Bhakti Patel

Posted: 10th May 2017

Inspirational Lower VI student brings grades up by two places by restricting time spent on mobile phone.

We’re lucky enough to live in an age where we have access to world news, numerous social media networks, a telephone, email, books, videos and apps to help you with just about anything from  shopping to cooking to job searching – all in a device small enough to fit in our pockets.  More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones, and there have been consistent studies that the presence of an internet-connected mobile phone can cause distraction.  Over the last few years we have started to look at our habits and at the habits of those around us, and ask the question – should we be spending so much time on our devices?

Lower VI student Bhakti Patel carries an Alcatel One Touch which her parents bought her when she made the decision to stop using her smartphone last year.  Bhakti uses the One Touch solely for telephone calls, so that her parents know of her whereabouts.  During the Michaelmas Term 2016, Bhakti realised that she had become uninterested in studying for her Geography, Politics and Sociology A levels.  When approached by Mrs Griffiths, who was concerned that her grades weren’t as good as expected, Bhakti decided to think about what was stopping her from working harder.  Bhakti wrote out everything that she did in her day, and admitted that everything always came back to her phone.

The Alcatel One Touch

“No one will tell you you’re spending too much time on your phone”, Bhakti said.  If you’re surrounded by friends with similar habits to you, it is unlikely that they will notice that your phone is interrupting other activities.  For some people, having a phone close by can be fine – some studies have even shown that the use of gadgets can have a positive impact on creativity, communication skills and development (University of Oxford 2017).  As with many things, though, it all depends on the person.

Bhakti decided to stop using her phone altogether, she handed it over to her parents before Christmas and started to notice improvement in her grades.  Bhakti says that she did start to miss the communication her phone provided, and that she always had the urge to reach for something to do when she finished a study session.  Her friend Mariyan, Library Prefect, suggested that she started to read more.  Bhakti now reads one book a week on top of her homework and revision.  At the weekend when she now allows herself to look at her mum’s ipad, she pays attention to how long she spends on it and will spend only 15 minutes or so online.

Applying for a prefect role was something that Bhakti said she would never have considered at the start of Lower VI, but girls in the Upper VI told her how inspirational she is and encouraged her to put herself forward to be a School Official.  Not only did Bhakti take the initiative to draw herself away from distractions and apply herself to her studies, she has successfully pulled her grades up by 2 -3 places and was recently elected as House Captain for St Gabriel (pictured above with the newly elected Priory 6 Leadership Team).


Categories: Sixth Form Whole School