it’s not all about results

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I’m someone who cares a lot about grades and I put a lot of pressure on myself – when I realised I wasn’t going to do as well in my A Levels as I did in my GCSEs I was heartbroken. And it’s not like I bombed – in my AS levels I got a C and 3 Ds which is a pass and I pulled that up to 2 Bs and a D which wasn’t awful but it wasn’t an A or an A* so I was proper gutted. But it got me into uni and that’s all that matters.

Then when I got to uni I was going to be a new person, I wasn’t going to care – I was just going to do the best I could possibly. Ha, that lasted about 10 minutes.

I scraped a 2:1 in first year but it didn’t contribute to the final degree so I wasn’t too fussed. Second year went really well for me and I ended up getting a first overall so my main goal for third year was to maintain that and do everything try to get a first over all.

And I tried my best, I worked so hard this year, and I didn’t do it. The salt in the wound is that I was only 0.44% away from the grade I wanted but I didn’t get it. At the end of the day, I didn’t get it. That sucks. Not going to pretend it doesn’t, it sucks a lot.

But. It’s. Not. Like. I. Failed.

I got a 2:1, I worked my ass off and I’ve got a great portfolio (check out my portfolio insta to see it in full, cheeky plug), I’ve had some incredible work experience that I got all by myself because I’m not a failure or an awful human being (shaking this mindset is a work in progress).

My life isn’t over. I’ve got a great degree. I could go do a masters if I wanted. I am still able to get a good job (hopefully, not successful on that front as of yet). So what’s the point in beating myself up about grades?

Conclusion: putting too much pressure on myself has been nothing but damaging.

I’ve picked up such awful habits from it, from beating myself up over every grade I got back, putting so much pressure on myself to work hard and make amazing stuff and everything needing to be the highest grade it can be and nothing I do is every quite good enough for that voice in the back of my mind.

And nothing good has come from abusing myself mentally like this.

It’s not an easy habit to break – I follow so many YouTubers and creators who are like ‘just stop doing that bad habit you have and be a happy person’ and that’s just not possible, not for me anyway. But it’s a habit worth trying to break because that kind of mental strain is only going to leave deeper scars in the long run.

So for me, what I’m doing to challenge this mindset are these three things:

  1. Telling myself that I am graduating with a good grade – a 2:1 is incredible and I worked really hard to get there and I’ve got a great community of people on my course, other friends and even a series of lecturers who are a great team who really helped and supported me. My university experience was incredibly positive and I need to remember that.
  2. Not pressuring myself too much about getting a job – obviously I need one and I really want to make the next steps to my career as soon as I can, but it’s not like I’m going to be unemployed forever and I’ll find my own path.
  3. I’m listening more to my body – I’m still making bullet journal spreads and doing what I can to keep myself busy and productive but sometimes, all I want is to curl up on the sofa and watch YouTube videos or I’d rather spend more time on fewer tasks and I go at my own pace. This has actually helped me be more productive in the long run!

It’s a work in progress, but I thoroughly recommend avoiding putting pressure on yourself where possible.

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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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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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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