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"Ahhhhhhhh"




Exhausting, painful, in(tense) (pun intended). All words to describe my DofE experience. As I write this, every muscle in my body is aching and I am hunched over from the burden which was my rucksack. My body is extremely tense but I'm pushing through to write about my experience.

It is impossible to put into exact words my experience of doing DofE Silver and I'm not sure where to start. I guess I should start with the title? Funnily enough it has two "jokes" to it. The first one being the sounds of our panicking voice boxes on Day 2 as we got lost and off the trail thanks to the old Map and the second being the sound the sheep made the entire 3 days! You'd think they'd baah like we've been told all our lives but the little buggers just kept moaning.



Anyway, about us getting lost. We were given an outdated Map and came across a crossover with 3 different paths and had to make a judgement of which to take and decided to go straight ahead. We walked down half confident that we chose the right path to see that we were very much wrong. From that point all we could do was panic when we realised the crossover wasn't even on the map. Somewhere further back we went wrong and didn't realise until we were about 3 miles away.

It was pretty dramatic to say the least. It got dark very quickly, nobody had eaten real food since about 11am and it was almost 10pm; we were sore and tired. Our minds were as all over the place as the sheep! It got real when we called our teacher and were told to blow the emergency whistles. In the end we were found and got to the camp at about 11pm. It was super dark and the torches were all out so we could set up tents and cook. Definitely a story to tell the kids one day but quite a traumatic experience at the time.




That same night, because of having food so late, we went to bed with a burst of energy and were fairly hyperactive but after the reality of what our 3rd day was going to be like if we didn't sleep, we all passed out fairly quickly.

I'm gonna go backwards now and take you to Day 1. The first day was a struggle. I never knew how unfit I had become until Monday. I coped for the majority of the day but the hills were certainly a challenge. They were very steep and kind of deceiving. Every time we thought we had reached the peak, it wasn't even close. There were some amazing views when we actually made it to the top, but was it worth the lack of oxygen to our deflated lungs? Probably not. The pictures don't even do the height any justice.



We met some really friendly people on our way to the destinations. Nothing like people in the city. Not one person didn't at least smile when they walked or drove past. Some even stopped to check we were doing OK and gave the last of their water!

The final day was tough as we were beneath a cloud for the majority of the walk so it got extremely cold very quickly and rained pretty much all day. Overall we were so motivated by the fact that we were going home in a couple hours that we kept a good pace. We had some good conversations and all planned exactly what takeaways we were going to get when we got back. I probably lost a stone over the 3 days but I probably put it back on after my pizza.


The camping itself was not what I expected. I knew I was obviously sleeping on the ground but I had no idea how uncomfortable it was going to be. I woke up feeling as stiff as a lamp post on the final night. I'm happy that I can check camping off my summer bucket list regardless.

I've definitely learnt some lessons from the  DofE practise. One being to remember salt and the other to pack a lot more snacks. I had enough food in terms of dinner but not near enough snacks for throughout the day. I was literally living on cereal bars for hours until dinner time.


Overall the experience had some ups and downs. I have always liked walking but doing it to this intensity isn't really for me. I do not regret taking part but it isn't an activity anybody will see me be quick to sign up for in the future.

I have the accessed version in July so fingers crossed its a whole lot easier.

Thanks for reading,

Have a great day X





It's OK To Be Alone



Being alone. The thing that people seem to fear. We live in a generation where being alone has become an irrational fear. We crave attention and we want to be wanted. As a whole, the idea of being alone is made out to be the worst thing possible but the truth is, that isn't the case. Being alone can enrich your own self esteem and allow you to focus on other important things than a companion. There are so many benefits to being alone, both physically and in terms of relationships.

When you are alone, you have time to figure out exactly what you want. What you want in a partner, what you want in a friendship, what you want in life. Don't waste your time feeling sorry for yourself but use this time to focus on setting your standards and goals you want to achieve. People often settle for less than they want and then this causes problems within relationships. Katy Bellotte said it perfectly. It's kind of like being stuck in quick sand and instead of trying to get out of it, you settle and just accept that that's the way it is. When you purchase a shirt online and it looks nothing like the picture and you don't like it, you don't just settle and keep it anyway (unless you forget to return it), so why is anything else in life any different? You deserve to be happy and satisfied with everything in life. Being alone can give you the opportunity to figure out exactly what that is. Then, once you've met someone, you need to make sure you don't settle for anything less than what you want. It's time to be selfish.

Just like I said earlier, being alone lets you focus on other important parts of your life. For example, school, work, your interests and hobbies etc. You don't have to compromise. You don't have to give up certain things for anybody or watch other sectors of your life deteriorate because you've focused so much on maintaining a relationship or friendship. I feel like its for the best that I'm not with anybody right now. I'm so tied up with other things that the poor guy would barely see me and that wouldn't be fair on him. It's OK to focus on what is important to you and again, be a little selfish.

