the final hurdle

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks feeling a little bit like I’m drowning – it’s taken me a couple of weeks to catch up on the YouTube videos I made but never edited or uploaded (I’ve just uploaded the weekly #4 and scheduled a January favourites video as of writing!) and I’ve not written a blog post since my rambly, somewhat obsessive post about The Greatest Showman… and I haven’t even been busy?

My brain has been busy but my life, really, hasn’t.

I’ve had one assignment. I’ve been putting off doing my big FMP project because if I start then it’s real and actually have to do it, which is a really stupid reason to be scared of starting a project but it’s true. There’s been some Sonar Film stuff, there’s been some personal stuff, but realistically I just haven’t had the motivation to do anything and it’s sad because there’s a creative, organised, ambitious human stuck inside the body of an unhealthy, emotionally unstable twenty-one year old who has the rest of her life in front of her.

But today that changes.

I applied for my first job today. My first real world, potentially starting a career, maybe graduating job. It was highly speculative and I almost certainly won’t get it, but there’s an ‘almost’ there and that’s worth a shot.

I’m feeling a lot better about everything, I’ve got a presentation next week and then after that the only thing I really have to focus on is my final project.

But that doesn’t help with writing blog posts or making YouTube videos, does it? A schedule does though! In the last week I have made a February content plan and it’s slightly more realistic than my January one was.

On the other hand, I was very proud for not beating myself up about not writing a blog post every week or getting behind on editing for YouTube – my mantra for content creation is ‘no pressure’ and I’m finding myself applying that to more aspects of my life and it works.

As soon as you take the pressure off and start to think of what happens as a result not as a consequence, but just a result then suddenly it feels a lot more achievable – even with uni. “No pressure” means I do the best I can whilst being conscious of my mental health and what grade I get is an indication of the best I could do when I prioritised myself – I think that’s an okay mindset to be in?

Balancing uni and blogging was always going to be a struggle – I don’t think there’s been any point over the last three years where that hasn’t been a struggle (how I wrote five posts a week this time last year I genuinely have no idea).

My conclusion is that stuff gets busy, sometimes I can’t prioritise what I want to do and sometimes I don’t have the mental capacity to do anything at all – but being aware of that, learning to recognise it and finding ways to combat and prevent is will never be a bad thing.

In three months I will have handed in my final project and the final hurdle of university will have surpassed. Whether I leap, climb or fall over it is yet to be seen but it’s in sight and I’m going to fight my hardest to jump as high as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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“a million dreams are keeping me awake” – The Greatest Showman

2018, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I’ve been running Sonar Film, my university’s cinema and film society since last June. One of my favourite parts of what we do is being able to look at the films coming out and picking what films we show.

I’ve had my eye on The Greatest Showman for a little while now and we started showing it on Friday. I worked opening night because I’d heard such mixed reviews and I was so excited – Hugh Jackman, Zendaya and Zac Efron in a new original musical about the first circus, it was right up my street!

There aren’t any words for how obsessed with this film I now am – I was completely absorbed from the first note to the last. I had tears in my eyes for most of the film and I felt this weight in my heart as the credits rolled because I was just so full of love for the music, the characters and the story.

I think this film is everything La La Land wanted to be without being tailored to Oscars, it’s not pretentious or trying to be nostalgic – it’s full of genuine love for musical theatre, incredibly passionate songs and a surprisingly modern soundtrack considering it’s based in the 19th century.

The rhythms and drums I think are the thing that really modernised the music for me – it was a huge part of the opening number and paired with the choreography it was really impactful and, as part of the audience, it was really gripping. I was genuinely sat watching the film bobbing along in time, resisting the urge to clap on multiple occasions. The rhythms and choreography were really poignant in ‘The Other Side’ and ‘From Now On’ – ‘The Other Side’ was really clever and the way the bar man was choreographed in was just so much fun. But while the rhythms are modern, the music doesn’t seem out of place for the time.

Side note, the dancing was so much fun – the bit where his daughters join in the dance from the audience is just so cute.

It’s such a beautifully human film – there was a quote from the critic character James Bennett at the end that said something along the lines of ‘a happier critic would describe it [the show] as touching every circle of humanity’ or something along those lines (I’ve scoured the internet, I just can’t find it anywhere) and I feel like that’s how the film should be summarised because it’s a beautiful celebration of everyone and anyone. It very delicately touches on issues like racism in a gentle and realistic way for the 1800s – it was relevant without being focal and I adored it.

