Spontaneous Social Media Detox

It only occurred to me today how much of an influence social media has on my daily routine, my thoughts, my behaviour and my general happiness. The funny thing is- social media has been a part of my life since I first made a Facebook account in 2010. I have actually disliked Facebook for a very long time now; it appears to be nothing but a platform of competitiveness. Who can write the funniest status? Who can have the most “friends”? Who can get the most likes on their photos? I’m sure we can all relate to that shameful moment where we have uploaded a photo that we are very proud of…only for it to get one or two likes. Meanwhile, others seem to get a vast amount of likes for simply updating their status to ‘lol’. Perhaps it is just me!

And then there is Twitter, something that I actually rather enjoy using due to the fact that I can use it as if it were an online diary. Except I don’t have to write full entries because I can just mention the small things as and when they occur.  Nevertheless, a major downfall of Twitter is the fact that I cannot help comparing my own daily activities to everyone else’s. Let us not forget Instagram… although incredibly aesthetically pleasing (providing you follow people who know how to use a camera!), it is inevitable that you will end up comparing yourself to others yet again. Something I am guilty of doing is being envious of other people’s desks and their bedrooms which happen to look so much tidier and interesting than mine!

Finally, one last website I shall mention is The Student Room. Although incredibly useful for when you need help with your homework or would just like some general advice, it is definitely the worst, in my opinion, for making me feel like I have to put on persona in order to get people to accept me (there are some very lovely users on there though that I will miss in my absence). Not to mention the fact that I feel rather inadequate when seeing all of these people who have such outstanding academic profiles and are going to study at prestigious universities than I can only dream about.

Meh, comparing myself to others, yet again. This is what social media has been doing to me for so long and I have only just realised. Therefore, as you may have guessed from the title, I will be going on a social media detox. I have already deleted the apps on my phone of the platforms I have mentioned and do not plan on using them in the foreseeable future. My hypothesis is that my happiness, self esteem and productivity will increase over the course of my detox. To be honest, I already feel a massive sense of freedom after having deleted the apps.

One goal that I am going to set myself is to not go back onto The Student room until the 30th June this year. That will be the day after my A-level exams will have finished. In addition, I will be tracking my progress for abstaining from social media on this blog and mentioning how it is impacting me. I look forward to it! 🙂

 

 

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21/11/16 – UCAS Update

Hello all, I am pleased to tell you that since my last post, I have managed to rewrite my entire personal statement and turn it into something that I am quite proud of! I’ve received very positive feedback from my mum (lol), both of my Psychology teachers, my head of year and also my sixth form’s deputy head who happens to be an English teacher! I don’t know how I did it… I had to think long and hard about which particular topics I am really intrigued by. Doing so has actually made me reevaluate my future and career goals… For the past couple of years, clinical psychology has been the one thing that I’ve been dedicated towards going into- hence the name of my blog! However, when it comes to writing about my interest for clinical psychology, I don’t really have much to say. I read about mental illnesses and their causes and symptoms, find them interesting, and that’s about it. It just so happens that I have a lot more to say about cognitive psychology, and I can actually come up with my own ideas about it! I don’t want to go into too much detail at the moment because I’m scared that doing so will somehow cause my personal statement to be flagged up by the plagiarism checker. One thing I will say though is that I am fascinated by the theories about how the functions of the mind can be compared to those of a computer. Is it feasible to say that the mind IS  a computer?

Consequently, my UCAS application has now officially been sent off as of today! The five universities I have applied to are Warwick, Loughborough, East Anglia, Bangor and Nottingham Trent. The annoying indecisive part of my brain is saying that I should have applied to Kent instead of Loughborough, because I was torn between the two. I chose Loughborough instead though because Kent is quite far away from where I live and I’d have to get four trains in order to travel there!!

That is it from me now, I need to have an early night because I am really tired and I have to study for a maths test which I have tomorrow! Unfortunately, it is on a topic that I do not understand very well…

 

 

Personal Statement Struggles

I haven’t posted in a while and I’m currently having major issues with writing my personal statement for university, so I may as well rant about it here. What makes me suitable for the course? How can I show that I understand what’s required to study the course? How have activities I’ve done in the past influenced me to study the course? Most importantly, how can I show that I find the subject interesting?

