Just an opinion: Episode 3- “How to stop thinking about what others think about me?…”

Disclaimer: This post might be a bit rude, please feel free to not-comment negative things.

Hello everyone! Welcome to the 3rd episode of Just an Opinion! I’ve really had so much fun doing this, but this week onwards I’ll try to speed up and finish all my entries as soon as I can, so that it’ll give way for newer, fresher content.

Today’s entry is by a lively blogger, an IRL friend and a fellow BTS army. She asked me to keep her name private, which I think was a joke, but she signed up for promoting her blog. She runs a Blog called Yours Aarya Mali, which is a personal cum lifestyle blog, as she said in her entry. Go to her blog right now! don’t forget to come back.

Hmmm… I started this blog to express my thoughts and just HAVING FUN! I’m passionate about writing and that’s the only reason this blog is alive. Also, this space is created for crackheads like me- I hope we create a place where you and I could laugh together! So be ready for all the stupid and dumb posts coming up! Byeee mah lovelies-

Aarya, author of the blog Yours Aarya Mali

Well now you know her name. Anyways, here is what she has to say-

How to stop thinking about what others think about me? or let’s just say, How to stop being insecure about my work, and ME!

I have no one way to begin with this post. Because the statement poses such a complicated issue.

But, I feel I’m brave and I can do this.

But wait, what if I’m judged?

What will people think about me if I begin the post like this?

Will people like this?


See what I did there? I showed you a live example of what being insecure is. So the problem shared by Aarya is real, and present. How often have you thought, “would they like the dress?” or “I don’t think they’ll like it”? How often did YOU like it? Now, while writing this, I might go too extreme, so bear with me.

Let me write this from an Indian perspective. In the real society, there are unsaid norms that everyone should follow. Every Gender has different rules. Whether it be about toxic masculinity or shadowed femininity. I get it, times are changing, but if you step out of the norm, you’d bring notice and the word would spread around the entire town. Though not faster and uglier than before, things matter even now.

Such suppressed circumstances lead to what we call insecurity. For example, I feel insecure while wearing sleeveless tops. Nobody ever objected me about it, but then I feel strange. Not gonna lie, I do question what would people think. (I’m trying to change that.)

But it is difficult to live underneath this pressure. Like hello, when are you going to do things you like? You don’t wear short dresses but you like them, you can’t cry when you want to, all because you’re not supposed to?

See, nobody wrote these rules and nobody really finds anything objectionable, but it’s the way they talk. While “people” gossip, they pick up these topics. But they do forget. I hear the regular gossip queens talking such things, “You saw her clothing? She has such a bad taste.”

First off, it is really icky to backbite, especially about someone’s taste. When something is genuinely wrong, you can talk. But passing comments? Stop it before I throw a chappal at you from the screen. (chappal is something we say in India for a piece of footwear, for all non-indian readers.)

Second, them commenting is not going to change anything. Everyone doesn’t have a similar taste and it is okay. Wear what you like, do what you want.

The best way is to take off this fake social pressure. Ignore it. When your life flashes before your eyes, do you want to see all boring social norms you followed for impressing someone or do you want to see exciting things you did? So simply, walk it off. PEOPLE WILL FORGET.

In the end, what matters is your satisfaction. If you’re too insecure about your work, you should take that leap of faith. Jo hoga, dekha jaayega (a small phrase in Hindi which translates to “whatever happens, we’ll take care of it”). Even if the feedback you receive is harsh, but true, try to take it in a constructive manner. But put it out. Your work might be something valuable to someone else, and importantly, you.

I hope I provided some value to your time, because that’s all I have to say today.

And what makes me qualified to write this post? Well, I am not afraid to put this post out, though I know I have jitters. But you’re still reading this aren’t you?

Signing off,

Divi.

Some things, you need to do with yourself- a small little life update+chit-chat

I was really tired that day Like I am everyday. I was exhausted, after solving math (how typical) and studying for the exams coming up next month. Pressure was building up on me, especially since I performed real bad in the previous exam.

I got so frustrated after a while, I just banged my books. I didn’t understand what was troubling me. My head felt so heavy. That’s when I realized, I was just being too hard on myself. I was overstretched.

There’s very simple things that bring joy to us. For me, things that bring joy are some little things like baking, photography, painting or writing something, or watching a bts video (the crackhead stuff) and listening to a sad taylor swift song but that makes me sad again . At that point of time, my mind feels at peace. I feel so pleasant while cycling during evenings with soft sunlight and gentle wind.

Just when things seem purposeless, or you feel aimless, you need to do a few things by yourself. Spending time with yourself. For me, I know the time for leisure has come when I am sick of everything I do. When my head, body and mind feels heavy.

A new hobby I found was- painting. A budding Pablo Picasso coming straight up. I never thought I was any good at painting, but once I got the hang of it, it felt doable. Painting is kinda abstract so you can have like a predefined picture of what you want but it goes in a COMPLETELY different way.

Then I began writing a story. I don’t know if I can call it a novel yet, but it’s as of now just a plot that is loosely held by some words, lol. It’s a mixture of so many genres and tropes, for now, I’m thinking of calling it “my mess”.

I’ve been deep in my own heap of study these days. My mom says I’m being too much of a nerd. I hate the word nerd. What do you say?

I’ve also been reading this book “One of us is lying” by Karen McManus. It’s interesting till the point I’ve read, thank you so much Book bloggers for that book rec!

Buy One Of Us Is Lying Book Online at Low Prices in India | One Of Us Is  Lying Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in

Our school began online once again though :( Just when I thought school would be normal, wham! Online school. Truth be spoken, I HATE online school. My eyes hurt, and it’s too boring without any interaction. Like mischief with friends.

But! Since I was part of the Republic day event at school (ahem- I was the emcee-), I did find my cue to go to school. I found such beautiful bougainvillea blossoms, in white! They looked so prettyyyy~

I wonder if I’ll have the chance again to go to school.

