“The Impact of Social Media on Breaking into the Music Industry” // my FMP

2018, music, photography, student

Hello!

I feel like the only thing I’ve talked about for the last three or four month is my FMP – my final major project, ‘my degree’s equivalent to a dissertation’ (I hate having to say this); the big project to show what three years of uni have taught me.

My FMP included making a 10-20 video, 10-20 minutes of audio, 20-40 pictures and 3000-6000 words of copy. I also had to do a pitch presentation and contextual essay but that’s the boring bit.

And the topic I chose was how social media effects musicians trying to break into the industry – how social media effects how much work they get, what defines success and how both social media and the music industry have effected musicians and those wishing to work in the industry at the beginning of their career. It was a really interesting investigation and I learnt so much about the industry I’d like to go into in the future – social media is a massive passion of mine (as in creating content, not just scrolling through twitter for hours) and I love music so making digital content within music is a huge dream of mine.

So I thought I’d do a little run down of my project! For anyone that’s interested in what I did, interested in the topic or maybe a multimedia journalism students looking to what their final project may have to look like!

For our project we had to pick a publication to write for, so my project is done in the style of BBC Three.

The copy articles I don’t want to just drop in here otherwise this blog post would be thousands of words long, but I wrote four articles about a variety of topics – an introduction to the topic, a look into a relevant example from this year and a couple of listicles. I didn’t think my writing was going to be very good but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how pleased I was with my copy in the end. If you’d like to read it, I put the copy doc (and the full final hand in doc if you want to read 100 pages of that – it’s not all words, it’s just everything I had to hand in) you can have a look at this Google Drive folder.

My pictures went hand in hand with the copy, but in the style of the publication BBC Three don’t use a lot of pictures so I made a few stylised edits but predominantly used my pictures as if they were promotion on social media which all felt very relevant to the project. I’ve chosen a selection to include here:

This is the thumbnail I made for Episode 2 of my video series interviewing Producer Connor Panayi. This is my favourite photo from the whole project

I then edited that thumbnail to look like a tweet from BBC Three’s account – using the photo, a screenshot from my own twitter to get the font and the style and a screenshot from BBC Three to get their twitter profile. I think it looks pretty legit

I used this style for my Radio interviews as well

This edit was used as an image in one of my copy articles – I was writing about music that had blown up on social media and wanted a more relevant way of using images that also showed my ability to use and manipulate photos (from the point of view of the grading of the project)

I actually took this photo when I worked at Reading Festival last year but 1) I really like it, it’s a well taken photo so why not use it? 2) It was a really relevant way to show how people get so passionate about music

This photo was taken on a shoot for one of my videos but I loved having the opportunity to photograph live music – the Blue Lion Band were amazing and if you get the chance to see them you definitely should, they’re incredible

Another still from the Blue Lion Band shoot (and another one of my favourites)

I also made a couple of infographics to represent some of the statistics in my articles and I really enjoyed making these, I’m going to work more on my graphic design skills in the future for sure

I was going to include a full portfolio of my photos but I don’t have enough space in my Google drive, so if there’s anything else you’d like to see shoot me a message and I’ll find a way!

Onto audio – I did my audio as two radio interviews as if it was a Radio 1 Breakfast Show takeover promoting the new BBC Three series. I uploaded both episodes to YouTube so you can listen to them here:

And lastly video – the pride and joy of my whole project. Making video content has always been my favourite (I’ve been on YouTube since December 2013) and I wanted to use this project to push myself with my videography as much as possible and boy did I.

It’s the most high quality video project I’ve ever shot – with the help of friends and the beautiful 50mm lens, I think the quality and aesthetic appeal of my video is better than anything I’ve ever made on my channel. I taught myself how to use AfterEffects to make a title sequence for the end of the video and I daren’t calculate how many hours I spent editing the whole project. The video element of my project is the one I am most proud of and I’m so happy to share it.

So rather than one long documentary, I made a three part episodic series and a series trailer.

Series Trailer:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:


I’ll be honest, I was aiming for a First with this project – my life and soul went into it and I was (and still am) really proud of it. Unfortunately I didn’t quite achieve this but I was awarded a high 2:1 (68%) for this project.

