Jenna Outhwaite's Blogs

Making the most of half-term hobbies

What I like to do in the Half Term – when I’m not revising like mad of course – is do some of my hobbies. For me, that can go from reading to playing netball. 

Sport is a really good way to let off some steam and playing netball works for me. Although I like to do short, five-minute exercises whenever I’m free in the day just to take a break from revision. Helps keeping me motivated for the next game.

This Half Term, I’ve been focusing on learning to cook quick, easy and healthy meals – to prepare for Uni. I wasn’t a big fan for making my own homemade food, I normally just cook from the packet or box. But now, after some guidance from my boyfriend, Adam, he’s taught me how to be more self-sufficient when it comes to cooking and how much to do for just one or two people. I’ve learnt that if you do cook too much, just put it in a tub and freeze it to use for another day. On Sunday, I cooked ratatouille. Now I’m not too keen on my veggies, but with everything mixed together it’s not too bad.

On Tuesday, although it may not be the healthiest, of course I made pancakes. But even then, I normally bought the ready mixture – not this time. I also attempted to make homemade sweet potato fries and homemade burgers. They went… Well they tasted good. I just needed to cut the potatoes thicker and not put them on such a high heat. And for the burgers, well they didn’t quite stick together but I’m blaming the pan for that. 

What’s on the menu tonight? We shall see…

Reading is one of my favourite things to do, and I have done a lot of it this week. Not only because I enjoy it, but because it helps me with my school work. It’s a good  way of revising, by going over what you’ve already read, as well as making notes on important quotes. 


I also like to go on walks to clear my mind and take in some fresh air.  Whilst I go for a walk, I always keep my eyes peeled for anything picture worthy. I took this picture in Shotley Gate late afternoon at the weekend.  

Another New Beginning - The Dreaded Interview

Another New Beginning

Another stressful thing us teens have to do… interviews. For college or sixth form or uni. Or even a part-time job. What to wear? What to say? What not to wear? What not to say?

They never turn out as stressful as you think in your head, well at least they haven’t for me anyway. I attended a university interview last Friday. That was more fun than I
 definitely expected. The tutor was very upbeat and easy to talk to. Although personally, I don’t really find it difficult to talk

 to anyone no matter who it is. I could talk for England. But I feel like every interview I have had so far, I still get nervous. I think everyone does. I think it’s not right to not have any nerves. Like, are you supersonic or something?

My interview was for the University of Buckingham (pictured right), a small, quaint uni. The uni has come at the top of the rankings in the first-ever Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) rankings. UoB has been awarded Gold and achieved a remarkable result with “double positive” ratings in all six categories.

The majority of other universities, motor than two-thirds achieved only silver or bronze. This beautiful, successful university really appealed to me; it is my first choice. Just think though how many other students have also applied which I was up against. But my interview was a success, and I’m guaranteed a place.

One of the hardest things to do was to pick out what to wear. I’m either too eccentric with my Star Wars or Minion leggings, or too casual, just jeans and a shirt. But I eventually decided on a sensible buttoned skirt, a nice plain top with a cardigan and my knee-high boots. Not too fancy but it also didn’t look like I had made no effort at all. Jeans probably would have been okay, but I decided to go with the safer option.  

If you want my advice: take it as it comes and be yourself. Dress sensibly, be polite and a smile wouldn’t go amiss.

It's Tough Being A Teen

I want to do well in school, I want a social life, I want money so I have to have a part-time job, I want to keep fit and healthy, I want… so much. Don’t you?

Trying to keep everything balanced seems impossible nowadays. That’s why we have to prioritise. To schools or college that means putting your education first. To parents that may mean doing your chores first. What I really want is social life first but we all know that can’t happen in this moment of time. You can’t get things for free in life, you have to work for them.

Have you ever had a teacher or parent say to you ‘You shouldn’t be stressed at your age’?

Well, at our age we go to school five days per week. Seven hours a day. Then we come home and tidy our room and do our homework and revise and eat dinner and
 shower. Then we need a sufficient amount of sleep, let’s say about nine hours. My teacher tells me to do at least six hours of revision per subject per week. That’s eighteen hours. Plus, nine hours of sleep per day. Then I am at work twice a week for six hours. Showering and eating etc. will roughly estimate around two hours a day. To and from anywhere takes me at least half an hour per journey.

All of these things equal to approximately 163 hours a week. Out of 168 hours. That’s only five hours free per week. Although I do extra-curricular things such as netball and Beavers. So that brings it up to a final estimate of 167 out of 168 hours per week that I am busy. I have ONE hour free. Per week.

So when someone tells you that you shouldn’t be stressed as a teenager, they are wrong. The reality is, we are probably more stressed than any other age group due to the demands and expectations this world has in line for us.

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