Survival Guide: A-levels

Hey guys, so in the UK we have Primary (5-11) and Secondary school (11-16) and then most people go to college or sixth form after their last year at Secondary school when they’re 16 until normally when they’re 18. So, I’ve just finished my first year at Sixth Form (Year 12) and I survived just about, so I thought I’d share some tips on exams, revision, and social life, and how to survive it in general because I learnt the hard way and that wasn’t pleasant sooooo yeah lets get started.

Tip 1. Stay organized from the beginning. If you don’t, you will have a pile of work sat around and it will take you so much longer to sort out and actually use to learn from. Also, you can not work well in a messy environment.

Tip 2. Don’t think about the whole year ahead of you, that will only stress you out and you won’t be able to concentrate, focus on each day at a time.

Tip 3. Learn work once you are given it, if you leave it all to the end to learn, you won’t have enough time to properly understand it or to be able to go out, especially in subjects with a lot of content such as biology and chemistry.

Tip 4. If you don’t understand something, ask your teacher or friends to explain it to you, it will sit on your mind leading up to the exam and cause a lot more stress than is necessary.

Tip 5. Make time to go out and see friends and family, do something that will take sixth form off your mind completely, that part of your brain needs a rest, but don’t over do it.

Tip 6. Do not let yourself be affected by extremely negative or childish people, it will not help you when it comes to learning or your general happiness. People learn best when they’re happy, so if someone is affecting you, do something about it because only you can help yourself.

Tip 7. Download apps such as Tide or Focus Keeper, to help you stay concentrated but it also ensures you have regular short breaks, which is proven to keep your productivity level high.

Tip 8. Get enough sleep, especially around exam season. Sleep is when your brain organizes and processes information, so it is a lot more important than staying up all night just to read over 1 extra topic.

Tip 9. Make sure you eat and drink before exams, in my experience, it helps you concentrate so much more, because A. You won’t be distracted by the sound of your stomach rumbling, and B. You need energy.

Tip 10. Don’t compare yourself to other people, at the end of the day you can only be the best you can be, so if someone is there getting A’s and you’re getting D’s even though you’re trying your hardest, don’t worry about it, that’s okay.

Hopefully this is useful for anyone starting A-Level and I will possibly be making more survival guides like a GCSE version of this if there is enough requests, so feel free to contact me on my contact page or on my Instagram @mydreamsivebeenliving. Also, let me know if you have any more ideas for blog posts or anything like that. Byee

 

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Why is conservation biology so important? How can you help?

Well, first of all, let’s start off by asking ourselves what the definition of this is, dictionary.com states that conservation biology is “the scientific study of the conservation of biological diversity and the effects of humans on the environment.” This means that humans are having an effect on the natural world and that conservation biology is our way to try and protect natural wildlife.

But why would we need to protect it?

There are so many reasons why we need to preserve the natural world other than just caring about the animals and also that we need oxygen to survive. For example, medicine, I know you might be thinking what are you on about, but hear me out. If we killed off all the wildlife, there could’ve been a plant out there that could prevent cancer or dementia and we would miss out on the chance to help so many people and their families because we didn’t preserve any sort of biodiversity. If we actually make the effort to stop or slow down the damage we are doing to the environment, we might stand more of a chance of saving so many people from pain and suffering.

Another of the many reasons why it is essential for us to preserve wildlife, is that everything in this world is linked in some way or another, whether it be directly or indirectly, because the earth is one huge ecosystem, an ecosphere. This means if we don’t make efforts to reduce our negative impact, it will affect something else, and in turn, us, and it already is doing so. Let me give you an example, we have been contaminating rivers and streams for years with pesticides that have ran off farmlands, but this contaminated water is causing harm to fish and other sealife. The problem mainly occurs when these chemicals end up getting mixed together. They tend to form hazardous, more toxic chemicals, which have been affecting fish populations such as salmon, and mixtures of pesticide remains can be found in our food, which could potentially lead to death in extreme situations. (To learn more about this research go to www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080216095740.htm ).

