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What’s in my Exam Bag? 2017

Hello!

I’m sorry for the lack of posts in the last few weeks. If you follow me in twitter, which you totally should HERE (cheeky self promo!), you’ll know I decided to post when I can during exam season (i.e. until the 16th June) and then as much as possible in the holidays. I promise I have lots of posts planned to make up for my bad blogging this month.

Anyway, onto the actual topic of my post. It’s 5 days until my first exam/s (which are French and Biology for anyone who is curious) and I’m determined to keep myself organised during exam season because I’m normally not very organised and because of this out-of-character decision, I’ve already planned what will be in my bag for every day of my exams and I’m going to share it with you today. This post is a collab with Erin from ‘Everything Erin’ who is also sitting her GCSEs this year and so is someone I can have a mini panic to from time to time! Please do go and check out her blog HERE.


The bag

This isn’t my actual school bag but I decided it was more photogenic than my other backpack which I’m desperately trying to make last until the end of the school year but it’s currently more hole than bag and is only held together by Duct tape! Anyway, if you were wondering, this bag is from Accessories. I know lots of people at school make fun about the fact I have a backpack rather than a handbag sort of thing but to be honest, It’s just more comfortable for me. I know next year I will probably get a handbag thing instead purely because I need a new bag anyway and my backpack’s actually a bit too small for all my folders and stuff. If you know good places to buy these sorts of bags for reasonable prices, do let me know as normally I just go to Animal and buy one of their backpacks. I haven’t really explored other options…

Sunglasses

Ok, so I might be seen as either optimistic or very weird but for anyone who’s judging me, I’m preparing myself for all conditions! This might seem a bit of a weird thing to have in my bag especially as the school won’t let us revise in the gardens but there will be some breaks and I would hate to get a headache from the bright sunlight Britain is so well known for having (not…) My sunglasses are from Primark for £3 but if you ant ones that actually keep th sun out of your eyes instead of just looking like they will, there are identical ones in Accessorise for £12.

Tissues

These will be mostly for my tears which sounds so sad but as I seem to mention in every blog post, I’m a very emotional person and if an exam goes even slightly badly, is it 100% confirmed that I will dissolve into a puddle of tears. God help my friends in the next few weeks!

I’ve also got tissues because, again, I’m preparing for all conditions. I hate it when you sneeze in an exam and then feel you can’t sneeze again because you’ve already had your distraction for the exam. Do you ever find that? And even sniffles sound so loud when everyone else is SILENT.


Money

Another just-in-case item. I can give reasonable justifications for this one though. Basically, my school has a very strict lunch policy during exams for the year that is on exam leave and you can only have lunch for that day if you’ve signed up before a specific deadline. Knowing my organisation, I’ll probably forget and have to go into town to get lunch a few times!

Also the time that we’re allowed to eat lunch is such a small amount of time. We can eat lunch from 1:15 and our exams all start at 1:45 which might sound long enough but when you add in queuing, going to the toilet before the exam, last minute revision and being at the exam 10 minutes early, I expect I’ll get indigestion most meals from gulping down my food!

My purse is also from Accessorise and matches my bag even though, I don’t think they were part of a set. And, they’re my favourite colour, how handy!

Chocolate/ Snacks

Partially to do with how quiet the exam hall is and partially to do with the fact that I love food, I don’t know about you but I always seem to enter the exam hall hungry and my stomach rumbles loudly the whole exam and I slowly turn redder and redder because I feel like everyone can hear it rumbling. No one can but it sounds loud enough for someone in Australia to hear.

Also I can just predict that there are going to be some exams that are going to require a chocolate bar to pick me up after the exam (I’m looking at you, Physics!). I’m trying to cut back on my sugar/chocolate intake but it doesn’t count if it’s after exams, right?!


Small Notebook

I want to know exactly how I felt each exam went and have it recorded so that on results day I can match the feelings with the results and also writing my thought s down as soon as I leave the exam will make sure my post on my exams will be as accurate as possible. And another reason for the notebook, which I’ve only just thought of, is to make lists of what featured in the exam to work out what might come up in the second paper.

