#a-levels Tumblr posts

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    Friday, 29th May 2020

    Further Maths - A-Level Prep - Core Pure 1, Real/Complex Polynomial Roots

    Fell back asleep after my alarm today, whoops, but I’m up and back to studying now after a couple of off-days. I don’t entirely trust further maths not to turn into gibberish at any moment, but it’s definitely interesting so far!

    (Also look how satisfying this is from yesterday)

    🎵 Show Me A Leader - Alter Bridge

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  • Of all the things that I thought might bring about reformation to the university system, a global pandemic wasn’t one of them. Relegated to working at home, with piss poor imitations of lectures, seminars and exams, I myself am angry at the way university students are being treated currently, and how we have been treated in the past years.

    To begin with, university is no longer a system of gaining knowledge, it is not a system of self-betterment. You pay a fee to gain a qualification to get a job, I’m not the first to state this and I know that. What’s worse is that students have been held at metaphorical gun point, either take the overpriced and ridiculous hurdles it takes to get into university, or don’t gain a degree, which leaves a blaring hole in your CV. Universities in essence can do whatever they want, what are you going to do? Leave? With no degree? Have to start over at a different place with the little money you have left. It makes me furious that students are paying so much for so little. I am a case study in this, because during these times without lectures or seminars, what really am I paying for?

    I do a degree in undergraduate English Literature at a good university, one which falls in that middle tier of most universities in the UK. I chose it for the reason that I reasoned that it fulfilled my needs to live in a city which had culture and a vibrant student life, while also being fairly impressive in terms of academics. I purposely chose to not attend a university which would feel like school, such as Oxbridge, or its imitation sector (Durham, Exeter, St. Andrews, York) My university falls into the average of many within the UK, which leads me to believe that many are handling the pandemic the way mine is, namely, poorly. I like working, I enjoy my degree, I enjoy reading and analysing and writing essays. I like the academic and social aspect to lectures and seminars and meetings, and I hoped that these things would be somehow replicated while under lockdown. To my surprise, thinking that with the 9,250 pounds I spend on my degree a year they could afford to invest some money in this process, what I have received in actuality can barely be called teaching.

    In a normal week at my university I would have a couple of lectures a day, a few seminars, all of which culminate with end of year exams, a chance to exemplify and show off all the skills and knowledge I’ve developed that year.  In its place, I have online lectures and ‘discussion boards’. It’s not the lectures I hold an issue with, I find them easy to do and not that different to a normal lecture, it’s recorded and played alongside the slides and I take notes as normal, no complaints there. It is the seminars that I loathe, that make me maddeningly angry, or rather it’s the lack of seminars which makes me furious. My degree is subjective largely, its built on discussion and the swapping of ideas, bouncing off other pupils and discussions.

    But how could this be replicated under lockdown? Be reasonable now.

    Well, we could do zoom calls with our seminar leaders as a group maybe? Or have meetings with our module leaders on zoom personally to discuss the material one on one so they can check our understanding and knowledge more in depth. There are options, but my university has rejected all of these options in favour of ‘discussion boards’. The title is misleading, they aren’t discussion boards, because you can’t discuss things on them. We are encouraged to ‘start threads’ to discuss the material with our fellow students, which fails because no one wants to be the person to start a thread, and if you do no one responds to it, in preference of just answering the questions posed by the seminar leader at the top of the page and leaving it at that. This isn’t a complaint against my fellow students, the whole process is clunky and awkward and terribly designed, and I find it ridiculous that as students we are expected to just interact with each other and somehow arrive at the ideas and themes by ourselves.

    But university is about independent learning you snowflake millennial! You’re just upset because people aren’t holding your hand through the process!

    Yes you are completely right my boomer friend, university is about independent learning, trust me I know about independent learning when I dragged myself tooth and nail from a D average at Sixth Form to an A/A* average in my A2 exams, I know how to think and function and develop thoughts by myself. What makes me angry is that I am paying for a service, University is a service I am paying for, and right now I am not receiving that service in full and that makes me mad because if you spent money on a service you were no longer receiving you too would be mad. If you paid a Netflix subscription in full, but then found you could only watch half of every TV show and movie on there, you would ask for your money back as well! This is not my generation being angry that we are not being coddled or having our hands held throughout this, we are angry because older generations have transformed university into a commodity, and now we are paying for a commodity that we are no longer receiving. I am not paying to teach my classmates and start discussions with them, I am paying for a seminar leader to guide and lead the discussion so that the conversation is productive and allows us to arrive at ideas in a way that helps us develop our critical thinking skills and ultimately help me get a better degree, and use these transferable skills in future jobs and my career.