The words I wrote in my initial rambly ‘omg I’m obsessed‘ plan for this post were that it was heartfelt and human and flawed – the characters weren’t perfect and where it was so easy to be stereotypical and predictable and it was so genuinely not. I’m now really interested to watch Barnham (a West End Musical about the same circus) and somewhat compare the two and how they tell the same story.

I did make a lot of jokes about Wolverine and Troy Bolton singing together though, I can’t lie. And can I just say – Zendaya is only ten days older than me, she must have been part of the High School Musical generation and omg I was fangirling on her behalf because while Zac Efron is so much more than he was in the DCOM days, he was still one of my first celebrity crushes.

I really wanted to make this more than just a review of The Greatest Showman and at this point I don’t know if it’s even a review or if it’s just me gushing about why I love it, but I think there’s a place for sharing things you love in your own words on the internet, so here’s me adding to my corner.

Also, I read at the end of another post about the film (I’ve done a lot of reading about it since seeing it two days ago) that I wanted to reiterate – my adoration for this film doesn’t mean I support the idea of the modern circus and treatment of animals as performers. It’s something I hadn’t actually thought about (partially because the animals in the film are quite clearly CGI) but it’s something I want to reiterate because supporting the film based in the 1800s doesn’t condone it now.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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The Perfect Camera

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I got my beloved little Canon EOS M10 camera over a year ago now and I’ve used it for assignments, photography, YouTube videos and it comes with my everywhere I go (mostly because I’m weekly vlogging now, but also in case I want to snap a picture!).

Obviously, when I say the ‘perfect’ camera, I don’t mean explicitly – every person who takes photos wants different things from a camera but I’ve recommended this camera to a lot of people and as a bridge-to-DSLR and very portable and convenient camera, I can recommend it for a variety of reasons.

For one, the camera quality itself is really good – I usually use it on auto just because I find that the time it saves me is really worth it but the depth of field is great, the auto-exposure is pretty decent and I find the colour vibrancy in the pictures is really beautiful. The auto focus isn’t always great but when it works it works really well.

The detachable EF-Mini lenses really do make the camera feel that bit more high quality – to the degree that I took the camera to a concert once and it was taken off me and I had to collect it at the end because it was ‘too professional’. It’s nice to have the freedom and choice to change the lenses. I personally don’t have any other lenses because I’m a student on a budget but I have longingly trawled through Canon’s website and the variety of lenses is incredible. Particularly for bloggers if you were shooting photos on the go and you had more lenses to choice from you’d be less restricted in what you can shoot. It’s always great when you have less work to do in post.

One of my personal favourite things about this camera is the app that comes with it called Camera Connect – the camera has internet connectivity potential and once your phone is connected (which is super easy, by the by) you can download and edit the photos you’ve taken. You can even use your phone as a live view and change the camera settings on the go. I find it really useful if I’m taking pictures that I want to share quickly or if I’m using my camera on a news day and need to send photos back to the editorial team as soon as I can. The app makes it so simple and it’s something that I didn’t even know I wanted till I had it (nor did I know the camera was capable of it until after I got it).

The perk of it not being a big DSLR camera is that it fits in basically every handbag I own. The fact it’s a lens that doesn’t actually fold away like a point and shoot would makes it a little bulkier but I find it still fits in most hand bags – personally I carry a backpack with me everywhere I go but if you were struggling to fit it in, you could either just wear it round your neck with the strap or if that feels a bit too unsafe (depends on where you’re going I guess!) then you could always detach the lens and that’ll make it a bit more compact. I don’t find the size to be a problem though.

One of my favourite features and a big factor in why I chose this camera is the hinged LED screen – I can flip it up to see when I’m vlogging, which makes the lack of focus issue not so much of an issue because I can see when the focus goes out. I find it’s also really useful when I’m taking blog photos on a tripod because I can put the screen to whatever angle is easiest to not crane my neck. It just makes everything a bit simpler, which is all I really want from life.

It’s a great platform camera to learn a bit more about photography and videography and build on the skills of a point and shoot camera before potentially stepping up again to a DSLR camera. In terms of videography I think the M10 is great for vlogging because you have more control with the specific settings but it’s not the size or the weight of a DSLR. Then the connectivity with the app and how it makes photos instantly sharable and they can go straight on Instagram or maybe in a news story – it’s really practical and handy for a blogger, a journalist or just anyone who is making a lot of content and needs a camera that can keep up with it.