Overall in my degree I will be graduating with a 2:1 – 69.06% (only 0.44% away from a First). Yes, I did want a first and I thought I’d done enough but you know what – it is what it is, I did my best and I can’t change it now. I’m going to be writing a blog post about holding too higher standards for yourself at some point in the future because getting those results were somewhat heartbreaking.

But either way, I’m proud to share my project and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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June Mini Goals

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

Now that my degree and the consequent brain fuzz have passed (and a week of frantically catching up on content hence two blog posts and five recent video uploads!) I’m properly back on track – I feel focused, I feel productive and I’m ready to set some goals.

MAY GOALS REVIEW:

  1. Content focus: I didn’t do so well with this one at the beginning of the month as I’d just handed in my final project and I needed a break. I then have put out loads of content in the last week which isn’t awful but I can’t maintain it. On the bright side, out of all the content I planned to make in May there was only one video I didn’t make so I made lots, I just didn’t upload regularly at all.
  2. Get a job: I obviously haven’t done this. I’ve applied for the odd job here and there but nothing dedicated – I didn’t do as much research as I intended but I did a bit so not a completely lost cause.
  3. See more films: I saw 2 films at the cinema last month and this month I saw three! It would have been more but I had a look at my bank balance and realised I needed to stop going to the cinema. But I watched Infinity War twice more and saw Deadpool 2, so a very Marvel superheroes heavy month.
  4. Work on portfolio: I did really well with this one! I made a huge list of everything I wanted to include, sourced 70 odd pictures, redesigned my blog and in the process of uploading everything to the portfolio that is now a part of my blog and my portfolio instagram.
  5. Exercise: This one was a massive fail – I didn’t really do anything, I couldn’t stick with what I had planned and I just couldn’t bring myself to exercise, especially because I barely have the space in my house. But I did purchase the BodyBoss workout plan and I started Day 1 of the Pre-Workout this morning so going to try my best to stick to this one and go at my own pace!

JUNE GOALS:

  1. Do something about my mental health: The ‘exercise’ goal from last month was a real highlight that my mental health was the lowest it had ever been, I won’t go into too much detail but this month I need to do something about it. I’ve actually already started on this! On June 1st I booked a doctors appointment but it’s not until the 18th. I might do a whole post about it at some point in the future.
  2. Sort out my sleep schedule: One of my New Years Resolutions for 2017 was to become a morning person and I actually did really well – there was a point by the end of the year and before I finished my degree where I’d naturally wake up around 7am and I’d be in uni by 9am. But now I just can’t do that. This morning I was out of bed by 9am and I think starting this new exercise program will help me get up earlier.
  3. Finish my portfolio: With all the baseline work done, I just need to upload everything now! I’m well on the way to achieving this and additionally, I’d like to have a short showreel on my YouTube channel by the end of the month too.
  4. Keep job hunting: Obviously this is going to keep being a goal until I’ve got a job, but I’ve already got a bunch of links open with jobs I want to apply to so this month should be more successful. Fingers crossed at least!
  5. Stay consistent with content: Calm and focus is going to be my mantra this month – I’m loving my blog and YouTube channel at the moment and making content is something I really enjoy but uploading regularly and consistently has always been my issue. I’ve got a plan and hopefully I’ll stick to it!

There’s a lot going on in my head at the moment so whilst today is a good productive day, tomorrow may now be so I’m not going to push myself but I am going to try my best!

I’ve uploaded about five videos on my channel in the last week so if you want to catch up on those they’re linked down below.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Life after uni – what’s next?

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

At the beginning of May I handed in my final university project, next week I’ll receive my final results and on July 10th I will be fully gowned up and walking across that stage to collect a fake scroll (to get the real one in the post three months later).

And for the first time in my life, I don’t know what’s next.

Sure, when you’re picking your GCSEs you think the possibilities are endless, and the same when choosing A Levels or Sixth Form or College. Then when choosing a university course and a university and whether to go to university and sure those are all big decisions, but it was a natural progression – from Primary School, to Secondary School, to A Levels, to university it’s all been a fairly easy ladder to climb. Now I’m at the top and there’s isn’t an obvious step but if I don’t pick one I’m falling on my ass.

It’s scary – I’ve been in education since I was 4 years old and at 21, I now have to make a life for myself. There was a point where I found this exciting but now it’s absolutely terrifying.

