I graduated… now what?

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I wrote a post a bit like this back in June (Life after uni – what’s next?) but 1 – the point still stands and 2 – I’ve still got something to say, boy do I have more to add.

It’s completely natural to feel lost after uni – having been guided through education for 17 years, it suddenly all comes to a close and the education system thinks it’s taught me how to be a fully functioning adult! But it also things that maths theorems are important for daily life and how to pay taxes aren’t so I’m stood at the top of this ladder, weird hat that makes me look like a bird table and all, looking out to… nothing. And there’s a big drop below me.

Obviously this isn’t the case for everyone – a lot of people have jobs lined up and go straight into work and life. But that’s not to say those people worked harder or are better than me, or even luckier than me because they worked hard to be where they are, it just hasn’t worked out for me yet.

(It’s a weird post to write because I’m really proud of my friends that already have jobs and it’s definitely not luck – they’re all very deserving of their jobs, but that doesn’t mean i’m not good enough? It’s something I’m trying to figure out in my head so trying to write it and cover all basis is a bit of a challenge!)

Either way – I don’t have a job yet and that’s a little bit terrifying. However much I’d love to sack it all off and work on my blog and YouTube full time, it’s just not an option – it’s not what I want to do full time (I love it as a hobby) and it’s not a career option from a financial point of view.

So what now? Well the house contract in Southampton ran out so I’m back in my hometown with my mum for a while. My boyfriend found out he’s got a job on the day of his graduation so he’s got a summer of freelancing, an intensive driving course in September and then he’ll start by the end of September but he can work remotely so we might stay with mum for a bit longer and save to find somewhere to live.

And for the first time in our relationship he has a plan and I don’t, and I’m not a big fan.

I have a vague plan – I’ve got a little bit of freelance work and I’m going to do what I can to try and get some work experience over the summer (and continue applying for jobs) and save, maybe do an intensive driving course if I can afford it, mostly save for a flat and do some research into where we want to live. I’m maybe thinking that I don’t need to be as close to London as I thought and maybe I can get away with being closer to the South Coast, but still need to do a lot of research.

And all this is in the interim in waiting to get a job – I’m applying for as much as I can and trying to everything I can do better myself but it’s all very sketchy and not solid and it scares me – this is why I’m trying to keep myself busy (and wrote a whole blog post about it) because I have control over that.

So the conclusion of this whole ramble? I don’t know what’s happening and I’m trying my best, but people asking me what my plan is now is literally my least favourite question. But I don’t think that’s unusual for those who’ve recently graduated.

I’m sure I’ll write about it if and when I figure out more of a plan!

Thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

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blogging for myself

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I follow a lot of bloggers on social media – I’ve watched so many Insta stories about people’s social media plans and how they schedule tweets and post regularly to make sure that as many people as possible see a new post or a new video or follow their Instagram or whatever.

I’ve tried this – I’ve tried scheduling tweets and promoting my content more and you know what? It was exhausting, it never did anything to help more people see my posts and I can’t be bothered anymore.

After I took a break from the internet when I was working on my last university assignments (I say ‘I took a break’ like it was a choice, I didn’t have time to make anything) I decided I couldn’t be bothered to spend ages promoting my posts and videos in scheduled tweets and posts or making Insta stories that no one is going to actually engage with.

I’ve never had that many readers or viewers so why am I stressing myself out over this?

So this isn’t me giving up on blogging or making videos, I’m just going to make content for myself – I don’t need lots of readers to be happy with my blog. I’m not going to mass promote blog posts or YouTube videos anymore.

That’s not to say I’m going to change what I’m writing about or how I’m writing – I still like writing as if I have an audience but I don’t have the time or the motivation to put in the relevant social media (nor do I really have the followers for it to matter!).

It’s not about the numbers! Yes, it’s disheartening when I have a look and they’re the same but at the end of the day, do I care? Not really! I like making things and I can do that regardless of who watches or reads! If my blog or YouTube channel were to become something I could do for a living, I’d rather it would be because people really liked my content and not because I tweeted seven times about a post.

I’d rather save the repeat promo for content I’m really, really proud of like the vlog I uploaded last week which is a bit sad but very raw and I’m very proud of it and it’s linked below.

