TOP TIPS FOR COLLEGE! & MOTIVATION

SO I recently started sixth form this term and have to admit that although I am in the exact same school environment as secondary, there are definitely new changes that hit you such as being in non uniform every single day, suddenly having a bunch of free periods with nothing to do (at the moment), and a drastic change from being carefree teenagers to young adults who are suddenly the role models for younger pupils. Not to forget the workload. It’s a lot. I’ve only been here for two weeks and have already found things which are important to mention.

My top tips:

  1. BE ORGANISED and PRACTICAL! This sounds like such a cliche but it’s as real as ever. To be honest, I like to be as college-student-studying-clipart-Girlstudyingorganised as possible to keep my mind at ease and had bought folders, pens and a planner for college. Guess what I found? You need more! I’m not suggesting for you to raid the entire shop (though that’s what school supplies shopping feels like for uni students, I guess!) however, be open minded as to how much you will need. I’m taking four subjects so bought four huge binders, yet in reality I would not be able to carry those all to school, especially when I have all the lessons in one day. Therefore, it made sense to buy four smaller ones as ‘modular’ folders and transfer the work after terms into the larger folders! Simple! Be sure not to waste money on things you don’t need – after all, full time college students generally need a lot of books and they cost! Be practical about it too – eg. don’t waste money on a book you need in the short term when you can borrow it for free! The library is officially your best friend this year if you let it be!

2) STUDY AS YOU GO and THINK FOR YOURSELF It’s not GCSE’s anymore where you could simply get away with with doing homework the night or even hour before, or be given a sheet with all the criteria to get an A*! A Levels require much more logistical thinking and therefore, studying! It’s simply not possible to cram a week, or even a term before, in my opinion! Keep on top of the heavy workload, and it won’t seem as heavy anymore! Homework at A Level is a form of studying as it is in a lot more depth! After all, teachers have a lot of the specification to get through in a short amount of time and so going through your work regularly is key! And also, as much as it saved your life at KS4, copying homework at A Level just doesn’t work. You need to think for yourself a lot more here and that won’t happen by blindly copying the knowledge that your friend has researched.

3) Most importantly, WORK HARD, DREAM BIG, SACRIFICE & ACHIEVE. You most likely chose A Levels with the intention of going on for even higher education or maybe a career you have set in your mind! College is the perfect stepping stone and every day is another chance to contribute to that success at the end of the year. This is the crucial moment where the reality of your future comes together, and as scary as that sounds, it’s also to be taken advantage of, You have an amazing chance to be whatever you want IF you work hard and effectively, envisioning the reward at the end of it. SUCCEED; don’t screw up! A student that gets a A and sat around doing nothing is not much of an achiever compared to someone who gets a C but worked hard for it. It’s about the journey and the leap of a grade you can get to. An F grade up to a C is just as impressive as someone who gets an A. Rant over, get your books out and work for it! Nobody is going to do it for you but yourself! 😀

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to SUBESCRIBE and SHARE! 🙂

Bushra xx

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

INSTAGRAM: @bushrajalil

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5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before NCS | National Citizen Service ADVICE!

Head onto the official NCS website: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/

My name is Bushra Jalil and recently I completed a whole month of adventure, challenges, new friendships and plenty of laughter with the National Citizen Service in Leicestershire.

I joined in the Summer of 2015 it was one of the best decisions I have made this year.Believe me – if you want YES to confidence, YES to meeting new people and YES to overcoming challenges and becoming the best person you can possibly be then YES to NCS is what you need!

It was genuinely more than I expected it to ever be and when I signed up less than a year ago, there were genuine fears and nerves I had, especially because I am quite an over thinker generally, and so it was quite a big step naturally for me to say YES. NCS may seem like a big challenge but now I look back I honestly don’t know what I was so worried about. In this post I will address some of the worries I had before NCS, and what I wish I knew back then.

1. You won’t be alone

The first two weeks are residential and an incredible experience. The first week involves staying at an outdoor pursuits centre, and the second is a university style experience in your home city. I was nervous, especially just before leaving but some of the major worries I had disappeared by the first day.

