Time Wasting | Motley Monday

My name is Tessa and I am a time waster. 

For the last two months, I have had no regular commitments. I’ve had plenty of time to read, work on my Queen’s Award, and fill out all the paperwork that seems to appear now that I’m enrolled in university. 

Yet I’ve done barely any of that. 

I’ve read six books so far this year. For most people, this would be reasonable. But for me, someone who loves reading and reads very fast, this is terrible. I could understand it if I had heaps of commitments, but other than being away for a week, I’ve had nothing on. 

I’ve barely touched my Queen’s Award, which is a terrible decision, considering how much work I still have to do, and considering that I’m just going to get busier later in the year. 

As for the paperwork, I have deadlines. And I’m barely meeting them. Not good. 

So what have I been doing with this time? 

Absolutely nothing. 

I spend most of my time on my phone, doing nothing. Scrolling through social media that I really don’t care about. Watching pointless YouTube videos. Playing games that don’t matter. Sometimes I’ll watch TV at the same time, but most of the time, it’s rubbish shows that I don’t care about. Basically just a bunch of distractions. Distractions from the Queen’s Award and the paperwork and the thoughts that are spinning round and round in my head. 

I stay up ridiculously late (it’s currently 1:40am) and get up ridiculously late. I stay up until I can barely hold my eyes open, so that there’s no time for thinking when I finally go to bed. 

But this all needs to stop. It’s unhealthy, creating bad habits for when uni starts, and just plain stupid. 

So this is my pledge. I promise that I will waste less time from now on. I will sleep at more normal hours. I will read or do my Queen’s Award or fill out paperwork instead of aimlessly scrolling. Maybe I’ll even exercise once in a while. Because I’m not happy at the moment, and I’m hopeful that a lifestyle change might make things just a little bit better. 

So. That’s off my chest. Now it’s your turn. Any advice for me on wasting less time? Or maybe you want to join me in making a change. I don’t know. Feel free to take this opportunity to change something. 

And thank you for reading all that. I appreciate it. 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann

Am I A Failure? | Motley Monday

I was on camp for nine days, ending yesterday, so the fact that I’m awake enough to write a post is wonderful. 

On Tuesday last week, it was the day that high school students in New Zealand both long for and dread. It was the day that exam results came out. 

For those who aren’t familiar with the NCEA system, let’s give you a brief summary. In NCEA (last three years of high school), you get credits from internals, which are the in class assignments, marked by your teachers, and externals, which are the exams sat at the same time for everyone in the country, and marked by some mysterious people. For each assignment/exam, credits are given at the level of achievement that you did, and for most assignments/exams, you can get not achieved, achieved, merit, or excellence. 

For the three years of NCEA, I didn’t fail anything, aside from a mock exam or two. My pie chart showing my credits had no red in it. In fact, I passed each year with excellence without needing to sit exams (although I did anyway).

After exams this year, I was nervous. I was pretty sure that I’d failed both of my chemistry papers, but I was fairly confident about everything else. 

So when I checked my results on Tuesday, having waited all day for my phone plan to renew so that I had data, I got the shock of my life. 

Let’s go from worst to best. 

In Chemistry, I failed both mock exams. I also failed both real exams (honestly not surprising). 

In English, I got excellence in all three mock exams. I wrote basically the same essay for one of them in the real exam, and I failed that paper. (How???) I got achieved on the other two.  

In Classics, I got merit on both mock exams. In the real exam, I failed one paper and got merit on the other. 

In Maths, I got achieved on the mock exam. I got excellence in the real exam. 

I failed half of my papers. 

Not just the two chemistry ones. I failed papers in subjects that I thought I was good at. 

Having never failed anything other than PE before (which is understandable, considering my health issues), this has made me seriously question myself. Does failing these papers make me a failure? 

I’m divided on this. Part of me is completely devastated. I can’t believe that I failed these papers. I just want to cry and scream and pretend that it never happened. 

But there is a much bigger part of me that is saying that yes, I screwed up. Maybe I should have studied more. But honestly, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect anything. I still got runner up dux. I still passed the year with excellence. I was still accepted into university. And in one, two, five, ten years, I won’t even care. On my deathbed, I won’t be looking back at these exams and sobbing over the fact that I failed them. There are much more important things in life, like all of the amazing times I had and awesome friends I made at the camp I just went on. 

So. Am I a failure? Going by the definition of the word, I am. But more importantly, does it matter that I failed those exams? Only if I use this as a chance to learn from my mistakes. 

Maybe I am a failure. But I can learn and grow from this experience. I don’t have to dwell on it and hate myself because of a couple of exams. There are much more important things, and that’s what I plan to focus on. 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann 

A Little Bit Of Rebellion | Motley Monday

In general, I am not a rebellious person. In fact, most people would probably say that I’m a bit of a goody two shoes. I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs. I’ve never snuck out of the house or anything like that. Sure, I don’t always see eye to eye with my parents, but I’ve never really done anything that completely goes against them. 