There we go with the sadness again.

This post was supposed to be happy.

Anyways, I hope y’all are doing well. Keep being weird, spend some time with yourself, stay hydrated and this is where I end today. Sayonara.

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

Getting out of my hole of procrastination (again)

Hello! I have been so irregular with the blog. Guess why? I chose to procrastinate over this. My apologies, again.

So, I’ve been sinking in the hole of procrastination again. At this point of time, I’ve realized something. It’s only natural to do this. Procrastination was meant to happen, to deviate our minds. It’s just like another piece in a chess game.

But how I got out of it, it’s a long story.

So it began this way. In the Xmas holidays, I sorted out my life. I reoriented myself to work towards my goal(s). I began to be organized, I started with the so called “perfect life”. But then after I recovered from covid early January this year (I know, such a bad start for a new year), I started using this excuse of “recovery” trauma.

I binge watched series and films, because I was “recovering” and I needed to feel good.

I did art stuff to make me feel good.

I inclined toward pleasure, because I had “trauma”.

And…I lost focus in practically every single thing I did.

After I realized I was being too much of a master procrastinator, I hatched a plan.

  1. I would finish a chunk of work
  2. Watch whatever I was watching
  3. Get back to my work
  4. repeat.

This was a good system when I was watching something very gripping. Like a series or a film or reading a very interesting book. Let’s say, finish 10 long history essay type questions, get 10 minutes of watch/ reading time.

It is very efficient, until I discovered a loophole. When I traded every history question for a minute of leisure, I sometimes, you know, extended it. Like 10 questions= 20 minutes of procrastination.

The starting, goes smooth, but long term, well, back to day 1. So, I figured a better way.

We’re humans, and as good as we can be while being stubborn, we also tend to get deviated. So, an atmosphere where there can be no possible distractions (like, literally nothing), you’d succeed in finishing your work, zero procrastination. But this isn’t practical. We live in the tech era, if you forgot.

I wouldn’t suggest you downloading procrastination-free apps or something as such (though they can be useful, but they have their own flaws and CAN be cheated). Instead, try to think really hard.

Remind yourself what is at stake. Like a paper that is due the next day or a project goal you need to submit by midnight. Get to know yourself. Can you do it if you procrastinate? Are you capable enough?

Well if you budge a yes to these questions, you’re free to procrastinate. But what is at stake is quality work . If you stay up till midnight and get the work till it chokes you, sorry, but you won’t get your work done either.

So, remind yourself what you’ll be losing if you procrastinate. Then you’d be afraid to do whatever it is you’re doing.

Couple of other inputs you can try-

  • Try to go for non-tech options: Like resources or something, you can use books or papers from library. You can turn towards your laptop when you really feel you need it.
  • Sit in supervision: Don’t ask someone to superintend you, just go sit somewhere in a place where there are people. You could work on your pc, and you’d feel a “fake” pressure of completing your work, because you don’t wanna show the other person that you’re a total waste, and you wouldn’t want them to see that your work process is really sloppy.
  • Keep a water bottle beside: Really helps when you think you’re going to fall asleep. We tend to procrastinate when we don’t have a lot of energy and are entering a state where we don’t want to do a SINGLE THING. Drinking water gives your brain some activity and plus, it’s a good skincare hack. (Glowing skin like BTS hehe.)
  • Learn to take a break: You never really procrastinate when you’ve already had your dose of break. You procrastinate because either you don’t want to do that task or you’re longing for a break. Breaks help you to solve both the problems. Cut off procrastination, just like that.

So, that’s it for this week, readers!

Also, I’m gonna be launching a new blog series in a while, but before I can write, I’ll need your participation! Stay tuned for the post!

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

My reading goals of the year +Plan your reading for the year with me!

Hello readers! The last year was such a lesson, especially when it came to books. My life never felt so empty. Before that, my life was filled with stories of so many fictional and real characters, it was easy to distract myself from something that’s bothering me. Last year, for some stupid reason, I stopped reading.

I tried so much, but I just, couldn’t get myself to read. But now I feel, I need to get something to distract myself. So here are my reading goals for 2022, and feel free to grab a notepad, to plan out your year too!

How many books I’m wanting to read

I’m planning to read 30. I don’t want to set too many unrealistic goals for myself. I’m going to get myself to read 30, and slowly raise the bar high. I’m feeling, maybe I’ll raise till…60?

So, you could decide your number based on your capacity and of course, time. 30 books for me takes not much time, and I could easily incorporate that in my daily life, yours would depend on how hectic your schedule is.

What genres I want to read

Genres are very important. My book genres kinda define my vibe of the year. One year, I chose fantasy as my genre, I imagined being in Hogwarts. No, seriously.

This year, I want to read-

  • Young Adult- This genre is pretty broad, because there’s relatable teenage protagonists with relatable problems. This would include dystopian, romance, fantasy and everything else.
  • Dystopian- After reading hunger games, I’m pretty much convinced dystopian is my genre. I’m looking for more books like HG, maybe I’ll get lucky?
  • Crime- It’s kind of scary to think about crime, but I feel I have to try this out.
  • Action and adventure- Definitely my genre. I could read all day about protagonists going on life-defining trips filled with action. I definitely feel good about such books.
  • Mystery- Detective and thrillers are so interesting to read. Definitely on my list.

Top 10 TBR

For the unversed, tbr means to-be-read. Add that one in your glossary. Coming back to the list, a good tbr leads to reading good books. It gives a nice starting point. So my top 10 TBR are-

  • As good as dead- I was reading this one last year, but I left it in the middle of the process. I should start this one again, because the plotline is excellent.
  • A good girl’s guide to murder- I recently read a book review, this excited me SO MUCH.
  • Daisy jones and the six- After reading The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid has officially become one of my favorite authors. Hence, this pick.