These questions sound so simple but I can’t answer them, and I don’t know why. There are many topics in psychology that I find interesting, such as the cause(s) of mental illness, the way that we learn and forget things but then remember them again and the way that much of our behaviour is influenced by others. But why do I find these things interesting? Why? Deep down, I know that I want to study psychology at university but I can’t articulate this into words.

Currently, I have a draft of my personal statement but I am not happy with it. All I can think about is what the admissions tutors will think when they read it. They’ll most likely have a doctorate in psychology, so there’s nothing I could write that they wouldn’t already know. I also haven’t wrote much about why I find psychology interesting since I don’t know how. I just feel so incompetent and confused right now.

“I couldn’t say it because it was still an emotion, untranslated, raw. And I can’t say something like that with words. But you couldn’t understand it without them.” 

 

End of term 1

It has been over a month since I have posted anything and I have not done weekly updates like I said I would. Apologies for that! Although the past month has been very intense in terms of workload from sixth form, I’m not going to use it as an excuse. I have just been lazy!

I’ll take this opportunity to do an overview of the past month. Psychology and maths are both going very well. We are set an essay to do each week in psychology and I have been getting A*s in these which I am very pleased with! I have, however, been using my textbook to help me to write these, so I’m going to start trying to do them in timed conditions and without the textbook soon. In maths, we have done one core maths test and one mechanics test so far. I got a B in the core test and an A in the mechanics test. In contrast, physics is not going so well. I’m finding it really difficult to apply my knowledge to the exam questions that we are given to do in assessments. In other news, the only grade I have got in physics so far this year is a U. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy the CGP textbook soon which has extra exam practice in it.

I still haven’t applied to any universities yet as I have not completed my personal statement. I really need to finish it over half term! My top 5 university choices right now are Warwick, Surrey, Bangor, Lincoln and East Anglia. The main problem with my choices are that their requirements are all above my predicted grades! All of them want AAB-ABB but my predicted grades are AAC. Hopefully I’ll still receive some offers!

Something else that has happened recently is that I’ve managed to get a part-time job as a customer service adviser at a local care home! My induction week is in November and I’m quite looking forward to it.

Other than that, there is isn’t really much else to say, but I’ll be posting more regularly from now on!

16/09/16

Year 13- Week 1.

My first week back at sixth form is now over and I am feeling quite exhausted to say the least. The lessons seem more intense compared to last year. This is mainly because the content is a lot more in depth and as a result, you need to make more notes. Luckily, I haven’t fallen behind in anything yet. It is good to be back into a routine though, even though my productivity levels haven’t been particularly high- as soon as I get home, I just flop onto my bed because I’m so tired!

Psychology has been really interesting so far. We are learning two topics at the same time which are currently biopsychology and relationships. In biopsychology, we’ve been looking at how different parts of the brain control particular functions in the body. In relationships, we’ve been learning about the evolutionary reasons behind sexual attraction to the opposite gender. I’ve noticed how none of the evolutionary theories consider homosexual relationships or asexuality!

Maths has been fairly straightforward as of yet. However, my class is really quiet and I often find myself laughing for no reason when we are doing silent work which is quite awkward. In the c3 lessons, we’ve been learning about modulus function graphs and modulus equations which I understand quite well due to self-teaching it over the summer. In the M1 (mechanics) lessons, we started kinematics. Doing mechanics as part of maths should help out with physics a lot!

Physics has also been going swiftly. I’ve also started recapping the AS mechanics content this week, because I think this was my weakest topic last year. I’m then going to recap materials and electricity before the rest of the AS topics. The stuff we’ve been doing in class hasn’t been too complex as of yet. Physics really needs to be my priority for the next two weeks because our teachers are making our UCAS predictions on the 30th September and I really want and need to be predicted at least a B in physics!

I have decided that I am now going to do weekly updates on a Friday because daily posts are both unattainable and monotonous and random updates are just a bit… random?! On some occasions, I may post more than once a week if there is a day/topic that I would like to dedicate an entire post to, for example, university open days.