I personally feel that a relationship can not be successful without self love. I don't know about you but I don't want to only feel beautiful when my boyfriend/husband tells me I am. I want to feel beautiful because I am beautiful. I want to feel confident because of my own experiences and my own character. Without self love, a relationship just doesn't seem to work. This is why being alone is great. When you're alone, you have time to work on yourself. Get real comfortable because you're going to get real familiar with yourself. When you're alone, you have no other option but to love yourself and learn to feel comfortable being on your own. If you have enough time to really get to know yourself, when somebody else walks into your life, they can not change you. You know who you are and you love yourself enough not to be dependent or reliant on anybody else. If anybody ever tries to change who you are, you have enough self love to walk away from that situation. Of course just walking away isn't easy but self love makes it a whole lot easier, don't you think? How many of you have dated several people because you feel that you need someone to love you? How many of you have stayed in a toxic relationship because you are afraid to be by yourself or without someone by your side? How many of you have allowed yourself to be repeatedly cheated on by the same person and stayed because you hope that one day they will see that you are enough? If you have ever felt that way, its time to face your fear and be alone.

Being alone doesn't just shape your character but it reduces the heartbreaks. I've never had my heart broken but I'm sure it sucks.In fact I know it sucks. If you're alone enough to know exactly what you want in a relationship, when it finally comes, hopefully its a success! Would you rather date 10 people and the 11th be the one or date 1 person and they be the one? I know which one I would pick.

So yes, being in a relationship is beautiful and love is beautiful but you know what else is? You. You're beautiful and you're enough. You don't need anybody but yourself. Of course it is important that we are surrounded by a good support network but how is that possible when we don't know what makes a good support network in the first place?

Remember there is a difference between feeling lonely and being alone.  My advice to you if you're feeling lonely is to get to know yourself and once you're familiar with that person, introduce them to others. Network and socialise with people you may think will benefit your life. Of course not everybody is religious but personally the first thing I do when I feel lonely is pray or study the bible. I instantly feel closer to God and no longer feel lonely. Believe me, if you believe, it 100% works.

I hope this has helped you guys and if you've had a negative view on being alone or the single life, you'll see it in a more positive light.

Thanks for reading,

Have a great day x

Dear Year 11.

Before I start I just want to say Happy Father's Day to all the amazing men around the world who have supported anybody in anyway. Whether you are biologically a father or not, you are a credit to the world and today is your day. My thoughts are with all those that sadly can not be with their father today for what ever reason. Happy Father's Day to the Mum's fulfilling both roles, you're amazing.


Today I wanted to do a short advice post and this is particularly to the year 11's who have or are about to finish school. I was in this exact same position a year ago and I want to give you my very best regards for your future but also give you a bit of advice.

First of all, congratulations. You did it. You made it through this tough year. You have been challenged and pushed to your very limits and now its over. Bittersweet huh? It is now the end of your high school journey and another chapter in your life has ended and a new one begins.

This summer will be the best summer of your life if you choose it to be. Almost 3 months of whatever you want to do. Travelling, partying, anything but studying pretty much. This is the summer full of opportunities. Opportunities to be with your closest friends for potentially the very last time, opportunities to try things and do things you never thought you would, opportunities to meet new people and introduce all new characters in your new chapter of your story. My advice to you is to grab those opportunities with both hands. Challenge yourself and experience as much as you can. You have 12 weeks to live your life. Once September starts and you begin college/sixth form, you will be so happy you made summer the best you could. Especially if you do A-levels.

Try things you wouldn't usually, go to places you've never had time to go to. This summer could be the best summer of your life. If you choose it to be. This is YOUR summer.

Congratulations on the end of your journey. Try not to stress too much about results day until the day comes. Don't try to hold back the tears at graduation or prom because it won't work. Just enjoy every moment with the people you have spent almost everyday with for 5 years.

This is it. Happy Summer!

Thanks for reading,

Have a great day x


My Current Summer Playlist 2017



Music is an essential part of summer. Is it really summer without music? I created a summer playlist for summer on my Spotify and I thought I would share some of my current on repeat songs for the season. Some are older and others are very current. I will update this post when more songs get added to the playlist that you guys should know about!

