Back to school tips with Modern Day Chic!

  Today's post is something a bit different. The lovely Chantel from Modern Day Chic had been looking for collaboration opportunities and I just had to get in touch. Together we have a handful of tips for back-to-school, amongst the influx of similarly-themed posts. Just click here to read her tips! We understand you may have heard some of these before, and we feel as if there is no harm in reinforcing/sharing them.) As we have both recently started Year 11, we strive to take school more seriously. I can't deny that it's been more than overwhelming. But school can get you places, even if it not necessarily the only way to your desired path. It may be seen as a chore or more than tedious, yet you can have it under your wing with certain approaches. Hopefully these tips may be of help, especially if you're experiencing the back-to-school season too!

Find your motivation, and remember it. What motivates you? Where do you want to go? These are the big questions, I admit, but you should simply be doing subjects you enjoy. That's already a factor for natural motivation. Compared to previous years, I find myself more willed to work hard in my classes. Why? Because I decided to take classes that appeal to me. Don't feel obliged to take the subjects everyone else is taking, nor the ones you detest.
If you're ever left reeling and questioning your very presence in school, think long-term motivation. Where could your determined input in school take you? Could it kickstart your dream career or add to the possibility of that life you wish to lead? When I went to Melbourne, it kicked some perspective right in me and gave me an idea of what direction I want to go in. To even remotely make it in a vast city like Melbourne would be a dream, and I know that good grades would be handy.
Make use of the school resources available to you. Get your books from the library! Lighten your carry-on load with lockers! Listen to your teachers! I cannot stress this enough. In the classroom, I myself may find some difficulty in keeping focused myself, but I try not to take for granted the amount of effort teachers invest into their classes. Most teachers are doing their job not just for monetary gain, but because they genuinely are passionate about teaching. Learn to appreciate your teachers rather than scorn at them, as it only makes it easier both relations-wise and study-wise.

Take initiative - for yourself, because no one else will. It only makes things easier for yourself. Writing things down and compiling a list always helps me. (Oh, where would I be if I didn't have a planner to aid me the organisation of work? Nowhere, basically.) Let's say if you missed a slide, asking your teacher for the Powerpoint would be beneficial. You could complete your notes, and revise on it later. If you're starting a new chapter/unit of a course, read up the basis and terms of it prior to classtime. And ask questions! Ask as many as you like, really. Don't be shy or worry about potentially looking lost, there is nothing wrong with learning or correcting your wrongs.

Be tech-savvy. You should most definitely use technology to your advantage. It's a huge part of our lives, so why not let that tool serve you for school? (That rhymed.) For example, if I've one too many heavy textbooks to take home, I'll snap a quick photo of the questions from my math book and set an alarm to refer to it for completion. Personally, I also think video summaries are excellent with refreshing your memory. Being an audio and visual learner, I enjoy the medium of such videos. It's a great choice when you want a less stressful study technique; all you have to do is listen. I wholeheartedly recommend CrashCourseSchool of Life and other educational Youtubers.
Another good way to study is through flashcards. I just started using the app Quizlet, and it's been immensely helpful thus far. Whether I'm on the way to school or simply waiting for something, I can pull out my phone and flick through my digital flashcards. Technology is also great for taking on quizzes - gradually, under a timeframe if you'd like! - and searching for your curriculum resources.
Surround yourself with positive influences. By that, I mean your physical and social surroundings. When I say this, I refer to perhaps music or an inviting study set-up, and friends whom have good study habits. Do you study well with silence, or noise? With friends or by yourself? If you absolutely know that you get distracted studying with friends, then be honest with yourself and avoid doing so. Coming from a school that takes academia very seriously, I can say that most of the population know how to prioritise study. Last year during exam time I was extremely surprised to see peers dedicated to switching off online, spending hours writing notes and keeping a one-track mind - all for their own self-study. It made me question my own laziness and hence I definitely noticed an increase in my work ethic. Heck yeah, talk about peer improvement.

  On that last note, take a break! Don't be too hard on yourself. Everything is good in moderation. By letting school dominate your life, you can often lose sight of yourself and what you enjoy. So sit back, get rested or get outside (or inside) and do what you love.


Truth be told // a memorable Valentine's Day.

