new (school) year, new start

2020, student

Hello!

The end of summer and September is my favourite time of year – I feel like there’s a certain type of person who’s favourite month is September and it’s either:

  1. People who enjoy school (whether it’s educationally or socially)
  2. People who love stationary and buying a new pencil case is very exciting.
  3. People whose birthday is in September

I am all three – I’m pretty sure everyone has a soft spot for their birthday month in the same way that December is always exciting because of Christmas, I am somewhat of a stationary nerd (though I’ve been on a pencil case and pen spending ban for, like, years and I still have so many) and my birthday is September; the full trifecta!

For so long, the start of the new academic year is more impactful than the New Year – 14 years (minimum) of new school uniform, new stationary, new shoes, seeing your friends every day after 6 weeks of not being able to meet up because everyone’s on holiday at different times, a new planner, a new timetable! I’m getting excited just thinking about it and I’ve not had a new planner for six years!

This year I feel a bit different – this is the second time I’ve not been going back into education in September since I was a toddler and even then it’s still a bit strange because my masters dissertation deadline is at the end of October so I’m still somewhat in education and having been at home for the last 23 weeks (not that I’m counting) the whole ‘new school year’ feels so much less significant this year.

But outside of school, using September as an excuse to have a fresh start is an opportunity that I think many of us will be taking this year! Any time is a good time for a fresh start whether it’s a Monday, a new month, any time but sometimes it takes these markers to feel like we have the opportunity to put something into practise. Hence why I love setting my monthly goals!

Maybe it’s because I’m still working on my masters dissertation which should have been nearly ready to hand in but now the deadline is six weeks later – I do feel like November is going to be my ‘fresh start’ because I’ll be officially done with education (though I said that after my undergraduate degree and here I am… but I mean it this time!).

New starts and this time of year can always feel exciting and nerve wracking and both significant and vastly insignificant simultaneously – for some getting out of the habit of feeling like a new school year is easy because they leap straight into a full time ‘grown up’ job, for some it’s nice to have that time of year as a little mental shift and for others it’s just another month.

As per, I think I’m making a much bigger deal out of something that’s not that big! A new month always makes me feel a little bit excited – like I can reset and refresh a little, but then suddenly it’s the 25th of the month and time feels like it’s going too fast and I can’t hang on to the present for long enough to enjoy it.

Today was a day I just needed to have a little ramble! I consider my corner of the internet to be a personal space for expressing what’s going on in my life – whether it’s new exciting things like moving house or reading a new book, less exciting things like navigating my mental health in a pandemic or things as trivial as an outfit I enjoyed wearing or a place I went on holiday! I love having my little space and a time capsule of who I was at so many different points in my life.

2020 is a weird ass year, we can only hope that 2021 gives us a bit of a break!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

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productive, but chilled

2016, lifestyle

Hello!

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had three deadlines and a lot of stuff to do, so managing my time has been a particular challenge. But I’ve found a way that helps my productivity sky rocket so I thought I’d share!

Working with 100% focus, no distractions and complete silence doesn’t work for me – I get really tempted to do anything but what I’m meant to be doing and I spend the whole time thinking about everything else I could be doing.

In the run up to a big hand in of a research workbook, I knew I had a lot of work to do. I sat on the sofa in the living room whilst my flatmates played GTA, my iPad set up to one side with YouTube playing, headphones on and just slowly worked away at my workbook.

With having YouTube on in the background and being with my friends, feeling like I was only working at 60%-70%, I worked for five hours straight and got about 15 pages (of what would become a total 41) done. I continued this success with more ‘chilled productivity’ sessions and got the whole thing done and uploaded with plenty of time to spare.

Since then, I’ve done pretty much all of my work with YouTube on in the background, or in a coffee shop or with my friends in the room, rather than in complete silence and isolation. I feel like it means I can work for longer without feeling as tired and what I make in the end is of higher quality too because I wasn’t pushing myself to make it.

Obviously this only works if you allow yourself enough time to work that way and it doesn’t work for every kind of workload – I have a lot of coursework based assignments but if you’re wanting to do some intense revision, having YouTube videos on in the background you probably won’t absorb any information, but it can still be applied in other ways.

If you have the kind of workload that allows for ‘chilled productivity’, I thoroughly recommend it because in the end, I enjoyed making my workbook and I liked making the pages look as creative as I could. And I caught up on so much YouTube in the process, I’m nearly not behind anymore!

And to anyone that says the quality of the work won’t be as good because you’ve not paid full attention to it – I got a first for this assignment and my workbook was the highest part of my marks.

Different things work for different people, but everything I’ve ever seen about revising or being productive has involved putting your phone to one side or not letting yourself listen to music, when depriving yourself of these little pleasures aren’t always certain to make you more productive. It takes a lot of experimenting before you can find out what’s right for you!

Another thing I’m thinking about trying in the New Year to help my productivity is bullet journalling but I have no idea where to start right now, so if you know anything or have any tips please do leave it in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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The Student Seat: https://thestudentseat.wordpress.com/

My Relationship with Sport

2016

Hello!

This post is inspired by Hannah Witton’s video titled the same as this blog post so if you haven’t seen that, I thoroughly recommend watching it!

Let’s start with a bit of context – as a kid, I was really into and actually quite good at sport. Apart from long distance running, to this day I am still horrifically bad at that. In primary school I played tag rugby, football, netball, athletics, hockey, alongside dancing and performing outside of school. I was a skinny twig, I am so jealous of my past self.

As I went into secondary school, I stuck with the netball and athletics and I started dancing at school as well as four or five times a week at the new dance school I’d moved to. Until I was about 14 and I chose dance over other sports teams and that’s when I started getting fat. Doing only one type of physical exercise and mental health/comfort eating coming into play, often provoked by bad friendships and having access to the snack cupboard whenever I wanted it really didn’t help. I put on so much weight.

I always wish I was either someone who was naturally skinny without trying, like so many friends I know now, or that I’d kept up the sport and it was now something I didn’t have such a negative build on in my mind.

So what’s happening now? I went back to uni today and the dance season is starting up again so I’m going to taster sessions to learn the try out routine for try outs next weekend, I’m trying to get back into going to the gym and up my fitness levels, but I always say I’m trying to get back into it so I’m not saying I’ve succeeded yet… I’m still trying.

I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been which is in some ways a downward spiral to just get heavier because comfort eating but I’m working on it – I think I’ll do a post about my weight soon because it might help me, as well as anyone else who might read it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiecountsclouds/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-3CmMYbZuSV5eSvGgkW5Cg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiealuckett
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sophiealuckett
Snapchat: @SophieALuckett
Uni blog: http://sophieannblogs.blogspot.co.uk/
The Student Seat: https://thestudentseat.wordpress.com/