Wouldn’t it be great if this post was sponsored by Canon? It’s not, but I have always thoroughly enjoyed Canon cameras and feel like I get amazing results with them.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about the equipment I use? If you have any questions about the Canon EOS M10 please do leave them in the comments, tweet me, dm me on Instagram – whatever you fancy!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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dotted Leuchtturm 1917 – starting my second bullet journal

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I got a new bullet journal for my birthday back in September – having filled a lined notebook that I already owned between January-November, I’d seen a lot of hype around the Leuchtturm 1917 journals. Since I knew I wanted to continue bullet journalling, I asked for this journal for my birthday.

So, considering I was trying out a new journal, transferring the relevant stuff from my old journal and it was my first time starting a journal and it not being for the first time – if that makes any sense at all? – I thought I’d talk through how I started this new journal with the admin-y bits, how I’ve adapted my weekly spreads and then my thoughts on the Leuchtturm journal.

Having had two months to think about how I wanted to format this journal. I knew I wanted to change how I presented my future logs and they’re now much more concise and more for noting important or fun dates and I’m really pleased with how they look and how I’ve used my pastel highlighters. They make me very happy.

My monthly logs I’ve kept much the same as my old journal – they look much nicer then my first journal because there’s more smaller lines in the Leuchtturm and I like them. Hence why I kept them the same. Truly thrilling.

My first spread it about university hand ins and grades because I’m not obsessed with grades sshh. But this is where the dotted part of the journal first came in really handy – making the boxes on the results page was much simpler and I really like how it looks. I can fill it in and cross bits out as necessary which I find really useful.

I have a lot of temporary lists like what I wanted to get people for Christmas, rehearsal schedules for a drama show I was in before Christmas and financial plans for the next year (it was a lot of maths on one page, not interesting at all).

This isn’t a ‘final layout’ of how I want to make my content  planning spread but it’s the first full one I’ve made – I like the calendar and being able to see nearly a full month at a time on one side but the right hand side needs work. It’ll be different in February when I’m not catering for the last couple of weeks of the previous month but I’m really excited to use these spreads throughout the year, see how I can adapt them and if they work with helping me to maintain my content.

This page isn’t massively relevant to how I set up and use my journal but I like it a lot.

And this is what my weekly spreads look like now – it’s very minor changes from where I started in November but it’s really useful for me. Rather than splitting the right page into six sections it’s now split into eight which means every day gets their own section, I can make a note of things to remember for the following week and it also limits how much I can set myself to do each day. The biggest problem with the previous design of the spreads is that I could give myself seven or eight large tasks to do each day and that’s just not feasible, so having fewer tasks and more space to organise works really well for me.

I also now have a Money Tracker on the left hand side – since being made redundant last year and getting the next instalment of student loan has meant I’ve had to be very strict with budgeting to make sure I don’t run out of money before the next instalment in April. This spread works really well for me and I’m getting much better at checking in with my journal (which was one of my new years resolutions!)

My boyfriend and I made this list of goals for the year and I’ve left the other page blank to act as a kind of scrapbook if and when we do the things we can tick them off and stick something in, I’m so excited about it.

And that’s about it for the important relevant pages from my new journal! I’ve used nearly 60 pages of about 250, so I’m not sure this will last me the entirety of 2018 but it would be nice if I could start a new one for 2019!

My thoughts on the Leuchtturm 1917 journal is pretty positive – I definitely like the dots over the lines because it’s so much more adaptable in terms of drawing boxes or grids and splitting up weekly spreads but I personally find the space between the dots is a bit small. I have rather large handwriting so I find that some of my spreads feel a bit crowded.

The pages, though advertised as being heavy duty, I find do bleed quite a lot and you can see that quite clearly in these pictures – I have to be careful with how much coloured pen I use on a page as to consider the next pages. I’ve seen people saying they use Sharpies to bullet journal but I can’t imagine that going very well in this book. Not a massive deal for me, but worth mentioning if it’s something that’s important to you!

I do love that the pages are already numbered because I always forgot to do that in my old one and it made the index much harder to maintain. I also like that the index is part of the design of the book so it looks much more formal and neat. I like it a lot – at this point in time I would definitely repurchase and use it again (especially since they’ve just released a soft cover one, so much more convenient than a hardback one) but who knows, I might find something even more convenient by the end of the year. We’ll see!

I wrote a post about starting a bullet journal and a bullet journal update in early 2017 and I wanted to do an update having moved on to my second journal. Do you like this kind of content? Would you like me to write more about bullet journalling? Let me know in the comments!