I’ll probably take a notebook I bought from IKEA last summer as part of a 3 notebook set because they look nice and are small enough. Plus it’s cheap enough to ruin by talking about exams in!

Revision stuff

Duhrrr… I mean it’s not like I’m going to revise before an exam is it? (That was all sarcasm, I feel it doesn’t quite translate across the computer screen) It’s mostly just take the syllabus for that subject, the briefest notes I have on the important things and a revision guide apart for the ones where I have the whole morning to revise, where I’ll also take practice questions as well. Sorry if that was boring to any of you, I thought it might be interesting to anyone in the same situation as me…

Hair stuff

At the moment my hair is really annoying me. It’s not really long enough to not look funny in a bun or plaits but it gets in my face when I lean forwards over some work. And I have so many short pieces of hair that just won’t stay put. They insist on getting in my mouth and eyes and just generally annoying me so much. I’ll be taking hair bobbles because no one cares how stupid your hair looks once your in your exam as long as it doesn’t distract you and my annoying short hairs will probably be held back by approximately 36528 hair grips just to make sure they don’t get in my eyes. My head will be more hair grip than hair.


Revision pencil case

with: Pens, highlighters, rubber, ruler, maths stuff and pencils. Plus calculator. Have you seen then new pastel highlighters from Stabilo by the way? They make all my work look a lot more interesting and less boring. 100% recommend!!!

Headphones

Before my exams, I’m going to behave like an Olympic athlete. You know, hood up and head down, vaguely bouncing along to some obviously very motivational music and just generally ignoring everyone else. I know it sounds rude, but I really do not care how stressed everyone else is for this exam, I’ve already got enough stress without adding your stress to it!

I hope some of you found this interesting and if not, I promise there will be no more exam related posts shortly.

Stay tuned for my next post whenever that might be!

xxx 

Life · Me

Does drinking water really benefit us that much? An experiment

Every article we read to do with health and fitness tells us we must drink more water. Apparently it’s the ‘elixir of life’. Plants need light and water to survive. Are we really that different? Now that the longer days are here, I decided to embark on a experiment. 1 month of water drinking. What change would it really bring to me? Is it worth all the praise it’s given?

Starting picture & initial thoughts

I’m not a big water drinker. I mean, I only drink water but I hardly drink any at all. The smallest recommendation of water to drink is 2 litres a day, I hardly drink 250ml a day. I don’t drink full glasses, just sips here and there and I know it’s not good. With the amount of exercise I do, I think I should be drinking closer to 3 litres but for now, any improvement is good.

I wanted to see what drinking the right amount of water can actually do.

I’m not a pretty picture to begin with. I have terrible skin and have done for a while, I have a malfunctioning digestive system and my hair is always dry. I struggle with energy and get dizzy when ever I stand up. I’m hoping that water will help me with all this.

I can’t help but hope that water is as great as it’s portrayed to be. There are so many beautiful women who claim water is the secret behind their beauty. It’s such a simple thing that we take for granted and if it can provide staggering results, it will honestly amaze me. To be honest, although I’m hopeful, I’m not expecting much other than an increase in the number of times I go to the toilet a day! Maybe it will stop me being so dizzy 24/7 but other than that, I think my problems are deeper set. We’ll have to see!

 

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My trusty water bottle

 

What does water claim to do

In preparation for this experiment, I’ve scoured the web to see what water is claimed to do so that I can provide a complete analysis on water and it’s abilities.

From what I’ve gathered, water is capable of:

  • Stops headaches and dizziness
  • Clears your skin
  • Plumps out your skin/ Gets rid of wrinkles
  • Helps remove toxins and fight infections
  • Aids weight-loss
  • Keeps you ‘regular’ (in terms of toilets habits!)
  • Improves concentration
  • Helps you exercise better
  • Boosts energy
  • Keeps your blood thin enough and therefore your organs healthy
  • Helps your kidneys and decreases chance of kidney stones.