    Well this is a difficult time! You don’t know what the people who teach you are going through at home or their ability to work, you’re being selfish by asking that they keep doing their jobs!

     I understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, including both students and staff. However, I don’t think I am being unreasonable in asking for the minimum, when they are asking the minimum from us. I’m not saying that they have to be perfect, just that they be reasonable. 

    I’ll use an example from a fairly recent interaction I had with my head of department. It was a Tuesday morning, 10:50am and I was logging onto my discussion board in order to complete my ‘seminar’ this week. At my university, if you don’t respond to these things during the allotted time during that day, its marked as an unauthorised absence which is obviously not a good thing. So I log on, and sit there waiting for the link to the discussion board to be posted, thinking it’ll ‘go live’ at 11 and then I can get going with the process. It’s important to note that prior to this I have heard little to nothing off of my seminar leader, aside from a confusing email at the beginning of lock down in which he rambles a fair bit and doesn’t clearly explain how its all going to work. So I wait, 11 am comes and goes and I keep refreshing the page but nothing comes up, I’m panicked at this point, I don’t ‘miss’ seminars and I try and maintain a good record with my professors and lecturers. So I email the head of the English department, clearly stating that I am on the web page that I need to be on, in my seminar tutors folder, but I can’t find the link to the discussion board. I get a response back fairly quickly, a fairly snippy email asking whether or not I’ve checked my seminar leaders folder.

    I am understandably quite mad, as I have already stated clearly that I have. She asks me to provide ‘proof’ in the form of a screenshot, and so I do. Some time passes, and she informs me that it was an issue with the settings on the web page, but she feels she can’t change them because its my seminar leaders job. Now I’m even more angry, because surely as the head of a department she should be able to change settings if it means I would be able to ‘attend’ my seminar. By the time the seminar is over, and the ‘discussions’ have taken place, I finally get the link and am able to post some stuff. It was stressful and infuriating. 

    My point through all of this is to not shame my professors, they are people with real lives and difficulties, and are obviously going through the same issue that we all are, what I need from them is transparency. If they aren’t going to be able to respond to emails, then tell us that, if there’s been an emergency or issue, tell us that you might not be able to what you normally do. The issue I take is not with the difficulties and growing pains of the system that clearly had to be thrown together in a rush due to these highly unprecedented circumstances, its with the lack of communication in talking about these difficulties. The inability to effectively communicate with the student body to me comes across as laziness and disregard for the needs and wants of the students is what maddens me.

    I understand that could be frustrating, but surely everything will be back to normal next year though?  

    Here’s the thing, I don’t want things to return to normal next year, this pandemic has just exposed the underlying truths of the university system that already were there. Things such as the complete apparent disregard that universities hold for the welfare and education of their students. My university, while I love being there and overall have has a very positive experience with, has fucked up numerous times and in ways that have deeply hurt me, all of which happened in pre-lockdown. I’ll run through some examples. 

    Pre-lockdown I was deeply struggling with my mental health, chronic insomnia and an inability to sleep had driven my mental state to the edge and I felt myself tipping over. In a terrible habit I had gotten into, in which ‘too reset my sleep schedule’ I would stay up all night and the next day, I would do this several times a month and I was suffering really badly. I wasn’t eating well, oscillating between eating too much, and then barely eating for days, I hated every aspect of myself and felt uncomfortable in my mind and body. This culminated in the day that I should have been revising for upcoming exams, I hadn’t slept but was going to walk down to the library and get some work done. While walking down I fell down a mental spiral of intense self-hatred and loathing, everything from my personality to how my clothes felt on my body made me feel awful, and in the 15 minute walk to the library I was close to tears. I was outside the Student Union when I began having a fully-fledged panic attack, something I hadn’t experienced in years. Panicked and hyper-ventilating I rang my closest friend who talked me down and told me to go find someone to talk, luckily I was right next to student support services. Still trembling and obviously shaken I walked into the student support services, which was completely empty aside from the one woman working behind the counter. I was still so shaken I could barely talk, and while she was kind, there was no effort to help my condition. She told me that I would need to fill out a form and they would arrange an appointment in which I could be given a diagnosis. 

    Well what’s wrong with that? Surely that’s what you wanted?