I’ve put a full bullet journal flip through on my second channel unlisted so you can only watch it with this link! How exclusive. If you want to see my journal in full I’d recommend watching that.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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resolutions for my graduating year (2018)

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I’m a very big ‘setting goals’ person – lists are my best friend! Just as I was starting my third year, my FMP tutor asked us to fill in a questionaire esque thing to gauge how we were feeling about FMP and third year and he asked us to write a mantra and mine was ‘write a list’.

So I’ve been thinking about my resolutions for about a month now. I really like the three categories I chose last year, so I decided to stick with them again this year.

My personal goals:

  • find a workout and healthy eating routine that works for me
  • make more of an effort to eat three meals a day
  • make long term changes to how I handle money
  • make sure to stick to my bullet journal more closely

I’m so determined to make sustainable life changes this year – I’ve put on a lot of weight and become so unfit and I’ve been trying to find different workouts and different kinds of healthier life adaptations I could make but every app or plan I find that looks like it could help costs about £20 a month, which I just don’t have and I don’t think is worth it! But I want (need) to exercise more and I need to focus more on what I’m eating and plan more, so that’s the first two.

In terms of money, I was so proud that I got out of my overdraft in 2017 but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have a lot to work on – since being made redundant I need to be at lot more cautious with money as I don’t have an income at the end of the month so I’ve had to evaluate how much loan I get, the rent I have to pay, monthly payments, how many weeks there are between loan and next loan and then give myself a weekly budget. I could do a whole other post on that but it might be really boring – let me know if you’d like to read this?

And with my bullet journal – I stick by the fact that it’s completely changed my organisational life but these last couple of months I’ve been writing lists and then not really sticking to them so I think that’ll really help me in 2018.

My university/career goals:

  • graduate with a 2:1 (or higher, that would be nice)
  • expand my three year plan/research certain career goals
  • marketing work experience and apply for 2 year marketing grad scheme at Sky
  • take every opportunity available

I’ve expanded this category from last year because 2018 is the year I graduate with an undergrad degree (scary) and I want a 2:1. I’ve worked really hard this year so far and my FMP tutor things I’m on track which is really reassuring, but that’s a goal for the first half of the year whilst the second and third are more aimed at the second half.

And with graduating in mind, I actually have a three year plan! In 2018 I will begin the first part of that plan but I want to expand on that and focus it, maybe making some more refined smaller goals and extending it to a five year plan. There are certain avenues of my aspirations that I’ve been saying for years I want to research but I just haven’t and it’s something I need to do if I want to get there. I think I want to get my FMP out the way first though.

To progress my three year plan, I’m going to apply for work experience in marketing at Sky and then apply for the two year graduate scheme in marketing that opens at the end of the year for a July 2019 start I believe! I got a week of work experience at Sky Entertainment in 2017 and I loved the company and from what I could tell they were keen to bring people back, so I’m hoping to be able to go back and work with them full time. Maybe plans will change and I think I want to draw a big timeline and map out the next three to five years but I don’t know if I want to do that before or after handing in my FMP – I don’t know if it’ll be too late by then.

But on the other hand – thinking a bit closer to home, Southampton Solent University has offered me a bunch of opportunities that have taught me so much and given me so much experience and I feel ready to take on what happens after I finish my undergrad. There’s a big wide world out there and I feel a little bit more ready to take it on now – I want to have a go at everything that gets thrown my way.

My creative goals:

  • maintain my blog and YouTube channels more consistently
  • keep writing
  • take the most unconventional approach possible
  • find my flare

I made this resolution last year but I find having creative outlets outside of university act as both a distraction and a focus – it gives me something that isn’t stressful uni work and also helps me develop myself more creatively and further my time management skills – I’m so driven and loving my blog so much right and I really hope I can maintain that when I go back to uni at the end of January. I have a plan and hopefully I’ll stick to it.

Writing was one of my challenges last year and I achieved it – I’m not back to writing original fiction (yet) but I’ve been writing and writing all year and it’s been really nice to immerse myself in characters and long form story. There was a point where writing and being an author was a viable option for me whereas now I have more options and it’s more of a backseat hobby and I’m thoroughly enjoying the hobby without the pressure of ‘being a writer’ and I think that’s a summary of my approach to everything that isn’t uni work this year.

The last two points are a bit flimsy but I think that’s kind of what I need a little bit of this year – I’ve had a real crisis of creativity in 2017 and I don’t know if what I’m making is original or good or if it’s representative of who I am. I need to think about what I’m making – how I can take an approach no one else has taken and find what makes it mine. Maybe I should have thought about this earlier than 3 years after I started my blog and 4 years after I started my YouTube channel but here we are. Every creator has a crisis right?

