once had someone throw a book out of a second-floor window and not get any repercussions.  It’s wild.
  6. That one teacher who doesn’t care at all.  They’ll put the work on the board, a documentary or even just give you a textbook and let you get on with it.  Typically playing games or drawing, this teacher doesn’t care what you’re doing, just as long as you don’t kill anyone.
  7. That one teacher who is just really good at their subject, just not the nicest person.  I have had countless teachers like this.  The best advice I can give you for these lessons is to leave personal issues outside the classroom and just listen to what they have to say.  I had a teacher some time ago who had some interesting opinions about politics and he wasn’t afraid to share them.  As much as I wanted to kick up a fuss, if they’re good at what they do, just get your head down and work, there’s no point in having a shouting match with a teacher you’ll lose to no matter the outcome.

I’m sorry my posts have been so sporadic recently by the way, I’ve been dealing with lots mentally and I’ve had my second set of mock exams so I’ve been exhausted.  As soon as my final GCSE comes around (15th June) my aim is to post at least once a week.  I have some amazing this planned this summer and I will be sure to share them here!  I’m also taking a break from social media, so if you normally get updates on when I post through one of my social media accounts, just be aware I most likely won’t get them back until either Easter or even after GCSE’s.  I haven’t decided yet, so the best thing to do is subscribe to my posts by popping in your email address.  That way you’ll get notified every single time I post a new article.  Thank you all so much for being so incredibly patient throughout all this, you’re all amazing and I promise you everything will be back to normal by June.  Until then, I’ve been Tatiana, and I’ll see you sometime in the near future!