I felt worried and scared that I wouldn’t fit in. Would people accept me? Was I good enough? Could I spend the next four weeks with my group? But I completely forgot that these people are all on the same journey and experience as me, set to partake in the same activities and make a genuine difference.

Almost everyone felt the exact same way – even those with friends! It actually hits you as to how your mind controls you because as soon as I got onto the coach with my luggage to set off for the first week, the person behind me in the coach greeted me and, despite not being in the same group, we talked throughout NCS when we had the chance and became pretty close. I remember thinking ‘Wow, these people are too nice, it’s unbelievable’ – but it’s true! They are here for the same reasons as you are. You WILL have an amazing time, and meet people you never thought you’d speak to.

I’m not usually good at speaking to new people, but it came naturally at NCS. We are all on the same journey – embrace it! Be confident and comfortable with who you are and rock it! Be you and people will see that shine through, and making friends will be a piece of cake 😀

2. You won’t want to leave after the residential

This had not been my first residential, however it had been one of the longest. I feared beforehand that if I didn’t form friendships well (which most definitely wasn’t the case), I would be sharing rooms with people I didn’t bond with. But I honestly can’t explain how naturally friendships at NCS form, you have to see it to believe it! There is always someone who is willing to help you that you’ve never even met.

I shared a room on the first week residential with two girls from different groups and as soon as I entered the room, I felt like we’d been friends for years! You actually look forward to the nights, chatting away before bed. The vibes and spirit at NCS is just so warm and embracing, that you forget everything else and grasp it as a second home, and the people around you as family. You grow so close so quickly, that staying away from home isn’t really a major issue anymore and by the end I didn’t want to leave!

3. You can overcome anything

The first week residential away from home at an outdoor centre was definitely one of my favourite weeks, and a great way for your new team to bond though teamwork and group activities. There were things like indoor caving, abseiling, raft building, low ropes, archery and the leap of faith. This is definitely a week to face your fears and take on personal challenges!

If you’re afraid of heights for example, come to NCS with confidence and set yourself a target. For some it may be getting halfway up the rock climbing and for some it may be all the way to the top. Whatever it is, come to NCS with an open mind and don’t give up the chance to try something new, remember your whole group will support you to achieve the goals you’ve set, so you aren’t facing these things alone!

The feeling of carrying on despite the fear is something that will definitely have a lasting impression on you and will show you that you can overcome any barrier between you and your goals – something invaluable for the future.

4. Mud will wash off, but great memories will last you forever

Something I would also definitely suggest in order to really make the most of your NCS experience is DO NOT BE AFRAID OF GETTING MUDDY OR WET. This really applied to me in activities like raft building. Eventually, we all got stuck in and to my luck, I fell in the water up to my waist (not a pleasant feeling!) though now that I look back, I don’t necessarily remember the mud or the wet, but the laughter and memories made from those moments. I was clean and dry again after a quick shower, yet the memories are unforgettable.

Words of wisdom? Enjoy the moments as they come, and take it all in, because they will form the basis of your unique, once in a lifetime experience at NCS!

5. It’s a journey, not a competition

After the residential, you’ll move on to social action project fortnight, where you truly leave your mark and make a difference to the community you live in. As everyone picks their different charities from the countless ones available on the university experience week, everyone gets really excited, as you should be, to raise lots of money for their charity. However, despite everyone wanting to raise the most, it’s not a competition but an act of charity and will to give something back to your community, as well as a chance to really put into practice the skills you have learnt throughout the intense residential weeks.

You will learn valuable skills during NCS but the experience will always be unique to you, so learn from your mistakes but don’t forget to have fun with it and applaud yourself for all the incredible things you do!

These were the main worries I had before coming to NCS, it turned out I was worrying over nothing, so hopefully if you’re nervous about starting your own NCS journey this will help you. I’m so glad I didn’t let the nerves hold me back and said YES to NCS. 

Thanks for reading, hope you have the confidence to go ahead and take part in this unforgettable experience!