I feel like I need to do some more work but I think there’s a difference between resolutions and a plan for the year. Currently the line is a little blurry but once I make the plan it might be easier to differentiate the two. The conclusion is there still work to be done but I’m excited to do it.

2018 is going to be a big year that might be an indication for the rest of my life, that sounds very melodramatic though. I’m interested to see how the review of this post goes in the end of the year, but let’s not rush it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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“maybe I grew as a person” – my 2017 resolutions

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello,

I was going to make a New Years Resolution post looking back on my resolutions from last year and talking about my resolutions for 2018 but I know for a fact that a post consisting of both of those things would end up with a blog post that’s about three thousand words long. I’m a very reflective person and I like checking in on my own progress so that’s what this is.

Should I publish this on the internet? Probably not, I don’t know if anyone else is interested in this. But I like being able to hold myself accountable and I don’t know if anyone else would maybe like to see if I’ve stuck to what I said I wanted to do in both my 2017 resolutions post and my mid-year check in post!

For context, I split my goals into three sections – personal, creative and university.

My personal goals:

  • being healthier
  • exercising more
  • focusing on my dental hygiene
  • becoming a morning person
  • be more careful with money

Being healthier and exercising more didn’t go well – I’m the heaviest and unfittest I’ve ever been and it makes me very sad so we won’t dwell on it, but it won’t be a surprise that this appear on my 2018 list too! Dental hygiene was a mixed bag – I’ve come to the conclusion that I just hate brushing my teeth and I will never enjoy it, it will always be a sensation that I just don’t enjoy. But I have got better and I’m still working on my dental hygiene despite hating it so much.

Becoming a morning person has been much more successful though! Having 9am starts for most of this semester at uni has really helped but I naturally wake up between 7am and 9am (depending on what my schedule has been like – during a busy week, I wake up earlier and in the holidays or a quieter week, a bit later). At the moment I’m not pressing myself to be up too early because uni has really taken it out of me, but when I’m properly back in Southampton for uni next year I’m going to get back to working on this. I feel like this is my most sustainable change I made this year.

And the money goal was really successful too – I’ve been lucky enough to come into a couple of fairly large sums of money and my family have recommended to me that I use that to get out of my overdraft and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted that money to go back into something more memorable so I put that into my travel saving fund and worked on getting out of my overdraft on my own. So when loan arrived in September and I paid rent and my bank account was still positive and I’ve never been happier than closing my overdraft and knowing that all the money I had was mine. I was so proud and I’m so glad that the only debt I’ll have leaving university (‘glad’ ish, I guess) will be my loan.

So personal goals, a big ‘ish’ but feeling positive.

My creative goals:

  • keep learning about photography
  • maintaining my blog and YouTube channel
  • make sure to keep trying out new content
  • start writing again
  • find new creative outlets

Taking advanced photography taught me a lot about thinking about photography and how good photos can be much simpler than all the daunting equipment and scary editing software. I’m excited about the prospect of continuing to learn about photography and I’m saving for a camera that I think will really enable me to explore more creatively.

Maintaining my blog and YouTube channel was a mixed bag too – they were okay for a while, I dipped in and out of both throughout the year but these last four months has just been radio silence. I’m working on getting that back – exhibit A is the blog posts and videos I’ve been making in the latter half of December and I’m really hoping to maintain this when I go back to uni but we’ll see, the biggest aim for 2018 is taking the pressure off.

In terms of trying out new content most of it for me was making sure I didn’t feel like I was churning out the same shit that every other blogger desperate for brand deals and pretty instagrams was. I didn’t necessarily ‘try out new content’ but I’ve been particularly thoughtful about what I’ve made and I’m pretty pleased with it to be honest!

In terms of writing again – I actually kind of have! Yes, it’s fanfiction but I’m 16,000 words and 50 pages into it and I’m writing. Right now, where I’m very focused on my degree and making content online, realistically working on a personal work of fiction isn’t something I have the mental capacity for so what I’m writing is 1) much more manageable, 2) keeps me writing creatively and 3) is something that I really enjoy, like a lot. And I haven’t found any new creative outlets other than perhaps interior decorating the house I moved into in July so this project works for me!

My university goals:

  • stay motivated
  • stay organised
  • keep trying new things
  • keep putting yourself out there
  • work experience

I feel like I could write a whole blog post about my university story – the long and short of it is no one in my sixth form believed I was capable of anything and I fought through the battle that was my A Levels on my own whilst being bullied by my maths teacher so to think that I finished second year with a grade I was so happy with and being treated as a ‘High Achiever’ by my university just blows my mind.