But I’ve got to do something about it – I’ve got about five weeks between now and graduation and I’ve got to balance sorting out the details of moving home, deciding what stuff to put into storage and what I need to take with me, alongside building my portfolio on instagram and my blog (both a work in progress but I’ve put days of work into this thing so far) alongside applying for jobs and trying my best to get myself started on life in the real world.

I’d hoped to not have to move home – where I’m from is in the middle of nowhere and I know I’m going to have to move out again whenever I do get a job but it’s just not worked out that way as of yet. My boyfriend is just waiting to hear back from a couple of companies about potential jobs and I’m waiting back to hear from a bunch of applications but currently not holding out a lot of hope. I have so many ideas of projects I’m so passionate about but they’re just not an option right now.

So what’s next? It’s a waiting game – doing everything I can to build a portfolio that’s truly reflective of me and my skill and make a dent in the worlds I’d love to be a part of. I have a lot of big ideas and I feel I could really make a good addition to a creative, digital media team but I just need to find something that’s fit me and that I fit in to. A waiting game and a work in progress.

It’s all very scary – I’m feeling very overwhelmed and lost by the whole situation which then makes it even more difficult to feel motivated to keep applying and keep doing the best I can. There’s a lot going on in my brain right now and I’m trying to work through it – I’m making lots of blog and YouTube content and this portfolio is going to take another week or two to finish. But I think there’s progress. At least I hope there is.

If and when I do get a job, I’ll probably post about it on Twitter or Instagram first so be sure to follow me there if you want to know as soon as. My socials are always linked down below!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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social media comparison: dangerous / motivational

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hi there!

I feel like everywhere I look at the moment, people are talking about how social media is such a ‘toxic environment’ – influences are only posting the best parts of their lives, teenage girls think they’re fat and nobody is as happy as they say they are.

But is that really the case? Is social media as awful as everyone says?

Short answer, no I don’t think it is. Yes, in some respects, social media invites you to compare your life to what everyone else is posting about their lives, but does comparison necessarily have to be a bad thing?

Disclaimer: if social media has a negative influence on your mental health and happiness, obviously it’s not good – I can only talk about my experiences with social media and it’s different for everyone so take my words with a little pinch of salt.

For one, not everyone is scrolling through Instagram analysing how every post they see illustrates why their lives are rubbish – I scroll past a photo of an influencer who’s bought some new furniture and I think ‘oooh that’s lovely!’, I’m not thinking about how my life is awful because I can’t have what they have. Does making this example about furniture make me seem really old? I don’t even know anymore.

For two, people are capable of going through social media and seeing people they admire and not comparing themselves (whether that be their body or clothes) to what they see. There’s a lot of talk, particularly with women and teenagers, about how people only ever compare themselves to others. In some cases, this is true (obviously) but in other cases, is it not just admiring someone who looks good? I follow a fair few fitness Instagrams and yes, I’d give anything to look like they do, I’m mostly just admiring how exercise has worked for them and it inspires me more than anything else.

(For the most part, on my really low days it can be depressing but those are the days I know I have to step away or look at something else)

Whether it be body image, interior design or career, social media can be an easy source of comparison but I’ve found in more cases than not, that comparison motivates people to be on the level they want to be – to work out harder, to work as hard as they can for that promotion, to be more like the people that they follow online.

In some respects, I think for us to assume that all anyone does online if negatively compare themselves to other is just that – negative, completely dismissive of how complex people are and we’re all capable of using and reacting to social media in different ways.

Obviously this is all very personal to me – as my mum likes to remind me, I’m a very competitive person so I’m often comparing myself to others and whilst it can bring me down and dishearten me, often it inspires me to be better, to be the best I can be. Sometimes it’s as petty as being able to prove to the people I went to school with that ‘media isn’t easy’ and I can and will be successful. Sure, that’s probably not the most ideal mindset but if it inspires me to work as hard as I can is it that bad?

I predominantly follow people from school to keep up with what they’re doing and watch them flourish in their own fields, because they’re so different to mine. Just to clarify – I’m not that badly competitive.

Comparison can be an awful thing and in some instances it is dangerous, social media can be an awful platform for that. But depending on who you are, how you use social media, how you react to other people, who you follow, what content you engage with and what they post, it doesn’t have to be.