  • Turtles all the way down- I cannot say no to a book that has John Green’s name on it.
  • Fangirl- This is a book blogger recommendation! She told this was a book she’s read several times. That cannot stop me from reading.
  • It ends with us- One of my besties’s book rec. She has been fangirling over this.

  • Thirteen reasons why- I don’t know, the book cover interested me.
  • These violent delights- I heard it’s really good. Plus, the synopsis is AMAZING.

  • Our violent ends- It’s the sequel to the previous one, I have to read it.
  • The cruel prince- This book is called, been-on-my-tbr-for-long. I have to give it justice.

BONUS: Six of crows, because my friend wouldn’t stop begging me to read this.

When I plan to read

Everyday. I want to make this a habit. I would like to spend at least an hour reading. I know that going into 10th grade the coming year, I wouldn’t get as much time to read. But I’d like to be more productive and continue my reading habit.

As for you, on the other side of the computer, make your own call about how much time you should spend. Reading more shouldn’t mean placing everything else aside. Reading should be *in sync* with everything else.

I should do that first.


So that was…it. I know I haven’t posted that frequently in quite a while. My family and I tested positive for covid 19, so I wasn’t that active on wordpress. I missed out on comments and new posts. But since I’m better, I’m sure I’ll be regular now. Expect a post once a week, on Mondays! I’ll also reply to your comments sooner!

The QOTD-

What are your reading plans for 2022? How many books are you gonna read?

Let me know your answers!

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

Just a little bit of positivity: The thin line of difference between body positivity and reality

Generally people my age aren’t that comfortable talking about body sizes or anything of that sort. I don’t understand why, because we all do have insecurities. A few comments made purely for “jovial reasons” and occasional taunts of “You’ve become a bit healthy, had fun in your vacations it seems!”, apart from that, I don’t find body size discussions anywhere.

So straight up, I would begin with myself. I’ve been a fairly chubby child. If I exempt my lean toddler years, however. My mother herself holds her mouth agape as to how exactly this transformation came to be.

I’ve had some real nutritious food, usually “zero trans fat” or “high on fiber” stuff. Binge eating was and never is a practice at home. I did martial arts, yoga and occasional exercising to keep myself fit. I do classify as a healthy person, who is also a bit chubby. I do seem happy about it, because I try to do everything I can, and if it doesn’t change anything, there is nothing much I can do to fix it.

And when it comes to my behavior towards others, there have been some…questionable things. I do encourage body positivity now, but I never did so in my past really immature years. Not saying I’m some mature Buddha now, but I can say I’ve improved.

My gang and I in our classroom used to make stereotypes about an obese girl in our class (I’d refrain from using the word “fat”, because it does seem a bit rude to say that). We used to say things like, “I bet her lunchbox is her size too”. I know, it was a bad thing to say. A few in our class passed a few rude comments about the obese children being equivalent to bulky animals.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

Though funny at that time, it must have been very insulting and mentally disturbing for those children. And really, it’s not only the obese ones getting attacked. It’s also those underweight ones, often called “sticks” and taunted with “you’d fly away if a storm came by”.

And what would follow would be probable stressing out to fit into others’ mindset.

That’s when you need body positivity. When you need to feel good in your own skin. And this is not only for body sizes, it’s for your complexion or any other thing that is completely natural. Even being short heighted.

But at the end of the day, deep down, you might know that this is probably not your best self. At the end of the day, being overweight isn’t good for your health, being underweight isn’t good for your health. And this might not give a good outcome in the future.

This is the reality.

You need body positivity when you create a mental impression about how you wish to fit into others’ standards, but you need to think of the reality when it comes to your better health.

Being obese or underweight is a fact that you can work upon, but being “ugly” because of it is an opinion, that you need to change.

(I should get the last two paragraphs framed somewhere, shouldn’t I?)


This post was just me writing down my thoughts roughly. I’ve given this issue a bit of a thought, I realize that body positivity needs to be normalized, while embracing the reality.

Do you have a story to share on this topic? What are your thoughts about feeling insecure in your own skin?

You could mail me about this, and if I do receive a good amount of responses, I would get those stories or viewpoints published on the blog. This is open all the time, meaning there is no time limit. You could have your content published anonymously

CONTACT

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

P.S.- Might be a wee bit late in responding to comments! And if you’ve filled the form, let me know in the comments!

Everything you need to know about journaling: My perspective, how I’m doing it and tips!

My graphic designing skills are sitting in a cringe bin, what’s happening!?

Let’s face it, Journaling is the new trend. It’s the new aesthetic everyone is going for. But what’s making it different is how unique everyone’s take on it is.

What is a Journal?

A journal is a book to store memories and reflections about anything you wish. It could be a day’s log, an account of an important/memorable event. You could maintain a journal of practically any sort- Art, scrapbook journal, a study journal (though I’m not sure what that is), a self reflective or even a private one!

I started a self-reflective cum scrapbook journal, and so far, it’s going great!

Why maintain a journal in the first place?

You know what, I’m not sure either. Why do it in the first place? Why not just jot it down in your notes app or something? Because there’s a special joy to it! Trying to visualize or think of how your today’s journal entry is going to be has a kick to it! What ever you do with your own damn hands is divine, especially during these days when everything is inside a virtual world.

*boken brones, yes that’s what I wrote.*

What do you need?

That’s the million dollar question. What do you need to maintain a journal?

A book and a pen, if you want to keep it simple.

A whole art shop if you’re willing to go overboard.

I chose a notebook I had, sitting in a corner of my *utterly littered* bookshelf. It seemed okay to make-do for the time being. And the rest, was just newspapers, lettering, old gift sheets, and some old sheets of paper.

Tips to keep in mind before you begin-

Do not be misled by Pinterest.

They seem pretty, they seem aesthetic. DON’T BE MISLED.

All sorts of stuff shown on pinterest.