It’s a tricky balance because I care a lot about my blog and YouTube channel and I really love the content I’m making and I want to share it with people, I think I just need to shake the mindset that I’m doing it for ‘views’ or to ‘grow online’ or for other people and I need to just make things for me.

Thank you for reading (like a lot, I really appreciate it),

Sophie xx

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my latest vlog:

we’re more than statistics

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

There’s somewhat of a reputation for students in their graduating year to move back in with their parents, not have a job and become one of many other graduates to get a part time job or panic and go do a masters

Yeah, no thank you – can we save those comments for never please?

We’ve already got enough going on – we’ve got final projects and dissertations and research projects and tutors making sure we get everything done and asking us what are plans are and if we’d applied for any jobs and if we have a back up plan and blah blah blah.

There’s a lot going on.

And we’ve already thought about not being able to get a job and not having anywhere to live and not finding a job we’re passionate about a finding a balance between wanting to work for a company you really admire and just applying for anything and can you tell by the amount of ‘and’s in this sentence that this is something that worries me?

We’re not just a graduate unemployment statistic.

Maybe this whole post seems a bit melodramatic – I’m not trying to be the voice of every final year student across the country but I just feel like it’s not something we need to feel pressured to do. Right now, I’m freaking out a little bit that in just four months I don’t know where I’ll be living, let alone where I’ll be working or if I’ll have a job at all.

Every person I talk to asks how third year is going, what I’m doing after uni, do I have a 5 year plan and around Christmas I did, but now it’s all completely changed. And things do change as suddenly as one doubt creeps in and everything is completely different. Around Christmas I really wanted to go back and work for Sky following my work experience there last September but now I’m not so sure – I’ve found so many incredible opportunities and I will apply for them but right now, my final project comes first.

And god knows my final project is stressful as anything – I’m about to finish my multimedia journalism degree and with less than eight weeks to go I have no hard footage interviews recorded and only a couple booked. Eight weeks might sound like loads of time and maybe I am freaking out unnecessarily (my FMP tutor is trying to convince me everything is fine) but eight weeks just doesn’t sound like enough and I have to apply for jobs in that time too.

Don’t get me wrong – some aspects of final year are exciting. I’m working on a project I’m really enthusiastic about and I’m so excited about the prospect about getting out into the world and working and letting my creativity flourish… there’s just a lot of stress before that.

The other thing with every family, friend and human under the sun asking me my plans, is that I never know what they want to hear and I always feel like whatever I say sounds flimsy and whimsical and they’re judging me and disappointed in me. There’s every chance that’s just my insecurity but I can’t be the only one that feels like this surely? Whenever anyone says ‘Oh right… that sounds exciting!’ my heart sinks a little bit.

Maybe I’m just whining and I should suck it up and enjoy it while I’m still a student, but for now I’d quite like people to stop asking.

I’m more than just a statistic, whether that statistic be unemployment, graduate employment, student satisfaction or how many people have been listening to the Greatest Showman on loop (that’s still me).

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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August favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I’ve not done a favourites for a while, but it’s nice to be able to look back on the month and pick out the things I enjoyed the most. Lots of new content came out in July and August and I spent a lot of money on things I really didn’t need, so I really love the selection of things I’ve picked this month!

Image result for spider-man homecoming

Spider-Man Homecoming: Spider-Man has been my ultimate favourite superhero since I first saw The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield in the cinema – his wit, morality and agility are just everything I would like to be really (who wouldn’t want to swing so high you feel like flying – yes please!) so I was nervous seeing this film. I had every faith in Tom Holland having seen him in Civil War but there’s still every chance this movie was going to be awful. But it wasn’t! It was incredible! Every film has pros and cons and no film is without it’s flaws, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t recommend it more (and omg Zendaya).

‘You’ – dodie: A new dodie EP? Of course I’m obsessed. I treated myself to a bundle with a t-shirt, the EP and a vinyl version of the EP and I just love it. I love how the yellow of the case brightens up my room, I love having a studio version of ‘6/10’ (because god knows that song is my anthem) and ‘Would you be so kind?’ is just so happy. On the first EP, ‘Absolutely Smitten’ was the token really happy clappy mood lifting song and wybsk is the ‘You’ equivalent and I just can’t put into words how much it makes me smile.