So yes – I stayed motivated, I stayed organised and I kept trying new things in the stories I covered and the roles I took on within my course and outside of it. I put myself out there in ways I never thought I was capable of, even taking on editorial roles and too many commitments outside of my course but I got through it. In the end. Ish.

And work experience might be the most successful part of 2017 – two weeks at BBC Three, a week at NASS festival, a week working at Reading festival (one of my first paid freelance jobs!) and a week at Sky Entertainment which actually helped me figure out a three year plan (let me know if you want a whole post about it?) and I feel like my university goals were the most successful part of my 2017.

Just looking back at what I asked of myself a year ago and knowing that that version of me didn’t even imagine what she would have to go through and what she achieved is genuinely making me really emotional. It’s been a huge year and this is the first year that I can remember that I look back and feel proud and I’m excited for next year, it’s a really nice feeling. I’m motivated now to get the same out of 2018!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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what I got for Christmas 2017

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

Christmas is a time full of love, thankfulness and gifts. I wasn’t sure about writing this post but looking at the gifts I got this year and the ones I have chosen to include, this isn’t a list of me showing off how much money my family spent on me and I think the controversy around these posts are kind of centred around that. Assuming people that write these posts are in the same mindset as me, these posts aren’t boasting about anything – I just want to share some of the wonderful, thoughtful gifts I got, take some pretty pictures and show thanks to those who went to the trouble of buying me a gift.

So with that in mind, let’s get into what I got for Christmas this year!

Long story short, I have a collection of cactuses and plants (some real, some felt) and I’ve named them all David – David I is a felt plant from Tiger, David II is a real succulent that I always forget to water, David III is a DIY cushion that I never made, David IV is an Ikea toy, David V, VI and VII are a set of three plants from Ikea and this, is David VIII. I love my little collection and I love that these coasters can be arranged in whatever fashion I like, I think it’s so fun. My mum has a way of finding the weirdest and most amazing little gifts.

It’s only within the last six months of the year that I’ve really got in to any kind of gaming. I’m still completely head over heels obsessed with Overwatch and the depth to which the creators go with the characters and their story arcs. The basic story about this character, Bastion, is that he’s a kind of robot built to fight in a war – the one in the game gets lost and finds a bird in the woods who becomes his friends. Ganymede, the bird, teaches him about love and friendship and the robot essentially becomes sentient. So this is a Ganymede toy and the box is shaped like Bastion’s head and it’s really cute.

I don’t know if I’ve done the game any justice in my description but if you want to add me on X-Box my handle is ‘sophieislame’.

To be honest, I was really awful whenever my mum asked me what I wanted for Christmas because there really wasn’t anything I wanted this year. But she did offer to take me to Long Tall Sally so I picked up this gorgeous loose turtle neck jumper in grey and my new favourite yellow jumper. I’m really into yellow right now and the fact that the sleeves are long enough that I can actually wear it properly make me unreasonably happy. Also it’s like wearing a hug it’s the softest thing I have worn in a very long time.

I don’t know if there’s much to be said but wow I’ve got a lot of food this year, like a lot. I’ve eaten so badly.

Also shout out to the honey roast ham my mum made because oh my god I’m salivating thinking about it.

It could be said that I’m somewhat of a stationery nerd – I have a rather large collection of pens and, my oh my, did my family build on this – my mum bought me two different sets of pens and a cute little elephant pencil case with stencils for my bullet journal (I’m actually dead excited to start putting these to use!) and my sister bought me a book on fancy lettering and brush pens to go with it! I’m so excited to learn about writing all fancy and making my bullet journal just that little bit more beautiful. It’s going to be stunning.

Now I don’t think it would be a ‘what I got for Christmas post’ if I didn’t include what my gorgeous boyfriend got for me this year – he’s truly spoiled me, pre-ordering the new Fall Out Boy album, a ‘merch voucher’ for when we see them in January, a Hufflepuff scarf (that I’ve wanted for so long) and amongst other things, this frame – that makes absolutely no sense out of context. Here’s the context – two of my favourite albums of all time are ‘Save Rock and Roll’, Fall Out Boy, and ‘This Is War’, Thirty Seconds to Mars, (let’s leave all opinions to one side please and thank you) and I’ve been saying for ages that when we have a permanent space I want to get them properly framed and hang them in an office space. So Lucas bought me new copies of both albums so I could cut them up or whatever if I needed to and then drew this wonderful interpretation and stuck fairy lights on the frame. I actually adore it, I think it’s really cute and I’m excited to have it in years to come.