For me, I find social media can be a useful tool when I’m feeling low – it helps me stop analysing my own life for a minute. It brings me out of my own head and into someone else’s world for a little bit – it’s a distraction as much as it is a motivational comparison.

But then that is just me – what do you think? Do you use social media for a particular purpose and do you find that has an impact on you?

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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This is my Uniform

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

So I’ve talked in outfit posts before how I have a funny relationship with my body and the clothes I wear – when I started uni I was the lightest I’ve been (in my adult life) and now I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m starting a new workout routine and trying my best to eat as healthily as I can (we can but try and I really like biscuits) but my relationship with clothes is as rocky as it’s always been.

It kind of hit me all at once the other day – it was just as it started getting really warm in the UK, I don’t presently have any shorts that fit me and all my dresses were in the wash because I’d already worn them that week, so I pulled this outfit together.

I was intending to take a picture of me in this outfit but I got too nervous about it so I made this image instead… [ new look jumpsuit ] [ boohoo jumper ]

The trousers are actually a playsuit I picked up in New Look a couple of weeks ago and I thought a v-neck oversized jumper made it a bit less formal and a bit more convenient.

But I got scared, put on the leggings I feel safe in and one of two band tees I actually feel comfortable wearing outside the house, even though it was so hot and wearing black probably wasn’t a good idea.

tee: Busted merch / leggings: ‘Cosy’ from Primark / hoodie: my boyfriend’s wardrobe (also Primark, I think)

I would have been more comfortable in the yellow outfit, but I was so put off by the idea of wearing something different to usual and more out there that I could bring myself to do it.

That’s quite sad and a little bit pathetic, let’s be real.

By why do I have this uniform that I’m so scared to step outside of? That’ll be because experimenting with fashion or trying something a little bit different may draw attention to myself, which isn’t something I’m massively concerned about. But it would also draw attention to my body and, to me, my whole body is a problem area so in my head trying something a bit different is like inviting people to scrutinise my big ol’ problem area.

Again – sad and pathetic. I know it’s dumb, I know no one’s scrutinising my body as much as I am and if they are they should probably reevaluate their priorities. But I’m so self conscious I just can’t help it.

Though I’m not sure I want to change it – I love the idea of having a capsule wardrobe, but is a capsule wardrobe meant to conform to this ‘uniform’ I’ve given myself or is it meant to be a series of really adaptable pieces that all fit with each other? I feel like it’s meant to be the latter, so it doesn’t feel like a uniform but it’s still minimalistic.

Maybe I’ll start being braver, I think this starts with getting rid of more of the clothes that don’t fit me and finding clothes that are a step out of my comfort zone but still make me feel comfortable because they actually fit me. Who knows – I’m sure I’ll still have days where I stick to my uniform (because leggings and a tee s a staple, let’s be real).

Whatever happens, I’m sure I’ll document it but this is my declaration – I’m going to try and step away from my uniform.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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May Mini Goals

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I’m a little bit late this month but my final (ever) university hand in was on May 2nd so I took a few days to myself, I’m back home with my mum and now I’m back and more focused than ever – I’ve done a lot of work on a portfolio I’m building on a new Instagram account and I’m ready to have a few weeks to make the content I’ve been longing to make for so long.

So let’s crack on shall we.

APRIL GOALS + REVIEW:

  1. Post on Instagram 5 times a week: I mean I’m not sure in what world I was going to have the time to plan and take photos for Instagram considering the amount of work I had to do for my FMP. This lasted all of about a week and then I decided I couldn’t spend the time I wanted to dedicate to Instagram so I went radio silent for a few weeks. But it’s what my project needed and FMP was priority so I’m not to fussed about this one.
  2. Watch more films: My goal for the month was to see two films at the cinema and I did this – I saw Black Panther in the lead up to going to the midnight showing of Infinity War. My god, my Marvel fangirl heart is having a field day – I’ve since seen Infinity War twice more and I fully intend to go and see it a few more times at the cinema. I’m in love with going to the cinema at the moment and there are a couple more films I’d like to see so now that I’ve handed in, I think some solo cinema trips are in order.
  3. Book a holiday: This one is justifiable – I definitely would have booked it but my beloved boyfriend hasn’t actually ordered his passport yet and as it’s his first passport it will take considerably longer to arrive than your average passport renewal so I’ve said I’m not booking it until he has the passport in his hands. So it’s not the case that I didn’t do, but that I elected to do it once another task was completed. It just wasn’t my task to complete.
  4. Finish my FMP: NAILED IT! Not only because it was due in and I had to, but I’m so happy with what I submitted – I was pleased with the copy, the photos fit really well, the audio was really fun and I love editing video so much. When I’ve got the grades back I think I’ll do a post explaining my project and showcasing it a little bit but that won’t be for another few weeks yet.
  5. Apply for 3 more jobs: Also smashed it – I applied for three more jobs at the beginning of the month then a couple more in the middle and then decided I wouldn’t apply for anymore until after hand in, so doing pretty good on that front.