Don’t forget to share to potential NCSers and SUBSCRIBE 😀

Check out the official NCS blog: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/blog/

Bushra xx

EID MUBARAK!! :D

For most of us, a month of fasting for Ramadan is over and Eid is here! Whether you’re celebrating today or tomorrow, I’d like to wish all Muslims across the globe a safe and joy filled Eid! I personally miss Ramadan due to the fact that I really felt far more spiritually focused and closer to God this year more than than ever as I focused my month on prayer and thinking of those less fortunate, and hope to carry this positive nature on. It has been a month with great emphasis on devotion and reflection aeid_mubarak2nd insha allah (God willing) we can take the good habits that Ramadan has bought out of us and apply in into the near future in order to become the best people we possibly can and apply this in whatever we may choose to do in life, or are already doing!

Let me know what you’re doing/wearing/eating for Eid, I’d love to know how people across the world are celebrating – the beauty of social media! 🙂 (and I’m kinda nosy too) :p x

Once again, EID MUBARAK, have fun, and don’t forget what’s important 🙂

Bushra xx

SOLAR ECLIPSE!

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So today was an exciting day – the day of the solar eclipse, which is next set to happen in about 16 years time. That’s precisely the reason that it was raved about so much. I was during school at the time today and managed to get to the roof and snap a picture through the lenses of UV ray protection glasses. This is the shot! It does not show the total eclipse, but rather the moon settling into position, about a quarter of the way to the full eclipse! Taken in Leicester, UK, where it was predicted to be a 90% blackout. It definitely didn’t seem that dark, but there were a few clouds about! How was your viewing of the solar eclipse?

Lush Products REVIEW! | Soap, bath bomb + massage bar

I got some lush products for my birthday a few months back, and have used them for a long time (they are my favourites!) and so I’m going to review the ones I have 🙂 Lush is one of my favourite stores for body products. I love the blend of different fruity and minty scents when you enter, and the packaging is the best! They are also not tested on animals and made with natural ingredients, rather than chemicals which are a bonus! And I have realised that all of the products I got are all pink, which is my favourite colour!

Lush online:

UK: https://www.lush.co.uk/

International: https://www.lush.com/

The Godmother Soap: https://www.lush.co.uk/products/godmother

Price: £3.10/100gthe godmother soap

This soap stood out because of the attractive purple – pink colour to it, but when I actually smelt it, it stood out from the rest. It has a sweet, fresh and fruity smell to it, which is perfect if you don’t like minty scents. The cost, £3.10 for 100g is a bargain as the soap lathers well but doesn’t use up much, and so it lasts for ages! The price is reasonable for the size of 100g and I will definitely be trying different ones, as the variety means there’s one for everyone! I’ve still got mine after four months, and it’s still going strong. It can be used for hands or body, and it gives that sense of cleansiness after usage. The fact that it’s made with 100% natural ingredients means it doesn’t irritate your skin, like some do with chemicals in them. It’s much healthier than pump soaps!

Think Pink Bath Bomb: https://www.lush.co.uk/products/think-pink

£2.65 each Think pink bath bomb

This bath bomb is all about pink! It looks great with the decorative flowers added on, and as it dissolves, your bath tub fills with rice paper pink hearts, giving ultimate relaxation and joy! The scent is indescribable – it’s full of vanilla, fruit and joy, and very floral, adding to that sense of femininity. I love how your bath tub turns completely pink and the scent uplifts the entire bathroom. It’s perfect if you just want to be relaxed after a day of stress, and at £2.65, it’s one of the more cheaper bath bombs, yet looks one of the best in my opinion!