"Chai! Chai! Chai!" | Reaper #LatteArt from @kyoffee. #Overwatch

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Overwatch ‘Summer Games’: I think I’ve mentioned it fairly regularly – I’m obsessed with Overwatch, it’s all been very sudden but I’m now properly invested in my first and only video game and there’s been a fun event with extra things to collect and a fun new game to play and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My elephant water bottle: We all know about my major obsession with elephants, but I was going to Primark to buy plain black t-shirts to work at Reading and it was in the aisle you have to go down towards the tills and it was all by itself and it was calling my name. It’s just gorgeous and I could never resist. I love it.

From Ikea’s website

Ikea shelving unit with wheels: For some reason, I went to Ikea three times in August and the first time I went I spotted this unit that I became utterly obsessed with it. On the second trip, I resist and it was that third trip that I gave in and just did it. I’m not recommending just spending money like I did if you can’t afford it but I knew exactly where it was going to go in my room, what I was going to put on it and how gorgeous it would look and I don’t regret it for a single second. I love it and it looked beautiful.

Jeffrey the bear: In August my sister was doing a summer course at Arts University Bournemouth and I went over to see her for the day. My boyfriend and I love this arcade cafe place called Fun Central and we’d decided we were going to win the bear that was worth 6,000 tickets for sure on this, our third time to the arcade. Shock horror, a new bigger bear worth 14,000 tickets had been added but my bear had been reduced to 5,000 tickets. We totally smashed it and I named him Jeffrey. I love him so much there aren’t even words.

My new hair colour: I haven’t really photographed it properly at all but I finally got my hair fixed at the hairdresser! It’s a deeper pink than I wanted (I was going for red) but I adore it because the blue is gone and it’s actually a nice colour and I’m still growing it out – think I’m going to get it dyed properly again in December when I’m next home and can go to the salon again. Can’t wait.

jelly > meringe > melted chocolate > sprinkles

The best dessert I’ve ever made: Just a silly thing I got very excited about – strawberry jelly with crumbled meringue, drizzled in melted chocolate and sprinkled with an excess of brightly coloured sprinkles. I recommend stirring it all around and mixing it all together but I’m very excited to have it again soon, I’m not going to lie.

Reading Festival: I wrote a whole blog post about why I loved working at Reading Festival, but I wanted to include it here as well because I’m still just so in awe that I was lucky enough to get to go.

VEDA: I’ve known for a few months now that I wanted to take part in VEDA and I’ve been noting video ideas for that long. But you know what? I never thought I’d actually manage it – 31 videos, let alone all of them being edited and uploaded by 6pm! But I did it, and you can watch the whole playlist here.

Wasn’t that a wild ride? I’m excited to do this again in September because September is my favourite month and my birthday month, very exciting! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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know how good you are – working @ Reading Festival 2017

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student, travel

Hello!

Getting the chance to work at Reading Festival  as a Camera Operator was something I was never going to turn down – if I had to apply in any other way I wouldn’t have got it because I haven’t done any camera opping before, but my housemate was recruiting and he took a chance on me (hopefully he thinks it paid off).

When I went to Channel 4 and BBC Three (and Sky next week) I always say there was no luck – I spent a lot of time and effort getting those placements and there was no luck involved. Reading however – it’s all because I happen to live with the guy that needed camera ops. Obviously there was a bit of skill involved – if he didn’t think I’d be good at it he’d have said no but Reading was all chance, and I’m very, very grateful for it.

Watching every act from the side or right in front of the stage is something I’ve dreamed of for so long

I was so unbelievably anxious before we left I can’t even put it into words – I felt ill, I was overanalysing everything and I contemplated not going because I was so scared of getting things wrong or being bad. But I knew I couldn’t turn down Reading.

And I went. And I did well. And I loved it.

Camera 2 – my favourite Camera

I learnt a lot about how to work the cameras but I also realised how much I already knew – I know what a good shot looks like, I knew to keep an eye on what was happening on stage, what the other ops were filming and the crowd (filming someone holding a Lightning McQueen balloon was a highlight of the weekend).

I felt comfortable doing the job – it was like I’d found something that I should have been doing all along – filming live music, surrounded by artists, techies and heavy bass. I don’t think I would camera op for the rest of my life, but working with bands in environments like this is what I want to do. Now I have more of a focus to get to that.