MAY GOALS:

  1. Content Focus: Now I don’t have university work, I can actually write, film, edit and post all the things I want to make – I’m going to try my best to stick to a schedule of two videos a week and at least one blog post a week. I’m genuinely excited about this.
  2. Get a job: When I say ‘get a job’, I mean apply for as many as I can and do what I can to get a job, if I end the month with a job that’ll be lush but no pressure either way.
  3. See more films: Not everything here is about professional development and making things! Last month was two films and I’ve already seen Infinity War twice more this month so I’m going to say I want to go to the cinema twice more this month. Not sure what I want to see but with my Showcase Insider card I can definitely make the most of every trip.
  4. Work on portfolio and professional presence: It helps with getting a job if I actually work on these kind of things right? So I want to add a portfolio section to my blog, I have a portfolio Instagram that I’ve just planned all the posts for (and these posts can be used on my blog as well), I need to make a showreel or figure out whether I want one showreel with different roles or a showreel for each role, I should probably update my CV – I’ve got a list that I’ll slowly tick off by the end of the month.
  5. Exercise, y’know, some: Now that I’ve finished uni, I can focus on exercising and losing weight before graduation in July – originally I planned to workout every day but that’s not always feasible so I’m just doing as much as I can. I’m giving Blogilates beginner calendar a go, trying to go for lots of walks and eating more healthily. We’ll see how it goes.

Hopefully having handed in my FMP will mean I stay as productive as I intended to be but I’ll just have to try my best and see how it goes – if I want it to work I’m the only one that can make it!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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I finished my degree!

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hi there!

It’s been a while since I wrote or uploaded anything really isn’t it? I’m pretty sure in my last post I said ‘I’ll keep uploading as usual in the month leading up to my final hand in’.

Well, that went well didn’t it.

Moving on, that final hand in has been and gone – my FMP is uploaded, submitted and ready for marking. ‘FMP’ stands for Final Major Project, it’s the practical equivalent to a dissertation and it’s what I’ve spent three years working towards and it’s all done.

The day of hand in was a pretty dramatic one – the day before I realised how much work I had to do and knew I’d be taking my last chance to do an all nighter in the library. It wasn’t even like I left it all last minute – I finished my project, it was boring stuff like transcripts, formatting the document and annotating my pictures I hadn’t done, but I was finished by about 7.30am so I went for breakfast, met up with some friends and we submitted our projects around 10.30am. It still doesn’t feel real that it’s gone and it’s over typing it now.

So while a normal and sane person would have gone home for a nap, I watched Zac Efron musicals with my best mate and went to the pub with some really great people from my course.

And with that long winded spiel of an explanation over, the obvious question is what next? What now? Do I have a job lined up? What are my plans?

Well that answers are I don’t know, I wish I knew, definitely not and I don’t really have any – I’m currently at home, spending a few days with my mum and chilling out at ‘home’ home then I’ll go back to Southampton, tie up some loose ends with the society I used to run, find a job and work on my personal goals and projects.

I’ve got a pretty intense workout plan (not only do I want to lose weight for graduation but I need to get fit again because it’s laughable how unfit I am right now), I want to stick do writing blog posts and uploading YouTube videos somewhat regularly and above all I want to chill out for a little bit.

It doesn’t feel real – basically every step of my life so far has been mapped out in education; 16 years of compulsory education, two years of Sixth Form and three years of University. Now the template of education has run out and I have to figure the rest out for myself. I know vaguely what I want to do but it’s whether I can find a job, whether I’m good enough to get that job and somehow figuring out somewhere to live in this whole process.

It’s all a bit overwhelming (hence the desire to chill out for a little bit) but it will all work itself out.