   Talk about the best Valentine's day ever. (These shoddy quality iPhone photos do no justice.) What a cliché but trust me, I don't use the phrase in vain! My exciting plans as forementioned were to have dinner at a quaint spaghetti bar we'd been eyeing up, and watch Neel Kolhatkar's live standup at the Fringe Festival. Our plans were foiled (due to some ludicrously misleading event information), and I almost lost all hope of having a good night. I'd been looking forward to it for weeks and months to see my favourite comedian in action; to say it was a disappointment would be an underestimation. Fortunately, we came across other youths who ran into the very same problem. We met a handful of lovely girls, and of them one had astutely messaged Neel himself and he had replied! He made no guarantee but informed us that he'd do the best he could. So for an hour, our inability to see his show had us salvaging our time. We opted for takeaway at a sushi bar around the corner, and to our pleasant surprise, we'd hands down found the best nigiri. From thereon, it was a turning point.
  Waiting in the cold, we were starving but sure as heck determined. If we couldn't watch his show, we were at least going to try to meet him. It worked out in our favour though - as soon as it ended, Neel came out for us all apologetic. We did get rather squeal-ish (blame it on the fact of being a teenage girl) but the excitement definitely outweighed acceptable public behaviour. We managed to get warm words, photos together, hugs and a character impression, along with signed shirts, posters and phone cases. He even stuck around for a half hour to talk to us, much to our delight. (Actually, we probably held him back.) He was just so incredibly humble and sweet; how rare it is to see such a well-known talent remembering his supporters. It was a surreal encounter, which had me going home that night still wide-eyed and in pure disbelief.

  Unwittingly, the patience truly paid off and created a night better than even fathomable. A recap: we made some new friends, found a new sushi place, met the man himself and managed to see his show another day. I'm still thrilled just thinking about it. An insanely huge thanks to Neel for the special arrangements that allowed us to attend his show in the end.You could say I'm still in stitches!


Musical Muses #5 // test my patience.

  Oh my. It has been two weeks since I last blogged, how rare of me. I can explain! This gap of time has consisted predominantly of gearing myself up for Year 11, which you may know I've started. So many of my hours have been dedicated to school; I feel suffocated, almost. (Hmm, I shan't kill the mood now. That's another story, for the bottom of this post.) Just being able to have this Friday to myself, typing near the comfort of a cool breeze, is bliss. 


  A post collaboration is in the works, as well as some Valentine's Day plans I deem to be amazing. (Hint: galentines.) Gosh I'm so excited. In the meantime, here are my go-to tracks that have been keeping me sane. Or perhaps promoting the opposite. Whatever works for me, and I hope these are sweet sounds to the ears. Enjoy all this pre-Valentine's Day music!

  Amongst the new content I've been tackling in school, there comes an invincible one: Greek tragedy. That's right, you heard me. I'd been looking up explanation videos on Youtube and the first result had me bewildered, then jumping for joy. New music from The Wombats to correlate with my school curriculum? I'll take that any day, thank you. I adore it to death. It really does make studying  the genre of Greek tragedy that much more tolerable. Listen to it above! (Note, not for the faint-hearted.)

  Entering rant city! The school year thus far... It's looking like a self-concerned year - not to intend negative connotations upon first sight, as I'm more rather referring to keeping myself in check. Taking care of myself, managing my emotions, time, workload and health well. I am quite happy with myself for keeping up with the pace, though. It's been two whole weeks into Year 11 and I'm allocating my time to work and organisational endeavours. I'm mostly getting sleep (apart from disturbing dreams), awaking on time and paying adequate attention. I'm eating better and am back to the cleaner daily diet - consisting of fresh, whole foods will plenty of tea, cereal and fruits.

  Sadly, there are still sour things along the way to shake me up. Like feeling personally victimized by disrespectful men in public, or plainly reminiscing on the past. It's incredulous how everything and nothing is happening, all at the same time. I'm listless again. I knew this would happen. I'd hate for the entire year to go by in this manner. Yet at the end of the day I have pastel sunsets, brother-catchups, room decorating and triple j to get me smiling. Just thank goodness it's Friday.

  Here’s hoping I don’t implode.


How to fly // velvet skies.

  The past five weeks have swivelled past fairly quick. A couple of days ago I had been wishing for more time ,instead of being excited of returning home. I already miss the memories in Singapore this January, along with the ones made in other places. Yet for some reason, just being back home is enough for me. I realised I missed the familiarity of it more than anything. School is approaching and consequently, I can't help but look back on the month and smile. Upcoming is another chapter.

  The night I landed, I unexpectedly flew into the deepest slumber ever. I recall waking up the next  morning, unaware of my surroundings. It felt surreal to be back after all those weeks. Weeks where I had wanted to be back home, yet been prompted to generate my own fun. It lead to new meetings, good unwarranted fun and plenty of reminiscing. Nostalgia would be the most appropriate word to describe the mindset at the time, and even now.

  Just in case you missed the highlights of my January, I...

+ Caught up with a handful of old friends!
+ Met some insanely rad new people
+ Ate well and been out and about
+ Spent quality time with my brother, before he serves national service

  As I'm entering Year 11, less posts are to be expected. School starts on Monday (to my dismay, I actually thought it was on Tuesday - eeek!) and part of me insists on living in heavy denial. Part of me is looking forward to school, except of course the pressure and stress to perform. Sadly, it is the truth and I have to come to terms with it. I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with being idle for 6 weeks to managing all my time between ample sleep, a social life and good grades. Here's wishing me some good luck with that time management scheme. Good luck, indeed.

  I know some of you have already gone back to school! Regardless, I want to know: how do you manage?


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