The crowd for ‘The Hunna’ were absolutely mental, favourite crowd of the whole weekend

No one really expected me to excel at this festival, and I don’t think I’m the kind of person to make the assumption that I did, but I did learn this – have faith in your own skills, don’t be afraid to say you’re capable and you’re good enough. I’m definitely the sort of person who puts themselves down (to no end), assumes that I will never be good enough and I’m afraid to apply for jobs or work experience opportunities in roles that I could do but I haven’t done before but I know what I’m good at.

The last sunset of Reading 2017

I’m a good writer, I know how to film and edit good videos, I know how to take a good photo, I’m a good presenter and I’m really good at research and organisation. And there’s nothing wrong with knowing your skills or talking about them.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go to Reading and prove this to myself. I am capable of it even if there are people who would quite happily tell me I’m not.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

The sunrise at Basingstoke station on 6.30am on Monday morning was worth the all nighter

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“As long as I’m playing music, I’m happy” | Sam Harding interview

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

In my last semester at uni, I got to do a couple of optional units – the two I chose were Lifestyle PR, where I wasn’t taught anything and had to use common sense to do the assignment, and Music Journalism, where the teacher kept giving us examples of why he was an awful journalist and a bit of a dick as a human.

However that didn’t deter my love and passion for writing about music and musicians – part of my assignment was to create a music journalism portfolio, including a new artist profile. I reached out to my friend Sam to ask if I could interview him and thankfully he said yes. But I’ll let the interview speak for itself.

Photo by: Dani Blakeley

Getting a foot in the door of the music industry is harder now than it ever was before – the door is infinitely bigger, leading to a huge variety of different paths that determine ‘success’ and there are millions of feet trying to make their mark.

Sam Harding is a musician from a small town in the East Midlands, now studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and working on countless projects as a freelance musician. But Sam’s work ethic hasn’t changed since he was at school in that small town.

“I’ve been performing in bands since I was 13, starting off gigging all over the place with a really heavy metal band. The last year before I moved away from home to study gave me a taste of what it would be like to be a professional musician, and taught me a lot about music and what I wanted out of it.”

Sam has always had a very clear focus, determination and drive to get where he wants to be. “I picked up the bass at the age of 11 and fell in love with it instantly. Bass and guitar are the main instruments I play but recently I’ve been trying to get my chops together on upright bass and synth bass in an effort to make myself more versatile.”

With a taste of being semi-professional in playing in pro tribute band Latino Sound before Sam left home, he knows what he wants to work on to make himself a more diverse musician and give himself an edge in the industry he has already had that taste of.

“When I was 10, I discovered My Chemical Romance. They were the first band I really listened to and followed in a serious way. The music, the aesthetic, the energy – I thought it was all so cool! I remember spending most of my time playing along to My Chemical Romance tunes in my bedroom in my early teens. After a few years of playing I just suddenly found myself in a position where there was no question about it – music was just what I needed to do.”

Sam has not let moving to a new city over a hundred miles away phase his journey: “I’m playing with a few bands including a pop-funk band called Fresco, a neo-soul band called Silcaa, a jazz quartet and with the Tom Knight Band, as well as various one-off gigs. I have also started a production company called Blue Handle with my good friend and fellow RNCM student Tom Knight. We provide studio recording, live sessions, videography and photography services to musicians in Manchester and I’m feeling really excited about that project.”

But the music industry is unpredictable – there’s no distinct method to become ‘successful’; it’s not a clear career path. “I set goals for the projects that I am a part of, as well as for my own playing. Setting yourself targets to hit is a good way to stay focused and have things progress in a more efficient way.”

“I have a rough plan. I want to finish my four years of study and then further my career as a professional musician. It could be playing for artists live or in the studio, it could be writing and performing original music, it could be a combination.”

Sam has had a long history with music but he’s still young and has a long career ahead of him. “As long as I’m playing music, I’m happy.”

Sam’s pop-funk band Fresco has a new EP ‘Muy Funky’ and it’s out now on iTunesSpotify and Bandcamp.


Being able to interview Sam and see how successful he’s already being was genuinely a pleasure and, on a slightly less heartwarming note, I got a pretty good mark for my portfolio. I thoroughly enjoyed writing up this interview and I can’t recommend Sam’s music more – his passion shows in his talent.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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