This list might not be interesting to some of you but for me, it seems to be capable of solving every problem I want sorting. The one’s in bold are my main interests. I don’t want Kidney stones but I haven’t classed that as a main interest as I can’t actually record any difference it makes as it’s not visible. The same with keeping your organs working. Of course I want that but I don’t have the medical equipment needed to track any differences water brings.

 The experiment

So here we go, my plan of action:

From Monday 27th March to Thursday 27th April, I will be drinking 2 litres or more a day and recording anything I notice. The 2 litres will be spread throughout the day but in particular when I wake up/Breakfast and after school and dinner. I won’t be changing anything else about my lifestyle REALLY dramatically during this time.

To make sure I drink enough, I will carry a water bottle with me and actually refill it and not be afraid to go to the toilet during lessons as this is one thing that stops me drinking water. If I don’t drink the water, I don’t need the toilet, therefore I don’t need to ask to go to the toilet. Simple! That’s how much I hate the school toilets! However this needs to change. If I fail to drink all 2 litres in a day, I’ll drink the excess the next day on tops of my designated 2 litres for that day.

Week 1 thoughts

Week 1 started off fairly successfully. I didn’t really notice anything different until the last few days of the week, other than a huge number of trips to the loo!! I don’t actually know how many times people normally go for a pee each day but for me, before this experiment, it was twice, maybe three times a day at most.

Since starting this experiment, I’ve been going to the toilet 5 times a day at minimum which is really a huge increase for me! After just 2 days, my family said they felt my skin was looking a lot brighter and while the bigger blemishes weren’t gone, the smaller ones seemed to have disappeared. In the last few days, the bigger blemishes also began to disappear although the redness was still there.

Towards the end of the week, I noticed a huge improvement in my digestion. Everything about it was becoming more ‘normal’. 2 Litres is actually a lot less than I thought it was and as long as I remembered, it wasn’t too hard to drink enough. The dizziness was still there throughout the week especially when standing up after a long time sitting down and I didn’t really notice an increase in my energy.

 

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How much water it felt like I was drinking some days!

 

Week 2 thoughts

Drinking water this week has been so much harder and I have no idea why… even though it felt like I was drinking a LOT of water, I still ended up having to ‘binge’ on water at the end of the day. I know it’s apparently not as effective as drinking it slowly throughout the day but at least I’m still drinking it, right?

I’ve really struggled with my lips drying out this week which isn’t something that normally happens to me. I don’t know if it’s at all related but I thought I’d include it anyway. I’ve really noticed improvements with my digestion which is great and in my opinion, my skin is looking a lot better. I haven’t noticed an increase in energy at all and I’m getting even more dizzy. I really don’t know why it has got worse.

I haven’t done much exercise this week so I don’t know if anything has changed there but I do think it’s improved my concentration as revision has actually gone OK this week!

Week 3 thoughts

This week was a week spent completely at home and so it was a lot easier to remember to drink my water. Suddenly I was back to full water and I spent 3 or 4 days feeling generally ‘squidgy’ from the amount of water I’d drunk. I was constantly feeling bloated even when I was ‘weeing’ constantly! As usual dizziness was a unchanged factor of my week. Digestion was really great and my skin was OK. Not much changed between week 2 and 3 other than feeling like a marshmallow filled with water!

Week 4 thoughts

This was a sports based week as I went off to France for Rowing Camp so it was really tested that side of water drinking. I was still feeling dizzy but it wasn’t as bad as it had been for the last few weeks and made me feel a lot more concentrated. I can’t say I felt a massive burst of energy but my rowing definitely was some of my best rowing and the energy levels might have been due to how hot it was out there.

As I was out in the sun, I did tan and burn a little bit but this burn didn’t peel for once, instead it just faded to tan. I’m putting this down to the water keeping my skin more moisturised. A friend complimented my skin for first time ever!!! I don’t know if any of you know how happy this makes me but it proved to me that the water was providing actual results with my skin not just ones I was forcing myself to imagine.