The thing with Pinterest is that all creators are in an attempt to get more clicks on their pins. Pinterest is solely image based and the creators are making their pins look more and more and more attractive. Why wouldn’t they, if it’s visually appealing, who wouldn’t click?

I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just not doable. Not at the very starting. And you see that amount of glue and paper and the setup they make for shooting Pinterest videos? It’s not economically or environmentally efficient. So I suggest you to try and recycle things. But I can say this with a hand on my chest, truthfully, that Pinterest is great for gaining inspiration.

Things you could do-

  • Make your own stickers and decorations
  • Try to re-use old papers/newspapers (did I tell you that old brown paper bags make good aesthetic material?)
  • Avoid buying decorative and the so called fancy stuff; SUPPORT YOUR BUDGET!
Write it for your satisfaction

Don’t do it for the sake of doing it. If you want to do it passionately, spend your time in doing it. Your time is invaluable.

Get inspiration from everywhere!

Get INSPIRED. Get CREATIVE.

Do things that will make you want to write for your journal. Go out, somewhere different. Have a picnic with yourself, or read something thoughtful. And then you’d feel like writing about it in your book!

You could read a post about gaining writing inspiration here.

What is Journaling going to do for you?

Jumping to the next part; how is it beneficial?

Improve your writing-

Frequent writing will surely help you get better at it. I myself feel impacted by writing frequently. This is not only applicable to journaling, but can be used in any field. I personally feel that frequently writing for my blog has improved the quality and depth in my content. Also, journal is a no-nonsense book, so you’ll feel compelled to write insightful things in it.

(before you come and attack me using so many paper cuttings in the above picture- THEY’RE ALL RE-USED.)

Breeds optimism-

Journals help you to gather motivating stuff from all around. Especially if you’re maintaining a self reflective journal. The name says it all, you reflect yourself. You begin to understand yourself and find out areas you can improve. And in turn, you take it all positively. You look forward for another day full of experiences, how happy does it sound!

Very Happy.

Isn’t it getting cheesy now?

Peace o mind

I have no right to talk about having peace of mind. I don’t have any stress weighing on my head, but in a generic way, you’d feel calm when you write about your day. And how peaceful does writing seem to you? Very. And, along with peace, you’re also breeding insightfulness, when you’re thinking about yourself deeply. But it’s not necessary to write deeply.

What can I say, I’m very shallow.

Reminiscing

This is the best part, remembering memories of the past. Now imagine, after 10 years or so, you’re maintaining a journal right now, upon reading it in the future, it’s all very nostalgic. Flipping through all those pages, with so many memories and stories, imagine!


I hope you enjoy reading this post, it was just an effort to share what I have learnt. Both positive and negative, lol. The main aim isn’t to get you into maintaining a journal, I intend to make you think of yourselves even more and record it somewhere. Self-love is the best therapy, give yourself time.

Before you go, check out the blog’s Pinterest, there’s lot’s to go around!

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

P.S.- Please do not compare my images to pinterest, lol 😛

P.P.S- I recently read a post on journaling by Maya, she has some great tips too, you could check it out here.

A Level Study Methods: A guest post by PP @youraverageSGkid

Hello readers! Today we have a guest! A few weeks ago, me and PP from @ YourAverageSGKid got in touch for mutual guest posting! I’m here to present PP’s post for you all, and you’ll find my guest post on his site, too (I’d probably reblog it.)!

Examinations, something that I have become all too familiar with. As a medical student myself, examinations are the bread and butter of what I do. Having said that, I would like to think that I have somewhat mastered the art of tackling examinations, at least written ones for that matter. Having been a student for the past 13 years, I have modified my study techniques over the years and I would like to share them with you in hope that it can inspire you to find a study technique that will work best for yourself. In this post, I will write about how I studied for the Cambridge GCE A Levels (equivalent of the 12th grade curriculum in India) and share with you what I did to attain my As.

Before I begin, I would like to give put out some disclaimers: 1) I am not a perfect student, I wasn’t always an As student, 2) I did not have extra tuition for any of my subjects, I attained my As purely through implementing my own study methods, 3) I am just sharing what I did and I understand that my methods may not work for everyone but feel free to experiment and tweak it to suit your learning needs!

For the A Levels, I took a subject combination of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Economics, all at H2 level. In the following paragraphs, I shall go into detail and break down what I did to prepare myself for these subjects. 

Since secondary school, Physics has been my best subject 👌🏼 and so I was pretty confident about taking it for the A Levels. Nevertheless, I constantly reminded myself not to be overly complacent and underestimate the rigour of A Level physics. Additionally, to be strong in physics, one’s mathematics must be relatively decent too and so my math was pretty good as well.

For these 2 subjects, I did not make any notes at all as I felt the essence of doing well in them lie in practice✍🏼. So with that, once I understood the physical and mathematical concepts taught in my lectures, I was busy attempting practice questions from topical review assessment books that I can find in bookstores. I spent quite a bit of money purchasing these assessment books but I was able to justify the cost to myself as I was already saving money by self-studying and not going for tuition. 

If you are considering doing the same, you can always check online to see if there are free PDF versions of assessment books/practice questions from other schools which you can download. This will save you a lot of money and you comes with the additional benefit of having unlimited tries 🤩!

TL;DR – Learn the concept, attempt practice questions until you can’t get them wrong 

I took a different approach to studying chemistry as compared to what I did for physics and math. Chemistry, whilst also being science subject, involves a certain degree of memory work and hence I resorted to doing notes for specific topics which require intensive memorisation😪. Examples of such topics include transition elements where we were required to know the various chemical equations in full as well as all organic chemistry topics whereby we had to know all the reactions and its mechanisms in detail. 

After making notes for these topics, I would periodically test myself on how much I remembered by covering my notes and attempting to rewrite the chemical equations/ reaction mechanisms on a piece of rough paper. Now as I look back, I realise that I have been unknowingly practicing active recall and spaced repetition. After I have managed to memorise all that I ought to know, I start doing practice questions, similar to what do when I study for physics and math. 

