The only thing worse than death is a regret filled coffin

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As a student who has just finished her first year at sixth form, it is without a doubt a relief to finally be on a summer break. I remember before the holidays started I was so motivated to get everything done. For example, have all my AS notes up to date for each of the four subjects I am studying at A-Level and start writing my A2 notes too. I also wanted to ‘cleanse myself.’ However, when the summer holidays arrived, I was so overwhelmed by the amount of ‘time’ that I had (about seven weeks) until I got back to school that I started to lack behind in everything.

I love keeping myself busy – whether it be watching a movie or going out with friends, whatever it is, keeping preoccupied is very important to me. This is slightly depressing for the beginning of August, however, I came across this quote and I relished it. ‘The only thing worse than death is a regret filled coffin.’ This is 100% true. I was absolutely petrified to do anything back in 2013 and I told myself that I would start a YouTube channel in order to increase my confidence. Five months into 2014, I already had a large audience of nearly 700 subscribers! Unfortunately, I did have to delete my account as I became increasingly busy; the exam period was approaching. Nevertheless, I do not regret this at all – especially because my audience for my writing also grew immensely quick and my confidence increased incredibly quickly too. If there is anything out there that you wish to do, you have nothing to lose, so go for it!

Two weeks into the summer holidays, I felt as if I had so much to do and I had less time than I thought. Me, being me, I started to panic that I was behind in everything that I had planned. Therefore, I decided to change up my morning routine slightly and try something different. This was in regards to cleansing my body. Making a smoothie as soon as I woke up and having a little workout made me feel a lot more refreshed in the morning and motivated me to do a lot more. I even started to sit in my garden for about 10-15 minutes, which helped clear my mind.

As much as I want to get all my work done to the best of my ability, I honestly feel as if I need a break. Writing for two online magazines, studying 4 A Levels, meeting with new people all at 17 can become very hectic. As much as I love it, I personally feel as if I need to learn how to manage my time a lot more. I do in fact have a four-day holiday to Italy in a couple of days so I’m hoping this will help clear my mind. I am trying to complete most things before I go so that when I come back I am able to start new things such as my A2 work. I have already purchased folders for each of my modules; keeping everything organised is totally my thing.

Meditation and time to yourself are also very important, focus on your breathing and taking care of yourself- not stressing too much. For me, this is like a ‘natural medicine’. I like to disconnect from the world and just have time for myself. Meditating is something I had never considered before; nevertheless, now that I have started it, I love it!
As time goes on, technology is also increasing and the amount of time I personally spend surfing the Internet is absolutely ridiculous. I always get a scolding from my parents; whenever I eat breakfast my phone is always by my side and I am scrolling through Instagram. As a teenager (or someone who is living in the 21st Century), I am addicted to the internet. Whatever we’re doing: Instagramming, Tweeting, Snapchatting sometimes we pay far too much attention to what is going on in our social lives that we forget about the people around us. Even taking time out to phone friends that you haven’t spoken to in a while or even calling family members, really helps brighten one’s day.

Most people do tend to check their social media first thing in the morning – I am guilty of this myself! However, I am going to try something new and might even start watching BBC Breakfast in the holidays, I only tend to do this on school mornings. Knowing what is happening around the world is important – you gain knowledge and I guess it allows you to get involved in conversations throughout the day. It even gives you the chance to start a conversation in order to avoid any awkward silences!

Helping others makes me feel a lot better; one thing that helps me personally is decluttering. Not only does this help clear my mind but it also makes me feel good; I tend to donate the things I no longer need to my local charity shops which make me feel even better. Knowing that my bedroom is emptied with items that I no longer need (junk) strangely enough, motivates me. Also, knowing that something that belonged to me is going to someone who is in need makes me feel a lot better.

Even meeting new people really helps. On the 1st of August, I had a coffee meeting with an independent publishing company owner who also happens to be a fellow Leytonstoner. Sharing ideas were beneficial for the both of us and it was nice to get out of the house and take a small break from work.

Risk taking – ‘try something new each day’- when I first saw this I felt like my options were so restricted taking into consideration the amount of workload I had and age. However, when actually thinking about it I realised that even something as simple as reading a book that I wouldn’t necessarily read or watching a different type of movie from the normal genres I’m interested in also help.

Getting things done- and ticking things off my ‘to do list’ really fascinates me. I own a whiteboard on which I write everything that needs to be done – once I have completed everything there is a huge relief.

Overall, staying organised and on top of everything is very important. However, I have also learnt that taking breaks is just as essential – not just breaks for 15 minutes but some that may even include going away to ‘recharge.’

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I am an 18-year-old student and writer from London. At the age of 13, I self-published a book and that is where everything began. I started to enjoy writing and realised my talent. My audience grew immensely quick and I have been described as a 'leader' and 'role model' to my targeted fan base. As an aspiring journalist, I was given the amazing opportunity to write for The Fashion Culte Magazine, however, after three years of this, I decided to move onto something slightly different and this was when I was given the opportunity to write for The Daily Spectacle. I hope you enjoy reading my articles! Lots of love, Sophia. x