1) Came Here For Love - Sigala ft Ella Eyre 




2) I'm The One - DJ Khaled ft Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne 



3) Perfect Strangers - Jonas Blue ft JP Cooper 


4) I lived - One Republic




5) That's What I Like - Bruno Mars


6) Gecko (Overdrive) - ft Becky Hill, Oliver Heldens 




7) Vacation - GRL 


8). Symphony - Clean Bandit ft Zara Larsson 



9) All Night - The Vamps 



10) Galway Girl - Ed Sheeran


11) Mama - Jonas Blue ft William Singe 


Thanks for reading, 

Have a great day x


The Struggle Is Real




I'm finally done with exams!!* blows up balloons and pulls string on streamer *. It has been a long time coming but I'm done for the year and that means more blogs from me! I hope you're cheering right now because I am and if you're not then that's just awkward.

This is my first post of the summer and it feels so good. I'm aiming for 3 days a week but I have a super busy summer so there may be some weeks where there are only 2 but I am aiming for 3+.

Today I wanted to touch on a topic that doesn't get spoken about all too often. I have definitely watched a few videos and read a couple of articles on this but it's not a widely talked about topic. Today I wanted to talk to you about the struggles of being a teenager in this generation. I'm going to separate this into 5 categories and hopefully, if you're a teenager then you will relate. If not, then leave me a comment down below and I'd love to hear about your experience of being a teenager.

I was inspired to write this blog post after watching Zoella's Q&A all about HER experience of being a teenager and her advice to teenagers now. This post isn't going to be an advice post but I can do that if you would like to see one. Today's post is all about the struggles.

I think I have rambled on enough so let's get into the struggles.


Social Media: 

I believe that this is the reason for the gap between this generation and the previous generation. Social media and technology has changed the way that people live. Google was literally created the year before I was born and I have never gotten to experience life without it. Along with Google came other social media platforms such as MSN (shout out to everyone who remembers good ol' MSN), Facebook, Twitter (later on) etc. My point is, this generation has always been surrounded by social media and the media. It is so easy to get wrapped up and consumed by it. Teenagers often compare themselves to what they see in the media and online because they don't know any better. We're constantly being shown photo-shopped images on Instagram, skincare adverts where the models have been airbrushed and wearing makeup and being offered apps to edit our OWN images like FaceTune. The fact that there are so many applications for photo editing is enough to damage our self esteem. If there are so many, that must mean we're expected to edit our pictures, right? What is real and what is fake? It's extremely hard to tell when we have been born into the digital world. We are bound to compare ourselves to other people when we live in a world promoting perfection. I can do an entire post on my thoughts on social media if you want to see that because I don't want this section to be too long. To sum this up, social media causes teenagers (and adults) to compare themselves to others. This leads to insecurities and loss of self confidence and it's all to put coins in the purse of businesses. Teenagers already have to deal with hormones and well, growing up. Adding social media into the mix just isn't helpful at all.


Exams

Exams. Oh how I hate them. Now don't get me wrong, I love to learn. I actually love classes because I get this thrill from learning new things. I'm very interested in how the world is and all the history of it etc, however I HATE exams. I hate that you can be doing so well all year round but its that one exam that you do at the end of the year that determines your future. I never got less than an A in my history mocks in year 11 and I got an A* in my coursework. But I was stunned to open my results and see that I got a C in the real deal. It really took me by surprise. I knew I didn't do as well as I hoped but I NEVER expected a C. Not that a C is a bad grade, but when you're an A grade student, it definitely hurts. It doesn't bother me anymore because I know that I am better than that C. My previous exams were proof of that. Exams don't actually say anything about your intelligence. It more so tells you how good or bad you are at regurgitating and remembering facts (which I am not). As teenagers, exams seem to be the centre of your life most the time and society is constantly telling us how important they are but I know so many people that get by fine, in fact MORE than fine without A's. I try my best regardless because I believe you should put 110% in everything that you do, regardless of your opinion of the task. Exams get harder every year and I feel bad for my future kids that have to be doing degree level work at 14 years old. I'm not going to get political over here so all I'll say is, Thanks Govey boi,


"Love"

Now I put love in speech marks because 9 times out of 10, we don't actually find our lifelong partners when we are teenagers. It does and can happen but the majority of the time, it really is short term. Now I know that it was exactly the same for every other generation post the 80's (most likely) but there is one thing that makes "love" harder to find in this generation. SEX SEX SEX. Yeah, I said it. The forbidden, taboo word. In the past it has never really been all that important to couples (though it seems anyway) but now it seems to constantly be talked about. I'm (sadly) a part of a generation that seems to absolutely crave it. Talking about it, hearing about it, doing it. The lot. It's all about body count, virginity etc. I for one don't want to be a part of it and couldn't care less but I definitely understand that there are people my age who feel pressure to be doing it or talking about it. Like I said, I can honestly, truly say I really do not care but there are people who do. I watched a story-time on YouTube and this 18 year old girl was basically dumped for being a virgin. How RIDICULOUS is that? Claps to that girl for sticking to her morals and not giving in because sadly that isn't the case for everyone.