Results & Final thoughts

These final few days, any dizziness I’ve experienced has been as a constant feeling at the back of my mind but it’s presence hasn’t been too bad. I think being hydrated has helped me deal far better with being tired too, I feel much more awake even when I’ve been awake all night. I have to say that I have been impressed with how water has helped my skin and also my digestion.

Of course, this experiment isn’t a completely fair test as I’ve been living my life while drinking more water so every day has been different. However most of the changes my life has gone through recently should have hindered the water’s power, not helped it. For example, I’ve re-introduced chocolate, sweets, cake and biscuits into my diet at the start of week 3. I can’t say I noticed a massive difference since reintroducing it all whereas I know I have in the past years, particularly with my skin, so I completely thank water for this.

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Is water all it’s portrayed to be?

So, water promised me pretty big results and has it reached the expectations my research set out for me? Lets have a look:

Stops headaches and dizziness. I haven’t really noticed a difference in this over the last few weeks. The dizziness did decrease in the final week but, although I don’t know what helped, I don’t think it was the water. I only got 1 real headache during this experiment but I don’t really get many headaches normally.

Clears your skin. Yes, yes, yes! I’ve noticed such a difference. I sort of felt water would help but it still surprised me. This is definitely the area I was happiest the water achieved. I wish I’d photographed a before and after to show you the difference. Maybe if I start lacking in my water drinking again, I’ll repeat the experiment and include photos!

Plumps out your skin/ Gets rid of wrinkles. While I haven’t noticed if I’ve got rid of wrinkles (because thankfully I don’t have too many), I have noticed an increase in hydration, which I imagine would remove wrinkles.

Helps remove toxins and fight infections. I don’t really know but I haven’t got ill while drinking the water?! That being said, I’m not a very sickly person normally so it’s not saying much…!

Aids weight-loss. I can’t say I noticed any but to be fair, I wasn’t wanting to lose weight so that suited me. If anyone else does this experiment, I’d love to see if they notice any difference in weight…

Keeps you ‘regular’ (in terms of toilets habits!) Possibly the thing I was second most happy about. I’m not going to go into much detail because I’m talking about toilet habits for goodness sake, but if you struggle with digestion etc, I recommend drinking enough water!

Improves concentration. I assume it was the water that made me more concentrated for revision over the holidays although it might be the looming exams! I’d say it did help partially as I just had to remember to drink water so my brain was more switched on, if that makes any sense…

Helps you exercise better. I had rowing camp in the middle of this experiment, aka the ideal time to test this out and I must say while I’m not suddenly world champion, I feel it did help partially because I got less tired out and I sweated less which is surprising given how warm it was.

Boosts energy. I’ve not had ‘bouncing-off ceilings’ sort of energy but I think it’s increased. Or at least I’m not as tired as usual even though I’m getting even less sleep…

Keeps your blood thin enough and therefore your organs healthy. Not really something I can tell but I feel like they’ve been healthy in the last few weeks. I mean, they haven’t been unhealthy so therefore they must be OK!!

Helps your kidneys and decreases chance of kidney stones. Again, it’s not something I can really check… I’d like to think that drinking my water in the last few weeks has helped but I don’t really think a month will have helped in the long run! I’ll update you when I’m 80 or so with whether I’ve had a kidney stone or not!!!

The results, while not completely promising everything the websites have told me water would do, have encouraged me to drink more water. I mean, knowing me, I’ll forget within the next few days but I would love to keep it up during exams and through to Prom. Just imagine if I could take prom photos with clear-ish skin!! That would be amazing!

If anyone else wants to try and remember to drink more water, let me know and I might create a ‘Water’ group chat on twitter where we basically remind each other to drink water and share any results we find. Ok, that sounds very geeky but if you like the sound of it, let me know!!

 

xxx

(This is the longest post I’ve ever written (2200 words!!) and it’s something very different for me so if you’ve enjoyed it please let me know and if you’ve REALLY enjoyed it, I’d love it if you could share it with your friends!)

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