If you are considering doing the same, you can use Anki 😍 to help you with the active recall and spaced repetition. For assessment books, online free PDFs or 2nd hand books are you best bets!

TL;DR – Create notes for content heavy topics, implement active recall and space repetition to boost memorisation, attempt practice questions until you can’t get them wrong.

As a math and science student, econs was definitely the hardest subject for me. Whilst I enjoyed econs lessons and understood the concepts taught, I always fared poorly when it comes to formal assessments. I was consistently failing (<45%) my case studies and essays for as long as I remember 😢. For a period of time, I felt as though my econs was hopeless and that it was destined to be counted as my H1 subject in the computation of my final university admission score (UAS). However, during the December holidays of JC1 (junior college year 1; in Singapore, you are given 2 years to learn the A Level content and study for it), I found a study method that really helped me improve my econs.

Essentially, what I did was to revise everything that was taught in JC1 and also create templates 👍🏼 to answer specific questions that are pretty commonly asked. For instance, I would have a template for answering questions on Market Failure or one for answering questions on Price Elasticity of Demand/Supply. My template contained all the key phrases which are the marking points that examiners look out for. Having these templates helped me to better structure my answers so that they are comprehensive and are not missing out anything when it comes to explaining the various econs concepts. Now you may be wondering how do I know what the key phrases/marking points? Well, I simply looked through many econs marking schemes from the Ten Year Series (TYS) as well as those from other school promotional (promo) and preliminary (prelim) exams to deduce the various key phrases/ marking points! 💯

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

When I entered JC2, I continued doing the same for the new econs concepts I learnt. When I was preparing for common tests or exams, I will first memorise the various templates that I have created for myself. Additionally, I will practice econs by doing case study questions as well as write essay outlines. As time is extremely tight during econs exams, I find it important to practice doing a whole econs paper from time to time just to make sure that my time management is on point. However, constantly doing econs practice papers in full is of a much lower yield than just doing the case study questions and writing essay outlines in my opinion. Writing essay outlines are much faster than writing the essay itself and as they say, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and so planning the essay is actually more important than writing it. With the time saved by writing essay outlines instead of full essays, you can expose yourself to more types of questions and the different ways a similar question can be asked so that you will be more prepared to face a variety of questions in future!

TL;DR – Learn the concept, create answering templates, memorise answering templates, attempt practice questions until you can’t get them wrong 

Conclusion

So there you have it, an in-depth guide to how I studied for my 4H2 subjects at the A Levels. You may or may not have noticed, but regardless of subject, there is always one commonality in all my study methods – EXPOSURE to a multitude of questions. I truly believe that if you want to score well, you must first and foremost fully understand what you are learning. After which, you have to attempt as many questions as possible such that you are exposed to all types of questions which can be asked. Many a times, similar questions are re-used in exams with little tweaks in the question stem such that certain values or conditions are different. Exposing yourself to a wide variety of questions will equip you well to answer all types of questions in the actual exam as they will feel familiar to you. And, since familiarity breed confidence, I’m sure you will be more confident when tackling your exams too!

If you have read this post all the way, I hope you have managed to learn a thing or two. Let me know in the comments if you personally use a study method that is similar t0 mine or what your custom study method is! I would love to hear from you all how you cope with preparing for the A Levels.

ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR EXAMS AND HAPPY STUDYING! 💪🏼

PhattyPaikia (PP) is a medical student from Singapore, currently studying at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. In his free time, he loves to write about his medical school journey, share productivity tips as well as discuss topics related to money. Through his blog, which you can check out here, PP hopes to share what it is like to become a doctor in Singapore and inspire fellow students to lead the most productive and fruitful lives during their teenage/early adult years. Apart from blogging, PP is also a keen reader and an avid adventurer who regularly participates in many outdoor activities. 

Writing inspo for everyone: tips, ideas and suggested reading!

Writing is brilliant and marvelous way to express what we’re feeling, write right? But then, not everyone can write. I do not mean this in the terms of being literate or illiterate. I am speaking in terms of skill.

No one is a skillfully trained professional when they begin to write. Maybe in future the writer might become a professional, or may not. The point is whether you begin to write or not. I began as a crap writing kid too. I still write crap, but you could make some exceptions.

But sometimes, we’re not motivated or inspired enough to begin writing. Could be a writer’s block or could be procrastination. So if you feel the same way, here’s some inspiration and a piece of wisdom for everyone! Plus, you could do well with some suggested reads!

1. Think of what EXACTLY you want to write.

You need to have a starting point right? So if you want to begin writing or you’re feeling a bit bored about writing, you need to first think of what you want to write. For example, the moment I am drafting this post, it’s raining outside. It’s damp and chilly and I feel great at the moment. I could put the scenic imagery into a poem or a nice story and add some twists to it!

A few ideas:

2. Maintaining an Idea/thoughts journal
Photo by Natasha Fernandez on Pexels.com

Ideas are like butterflies. One moment they’re here, the next moment they fly away. I got the idea of drafting this post at 10 PM, right before I went to bed! I got my notebook and wrote down the things I wanted to write in this post. You could start a journal for your ideas or just simply reserve a page in your diary. We all have lightening thoughts for a second, but the next moment we forget them. So, it’s nice to write it down somewhere. I have a page in my notebook called the idea panel-whenever I get an idea, i write it down on the page. When I don’t have ideas I look back and borrow inspiration from that!

It’s a simple system, ain’t it?

3. Notice little things more

Now that’s a writer’s essence, noticing little things. I ain’t asking you to be Sherlock. Just be a person who knows what they’re doing and where they live. You sit in a place everyday, but it is possible that you might not be able to describe it to the tiniest details. For writing, you don’t need to lose people in your life to write a sad poem or fall in love to write a love story. Just take little things that happen in your life and gain inspiration.