This post ended up being way longer than I thought it would, but tell me all about what you got for Christmas in the comments! I feel like the memories that come with the presents are the best bit and that’s what I want to savour.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Uni blog | The Student Seat
Snapchat: SophieALuckett

“under pressure” – why I disappeared from the internet

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

When I started this blog (over three years ago now, wow) I knew it would be a fairly big ask – I was in my last year of sixth form, I was applying for uni, I was already making YouTube videos once a week. But I didn’t make a big deal – it was somewhat unfamiliar territory so I didn’t make a big deal about pushing myself. Between September and December 2014 I wrote 8 posts.

In the new year of 2015 I started what I called the ‘365 Pages’ project, where I wrote a blog post every day for a year with each post being ‘Page 1 of 365’ and so on. I didn’t actually write a blog post every day – there were a couple of days I missed and I actually went away on an charity work expedition to Ecuador for four weeks and managed to pre-write over 30 blog posts and schedule 9 or 10 videos too (I’m still very proud of this, don’t know if you can tell).

So as my blog has gone on I’ve piled on the expectations of myself. It’s really not unusual for me to ask too much for myself. As the year of blogging ended, I decided I wasn’t going to have a schedule – I was going to have lots of ideas and write fairly regularly?

Yeah, no.

That didn’t happen so I planned a schedule – I think I uploaded three times a week and then I didn’t do that anymore. I don’t remember how my blog schedule changed between the end of 2016 and the entirety of 2017 but by September this year I just stopped. Third year began and blogging and making videos and basically everything else (like my diet and mental health, lol) took a massive backseat.

Third year has been really intense – in the 12 or 13 weeks that made up my first semester (I lost track, to be honest) I had 11 deadlines, pretty much one a week, I didn’t have time to do anything like cook myself food, I was in university 40+ hours a week every week, alongside running a society and rehearsing for a drama and performance showcase and trying to maintain friendships and a relationship and it was a lot.

Following the final result of my second year, I was driven for third year – I’d done the maths, I knew exactly what I needed to do to get the grade I wanted from my last year of university (so far). But that made me very stressed when suddenly I was faced with the reality of actually working at that level.

I don’t know if I’m writing really ominously or pretentiously or if I’m just not making sense at all, but not all the pressure came from myself. Third year is intense – obviously, it’s my last year of uni so it’s meant to be challenging and I thought I was ready but clearly not.

Maybe by asking myself to do as much as I can for third year, writing for my blog, making YouTube videos, running a society, being part of a performance society and having a job was putting too much pressure on myself? I was made redundant at the end of November so that’s one thing off the list and I’ve taken a step back from drama and performance until after Christmas. Sonar Film has been manic and I want to sit and have a day focusing on that over the holidays and I’m slowly working my way through uni stuff.

Writing all of this out really helps me, which is partially why I love writing on my blog and why I’m determined to get back into blogging and YouTube.

I’m someone who thrives on routines – writing and making videos as and when ‘I feel like it’ doesn’t work for me at all because I’m not someone who gets inspired to write things as and when.  So I’ve planned a new routine.

I have so many blog post ideas and I’m going to write as much as I can before I go back to uni properly at the end of January and I’m excited about it.

My aim for my blog and my Youtube channel is to take the pressure off a little bit – so that I have time to do it around my uni work but enjoy it as a welcome break from my degree. I don’t need anything else to be stressed about!

If you have any tips for maintaining a blog and a million other commitments do leave me a comment, I need all the help I can get!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Uni blog | The Student Seat
Snapchat: SophieALuckett

the lost blogger

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

Writing and filming for my blog and YouTube channel have been a challenge recently – I’ve not felt inspired, the longer I left it the more difficult I found it to approach creating anything and I just put it off for longer and longer.

So I’ve reevaluated – I had a think about what I want my focus to be and I want to redesign my blog a little bit. I want to enjoy blogging and I don’t want it to feel like a chore or a responsibility – I want to feel more chatty and conversational and maybe make my blog more like a diary which is where blogging began really.

In my head I know I want to write blog posts somewhat inspired or rooted in things that happen in my life (which isn’t much right now, these past few months have just been uni assignments, Sonar Film and Drama and Performance society) and have a somewhat bigger message. But that’s a lot of pressure? Do I want to talk about clothes and make-up because that’s where I see lots of successful bloggers but does that make it harder to be successful? Do I talk about uni life or YouTube or films because they’re all things that are a big part of my life but does anyone care?

Does anyone care about what I’m saying? Does anyone care about the words I’m writing? Spending my time and effort crafting, taking photos, promoting on socials? Why do I bother?