At least, I hope it will.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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April Mini Goals

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I think I’ve written about this before, but I like checking in on my goals – I know I’ll do a Resolutions check in around June and right now, today I am going review my March mini goals and set some goals for April. I also want to have a little chat about whether these goals are useful. Let’s do that.

MARCH GOALS + REVIEW:

  1. Focus on FMP: I did do this and get a fair bit done, I’m way more on track than I was at the beginning of March but I’m not sure if it’s because I set it as a goal or because it’s due in like a month (internal screaming) but without over-analysing, I’ve organised a bunch of stuff, I have more of a personal image of what I want the final project to look like now and I’ve done two of three interviews I have booked. The next step is making a much more detailed plan to finish the project by the end of this month (external screaming).
  2. Blog more regularlyI did this! I uploaded 5 blog posts in March – my goals post, a graduation post, an outfit post, a NY photography post and a NY trip post! YouTube also went really well for me this month and I made some videos I’m really proud of.
  3. Three more instagram theme colours: Blew this one out of the water – I finished the three themes I wanted to (it was green, orange and grey) then also did a purple row and a blue row before the month was out, then two photos into a row of NY photos because I finally sorted them out. I’m very pleased with myself.
  4. Cook more: This was a mixed bag because I wasn’t home a lot but when I was home I tried my best. I’m not leaving Southampton at all in April (I don’t think) so hopefully going to eat more healthily and enjoy cooking more this month.
  5. Apply for three jobs: It may have been in the last two hours of March 31st but I did it! I applied for a six week placement which would be really useful for me and two full time jobs. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be but excited to see what comes from them.

APRIL MINI GOALS:

  1. Post on Instagram 5 times a week (or equivalent): I smashed doing three themes so if I’m on top of it, 5 times a week should be pretty manageable! There are four full weeks in April so that will be 20 posts total – will have to see!
  2. Watch more films: I want to go to the cinema more – I love films and I want to see more. I know I’m going to see Marvel Avenger’s Infinity War at the end of the month but I’d like to go to at least one more film before that. I know two cinema trips in a month doesn’t seem like a lot (or does it?) but we’re going for realistic goals here.
  3. Book a holiday: For Lucas’s birthday in January I told him I would take him to Paris in the summer and I have not booked this trip. This is partially because he needs to get a passport before we go and I don’t want to book it and him not be able to go because that ruins the entire point, but I want to book it this month!
  4. Finish my FMP: This is going to have to happen regardless of whether or not this is a goal, but I’m going to make a very specific tick list like a step by step guide to finishing my FMP. Ugh, I’m anxious just thinking about it.
  5. Apply for three more jobs: Especially with my FMP being due right at the beginning of next month, I need to really knuckle down and actually do something about my career and the future so I think three more jobs this month is a good idea.

Content is not a priority this month, but I’m hoping to continue as ‘normal’ (aiming for one blog post a week and two YouTube videos) however I don’t manage that most weeks, the point is that I won’t actually beat myself up about it. Will this happen? Probably not because I put a lot of pressure on myself but I’m trying not to and that’s the main thing.

I love having goals – I love having a focus and a deadline and I think this will work well for me in the long run, particularly in May where I won’t have uni work and I can make goals I’m more passionate about. I don’t know if anyone else enjoys these posts – they’re very personal for me but I know I love having a nosy of other peoples goals and resolutions posts so maybe someone else wants to have a nosy at mine!

I hope you all had a great March – how are we already a quarter of the way through 2018?! Either way, hopefully Spring will have sprung soon and I can share some gorgeous sunny pictures on Instagram! My feed is currently full of photos from my trip to New York at the end of last month so if you want to have a look at that my socials are always linked below!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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a whirlwind trip to New York

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I don’t know if you’ve seen from all over my social media but I’ve recently returned from a trip to New York! I went with my university so there was a couple of journalism related activities but it was mostly three and a half days of manically rushing around trying to fit in as many as stereotypically touristy stops as we could.

I just wanted to give a little summary of what we did.

On Monday we got to the West Side YMCA hostel that we were staying in by about 4pm after 14 hours of travelling, we had a couple of hours to sort ourselves out and freshen up before we headed to Times Square! On the way there we’d passed Hard Rock Cafe and on a whim we decided to go for dinner there. We got our photo taken and suddenly we were looking at a menu and eating the biggest meals we’ve ever had and taking far too long trying to figure out the bill.

