Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Appreciating the Joys of Half-Term, Autumn and Essays

Half-term, Halloween and a hell of a lot of work - the perfect potion as I'm about to embark on the weeks leading to Christmas! OK, you might find a frazzled teen occasionally getting into a panic as she focuses all her energy (well, the best part of it; once a Lana fan, it is near enough impossible to switch off tracks like Music to Watch Boys To and Honeymoon in the radio station that is my mind) on understanding the Cosine rule which, to her annoyment, refuses to work properly on her calculator, resulting in yet another hurricane of rage... Just another day in the life of a modern teenage girl, as you have probably assumed.

Ah. Ever since the clocks went backwards on Saturday nights, I seem to have been paying further attention to autumn whose golden, shimmery beauty has never captivated me until now. Just a short while ago, I went for a walk as the setting sun was at its most beautiful state, which made me realise that autumn is truly the best season - and if only it could last a bit longer. Not only is hearing the crunch of leaves a delightful noise, but autumn symbolises fresh beginnings which, as I'm only days away from entering November, are becoming less new and more familiar.

Am I only the only person who gets a bit sad when new things - which, when they are first presented to me, maintain my attention and get me so excited as they have yet to be discovered and known like I recognise myself inside out - lose their freshness and eventually become old? For example, I mostly felt thrilled at the prospect of going into Year 11 during the summer holidays because, like Year 10, it represented new opportunities for me, which I couldn't wait to discover. Yet, nearly two months in, that excitement has worn off like a coat of lipstick, growing somewhat stale and a ghost of its unknown beauty which fascinated me in what felt like a week ago.

Is it a shame that all new things are destined to grow old? It depends on how you look at it. If I'd never gone into Year 11, I would have been deprived of numerous chances to demonstrate and develop confidence in my abilities and, in order to do so, I needed to 'break the ice', which I suppose is the ritual for getting used to something, rather in the manner of breaking in an unworn pair of shoes. And, by the way, my school shoes - once as clean as a just-bought dress - have definitely been worn in by now which I couldn't be more glad about, if not just for the sake of my once-blistered feet!

Anyway, whether I like it or not at times, I can't escape from the truth that I'm well and truly getting through Year 11 which, depending on how I view it (and whether my mood is being seriously affected by my horribly emotional hormones), is sometimes a relief and a curse. For starters, the thought of leading a Maths-free life by this time next year is extremely comforting when I feel close to tears on the occasions that I can't get my head around curved graphs (whose existence in this world cannot be explained, or so I like to believe), along with completing the remaining controlled assessments and pieces of coursework which, for several of my subjects, will seriously determine my overall grades before I even walk into the exam hall for my actual exams next summer.

However, preparing for my ever-nearing exams is a) not fun, b) extremely stressful and c) a horrendous reason why you cannot devour any new TV box sets because most of your free time is eaten up by homework, revision or coursework which, as of this week, I want to bawl my eyes out at the very sight of it.

For the first time ever (and hopefully the last, if the heavens above decide to bless my good efforts), I completed a 10000 word essay for Performing Arts yesterday, which took many hours of sheer suffering, nail-biting confusion (I use that term very sparingly - who, in their right mind, would nibble their nails in the one week where they can wear nail polish without fear of being given a detention or ordered to dunk their nails in pure acetone?!) and emotionally damaging procrastination until I finally saw the light that was my printer, eventually printing off my nineteen page piece of art.

Well, I don't really think that a piece of art is a term worthy enough to describe my work which was, in plain and fuzzy brain-friendly English, an evaluation on my class's trip to see Wicked in the West End last week. A performance which I absolutely loved watching, I guess that I really couldn't stop myself from going overboard when describing the symbolisation of green skin tones and black witch hats, hence why I reached the 10000 word mark for the first time in my sixteen years on this planet. Still, I've been comforted by a neighbour that the word count for dissertations at uni are considerably less, which has definitely confirmed to me that I am the QUEEN OF OVERBOARD.

Well, at least you can't fault me for effort, can you? Especially if it will get me an A*, just saying...

Moving on, Halloween is just three days away, yet, for once, I'm actually not interested in it. Even just writing these words makes my inner child, who is responsible for my obsession with cats and self-taught ability to steal chips from the baking tray at lightning speed when I think that Mum isn't looking in my direction, cry sorrowfully because a once valued event in my childhood has lost its preciousness. In many ways, I'm disappointed that I no longer show an interest in celebrating Halloween with all of its orange lights, pumpkins and countless bags of treat-sized Mars bars because, when I was young enough to fully appreciate it, I definitely loved it and every year I would look forward to Halloween as much as I would with Christmas and Easter.

No matter how nostalgic I might become over certain events in the past, falling back in love with them is never guaranteed because, as I've gotten older, one precious lesson I've learnt is that chasing old passions when you have changed can never be as good. Even though I'm pretty sure that Sade never wrote it to commemorate the occasion, her song Never As Good As The First Time truly justifies why I've lost the remaining sparks of a childhood love for Halloween, whose image has remarkably changed since I was six years old and used to love dressing up as a witch each year in the hope of receiving an extra bag of cola Haribos amongst my many other sweets. Nowadays, Halloween is way too commercialised and seems to be more about the amount of money that can be spent or made from it - in my opinion, that simply robs it of any value, whether in terms of money or not.

Oh well, I'll never fall out of love with treats, one of which I got in the form of a milky chocolate bar yesterday and cannot resist for a moment longer. It's a Wednesday and I've worked very hard to earn a square, so perhaps I'll give into my cocoa urges. If I'm going to do anything, you can guarantee that I'll do it my way - and certainly not anybody else's!

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