I could sit here all day and talk about how important conservation of wildlife actually is, such as how all species have a right to exist and that future generations should be able to enjoy current species so they aren’t looking back on wildlife today as we look at dinosaurs. Also how oxygen levels in the atmosphere all the time, the list goes on forever, however what’s more important is how we can actually help.

There are actually lots of things you can do to help, even though it might seem like it won’t make a difference, it will over time and overall with the amount of people doing it. So here’s a short list of some of the things you can do:

  1. Recycle
  2. Try not to waste water
  3. Eat less meat – Michael Pollan suggested that if America went meatless 1 night a week, it would have the same impact of getting “30 to 40 million cars off the road for a year”
  4. Eat less beef and lamb – studies have shown that a lot of energy is needed for them to grow, which means more pesticides are used for the larger amount of food they need, also animal manure releases ammonia, nitrous oxides and also methane which is extremely bad for our atmosphere.
  5. Don’t buy wild exotic pets, it is much better to buy captive bred ones.
  6. Try and buy sustainably sourced fish, often labelled with the msc logo.
  7. Use cars less, walk, cycle, or use public transport as is using less fuel than if everyone were to drive individually.
  8. Waste less food, serve less or start a compost pile.
  9. Use locally sourced food where possible – this reduces fuel emissions from transport of food.
  10. Reuse plastic bags – already being encouraged by the legal 5p charge of a plastic bag in the uk.

I could talk forever about why it’s important and how you can help, so if I get enough requests I will be writing a part 2 to this, you can contact me over my instagram @mydreamsivebeenliving or using the contact page on this site.

Padstow

Yesterday we went to one of my favourite places in Cornwall before coming back home, Padstow, we drove down and most of the car parks were full because it was such a nice day but it was surprising because its not even school holidays yet! When finally parked and ready, we walked over to the harbour, and there were some fish swimming around near the surface, I presume this was because of the heat, so I got a few pictures of that. After taking in the view of the harbour, we went around the shops for a little but didn’t buy anything, and then we made our way to the beach. To get to the beach in Padstow you have to walk over a hill which was kinda effort, but the view from the top was awesome, so if you go I recommend taking a camera or binoculars because there is so much surrounding around you. I also managed to get a few pictures of some birds in the plants and trees next to the path, and then I got some pictures from the beach itself of passing boats and the waves. So that was the end of the holiday, and every day I managed to eat a pastie because you can’t go to cornwall and not eat pasties, you just cant.

The unexpected discovery!

On our way to St Ives today, I noticed a large helicopter in the sky as we turned a corner, so we drove round looking for it, and within 5 minutes we found what I believe to be one of the edges of RNAS Culdrose. There was a Royal Navy Sea King Mk5 search and rescue helicopter on the ground, which was awesome to look at, it seemed so big, and thankfully I had my Canon DSLR on me at the time with the 75-300mm lens already on it, so I took some pictures like the one you can see below. We also saw the Royal Navy EHI-101 Merlin HM1 carrying out what looked to be a practise exercise a little further away, so yeah that was cool and a little unexpected and I got these pictures out of it. (Sorry if either of these names are wrong, I’m no expert.) IMG_0220IMG_0211

Falmouth 2017

IMG_0156.JPGSo this weekend, my parents and I came down to go to a university open day, and decided to stay for a few more days as a small holiday. Saturday was the open day and I really enjoyed it, I’d like to study Conservation Biology and Ecology, not sure where yet though. Today, Sunday, we went down to the harbour and to Gylly beach where I took some photos on my Canon EOS 1300D dslr, but I nearly got my pastie stolen by the seagull I took this picture of which was rude aha, it is a beautiful place and I would recommend going if you get the chance, especially on a sunny day. The only downside is the walk over the a hill between the harbour and gylly beach but it’s a good view from the top.