Setting Your Mindset Up For School

So, it’s officially September (seriously guys this year is going too fast, I can literally remember the 31st of December 2017 when I was in church getting ready for the new year ha ha) and if you haven’t already seen the back 2 school adverts on television and the college enrolment posters on billboards and train stations then maybe you’ve just been hiding under a rock look. But it is definitely back to school season! and what better way of starting the month off with some tips on how to prepare your mindset off for back to school.

I think the first step to getting in the right mindset is doing it PRACTICALLY. And by this, I mean getting the necessary resources for a good school year. This can range from correct uniform if you are in a secondary institution, or getting clothes needed for sixth form or university. Stationary is essential for school, this can range from notepads to folders, to flash cards, highlighters, even a good functioning laptop is needed if you are in a higher institution. Practically getting yourself back into the school zone will give you a good shock, and tell you that you are going to have a great school year, and you’ve left that lazy holiday mentality back in Ibiza (or wherever you went lool…)

Secondly, it’s all about the MENTAL preparation. Let’s face it, school can be stressful, very stressful. I’ve mentioned in the past about taking care of your mental health, and I can’t reiterate this enough- its so important. School is a place where you make friends and meet them every day, however it can also be one of the loneliest places, especially in university (I’ve had my experiences of this too) so mentally preparing yourself for what can seem like a long year is very important. So, try and do what is best for your mental health, whether by talking to mentors or councillors, family members or investing in your faith e.g. prayer. Going in with a strong mind can help you when you face obstacles such as exam stress.

Lastly, PHYSICALLY. I don’t think this is really talked about enough, but physical health is really important too. It can be simple things such as eating healthy and having a balanced diet. At the end of the day you need to have energy to focus and perform tasks to the best of your ability in order to perform well at school. So gradually beginning a routine of getting enough sleep, eating the right things and drinking enough water can really make a difference to your school day. And this depends on where you are in your education, for example a Uni student may need a lot more energy for all-nighters and long library sessions in comparison to someone who has just started year 7, so take time and evaluate how much energy you need for a school day. Physical health is just as important as mental health. Both work in unison.

In conclusion, this was just a short post put together, as I was reflecting on how I can make my school year a better and efficient one. I thought it was great to share on my blog for those starting school soon, or for those who have already started a new year. Wishing you a blessed, prosperous and enjoyable school year!!

Why I Write.

 

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So, I guess I could say that from a young age I’ve always loved words. It began with reading and you could describe me as a “bookworm” in the sense that my head was always wrapped up in the latest adventurous story that were printed on pages. Eventually I realised that words put in the right frame have the power to influence, educate and transform people, and that is why I write!

Previously I’ve expanded my work from poetry to Spoken Word which is a format of speaking poetry aloud to a crowd, once again with the motive of either educating or inspiring people. This can be used to support examples of famous speeches from Martin Luther King, to Maya Angelou to George the Poet. These speeches have gone down in history not only as revolutionary but powerful and motivating speeches that have changed the world. Evidently so, it has paved the way for many changes in society.
However, I attribute some of my works to artists such as Suli Breaks and DYLEMA who are both UK poets/spoken word artists. Not only because they are captivating in their words and writings but after seeing them both perform live, they’ve left that impact on me that still directs me to my spoken word pieces today.

Suli Breaks, most notable for his piece titled “Why I hate school but love education” which has gained close to 9 million views on YouTube is what particularly attracted me to his work. I guess what made it gain such prominence is the fact that it was targeted to many teens, like myself making it very relatable to some of the topics raised in the video. Topics ranging from not being able to fully express your uniqueness under subjects such as English or Maths, and topics such as Black History Month being limited to the generic understandings of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. He managed to create a distinction between the purpose of school and the purpose of education which many people could relate to sincerely, simply put it was a great spoken word piece.

Likewise, DYLEMA performed her piece “What If a black girl knew” at a university showcase I attended last year, and her words were truly inspiring. In a short space of 5 minutes she was able to poetically translate to a crowd, common issues that black girls face such as stereotypes of girls in society, insecurities relating to facial features and a lack of opportunities we come across. The fact that once again I could disclose my feelings towards this powerful piece is also what attracted me to her work and motivated me to start writing my own.

So far, I can say I have around three or four spoken word pieces that I can say is finished and accomplished in achieving its goals which is to inspire and to motivate people. I hope to develop my skills further in creating more inspiring pieces to showcase to people of my age and to others too.

Thanks for reading!

 

Noughts and Crosses – Book Review

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As my summer holidays approached this year, I decided to make it a must to start reading again. As I clearly had all the time in the world now away from school and other commitments, I wanted to stray away from social media and delve into what I enjoyed most which was reading!

Before I got engaged with social media, reading used to be my favourite thing to do. I especially loved studying books where we could learn about characters, themes and hidden messages. So I decided to read more this year and accomplish all the books off of my reading list. One of them being, to read Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses.

Before I picked up on this book, I had heard of her but I had not read any of her books before, so I was excited to see what she had to offer ( I love reading books from new authors). A friend had recommended the book to me and after reading a bit about it I decided why not give it a go. What drew me towards this book was the whole plot of it. Without reading too much into it, I found it really fascinating of how Blackman came up with this story book based on society’s role reversal between black and white people.