    Oh my poorly educated friend, no that’s not what I wanted. I wanted someone to talk me off the ledge I was on and calm me down, not have a form shoved in my face when I was clearly in no position to organize an appointment, given that I was dizzy from hyperventilating and obviously pale and shaken. I also know from personal experience that receiving therapy or a meeting takes MONTHS of scheduling, scheduling a meeting for 2 months wouldn’t make me feel safer in that moment, and all the talk of diagnosis and treatment that was being thrown at me felt overwhelming and scary. So I left, with a pamphlet on the health services complicated website and went and sat down for a while.

    But that’s a one off? 

    Well no actually. You know personal tutors? The people that are meant to help and guide you through academic and personal difficulties, well my first year tutor just… didn’t. In fact I don’t feel he cared one jot about me or the struggles I went through. For some context, my parents live abroad in Egypt, and I have a very small support system in the UK, meaning that a lot of the time during holidays and time off Uni, I’m alone when my friends go back to stay with their families, and living alone at Uni in first year, I found this challenging and difficult. In a scheduled personal meeting, which only take 15 minutes, we talked about how I was doing academically and that was fine. He then asked if there was anything else I wanted to talk about, and I told him that I was concerned about my Christmas plans, explaining that due to my father working for a Muslim business he didn’t get a lot of time off for Christmas, and that I was worried about spending a month alone in my house in Sheffield. His response? 

    ‘well… that’s not really my area is it?’

    I felt myself shrink down into myself, embarrassed and upset. I nodded and left, but the words stuck to me long after the meeting was over. 

    These two different stories for me, paint a larger overarching picture. It’s the abandonment of the students that they proclaim to care about. Not only academically but also personally. Not all universities are like this, not all personal tutors are like (bless my personal tutor this year, she’s a sweetheart), but they all play into the idea that in the priorities of universities, students aren’t at the forefront of their ideas. This can be seen in the increase in grad-students leading modules, as opposed to qualified lecturers, in the lack of funding for mental health systems, the poor online infrastructure, the treatment of students by staff and university workers. 

    Which brings me to my final point, that the Universities now have the AUDACITY to ask us to pay 9,250 pounds for next years probably online degree, with many universities confirming that next semester will be entirely online. It’s one thing to not refund already budgeted money, but another entirely different thing to expect students to continue to pay full price for a degree that their not entirely getting. It makes me furious to think that I’m going to have to do it, I’ve already signed my lease for next year, I can’t just take a year out and come back when things are normal. Which is why I’m supporting all the students who were meant to start university next year postponing for a year. 

    Do it. 

    Force the university to step up its game for what it provides student, make them prove to all of us where our money is going and how it benefits us. As a student you are paying to experience life as a student. You are paying for those face to face lectures and meetings, you are paying for the university lecture halls you will sit in, you’re paying to use their amenities, libraries, health services, club nights, socials, societies, you are paying and it is okay to not want to go when you won’t receive them. Don’t feel guilty for not going, for missing out for ‘frivolous’ reasons, because you want to have the full freshers experience. When paying for a full packet experience, you are allowed to expect the full package. Hopefully, you will have a better experience than me.

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    Monday, 25th May 2020

    Chemistry - A-Level Prep - Module 4.5.1, Haloalkane Chemistry ft yesterday’s sky

    I don’t think it’s in this photo, but I keep writing ‘catiocarbon’ instead of ‘carbocation’, whoops

    🎵 When Legends Rise - Godsmack

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    Saturday, 23rd May 2020

    It’s the weekend and my dad’s birthday so I’m not studying today, but here’s an assortment of stationery and notes pictures from recently! :)

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    Friday, 22nd May 2020

    Chemistry - A-Level Prep - Module 4.3.4, Electrophilic Addition in Alkenes

    I’ve switched the way around I have my laptop with the textbook on my desk and it’s much better. I’m hoping I can finish y12 chem today!

    🎵 Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Nirvana

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    Monday, 18th May 2020

    Chemistry - A-Level Prep - Module 3.3.4, Hess’ Law + Enthalpy Cycles + reading and an oat milk strawberry smoothie from yesterday

    Watched an episode of Sherlock at lunch, which was enjoyable but they’re probably too long for a lunch break really, at 1.5 hours. Also, I might be allergic to peanut butter? It tends to make me feel a bit sick… hmm.

    🎵 Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2

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  • Hey everybody! I’m Ananya (everyone calls me Annie though, I prefer it anyways) I just decided to make a studyblr instead of doing my maths homework. I’m an A-level student in year 12, I study maths, English Lit and Business studies. I also love learning new languages! I will be posting about GCSEs A-levels and printables as well as motivational and revision stuff.