I suggest you reading Ruskin Bond’s stories, the imagery is on point. He writes about the basic simplicities of life, and there he is, one of the most celebrated authors. Makes you think, huh?

4. Read more, to write more.

An advice that any writer would give you. Read.

If you don’t read, kiss goodbye to writing anything. Reading grows the seeds of thought is your mind. It not only grows your imagination but also improves your vocabulary. When I began reading, heck, the first page of the book overwhelmed me. All those big, un-pronounceable and fancy words are mind-boggling. I never knew what ‘sagacity’ or ‘jingoistic’ meant. Until I googled it up, of course. How’d I come across these words? In the city of Oz? No, I read it somewhere. The power of words…

I suggest you to read Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan. It was a tough first read, I understood only half the words. That is my vocabulary anyway, might be different for you. But you cannot know all of the words, can you?

That was… my lecture? I feel awkward while writing advice pieces. I’m not an intellectual. I’m just jotting down random thoughts. But again, these are surefire tips that will guarantee writing inspiration!

When I finished writing this post, I questioned myself, “Do I know how to write?”. I seriously did! So what do you think…

…Do I know how to write?

Play around with your answers! I need quirky replies. That was the Question of the post!

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

*I’m willing to read your written pieces too! If you’ve got any poem, prose, a short paragraph (which you think is applicable to the blog theme), send it my way! I’d be happy to select a few (you know, if I receive anything at all) entries and display it on my blog under the tag “Writers’ essence” and aim all credits to you. You could drop a message to my mailbox or drop it here*

Blog diaries #2: Arbitrary concerns about appreciation, myself and happiness.

Today, on a whim, I got myself to post this finally. Another addition to the blog diaries series!

I’m a very practical person who doesn’t usually believe in, practise, read or write philosophy. I’ve had enmity with philosophical things since a really long time, for reasons unknown. But then, this blog-diary entry is an exception. I’ve jotted down a few things I’ve been going through currently, the realisations I’ve had (I always realise things everyday. Whether good or bad, that’s the question) and how I think I’m become very self-absorbed. Most importantly, I’ve emphasized upon how I fail to observe and appreciate little things.

I’ve put in some sweat in this, so you better like it!

Or else you meet death.

*If you’re reading this from the WordPress-reader, you might want to view this on the original site, as this contains graphics that are best-viewed on the blog itself! read it here. *

So…How was it? It’s not that cohesive, but I hope you got the whole point of it!

Why I started the series:

The main motive of making these blog diary entries is not only to write but to make something visually appealing. This becomes like a periodic graphic design project.

Another reason is that, maintaining a journal in real life is a lot of work. I’m like the laziest person ever, so you know, it gets difficult and a bit of frenzy when it comes to maintaining a journal of sorts. Nevertheless, I’ve made one last attempt at maintaining a journal(in real life) and update it regularly. Let’s see how it goes.

So I made a journal, which is electronic and public (Not the point of the journal, exactly). But heck, at least I get to do self reflections once in a while.

I hope I get to do another entry soon, but not very soon. These things TAKE TIME.

Anyways, I really wish you like it. If you do, why not just leave a comment? Thinking of comments, The-Question-of-the-Post:

Do you maintain a Journal or a Diary? You got some tips?

Share your thoughts with other readers here. I’d drop by to read your views too!

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

View the first Blog-Diary entry, here: Blog Diaries: A birthday post, June the Tenth, 2021.

Bye-Bye, Extrovert! : Why I chose to become an Ambivert

Am I an ambivert or am I an ambivert?

Heyaaaaa! I hope you’re alright. You noticed I didn’t post this Saturday right?

Got Busy In My Exam Study, You See.

Let me compensate it today, lovelies.

I was previously very proud of being an extrovert. But honestly, being anything has NEGATIVES. Be an introvert, you’re not the socializing type. Be an extrovert, you’re TOO much of the socializing type.

Ah world, can you just stop?

I had a very bizarre mindset towards introverts, always thought that they were so quiet and mum about everything! Haha, they have a good reason to be.

As I met newer people every year (Ha! The new kid in the class), I understood more about them. Some open up and some are very shush about their life. I thought it was absurd. They were just afraid of being judged, I think.

Coming to the stereotypically “Confident” extroverts. You know, being one previously, I can tell you a thing about that. Extroverts are more “liked” (I don’t know, are they?) because they’re always ready to talk. And who doesn’t like talking? They cannot stand being quiet and alone. Because they like attention? Or because they like people?

Opened White Book
I’d rather read a book than talk to shitty people. Deal with it.

I chose to be an ambivert. Yes, by choice, people.

I am not the shy type. I am VERY outspoken. But I don’t know what got into me, the pandemic has changed me, as I told you before. Or maybe it’s teenage. Either way, it’s not a big deal. I’ve become more self-aware.

I used to be like, “Hey, you’re in my class!” or “Hey, I met you during that event. We spoke for… two minutes.” . I know, I was very cheesy.

After sorting out my priorities (Why does that remind me of Hermione Granger?), I’ve come to an understanding that:

  • I basically like talking;
  • but I don’t like talking with just “anyone“.
  • Especially idiots.
  • I’m more of a deep conversation person.
  • I only like people who are like me.
  • I’m actually a bit shy.
  • And I hate people who aren’t interested in anything I like.
Woman Jumping Wearing Green Backpack
That’s totally how I’d jump. Just a whacky, little, curious bean, that’s what I am.

Revelations.

Why actually think of becoming an ambivert when everything is just alright in your life?

  • Extroverts like me generally cannot live without people: We need people around us to live. Being alone, solitude, the likes- a huge no-no.
  • I make others a bit irritated- Constantly being bugged by a person about some random crap is SO IRRITATING. Haha, you have no idea. I simply don’t know how and when to shut up.
  • I can be too open- I lose control over my emotions and just share way too many things with people. I guess it’s time to learn that some things are meant to be discussed with myself and myself only.