Quick Synopsis: The book is based on two people, Callum who is white and is labelled as a nought. Him and his family are lower-class, struggling to survive and have little money. Callum is friends with Sephy who is labelled as a Cross. Her family is black and are very wealthy, in fact all crosses are very wealthy in their town. They are friends, to everyone’s disliking, but endure on a powerful love journey together as Callum gets enrolled at Sephy’s prestigious school.

So the first thing that really shocked me (besides the role reversal of their lifestyle) was the names they were labelled with. I thought it was very smart that they weren’t labelled as just black and white as we are today. But the name nought had a very deeper meaning. It symbolised their position in the story – as nothing. Frequently, they were referred to as ‘blankers’ meaning they were nothing, they had no value, they were just blank. Even in the visual way, a nought is simply a zero which connoted their position in society- simply stating that they had none. Whereas Sephy who was labelled as a cross creates an obvious opposite way of living. They are seen to be more stronger and more powerful in their way of life. Especially when you study the family of Sephy and realise the amount of power they obtain. They were mentioned as black and white in their individual family conversations, but the societal term of ‘Noughts’ and ‘Crosses’ were used by people in the book

The second thing that really struck me was the symbolism and the similarities that the Noughts had to go through, which are totally relatable to the black struggle previously in countries like America. Early on in the book, Callum is smart, which means he passes the test to go to one of the most prestigious schools in their town, which is mainly known for accepting black people only. The book captured his first day, alongside 6-7 other teens who passed the test to be allowed into the school. As they approached the gates, they were heckled by Crosses shouting “blankers, blankers!” and of course they were denied access on the first day. Reading this moment, immediately shot up memories that I had learned in school of the Little Rock Nine students who were denied access to school in Arkansas, due to whites refusing to integrate. I don’t know if Blackman intentionally did this, to catch people’s eye out or if it was done to make people realise that this is similar to everyday life now, but that moment really stood out for me.

Overall, I must say I am very impressed with the book. At times, it did drag on to the exciting parts, especially at the start which made it hard to continue reading on. That’s what is hard for me really, if the first few chapters of a book do not seriously excite me then it is very hard for me to read on until the end. Nevertheless, I continued and I’m glad that I did. The story had a powerful ending to it, and without revealing to much, it allows you to realise the balance of powers between black and white people in terms of the government, those in authority and those who have major control, do we use our privileges against people who don’t have the same  privileges as us? or have we become so used to the fact that we will never be equal to each other in terms of our social status, especially with all the events happening around the world of police brutality to one particular race.

I would give this book 4/5 stars. It hasn’t been better than previous books I’ve read which have left me so amazed that I had to read it again and again, but this book did come with a lot of messages, lessons and good cliff-hangers, so I would definitely encourage anyone to get this book and read it.

I am due to read 1984 or The handmaids tale next so if anyone has read these books, then do let me know how it is!

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

The Books That I Love…

Books. An item with hundreds of pages and thousands of words that you fixate your eyes upon. Some may sink through to your heart and clasp your eyes until tears of heartbreak pour out, some may even do the same- but only with laughter. Some may leave you in absolute awe of how an author can come up with such a creative concept and simply turn it into a story…

I may not have time to read the all the twilight’s and the Harry Potter’s but these books that I’ve read have either influenced my outlook on life or like above have simply left me in absolute wonder of how a story could be that good. Here are some of a few!

img_20321. To Kill a Mockingbird

Now this book I kind of had no choice about reading since it was for my GCSE’S. But I immediately fell in love with the meaning behind this book. We are immediately introduced to Scout and Jem at such a young and tender age and we see thing through the eyes of Scout who explores how prejudice and discrimination is at a high in her neighbourhood. The book explores how Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are simply treated differently because of their circumstances; Tom being black and Boo being a recluse. To me the moral of the story is to simply do not do anything that does no harm to you – similar to the mockingbird. it’s wrong to do harm to them as all they do is just sing.

 

img_20332. The Great Gatsby

Another one I had no choice in reading as I was doing it for my English A-level but this also has a powerful meaning behind the book. The book explores how the obsession with riches and status can damage and ruin your whole journey of life. Gatsby’s obsession with not only money but Daisy Buchanan leaves readers in despair as they slowly watch his life slip away. The unique use of symbols by Fitzgerald hints at how in life we chase after materialistic things leaving behind the importance of value and morals as they may seem less important. The use of the blue water and the green light leaves readers in suspense of just how the “great” Gatsby ends up in the deep end.

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3. A Piece Of Cake

Cupcake Brown’s memoir of how her twisted life of pain and struggles left me reading on and on. I felt amazed of how a young girl manages to go through the death of a parent, child abuse, drugs and poverty  to become an amazing author. I personally enjoy sad books as they allow me to reveal my emotions and relate to the character and this book did just that. The fact that these events were all true also acts as an added interest.

constance-briscoe-beyond-ugly-triumphing-over-a-loveless-childhood-_14. Ugly

Similar to a piece of cake , Ugly explores the true story of Constance Briscoe and her journey through life as she faces abuse from her mother. Her harrowing journey ends with happiness as she finally becomes a barrister at the end of it. A brilliant book to read and a mixture of both melancholic and joyful moments.