I 100% look completely washed out and like I travelled over 3000 miles that morning but I just love it – what a great group of humans in a really cool place!

 

We walked to Target after Dinner and bought a few snacks then tried to figure out the subway. We went in the wrong direction at first but we got back eventually.

The next day was the biggest day we had – we went to The Smiths round the corner from the hostel for breakfast and then we ticked off a lot of things we wanted to do:

  1. The 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial
  2. Got a large drink from Wendys (it was a bucket)
  3. Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty
  4. Rockefeller Centre ‘Top of the Rock’
  5. Nintendo Store
  6. Hershey Store
  7. Disney Store
  8. A variety of New York tack gift stores
  9. Shake Shack for dinner
  10. More tack shops on the way back to the hostel

The 9/11 museum is not a happy place and it’s not really enjoyable, at all, just because of the subject but the memorial itself is stunning and I think it’s something anyone that goes to New York should do – it’s so powerful and you really don’t get a sense of the scale until you go, so I thoroughly recommend it.

Shake Shack has also changed my life – the burger was so good I nearly cried it was just incredible. I’ve been to the London one in Covent Garden before but I’ve got to go back and soon because oh my god I need more Shake Shack burgers in my life.

It was a super busy day but I loved it, New York is such a beautiful city and I’m so astounded by it, all those tall building and skylines – it really is the concrete jungle that never sleeps. When we were looking for the Rockefeller Centre we were a bit lost and an absolutely gorgeous old lady wearing florescent pink hat asked us if we needed any help and she could tell we were disorientated because we were standing still – “people don’t stop in New York”. She was incredible.

Wednesday was a much calmer, more university orientated day – we went to Starbucks for breakfast (oh my god there are a million Starbucks in NY) and then went to a digital marketing company called Search Labs which were based in this really cool communal office environment called wework. It was really interesting to talk to them and learn more about PR and marketing and especially to see it as an international company based in a country that isn’t the one I’ve grown up in.

After that we headed to the United Nations, where we were meeting with a journalist for a chat and doing a tour. We travelled via Grand Central Station (which was stunning but surprisingly dark) and then went through the really intense security at the UN. We went on a tour of the UN and it was super interesting – I didn’t know much before we went and it was just so inspiring to see this massive corporation trying to bring peace, development and basic human kindness to the world in a somewhat realistic way. The tour guide was incredibly knowledgable and it was a good afternoon. That evening, everyone else went to a basketball game in Brooklyn but sport isn’t my thing, so I went back to the hostel, sorted everything out and did most of my packing.

Thursday was our last day – I got up super early to have a shower and finish packing, then a group of 17 of us headed to IHOP which was genuinely wonderful. I had the dark chocolate and something pancakes (I probably should have made note) and again, I think I could have cried with how much I loved those pancakes. They were incredible.

From there, Thursday was the day of ticking off the last things we wanted to do before we flew home – so we took a lot of photos from Brooklyn Bridge, headed back to the Empire State Building just to see it in person, walked round to Macy’s where Liane and I sat in the sunshine just chatting for an hour and it was genuinely lush, wondered round Sephora, had one last look in Target (where they had a really good deal on Instax cameras so I may have picked one up…) and then went to Umpire Rock in Central Park.

And we were back at uni by midday on Friday. It was a whirlwind trip and felt more like a recce for a longer trip to be done in the future but it was incredible. I’ve already been looking into other trips and cities I can visit because the travelling bug has been caught – I want to go everywhere.

My advice for anyone who’s going on a shorter trip to New York is to know what you want to do before you go and then have some additional ideas if you find yourself with extra time – my friends and I had an itinerary provided by the university to work with and then we put our own ideas in amongst what was already scheduled. It was really helpful to have a vague sort of plan before we even left the UK.

For packing tips, I just uploaded a video to my YouTube channel about how I packed for this trip so if you’re interested you can watch that here!

Hopefully this year, I’ll be able to do a couple of other city breaks – I should be going to Paris with my boyfriend in the early summer, I’d love to go up to Edinburgh and explore properly, there’s lots of places on my list (I can write a whole blog post about it if people want that?) but I’m just taking it a trip at a time.