Strawberry Feels Forever Massage Bar: https://www.lush.co.uk/products/strawberry-feels-forever

£5.75 each

This massage bar smells amazing – it’s very uplifting and has a real scent of strawberry, without being too overpowering, but I wouldn’t recommend this one if you’re not into fruity scents, though it isn’t overly Strawberry feels foreverstrong. You’re supposed to rest it on your skin for a couple of seconds to allow it to melt in with the warmth of your skin, and then lather it easily onto the rest of your body, but this takes a bit of time. It does feel really oily at first, which may be some people’s worst nightmare of a massage bar, but it absorbs into your skin fairly quickly and is extremely moisturizing and relaxing. Like Lush’s soaps, it lasts a long time, as not much product is used on each usage. It’s perfect after a warm bath! At £5.75, it did feel a little pricy to regularly buy, though the fact that it lasts such an incredibly long time means it’s worth it in the long run.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! | bushrajalilblog

There is still a good six hours to go before the New Year truly begins in the UK, marked by the always spectacular yearly fireworks display in London. However, firework celebrations have already begun in many countries such as Australia and Taiwan, so I’d like to take this as my last blog post of 2014 and wish you all a happy, safe animagesd blessed new year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

This has been my first year of blogging, and as coincidental as this sounds, I first opened my blog on the 1st of January 2013! I guess I wanted to do it as a new start to the year, even though I only actually wrote on it regularly several months in. Who would’ve believed that I would make it to the end of the year? I doubt I kept any resolutions I made last year (as most of us do!) and so I thought I’d share not my resolutions for the year, but my wishes for the year, to the rest of the world. As much as the New Year is a time of celebration, the atrocities committed in the past year, and as recently as the last month or so were devastating. This leads me on to my biggest wish ever – to see peace on Earth!! It’s said again and again every year, but that simply highlights how important it is. The best way to defeat war is through love! So many people die and suffer at the hands of those who have justified their actions in the name of religion, politics and greed. Another dream is to see religions peacefully co-exist, like it should always be. The core of every religion is love, which is what connects them all. The foundations of their teachings are morals and love so the fact that people abuse this is heartbreaking and a real insult to those who are going through such hardships where religion may be all they have ❤

Becoming a better person in every way you can is truly beneficial to you and the world. A person of genuine peace and kindness is reflected like the sun’s rays through their personality, and this generates positivity to those who really need it.

Remember, peace starts with YOU. War and hatred starts and ends with US. Let’s not take it to 2015.

And, once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Make the most!

Peace, Bushra xxx

CREATING A BLOG! | Top Tips

I’ve had a blog for almost wordpress-tag-clouda year, and there are some things which I’ve picked up which should help if you want to create one! 🙂

1) Make the blog personal to you, and write content you can be proud of. Write about things that you have a passion for, and what interests YOU, not what you think people want to hear. I’ve noticed that the most popular blogs tend to stick to one theme and post updates and content based on that one theme. They also usually have a much more tight knit community of followers as they’re all interested in that specific topic. However, it’s down to personal preference and I personally don’t really stick to a single theme and write about whatever interests me.

2) Write regularly! This is what will attract people to your blog, and let them know that you are consistent in your posts, and therefore worth following. However regularly you wish to post is up to you; most people post a few times a week, some even post every day! Also, posting about topics that are hot in the news at that time, especially if you have a blog based on politics or activism, will mean your posts will be of interest to people who are curious, and will mean your blog will be in the midst when people search for that topic.

3) Share your posts on social media. Let people know about your blog! You may be exactly the blog someone is looking for! With hundreds of millions on social media, it doesn’t take long for someone to maybe check your blog out and subscribe!

4) Don’t expect to gain followers straightaway. Blogs, like other social networks have millions of people all aiming to gain lots of subscribers and followers. However, unlike other social media, blogs can be very personal and people will usually only subscribe to what interests them and what they’d like to read about. Content of your blog is key to whether someone chooses to follow your blog. This is exactly why it’s much harder to gain followers on a blog and even the most popular ones started with little to none followers, and yet it still takes months, and more likely even years to gain a good amount of followers. Followers can even be really inconsistent. For example, one post might gain you five new subscribers, and after that you might not get any for many posts to come. It’s all part of having a blog, and don’t let any of it take you away from blogging! This leads on to my next point…

5) Don’t give up! It can honestly feel like you’re writing for no – one for ages, but if you really enjoy blogging then continue! Give it time, and who knows where it can lead to?

Link your blog in the comments! 🙂 x

Bushra xxx