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    Tuesday, 5th May 2020

    Some draft photos from the last couple of days that I thought would fit well together :)

    🎵 Walk The Earth - Europe

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    Tuesday, 5th May 2020

    Chemistry- A-Level Prep - Plum Pudding Model

    Apparently, we’re meant to do all of the models rather than choose one as the original doc says, so here’s my second :)

    🎵 Trampled Under Foot - Led Zeppelin

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    Monday, 4th May 2020

    Chemistry - A-Level Prep - Module 2.3.2, Formulae

    Another post today bc I thought this looked cool and why not? Also - I have trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) and realised with the help of my counter app earlier that it’s been a month since I pulled! That’s an achievement for me 😊

    🎵 Get Out The Door - Velvet Revolver

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    hey guys, been a long time since i’ve posted my own content although i’d had the queue running for a while! on the right you can see me enjoying the texture of this delicious coffee :)

    an update on me n my studies, if anyone cares: i’ve has the worst mental health of my whole life these past few weeks since exams were cancelled. i lost all hope and motivation for the future because i know i’m not going to get the grades I need for uni.

    however, after 6 weeks of working through that, i’ve decided to gently ease back into studying and i’m doing stuff i like - rather than stuff I did at school! so here’s the course I’m doing rn w my breakfast, it’s free on coursera and I really like it so far. psychology is one of those things everyone makes fun of but it’s actually super interesting soo

    #a levels#a level#studyblr#uk studyblr #a level biology #a level studyblr #mine#studyblr uk #a level maths #sixth form
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    23.4.20

    online school started this week and wow is it strange, but being able to learn about things off the syllabus is proving to be so worth it (especially in class civ)! my pen did run out half way through a seminar on apollonius of rhodes this morning though …

    listening to; magic in the hamptons by social house

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  • 2/100 days of productivity ( 03/05/20 )

    hmph. today i literally just did a re-cap on the first sheet of ‘arguments that the gender roles are changing’ for Sociology.

    that’s not v productive but :) yA LIVE AND YA LEARN kids

    #100 days of productivity #studyblr#a levels#education#academics #sociology a level #poisondoesrain#100dop#studying
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    01|05|2020

    Week 6 of My 2020 Quarantine Challenge!

    ✨ Fri  Take a picture of your binders

    first of all, how is it may already??!!?!?!? like yesterday was february

    anyway so i kinda posted the binder picture too early cause i didn’t read ahead (even tho i literally made this challenge lol) so I’ve made a little video where i flick through my history binder (i hope the video works I’ve never actually uploaded a video on Tumblr before)

    if anyone has any questions about my binder feel free to ask <3

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  • Everyone laughed at me when my English presentation was 48 slides and 117 pages long… well now we’re getting our predicted grades for uni applications based on them (and our essays)….

    Who’s laughing now, huh

    Getting those A* predictions

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    29/04/2020

    day 7/100 days of productivity

    from my walk this morning:)

    🎧listening to: she’s casual, the hunna

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    28/04/2020

    day 6/100 days of productivity!

    i still need to decorate this wall, i’m still watching grey’s - but, my forest app is flourishing nonetheless

    today i:

    ✨finished my review notes for two units for economics

    ✨completed 6 case studies

    ✨outlined the plot & main themes ready to analyse the novels for my coursework

    ✨started reading Wuthering Heights

    ✨walked le pupper, but a shorter walk as it’s been raining all day:(

    🎧listening to: she, dodie

    #studyblr#student#a levels #100 days of productivity #a level economics #a level history #dogs of tumblr #warm aesthetic #a level english #walkies#spotify#dodie#forest app#forest#studyspo#study space#study motivation
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  • So yesterday I came across @myhoneststudyblr ’s 2020 quarantine challenge and I really liked the idea - so I’m going to start it now ☀️ (I know I’m late but I’m gonna do it anyway haha)

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    (yes I’m working on my sleeping couch, don’t judge me, I’m at my parents’ house haha)

    Have you made a study schedule to help you study at home?

    No, since I don’t really have anything to study for at the moment but I used to during a levels and I still do when I have a lot going on.

    Today’s ToDo:

    • Make a presentation about my SQL tasks & results
    • Sprint Start for an application
    • Keep track of current pending errors
    • Workout
    • Write a report on all the tasks I’ve finished
    • Organise all my files

    Fun Fact about me:

    Currently my favourite car is the G20/G21 BMW 3 series (seen on the lockscreen of the laptop on the right). I absolutely love the design and the way it feels to drive it. It is just absolutely stunning!

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