Did I place enough arguments in front of you?

That folks, is why I don’t want to be an extrovert anymore. You know, I’m just sick of it. I want to live in my small little world and do what I like. That’s it. Mission “Be an ambivert” begins today!

Farewell, extrovert!

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

*Questions welcome! I'm kinda planning to do a Q and A post soon (or maybe later, who knows), so if y'all have any questions, literally any thing, about me, blogging, school life- drop a message, here! Looking forward to answering and writing!*

P.S.- Oh I almost forgot. I was way too lazy to photograph anything for the post (also, time did not cooperate. But that’s normal :| ), so I borrowed pictures from pexels.com. Mentioning it because I clearly, don’t wanna be sued :)

Now I have something to discuss. I wanna know what type of a person you are; An extrovert, An ambivert or an introvert? Let’s chat in the comments!

Penning down my normal day in a post: Blogging and School edition

Hello! How is everyone!

Last week, one of my dear friend and blogger had emailed me about a very specific type of a post. Coincidentally, I was already working on a post like that. It was nice to know that my readers and I think quite similarly! You can read my friend’s blog here.

Anyways, today, should we do another blog-diary entry?

Nah, I think we’re doing it too often.

Today I’m feeling super-duper lazy to edit any graphics or images for a diary post, so regular post it is! (If you’d like me to do a diary post soon, let me know!)

15th of June.

7:00 AM: Can you believe it? Exactly on 7. My biological clock must be a genius or something. Today I was SUPER LAZY (as I told you already), so I skipped exercise. But the calories, they never skip anything. I had a 60 minute head start for school to begin, half of which I spent in wondering if a chicken came first or an egg.

8:00 AM: Math Class! I was IMMERSED in today’s lecture. The thing with math is that you won’t understand it if you DON’T WANT to understand it. Just for the sake of doing something never got us anywhere, did it? Anyways, we had two consecutive math classes, so my back surely had a BAD TIME!

After that I had my breakfast and edited my brand new profile picture!

And I had another language lecture and a few assignments to complete.

11:45 AM: I drew a few diagrams for my cell-organelles assignment that is due at the end of this month. But then, I subsequently began drafting a new blog post (Which happens to be this very post). And then I realize, “Goddamn, what happened to my assignment!”. So I begin researching again.

The notes in the book are unfiltered. None of them made into the final post, unfortunately..

12:30 PM: And I got bored. So I chilled out with some music.

I absolutely love this song! I’m always humming and jamming to this.

1:20- ish PM: I had some food. Obviously I have to stay alive. After that me and my sister saw some cartoon and then, off to the next part of the day!

2:00 PM: This is where the fun part of the day begins. By Fun, I mean things that make my day, a day. I prepare my “Checklist of the day”. Basically, this is just a piece of paper where I write my goals and the agenda of the day.

I caught up on my left out assignment and yay, I finished it. :-D

3:14 ish: I did some chores. Me and my sister have this eternally ongoing chore of doing laundry. I do my part quite responsibly. It’s my sister Miss lazybones who escapes from doing her part. I spent the next half an hour reminding her that she had some chores to do.

3:45 PM: *Crossing out a few more things out of the checklist* I begin “Study-part 2”. I’m sorry! That’s all I did! It sure seems pretty boring but 9th grade, is a total mess. The one thing interesting now was updating my post, with all I did till now. And now since I had come to wordpress, I read a few posts out here.

4:30 PM: I got up and flexed out my hands. They got sick of writing so many notes, poor little things. I checked my texts and replied to them. I listened to some music again…ahhhhhhhh.

5:00 PM: I tried doing an illustration. Or whatever its called. I was trying out my new watercolor pens and they’re GOOD. I had some fun here and there, until it was time for tea. In my case, milk. Me and my sister made a quick snack and we talked about how our day was going. Of course, nothing serious.

DO WE BOTH SEEM LIKE KIDS WHO TALK PHILOSOPHY?

No! It was some cuckoo theories and cracking jokes about each other.

Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

5:30 PM: *Blog Post editing*. Today is my blog posting day. Every tuesday, I get the thoughts in my brain and on the pages of my notebooks into the digital draft. Gives me a sense of completing half of the work. A 20 minutes at this work and then I’m off to reading this book I’m halfway through.

6:18 PM: *Closing of the day* My dad always says that we must close all the work that is pending by the end of the day, it gives us a sense of satisfaction. He isn’t wrong. I cleaned my desk and made my bed and kept everything ready for the next day. I don’t do this everyday, but I realized that I gotta be a *Decent girl*, so that I’m presentable in this post. Here we are.

I watched television. I wouldn’t want to mention any timings for this because, I clearly don’t remember! I had my dinner too, soon. (Yeah, we have television meals at night.) Anyways, it was getting late. Tomorrow I’m gonna have to come and edit the draft of the post and schedule it.

*A work well done.*

Not-so-daintily loving you,

Divi.

P.S. Thanks for reading this! My examinations are up next month, I might disappear for a few weeks. I don’t want my grades to drop, at all! So I’ll post less frequently, or maybe not post at all. But stay with me, okay? I know you would.

*Sending you a hug!*

Notions I trashed that helped me boost positivity!

Hello! How is everyone’s day going? Positive, I hope. We’re all in a bad phase in life, a bit of optimism is what we need. Lockdown started out pretty hard but we all just made the best out of it. Honestly, let’s look at the brighter side; Family dinners together, binge watching favorite movies at home, having little picnics and garden parties at home; ah, so wonderful!

Enough of cheesy talk though. Onto today’s post!

As I said, positivity is the need of hour. So I did some self-renovation. I figured there were a few thoughts that weren’t worth keeping in my head, so guess what, I trashed them.

-Everyone’s having a better life.