I bother because I love writing. It’s almost like a therapy for me before it gets it off my chest and I feel a lot better for writing. Why do I make YouTube videos? Because I love filming and editing and crafting these memories. But why? Why don’t I keep it private?

Because I’d love it to be successful. People can say all day long about how they write for themselves or their family or they make YouTube videos for the same reason but then why are they made public? Because at the end of the day people want an audience, they probably want this to be a career and I feel like that shouldn’t be shunned.

I’ve seen so many blog posts and YouTube videos made for ‘new bloggers’ and ‘new YouTubers’ and all of them say: don’t do it for views, subscribers and fame. But then if you’re not doing it for those things, there are ways to have private and passworded blogs and unlisted videos that can only be viewed by people you give the link to.

Why is bad to want views? If I’m spending time and effort on creating and crafting a post that I publish, I don’t think I should be ashamed to want it to do well and hiding behind the facade that I’m writing for my own sake because I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive.

I love writing blog posts, I love writing and I love publishing my work on my little site – but I’m not going to be ashamed for wanting it to do well.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Uni blog | The Student Seat
Snapchat: SophieALuckett

we’re all (super) heroes

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

“Hello,

This one’s a little off the cuff, because I find those are the posts I love most and my friend Becca (gorgeous blog, I thoroughly recommend getting lost in it) always writes amazing posts when she’s inspired and something really drives her to write so I’m going with that.

Hear me out – I’m rolling with it (I will also acknowledge the lack of blog posts, but not today).

I love superhero movies – I’m not talking I like watching Marvel films, I mean I’m so invested in superhero films and I find it very difficult to critique superhero movies because I’m just so invested in them. I don’t know if that quite conveys what I mean, but my heart is in all of those movies and shows.

On Wednesday night, my boyfriend and I completely caught up on DC’s ‘The Flash’ and I can’t put into words how this show has buried itself in my heart and soul. We started watching the show about a year ago but got a bit lost and busy in the middle of season 3, so we recently started rewatching it and catching up on what we missed. And this week we watched Season 4, Episode 5, ‘Girls Night Out’ and I felt something.

One, the episode was really funny but, predominantly, two – catching up meant something; I feel equally content and lost.

Content because we caught up and it’s nice to not have to avoid spoilers anymore and lost because rather than watching a couple of episodes a night I now only get to watch one new episode a week.

When I say my heart is in all of these superhero films I just don’t know how else to explain it but they really are everything and they way I can express that is by writing – by writing and losing myself in these brand new stories.

The more I write of this the more pathetic it sounds.

I think part of it is because I spend so long in my head anyway – I love writing and crafting stories and that has always been my escapism and I can mentally put myself in these films and I’m gone (I’m trying not to sound like a total lunatic here).

I could talk all day (and probably have) about how I hate the stigma around FanFiction for being all 12 year olds writing about their favourite band members having sex with them and books like ’50 Shades of Grey’ becoming the phenomenon that they are, but writing FanFiction gives me a way to put myself into these situations.

And I know it’s probably not the healthiest coping mechanism, to take myself away in the words I write but Flash has been my escape for the last few weeks while my brain has been everywhere with uni. I’ve been lower in these last two months than I’ve ever been before and watching Flash has been my way out – I’m living my life through Barry Allen.

[ Side note – I’m nervous about watching Justice League because I love Ezra Miller but I /love/ Grant Gustin and I don’t want movie Flash to be better than TV Flash but also I don’t want movie Flash to be disappointing. ]

I think what makes this all more poignant is that I’m now taking part in NaNoWriMo (a month long challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days) as a way to get my passion for writing back. I used to sit every single night in the living room with my family watching TV and writing – whether it be FanFiction just because I wanted to write it or original fiction, I would write and write and write.

And I don’t. Since coming to uni I just haven’t. In part that’s because I’ve been spending more time with my friends and housemates and I don’t have the evening time I used to have but I miss writing and I want to get that back. I’m not trying to write a novel, or even 50,000 words for that matter, I only started on Day 12 – I’m just trying to write again. And that includes my blog to be honest.

Real life hasn’t been working so well in my brain right now, but having this outlet where I can write myself as a superhero – someone who isn’t held back by assignments or my sad brain (or a lack of superpowers) and I can be someone who’s the only one who can stop the bad guy.

But to be honest, that applies to real life too.

Sophie xx”

 

I wrote this whole post in one night. For some reason, making the feature picture and actually posting it meant that it was over a week later. I don’t know how to explain my brain right now but I feel like that was relevant.

Thank you for reading