Friendships

Friendship. I personally haven't had to deal with many friendship issues in my life but fake friends seems to be a reoccurring problem. People experience finding out there's a lil snake in their friendship group all the time which is really sad. There are situations where a "friend" has said things behind another's back, they're constantly putting their "friend" down, they only ever want to be around their "friend" when it benefits them etc. I feel like fame and money seems to tear friendships a part or reveal who is a real one. Social media is definitely intertwined with this one.


Body Image/Appearance

Again I feel like this ties into social media so I won't talk too much about it. There seems to be this pressure to look a certain way and it sadly tends to be for someone other than yourself. Whether that be for the opposite gender or for friends. Society is constantly changing expectations and the "ideal" person. One minute it was all about being slim and tall and then it was all about being thick and bootylicious. The ideal look for girls in particular is constantly rotating and its impossible to keep up. People get left behind, accused of being unoriginal and told to be unique but then unique isn't appreciated. It is difficult to "be yourself" and have your own style when the only thing that gets a glimpse is what is trending. Eventually people start to look similar and the world is full of copies. It is also as if boys are afraid to wear something that isn't a major brand. I know that my brother won't wear certain clothing items because it's not in trend. I'm someone who doesn't care and I'll happily walk down the street in Lonsdale. My brother refuses to go anywhere with me if that is the case but like I said, I don't care. Girls are expected to look like these Instagram baddies all the time and a lot of them refuse to go out in public with no makeup because they don't want people thinking they're a catfish. I find that really upsetting. They don't embrace what God has given them and who they are, just because they're trying to keep up with a certain image.

So you guys get the gist right? It is extremely difficult being a teenager in this generation. Practically every sector of being a teenager isn't how it used to be. I could have named so many other things but then you'd be reading for HOURS and nobody wants to know what I have to say for that long.

I hope you related to this post or atleast understood where I am coming from. Let me know if you want to see a seperate post on social media because I would love to do that.

Thanks for reading!

Have a great day x





Summer Bucket List 2017





As I am writing this, I only have two exams left! I am absolutely buzzing! As soon as those exams are done, I'm pretty much done for the summer. That means I can finally blog without guilt and I can upload so much more frequently. Last year I challenged myself to upload everyday, but I have to admit, it was a little much for me. This year I am hoping to post 3-4 days a week. I have so many posts planned already, so make sure to follow me here so you know when I am uploading!

Anyway, let me stop rambling and give you what you came for! This year is by far going to be my busiest, most jam packed summer I have ever had. I have so many plans and so many things I want to do, so I thought I would show you my bucket list for summer 2K17!

1. Play Messy Twister (It hasn't happened yet but this year has to be the year)

2. Go On Random Buses And See Where They Go (I take the bus to sixth form everyday but there are hundreds and I mean hundreds of buses in my city that I have never taken. Adventure awaits!)

3. Start A Dance Routine In A Supermarket (As some of you may know, I am a dancer. However I get easily embarrassed in public settings and I always want to dance when stores play music but I get easily shy. I kind of just want to break out of that and just do it! I mean it's summer right?)

4. Study The Bible In More Depth

5. Ride A Bike At The Park (I haven't rode a bike in YEARS. To be honest, I don't even think I remember how, it has been that long. But I really want to go on a bike ride at the park)

6. Try To Post On Instagram Everyday (Try being the key word there aha)

7. Make At least 5 New Friends (Last year I made so many new friends that I still speak to all the time and I'll be hanging out with this summer. This year I want to meet new people)

8. See A Fireworks Show (I'm going to Disney World this year so hopefully I'll see a couple at the night time shows!)

9. Do The BeanBoozled Challenge Again (I did it back when I was 14, which was almost 4 years ago! wow...I feel old. I want to do it again as they have added new beans since then)

10. Try Pinterest/Buzzfeed Recipes (I did a few last year and they were so awesome, I made S'more bars and cookie pops. This year I want to try more savoury stuff)

11. Go Camping (I have never been camping before, so I would love to actually do it and sit around a real fire. Do the lot)✔

12. Go Grocery Shopping Without My Parents (I go grocery shopping with my parents all the time but now that I'm close to becoming a university student, I want to experience it without them and buy my own groceries for the week)✔

13. Visit A Trampoline Park

14. Become More Flexible (I'm still quite flexible but I'm definitely not as flexible as I used to be so I want to try and get back to how I used to be or better)

15. Go To A Later Cinema Showing (I've only ever went to the cinema in the morning or early afternoon so I want to go in the evening time)

16. Start My Driving Lessons

17. Document My Whole Summer 

 So this is my 2017 Summer Bucket List! Make sure you're following my Instagram to see if I complete these things! Ahhhh Summer is within reach

Have a great day x


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