I have this feeling, this insecurity that everyone is somehow, having a better life than me. The truth is harsh. Turns out people have worse ways to live. Comparing myself to to others was one of the worst thing I ever did. I always thought that everyone has a perfect life. From the coolest kid in the class to the closest friend I have, I particularly compared my problems to theirs. Little did I know that everyone has misery, but not everyone shows it.

-Nobody needs me!

Ah, turns out some people do. This is a sort of feeling where you don’t realize the feeling until the moment approaches. I said these words when I was 11. I guess I got into a fight or something. I was angry, sad and scared. We say piercing words when we’re angry. Over time, I found the right friends who made me feel special. My parents always made me feel wanted, since the beginning. As I always say, Time makes a difference.

-People are copying me

People copying me always made me sad. Not jealous or mad, but sad. Sad because people are forgetting their true essence, their true interests. Everyone, literally everyone has someone who is copying them. I was totally bothered with people copying me or being like me, but then I had my mom saying, “In turn you must be happy! People are trying to be like you. It turns out you’re better!”. So yeah, I bothered about trashed it. There are so many people trying to look like Taylor Swift and sing like her, and she just wears all of it SO WELL.

But again, I try to talk to people I REALLY care about, regarding this. And they understand me. The others, well, don’t bother.

-People care about you

Wrong again. Turns out most of them don’t. You do something wrong once, people talk about it. The next day, list out one person who remembers anything. So we’re just an item to talk about. But people’s opinion doesn’t change the truth. What changes the truth is, us, when we act upon it. And I feel truly happy about trashing this game-changing notion. Instead, do something to impress the loved-ones. They’ll be super proud, right?

When there aren’t any useless thoughts dangling in our mind, there is lot more place for optimism. You start looking at everything in a different way. I hope this post has helped you and is speaking to you directly. Take these words from experience :-)

*Questions welcome! I'm kinda planning to do a Q and A post soon (or maybe later, who knows), so if y'all have any questions, literally any thing, about me, blogging, school life- drop a message, here! Looking forward to answering and writing!*

Books that I’ve been eyeing.

Books, ah, books! The month of June has so many targets. And I want to read more books! I’ve previously read only trilogies or book series and I want to change the game a bit. I’ve heard about these books so much, now I cannot wait to read them. So here is the list!

To kill a mockingbird- Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee: 0738095236881: Amazon.com: Books
I somehow came across this book while surfing through the internet. That's how it ended up on this list!

The diary of a young girl- Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl eBook: Anne Frank: Amazon.in: Kindle Store
I feel as if everyone on this planet has read this book except me. So I figure it's time to read it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Da Vinci Code- Dan Brown

Amazon.com: The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon) (9780307474278): Brown, Dan:  Books
Another super-popular, yet unread-by-me book. My mom has read loads of Dan Brown novels and she loves them!

The Book Thief- Markus Zusak

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The book thief recently came to my attention. Out of all these books, I would prefer to read this first. Why? Because the cover looks kind of interesting. But also because it's a great book according to reviews:D

Gently Falls the Bakula- Sudha Murty

Buy Gently Falls: The Bakula Book Online at Low Prices in India | Gently  Falls: The Bakula Reviews & Ratings - Amazon.in
I absolutely adore Sudha Murty's writing style. I've read most of the novels she's written and this one is definitely a one I HAVE to read.

Have you read these books? If you have, I would love to know what you think; should I read it or not? And please, no spoilers. If you haven’t, let’s read them together this month! I hope this book list has helped you!

I’ll see you soon, with another post! Till then, read my recent post.

Love,

Divi.

Inconsistency. (Plus, a tip from me)

Inconsistency, my god. Such a drag. I’m not only a procrastination expert but super inconsistent too. If you feel I’m exaggerating, honey, I’m not. I’m stating pure facts. I try to keep up a good habit but eventually I get lazy. After all, this is ‘me’ we’re talking about.

Still don’t believe me? Let me narrate you a small extract from my totally spontaneous life.

I was totally getting confused about keeping my sister’s and my room (hereafter referred to as ‘our room’ ) clutter free. I had to reduce things in our room, at least to prevent myself from tripping over the toys and literally un-name-able objects lying on the floor.

One fine day, I said to myself “This is it. Do or die, I have to get rid of stuff”. Sometimes, we need to be hard on ourselves, shouldn’t we? That’s my super motivated self.

So I officially made the room clutter-free, or maybe for the next 7 days. I enjoyed that feeling of emptiness, of not tripping over your own stuff and positive vibes. “Feng-Shui is working pretty well”, I said and soon I jinxed our room. I tried to maintain the room the same way for what, the next two days {Not even a week} and I got tired {!!!}. Myself doesn’t like me working so hard, so I left it. Again, one fine day, all the clutter and crap piles up an I have to work my butt off.

You see the circle?

My parents keep telling me about being consistent. But boy, did I ever listen?

No.

Unless we tell ourselves that we need to be consistent, no matter who lectures us, we’re nowhere to be working consistently. To be honest, I still haven’t figured this out myself. But one thing that seems to work is reaffirmation. I set alarms from time to time to remind myself about some little things that slip away from my mind easily. One for doing my chores, one for reading and another for taking C Vitamin, maybe? Think about it.

So I’m always trying to remind myself that I need to do things regularly. Like exercising. I like doing it, but I’d be like ” I’m just not in the mood to do it”. That is the lamest excuse ever. So self-motivation is super important.

Take these words from a non-expert but an insightful teen.

Happy Saturday! {I couldn’t put it at the start of the post because it didn’t fit the theme of the paragraph.}

I still haven’t taken my C-Vitamin. I better go to it.

How do you try to stay consistent with any new hobby you pick up? You’ve got any additional tips to suggest? Feel free to drop a message to my mailbox divyagunnabathula@gmail.com or leave it in the comments!

Love,

Divi.

*Questions welcome! I'm kinda planning to do a Q and A post soon (or maybe later, who knows), so if y'all have any questions, literally any thing, about me, blogging, school life- drop a message, here! Looking forward to answering and writing!*