For more pictures, I did a NY photography post while I was there so you can read that here! If you want to know any more about specific stuff I did on the trip (or any recommendations for when I go back!) then let me know, all my socials are linked below!

Thank you for reading (even though this post is super long),

Sophie xx

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let me show you: New York

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

As you read this and as I write this, I’m in New York City! It’s my first time in the USA, I think this is the start of a lot of trips and travelling and seeing new places and I can’t wait.

So while I’m out here I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself to have to write a blog post, because I’m only here for four days and I want to make the most of it. But I’ve taken a whole bunch of photos I want to share and I thought this would be the best place to share them all!

I’ve tried to do a photography series before and it was a bit forced so I’m hoping this will be a bit more relaxed but I like this little series title – so, let me show you New York.

Day 1 was an awful lot of ‘omg look how tall these buildings are’ and I’m still not over it and it’s the end of Day 3! I’m not sure what buildings these are to be quite honest, but the weather was SO NICE on the first day! Day 2 was foggy and wow, we’ll get to Day 3

 

I still don’t know what buildings these are but the plane was flying over and it made me think of that photography competition where someone photoshopped a plane into a picture and won like thousands of dollars worth of equipment. This isn’t photoshopped I promise but the association makes me laugh and I actually really like this picture lol

Times Square was absolutely beautiful, I could have quite happily sat on the stairs and watched it get dark. But we’ve only got three and a half days here so no time to loose!

After Times Square, we went to Hard Rock Cafe NYC and it was incredible – the food was great, I bought myself a very expensive hoodie (because I fell in love) and and took this photo I’m really pleased with even though it’s portrait

On Day 2, we went to the 9/11 Ground Zero Museum. This was very surreal with me because the day the planes flew into the Twin Towers was my 5th birthday. The memorial of both towers are absolutely stunning but my friends found someone with my surname and it hit harder than I thought. The staff at the museum put a white rose around each name on their birthday. I don’t know how old Christian H. Maltby would have been on March 20th, but I hope he’s at peace.

The 9/11 museum isn’t somewhere I wanted to take photos – I watched and listened and read and engaged and thought very deeply on the trip and it wasn’t enjoyable, per say, but I recommend anyone who visits New York to go because I don’t think you can truly grasp the scale till you see it. It’s just astonishing how much was salvaged and collected to form this remembrance memorial and I think it’s really important that we remember events like this so we can do as much as we can to prevent them in the future. That got deep. 9/11 Museum was intense.

Right so we went to Staten Island but the Island itself was actually not great because we couldn’t see the Statue so this was taken on the ferry ride back. She was further away than expected so the photos aren’t what I had in mind but she was pretty incredible. If (when) I come back to New York I definitely want to go to Ellis Island to get a bit closer.

Tried to get a selfie with Lady Liberty, this is the best I could get – it was either you could see my face or see her so, we can all see what I picked.

Portrait mode is my favourite thing, I actually adore this photo other than for the fact that I look so uncomfortable it’s laughable (it was to the bone freezing, to be fair)

I am actually in love with this skyline photo – I want to play around with it on photoshop just to brighten it up and make it a little less grey but I’m genuinely obsessed with this

A little story: basically I’m really dumb and I didn’t realise I was taking a photo of the Empire State building because we thought another building was the Empire State but then I found this. This view from the top of the Rockerfella Centre was absolutely stunning – this was meant to be sunset time and I hope next time I come to New York it’s less foggy and I can actually see it all at sunset!

I just found this funny that I tried to take a picture with the backdrop of New York but the depth of field on my camera was too good and it looks rubbish

The photo on my phone was slightly better!

Next stop was the Nintendo NY store and this lil Pikachu was so cute I just had to take a picture of it

I didn’t take many pictures at the UN because I was quite wrapped up in listening to the tour but I saw this view out the window and had to capture it. And yes, it may look like it’s raining but no that is heavy snow and it was snowing heavily literally all day long. Fingers crossed the predicted sun tomorrow means we can still get our flight tomorrow evening.

I couldn’t resist this picture as we were leaving the UN – I think it captures the snow better. After this I went back to the hostel to chill out for an evening and pack everything up.

Some of these were taken on my Canon EOS M10 and others on my phone, which is a OnePlus 5T. Interestingly, not all the best photos came from my camera. I hope you enjoyed the photos and little descriptions!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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