 

 

 

11/09/16

Last day of my summer…

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I honestly cannot believe that today is my last day of summer break! It sounds cliche but wow… tomorrow is the start of a new era- my last ever year at my sixth form! My sixth form is part of my old secondary school so technically this is my seventh year there, which is quite a large chunk of my life.

However, I am sort of nervous about going back. All of our classes have changed around and I’m worried that none of my friends will be in my classes! I know this doesn’t really matter but it just makes the lesson more enjoyable if you have someone to sit with and talk to. I kind of just want to get this year over with so I can have a fresh start and begin a new chapter in my life. In the mean time, I’m going to work my hardest to get the best grades possible this year. I am going to set myself some goals and on the last day of my final exam next year, I’ll see if I have managed to stick to them.

  • Get at least AAB in my December mock exams..
  • Get at least A*A*A in my real A-level exams.. lol r.i.p. me
  • Do not skip any lessons! No no no no don’t be lazy!
  • Be more or less fluent in Welsh and/or French.
  • Get some kind of paid work- whether this is during the weekends or temporarily over Christmas or summer. This is very difficult to find where I live though as most places want you to already have a year’s worth of experience!
  • Put my hand up more in class and ask for help if I don’t understand something.

I should probably go to sleep now because I need to wake up at 6am because we have an assembly at 8:30 am… I hate assemblies because they remind me of primary school.

Wednesday 07/09/16

I honestly cannot believe how quickly time has passed recently. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if I had actually recorded what I did on this blog each day!

Today has been kind of interesting though. I met up with one of my best friends, Ch, (I’m going to start referring to my friends by the first two letters of their name, so that I can remember who I’m talking about in the future whilst still keeping things confidential) and we went into Costa. I ordered a mocha. For me, this is the ‘best of both worlds’ because I love coffee AND chocolate, and a mocha is essentially a mix of both. Ch and I discussed our new timetable for year 13 (we are going to be in all of the same classes, yay!) and the fact that we will have no male teachers this year. After that, we got the bus to Ch’s local doctors because Ch has been suffering with anxiety and depression for a long time and he would finally like to get some professional help. The doctor was really nice and understanding about it and wasn’t patronising like some GPs can be. Ch was given a list of online therapies he could use in the future. This is what kind of saddens me about mental illnesses; there are no immediate cures. Of course, therapy can be extremely useful in helping people to learn to cope with their disorder(s) and can even ‘cure’ them in some cases, but engaging with therapy requires so much motivation and energy- which a person suffering from an anxiety/depression related disorder often lacks. On the other hand, a lot of medications have side effects which can be equally as unpleasant as the symptoms of the mental illness itself. I’m not just talking with no experience by the way, I actually used to suffer from mental illness quite badly when I was in my early teens and attended CBT twice, but I don’t really want to discuss that in this post. Anyway, I really hope that Ch finds the therapy beneficial and that his anxiety and depression will improve in the upcoming weeks and months.

When I was on the bus coming home, something quite strange happened. It was probably down to all of the caffeine that was in my mocha and having encountered a pesky wasp earlier on in the day, but I suddenly started panicking that a swarm of wasps will fly onto the bus and start attacking me! I actually felt physically sick and couldn’t stop shaking. In an attempt to calm myself down, I researched wasp phobias (formally known as Spheksophobia) on my phone and discovered that the best way to help a phobia like this is via systematic desensitisation, which is where you create an anxiety hierarchy and gradually expose yourself to the phobic stimuli. The thing is though, I am fine with looking at photos and videos of wasps and seeing them in real life. I have also been in many, many situations where I have been in very close proximity to wasps (COUGH the boat trip in Greece COUGH), yet I still can’t stand being near them. Another thing that may help though, is researching them so that I understand them better. I’m going to do that later.

If wasps looked like this in real life, I don’t think I’d have a problem!

I just find phobias so interesting and I think that this is probably what I’m going to talk about in my personal statement as I have quite a lot to say about them. Obviously not about my personal phobia of wasps, but of phobias in general! The way that we acquire them and maintain them is just so fascinating!