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Hey! I'm Sophie, I'm 22 and live in Leicester.

You can usually find me at a gig in the photo pit or shopping for another new outfit which definitely won't fit in my wardrobe.

Enjoy looking around my blog!

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14 things I've learnt in 14 years of education

I've come to the end of my days in education and the time that I've had off has given me some time to reflect on things. Fourteen years in school and I've learnt a lot not only academically but in life too. Some of my worst memories are when I was at school as well as some of my best (not all of them) and I can't tell you how many times I've written about my school life on here.

Now it's all done and dusted, I feel like I can have a true reflection of what I have learnt over the years. These are some of my most important life lessons that I'm passing onto you. No matter what age you are, these are so important and have shaped me into who I am today. They have made me react to situations more maturely, understand who I am as a person and helped me in some of my darkest times.

Don't be afraid to be yourself

Individuality is something that everyone feels like they should have and when you're going through school, it's one of the hardest things to find because you can't help but worry about what others will think about you. Kids are nasty but do you know what? There's nothing better than being who you are and owning that. If you love who you are and are not afraid to be yourself, then who's really winning?

Your grades aren't everything

This is a hard bullet that I had to bite in more recent years than anything else. I have always put pressure on myself to do well, not only in school but in life. After finishing my GCSEs, I learnt that my grades didn't really matter. What matters is WHAT you do, not what your grades are. Your actions and words speak more about who you are as a person than some numbers and letters do on a piece of paper. 

Treat people kindly because you don't know what they're going through

I have spoken to countless people that have suffered with suicidal thoughts and it's so hard to pull them out of that frame of mind. What shocks me every time is that the judgement that these people get from people who don't know what is really going on. It's not just depression that people suffer with, it's home life, personal matters, mental and physical problems. You never know what is going on in someone's life and you should always treat people with kindness and respect. Treat people how you want to be treated, if the shoe was on the other foot, how would you feel?

Come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to want to see you succeed

I don't have enough fingers or toes on my body that can count how many people have hated on me and not wanted to see my succeed over the fourteen years of school that I endured. Some of these people have matured and realised that everyone is different but as I've grown up, there are still people, fresh faces, old faces and even people that don't know you personally that don't want to see you succeed. I've not been invited to events, had things shouted at me, been a victim of cyber-bullying - all hurtful things. At the end of the day, the important thing is to not let these things get to you because there will always be people that do not want to see you do well and will try everything in their power to bring you down with them. But remember this, those who try to bring you down are already beneath you.

Just because someone of a higher authority than you says/does something, doesn't mean that it's the right thing

Don't believe that your teacher is right all the time, same goes for your boss too. Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, just because someone in a higher position than you says or does something, doesn't mean that its the correct thing to do. Calling this person out isn't always the best move to make but for your own satisfaction and to not get upset about it you have to realise that nobody is perfect.

Stand up for what you believe in

If you feel like a group of people are being discriminated or someone disagrees with you about something, don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. If you let things go all the time then you're telling people that they can walk all over you. As long as you approach the situation with caution as some people may be offended or things might not go down well, standing up for what you believe in is the right thing to do. You never know, you might be helping to improve somebody's life.

Learn from your mistakes

Accept when you're wrong and learn from your mistakes. Thinking that you're right all the time and refusing to change based on your mistakes is quite immature if you ask me. Your mistakes and losses are all a learning curve for you, behind a successful person is a hell of a lot of mistakes and set backs you just don't see them because they're masked by the achievement. Learning from your errors is not only good for your work life but also for your personal growth.

Dress however the hell you want

When you're a teenager you're wanted to jump onto the next trend because it means that you'll be 'accepted' and in with the crowd. Me? I couldn't have cared less about trends, I wore what I wanted to and I still do. One day I would turn up to college in the fanciest outfit going, the next I'd be wearing leggings, trainers and a hoodie with no makeup on. Being comfortable in your own body is what's important. Follow the trends or don't, you dress however the hell you want to. It's your body, embrace it.

Don't be afraid to voice your opinion

Opinions are good, without them we'd live a very boring and structured life. There's opinions all around us, everyone has them and everyone is entitled to theirs. How you chose to share it depends on you but you should never be afraid to voice your opinion in certain situations. By speaking up about an idea in a meeting or disagreeing with how someone is being treated, even if it's your opinion on something controversial. If you feel strongly about the topic, voice your opinion. There are good and bad ways to do this but that's a more personal lesson that can't be written down. You never know, your opinion could change the game.

Learn to be calm and rational in every situation

This is a lesson that I've learned in the last year of my education. People are going to piss you off in life, some people are going to be difficult and learning to be calm in these situations is key. Being calm allows you to look rationally at the situation and think of the best way to deal with it. Never react in anger, promise when you're happy or act when you're sad. Think rationally as much as you can and your mindset will improve massively.

No dream is too big (or too small)

There is no dream which is too big or too small. Everyone has their own aspirations in life. A lot of people used to tell me that my dreams were too big. My old media teacher told me that I would never get into Public Relations because all those jobs are down in London. Over the years my dreams have changed ten times over but I will never regret telling her that I will get there if I want to and that following your dreams is what's important. So many people have told me that my dreams and hopes are unrealistic, nothing is unrealistic. If you're passionate about your hopes and dreams, nothing can ever be too big or too small. You can make it happen with a bit of determination

It's okay to want a simple life

To want a simple life is not a lot to ask. When you're young there's this stigma about going out and doing lots of different things, meeting loads of people and whatnot. I love being busy myself but it's also okay for you to want a simple life. What's most important is your happiness. You can work in a shop for the rest of your life if you want, as long as you're happy who cares?

It takes time and effort to get to where you want to be

Nothing worth having comes overnight. It took me two years to get my blog to a place where I was starting to get exciting opportunities and even at four and a half years, I'm still wanting more. The biggest mistake that people make is that they think that it's a bit of writing and a tap of a button for my blog to be successful. They think that if they do it, they'll get brand deals overnight. It doesn't work like that a lot of the time. The same goes for aspirations. To get to where you want to be you have to put in a lot of hard work and effort. Some people do have it easy and things happen quickly but for the most part, you have to put in the work.

Don't underestimate yourself

Never underestimate yourself, you can do a lot if you put your mind to it. I got a 5 (C equivalent) on my English mock exams in both Year 10 and Year 11. I wasn't happy with these results at all and so I put some work into it and came out with GCSE results of a 7 (B/A) and a 9 (A* - top percentage of the country). I didn't think at all that I could redeem my grades and I underestimated myself massively. Try your best and you'll exceed your expectations.

At the end of the day you'll learn a lot of life lessons in your time of education and you should learn from these and apply them to your every day life. These are just a handful of the lessons I learnt and it'll be different for everyone depending on who you are as a person. Don't ignore them. They might not stand out to you at the time but one day you'll reflect on your younger years and realise that although it felt like it was all educational with Maths and English, you learnt a lot more than you thought you did.

Until next time...

Liked this post? Try these:

What High School taught me (or at least I thought it did)
Making your options
Post GCSEs: Why College was the best route for me
Plan your work like this and you'll have loads of spare time on your hands

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