I’m also not really a fan of change. If things are good, then I’m a bit weary about change. Why try to fix something that isn’t broken? 

But lately, I’d been feeling a bit stagnant, boring, and predictable. I felt like I needed to do something that was a little bit rebellious and unexpected. Otherwise, I was scared that I would fad into the background while everyone around me lived exciting lives. 

So on Tuesday, without consulting anyone except a couple of friends, I dyed some of my hair pink. 

It really doesn’t seem like a big deal. I mean, it’s not very bright or obvious, and it can be easily hidden. But to me, it was a very significant decision. I made a choice without asking the advice of those older and wiser than me. I showed my independence by doing something that my mum wouldn’t necessarily approve of (I’m pretty sure she likes it though), but wouldn’t have the power to say no to. 

I start university this year. Most people leave home at this stage, and can drive, and are quite independent. I’m none of those things. I still live at home. I don’t drive. My mum still does all of the cooking and washing for me. I’m essentially still a high school student, whereas most people my age are growing much more independent. 

I would be perfectly happy for everything to stay as it is, and to continue being a high school student. But since everyone around me is becoming more independent, I must find my own way to do the same. At the moment, that looks like me dyeing my hair spontaneously. In the future, I’ll begin to do things more like those around me. 

But for now, dyeing my hair is enough independence to keep me sane. 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann 

Why Musicals Are The Greatest | Motley Monday

This post is probably going to remind you why this is called Motley Monday and not Methodical Monday. Partially because I spent about five minutes trying to remember what the topic for this post was going to be, since I’d become so focused and invested on next week’s post. Which I can’t actually write yet. But I’m excited. 

Also Parks And Recreation. I watched all 125 episodes in about three weeks, and I just can’t get over the brilliance of it. If you haven’t watched it, you should. 

But enough of that blabbering. Today’s topic is musicals and why I love them. Have I mentioned that I love musicals? Well I do. 

I’ve always enjoyed music. I took music lessons for at least five or six years as a kid. I’ve always loved listening to music. I used to write (terrible) songs. So it makes sense that I would like musicals. 

Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to see many live performances of musicals. I’ve seen Jesus Christ Superstar live (which is the only one that I haven’t actually seen the movie for), and I’ve seen Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat live, but I think that’s it. Oh, and High School Musical, but that’s not really the type of musical that I’m talking about. So in general, I’m talking about movie musicals.

I always liked Annie growing up, as well as Joseph, The Sound Of Music, and maybe one or two others. But my love of musicals originated nearly four years ago exactly. 

I was on Girls’ Brigade camp four years ago (the same one that I’m going on next week), when I got a text from Rachel. She asked me if I wanted to go see Les Miserables with her sometime, as the film had just come out. I’d never heard of it then, but I said yes, because why not? I googled it beforehand, and it looked kinda weird, but I still said I’d go. So we went. I had a vague idea of the plot in my head (which was a great idea, since I suck at following plot lines in movies). And I loved it. It’s still one of my favourite movies, to this day. 

Since then, I’ve tried to watch more musicals, and I’ve loved every single one of them. I actually got three for Christmas on DVD that I haven’t seen yet, so I’m very excited to watch those sometime soon. 

I would love to go on and on about each one, but that would make this a very long post. Instead, I’m going to list the ones I’ve seen, in alphabetical order, and make a little comment on each. I’m not going to mention animated ones or anything like that. Just your classic, timeless musicals. 

  • Annie – a childhood favourite. The remake is also good, although the original is better. 
  • Cats – it’s about my favourite animal, so of course I love it. 
  • Evita – an excellent historic and romantic story. 
  • Fiddler On The Roof – quite sad, to be honest, but a great musical with some magnificent songs. 
  • Gigi – probably not very PC, but it’s still very enjoyable to watch. 
  • Grease (and Grease 2 and Grease Live) – very enjoyable and fun to watch. I always seem to have the songs stuck in my head. 
  • Hairspray – both very funny and serious. 
  • Into The Woods – honestly very dark and creepy, but also brilliant. 
  • Jesus Christ Superstar – I honestly don’t remember much, but I know I enjoyed it. 
  • Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – I watched it four times in one week once. Love it to pieces. 
  • Les Miserables – absolutely stunning. 
  • Mamma Mia – I grew up listening to ABBA, so of course I enjoyed this one. 
  • Mary Poppins – I watched this for the first time the other week, and it was quite humorous. 
  • My Fair Lady – watched this for the first time on Friday, and it was very enjoyable. 
  • The Phantom Of The Opera – so dramatic and so good. 
  • The Sound Of Music – just wonderful. Julie Andrews is incredible. 
  • West Side Story – my mum’s favourite. Hilarious at times, but overall very tragic (it is based on Romeo and Juliet, after all). 

And I think that’s it, although I’ve probably forgotten one or two. 

So now I want to know: do you like musicals? Have you seen any on this list? Would you recommend any that I haven’t seen? I’m always excited to find more musicals to watch! 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann 

That Cliché New Year Post | Motley Monday 

I told you that this was coming. 

Happy new year, everyone! I can’t believe that it’s 2017. 2016 was always the year in my mind that was the end of everything (meaning the end of high school), so I never really thought much about 2017. And yet here we are. 

Also, yesterday was my two year blogiversary, so that’s also exciting. 

At the start of last year, I wrote a post with my plans and goals for the year. Now it’s time to see if I succeeded. 

– Graduate high school (hopefully with excellence). I completed this one, not only with excellence, but also as runner up dux, so I exceeded my own expectations.  

– Turn 18. Yup, at the end of September. It was a good day. 

– Do more Queen’s Award stuff. I can say that I have done this. I actually failed one of the tasks, but I was able to resubmit it, and hopefully I passed. I have finally started on the assignment, although I still haven’t started another part of it. So in some ways, I succeeded. In other ways, not so much. 

– Take as many opportunities as possible, while still keeping on top of everything. I would have to say that I did. At times, everything was a bit overwhelming, but I managed, and I’m glad that I put in the effort.

– Try new things, like busking. I did this twice in January, and it was heaps of fun. Exhausting, but fun. As for other new things, I’ve done a few, but nothing too extravagant. Although I did discover that I like prawns. And I dyed my hair! I guess that was kind of extravagant. You can barely tell the difference, but still. 

– Maintain a tidy room. Debatable. In general, it’s tidier. I cleared out my wardrobe for the first time in about a decade, which is nothing short of a miracle. My current project is my desk. The top of my desk is clear at the moment, because I dumped everything on the floor and started sorting through it. But yes. I succeeded. 

– Practice flute more. Yes and no. I passed my performances, but only just. Now that they’re done, though, I never have to play pieces that I don’t want to. I’ve been accumulating music of songs that I want to play, and it’s made it much more enjoyable. I’m not going to miss performing. 

– Keep on top of my schoolwork. I mean, I didn’t fail any internals, which is a good sign (although sometimes I probably came pretty close). I don’t have exam results back yet, but my hopes aren’t high for Chemistry. I’m not very good at studying, so I don’t think I did too well. But I’m actually not that bothered. 

– Procrastinate less. The fact that I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed before midnight is probably a good enough answer for this one. 

– Go to Easter Camp. Yes. I went. It was stellar. 

– Go on Year 13 camp. It was also stellar. So much fun. 

– Do a super exciting thing that involves a country I’ve never been to before. I went to Fiji on a mission trip in July, and it was both an awesome time and a very challenging time. I also went to Australia (which I had been to before) at the end of November, which was awesome. 

– Have two more surgeries. I had the first one in August, and I have an appointment to see the surgeon about the second. Progress. 

– Enjoy my last year of high school. I sure did! 

– Finish Girls’ Brigade. Yup, that happened. I’ll be going back as a leader, at least until I complete my Queen’s Award, but I’m no longer a Girls’ Brigader. 

– Write something, even if it’s just a little something. Barely. But there’s hope for this year. 

– Read lots of books. Final total: 160. I’d say that’s lots. 

– Continue blogging. More sporadically than I’d hoped, but I’m still doing it, so I’d say that I achieved this one. 

– Get closer to God. This year has been both amazing and terrible in that area, but I’m getting there. 

A mostly successful year, I must say! 

So. What are my plans for 2017?

– Go on GB national camp. This is in a couple of weeks, and I’m excited. 

– Start university. Again, I’m excited. Also really nervous and scared. But excited. 

– Get a job. Because university costs money. 

– Become healthier. My current lifestyle includes junk food, sleeping at weird hours, and minimal exercise. Which needs to change. 

– Play flute on occasion. I do enjoy it, so it would be pretty sad if I just stopped playing. 

– Get my Queen’s Award. There’s still heaps to do, but I can see the finish line, and I’m excited. 

– Get my learner’s license (maybe). I don’t drive because I have no depth perception. But I should probably at least try. 

– Procrastinate less. Always an issue. 

– Have a surgery. It’s literally been nearly a year and a half since I first went to the doctor about my eyelid being droopy again. Surely surgery can’t be too far away. 

– Write something. One of my papers in semester one is Creative Writing, so hopefully that’ll help. 

– Read lots of books. As always. 

– Become closer to God. Because you can never be too close. 

– Enjoy life. This is probably my biggest one, and all of the others are part of it. Honestly, if I can look back at 2017 and know that I was happy, then I won’t really care too much about most of the others. 

That’s the plan for this year. Who knows how things will turn out? 

Anyone have any big plans for 2017? Any resolutions? I’d love to hear them! 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann