being the one that doesn’t drink at uni

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

With A Level results day being last week, thousands of students across the country will have started their journey into their university career.

For lots of people, it’s incredibly exciting to go into freshers week or fortnight, meeting new people and going out and getting really drunk.

And for some people, that is the most anxiety inducing terrifying way to describe starting university. I fall into that category. I was so scared of starting uni – when my mum left me in my new room in halls with all my stuff I burst into tears when she had to leave because it was all so daunting and overwhelming.

I’m lucky that the people in my flat were really chilled and asked me if I wanted to go out and were so, so friendly when I said it wasn’t my cup of tea and the boy that lived across the hall from me stayed in and watched the new series of Doctor Who with fish and chips with me. So I was pretty lucky in that respect.

So I thought I’d collate a few tips and tricks for a bunch of scenarios you may come across if you’re not massively into drinking or going out.

  • saying no when all your flat are going out – it can feel awful when you’re surrounded by new people to say no when they’re getting really drunk or going out or whatever and saying no can feel like the worst option, especially with ‘fomo’ being so prominent. But it’s not worth the stress and anxiety if that’s not an environment you enjoy – staying in, watching some Netflix, doing what works for you and catching up with people in the morning will be so much better for you in the long run. Obviously there’s a lot of conditions and different scenarios but saying no is fine.
  • find a bunch of people who don’t go out a lot – my mates at uni were pretty heavy drinkers, but they weren’t that into night clubs and we really enjoyed playing card games and board games and it was so much fun because literally none of them cared that I wasn’t massively into drinking! It means you still get the fun of socialising and spending time with your friends without the pressure of feeling like you have to drink.
  • going out when you’re not drunk – if you’re okay with going to a club and being around drunk people, it’s being aware of where your limits are and knowing when to say ‘I’m good now’. I’ve found on nights out when I’ve not been drunk or I’ve not drunk anything at all, I’m usually tired and ready to go home before everyone else and it’s being confident enough to say ‘I’m going to head home now, have a good night!’. But to be honest, if you suggest getting take out on the way home most people will want to come with you.

It can be daunting, but I’d recommend making sure you talk to people about it – let them know you don’t drink, be confident in yourself and don’t ever feel like you have to drink and if you’re with a group of people who force you to drink, get yourself out of there as safely as you can! Uni is meant to be fun and can be the best time of your life, whether you drink or not!

Final thought – don’t judge people and find people that won’t judge you.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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5 mini goals for March

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I definitely stole this idea from Dorkface but anyway – I’m a very goals orientated person. I spend a lot of time thinking about my goals, where I want to be and whether I’m achieving what I want to achieve.

Often, this just involves me thinking about where I want to be and why I’m not there yet whilst eating copious amounts of chocolate but it’s a work in progress and progress is something I think I can fairly confidently say is somewhat getting there (but the fact I worded that so speculatively suggests otherwise).

Either way, I saw Jemma writing these ‘mini goals’ blog posts and this month I decided to give it a go – it might help me focus and I’m going to make a pretty spread in my bullet journal to incentivise me to tick things off. I’m going to start with just 5 and if it goes well I’ll reflect on them before setting April’s goals.

  1. Really focus on my FMP (my final major project, my degree’s equivalent of a dissertation) – this sounds dumb, because I’ve been thinking about and working on this project since last summer but I’ve been really struggling in these past few weeks to focus and get anything done but March is going to be the month I get shit done.
  2. Blog more regularly – again, potentially a stupid goal but every time I sit down to write I fall in love with blogging again but I just don’t make time to do it. I’ve been really enjoying my blog photography at the moment and I do want to make more time for it because to be honest I spent too many hours of an evening just playing on the xbox with my boyfriend. I don’t want to stop doing that per say, but it’s a balance isn’t it.
  3. At least three more instagram theme colours – I’ve not written about this here, but I’ve got an instagram theme! I was trying to make the yellow thing work but it wasn’t working so I was chatting to my wonderful friend Kathryn and we decided that a new colour every row could be a really nice theme without the commitment of sticking to one colour forever so I gave it a go! I had a pastel yellow, red and I’ve just finished my blue row. It’s a work in progress and I’m still figuring out the balance of what looks good and what I post just because I want to post it but I want to get at least three more rows finished this month. 9 photos doesn’t sound like a lot but I’m still getting my mind around planning and taking all the photos to fit the theme.
  4. Cook more – maybe all of these goals sound stupid, obviously I make myself dinner every night (save for a take out night every now and again) but I want to invest more time in to cooking more complex dinners. I love cooking and even setting aside an hour every night I think will both be good for my diet and my mental health, because I find cooking really therapeutic.
  5. Apply for some post-graduate jobs – I graduate in July, my final project hand in is at the beginning of May – the sooner I apply for stuff the happier my brain will be to know what’s going on after July, because right now the anxiety of not having a single ounce of a plan after I take off those graduation gowns scares me a lot and it’ll give me some peace of mind to at least know I’ve applied for stuff. I’ll tentatively set the goal of three jobs, but I know that these applications will take a lot of time so even one would be enough.

I probably could have just left it at the parts in bold but it’s nice to have a record of what I actually want to achieve this month. Maybe some of it does sound a bit silly but maybe that’s just my insecurities. I think these goals are useful, somewhat realistic and completely feasible if I stick my mind to it.

What are your goals for March? Do you have goals that you set yourself over a time period? What works for you? Let me know – I could do with all the help I can get!!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

Side note, can we talk about the crafting I did to make the feature photo for this post, actually thoroughly enjoyed it!

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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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difficult friendships: you’re the most important

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I thought struggling with friendships and not knowing who really cared for me was something that I had to worry about at 16, but then I was 18 and now I’m nearly 21 and I’ve had a lot of difficulty making friends and maintaining friendships and I don’t think it’s something that ever really goes away.

But just because it doesn’t go away doesn’t mean it’s okay or that you should put up with it – here are some things that I’ve learned over losing and trying to make friends that are worth your time and make you happy.

If your friends don’t make you feel happy and loved, are they really worth your time at all? If they’re pointing out your insecurities or ganging up on you (even if it starts as a joke, it can still happen too often and if it’s hurting you then it’s not okay regardless of the intent!) then something needs to be done.

You need to be surrounded by people who think of you even when you’re not present – when they message you about something that just popped into their heads or they see a picture of puppy on Facebook and they tag you in it.

If you’re always the one organising coffee or nights in or nights out even, just take a step back and stop – stop texting first, stop making plans and just see how long it takes for them to notice (but then conversely, if they do message you don’t let them always message first because then they’ll feel like you felt like… does that make sense?).

Time should feel almost as if it doesn’t pass when you’re surrounded by good people – if you’re counting down the minutes until it’s an acceptable time to leave or you’re finding yourself checking the time or scrolling endlessly through Instagram to pass the time then you’re probably not spending time with people who are engaging you on any kind of level.

Conversation shouldn’t feel forced or make you feel uncomfortable – if you’re talking about the weather for the sake of talking about the weather or telling each other about how uni or work is going just to have something to say, there’s no point.

You never deserve to be someone’s second choice – ever, you do not deserve to be shunned for anyone else. Not to say that everyone should only have one set of friends, but if you find yourself being turned away by the same person over and over again so they can spend time with someone else you don’t need that – they aren’t worth your time, effort and love.

There’s nothing more empowering than surrounding yourself with friends that make you feel like you could take on the world together – cutting people out of your life hurts like hell but when you realise how much they were holding your back and tearing you down, you’ll be grateful for your strength.

I know this blog post is a little bit different but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and still something I’m struggling to come to terms with.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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April favourites

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

It’s May! How is it May already? I’m not sure how this year has completely slipped away from me but it’s been another month so it’s time for me to talk about the things I’ve been loving this month!

This is the notebook I’ve started making notes for my FMP in – on my course I do a Final Major Project instead of a dissertation and I’ve got so many ideas and I want to do a bunch of research over the summer and this is the place for all my notes and late night idea scribblings to go. I love a white marble pattern and this beauty was only £2.50 from Primark, bargain!

Image result for Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen Black Excess

Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Pen Black – I struggled to get a decent, in focus photo of this liner but I’ve rediscovered it and I’m obsessed. This the eyeliner I used when I was still in school but the gel with the angled nib it perfect for a really precise line that’s really black. I’ve used a couple of felt tip eyeliners and I love them for their precision but they just fade so fast and I forgot how good this liner is for this. And it’s fairly reasonably price for drugstore make-up.

Going to sound proper vain, but I just adore my hair colour right now – at the beginning of April I dyed it purple and I was annoyed that I was so bad at applying hair dye all the way to my roots but the way the pink fades to the purple and the purple has faded to a bluey-purple colour has just made me so happy. Also I got my note pierced last month, don’t think I mentioned it but I paid someone money to stab a hole in my nose.

This second photo shows a bit better 1) what a bad dye job I did and 2) the variety of shades and colours in my hair. The left over red-faded-pink from Christmas with the purple-fading-to-blue that I added has just made for a beautiful almost-galaxy like hair and I really love it.

My plan with my hair is to keep topping up the purple until it runs out, then let that fade as much as it’s going to and put the red dye I already have over the top, then when that’s faded I’ll use the deep red dye I have. By then, I should hopefully have saved enough money to be able to go into Toni and Guy and get them to dye my hair the colour I really want, cut it short again and just generally fix my hair. I imagine this will probably take me to the end of the year, but I’ll let you know whenever I dye my hair again!

Final Cut Pro has been a blessing – I love editing video, but my December vlog (yes, the vlog from five months ago) has been plaguing me ever since January 1st and I finally got it uploaded in April. Who doesn’t need a bit of Christmas music in the background of Spring?

I’ll be honest, I didn’t buy FCP because I don’t have a spare $300 lying around, but I love the software – it’s so simple to use and for my, very basic, editing requirements and while one day I full intend to teach myself how to use Premier Pro properly, for now – this Final Cut Pro will be perfect!

I’m intending to edit a lot of videos this week, so keep an eye on my channel and maybe subscribe while you’re there? I’m very proud of everything I’m making right now!

With YouTube in mind, I’m obsessed with ItsWayPastMyBedtime, Carrie Hope Fletcher, and her series ‘Watch Me, Wednesday!’ where she vlogs her adventures playing Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family UK tour. I’ve already got my tickets for opening night at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton and if you’re a student, I thoroughly recommend having a look because they’re only £15 a ticket for students! Down from the full price of nearly £40, I couldn’t resist and I imagine I’ll be treating myself to move tickets after I’ve seen the show because I know I’m going to love it, I already love so many of the songs and I cannot wait. I just can’t wait and this series is making me even more excited.

Going to sound like the biggest dork in the world, but I’m really enjoying uni right now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m nearly done with second year, because I barely have any classes or because I’ve actually been getting some really good grades recently but I’ve really enjoyed choosing to go into uni in my own time and work on my assignments. It’s refreshing to have the choice – uni is so different from school and looking back, I was ready to leave school way before I actually finished and I’m loving uni so much. I’m having a really good time right now, and that might be the nerdiest thing I’ve ever said.

Even reusing my own photos of uni, this is what Solent looked like last August.

Again with reusing photos from an old favourites and again with sounding like a total loser – I’m really enjoying work right now. Over the Easter holidays, I did 55 hours at work and I actually didn’t hate it – I was a bit tired but I really like my job and everyone there and it’ll be nice to finish uni so work is the only thing I really have to focus on and worry about.

What’s student life if it isn’t going into Asda at 8am on Easter Monday to clear the shelves of cheap chocolate? Lindt is like my favourite chocolate ever so when these guys were only £1.25 each, I bought four. Well, I bought five but one was a present for my sister because she talked about really wanting one and I’m nice (especially when they’re only £1.25). This is my last one and I’m really sad about it.

If any friends of family are reading this and wondering what to get my for my 21st (not that you would be wondering now, it’s four months away); Lindt chocolate. I love Lindt chocolate so much.

This pencil case has revolutionised my bullet journal life – this wrap pencil case, only £8.99 on Amazon, holds 72 pens and has a blue elephant design on it is literally a combination of all of my favourite things. It’s quite big and bulky, but if you’re someone who wants to carry lots of coloured pens around all the time it’s actually quite compact. I literally take my journals and my pens everywhere with me and I can’t describe my love for this thing enough.

And last, but by no means least, Sonar Film – the society at my university that basically runs it’s own cinema. We show up to date films (I’m currently at a showing of the new Fast and Furious film) at a ridiculously reasonable price of £4 for Solent students and £4.50 for everyone else and I’m so proud to be a part of it. I’ve been elected as the Marketing Manager and President for the committee of 2017/2018 and I can’t wait to start working with everyone else on the committee to make Sonar Film the best it can be.

This post has ended up being a lot longer than I intended it to be!

I know my blog has been a bit sporadic recently – I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to take a week off last week but sometimes things just get on top of me and get the better of me and I’m glad I’ve reached a point where I don’t beat myself up too much if I miss a post or try a new schedule or something, because there definitely would have been a point even a year ago where I’d have forced myself to write something bad rather than not write anything at all. So thank you for allowing me to do that.

I’ve now planned blog posts from now until the end of the month, so hopefully I can plan my time accordingly to actually upload all these posts because there’s some I’m really excited about!

Thank you for reading and sticking with me,

Sophie xx

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balancing a job and university

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

This past week has been difficult – I was at work four days in a row and I have two deadlines this week and it’s all kind of getting on top of me. I’m not doing very well at the moment, I just kind of want to be a bit sad and not do anything but everything bad is happening while I have lots and lots going on and my assignments are piling up and what I’m making is just really bad and I can’t figure it out or make it up or get it right and I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

But before this week, I’ve managed having a job and keeping up with uni for a good couple of months now so so I thought I’d collate a few tips for anyone who isn’t sure if they should get a job at uni or anyone who needs a bit of help, like me, right now.

Make a list of everything that needs doing – I talk about lists a lot, I’m a bit of an advocate for a list, but I find that listing out all of the uni work I have to do in more detail than just ‘this assignment, that assignment’ and also writing down when I’m working and when I’m in uni, means I can spread my workload out evenly over the days I have time to do work and I’m finding that it’s really helpful. Just doing a little bit every day or whenever you have time is so much easier than waiting till the day before it’s due and getting really stressed.

See if there’s any work you can do on paper on shift – obviously this depends where you work and what your manager’s like, but where I work if it’s really quiet and there’s nothing to do, I’m allowed to write out a to do list or if I’ve got any work I can write out on paper that’s fine as long as it doesn’t interfere with customer service (because contrary to Paperchase’s belief, I’m good at customer service, the managers at Paperchase are dicks).

Sacrifice social time if you have to – it’s difficult enough to manage having a job and uni but throwing a social life into the mix is even more difficult. I’m not saying don’t have a social life, I’m saying just be really sensible and don’t throw uni work out the window just because you want to see your friends – sometimes you have to say no to the pub or a night out or a movie night if it means you have to get work done. And that sucks but once the assignment or the work is done and summer rolls around, you’ll only have to balance a social life and work and that’s much easier. Well, for now, I think it is.

If you have an hour break at uni, go to the library – it’s easy to say ‘yeah sure, I’ll come to McDonalds’ or just chill with your friends for a bit but if you’re struggling for time and you have work that evening or over the weekend, make the most of the time you have to read a couple of chapters, write up some notes, make a list, write down some ideas – you can do a lot in an hour.

Now that I’ve written this all out, I should probably stop using my blog to procrastinate and actually do some work. I know it’s really easy to say ‘make a list, make the most of your time, it’ll be fine’ and not do it – god knows that’s what I’m doing – but at least trying is a step in the right direction.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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why I love dancing

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

Today’s post is completely unplanned because I was going to do a photography post today but I have a fairly big idea and I forgot and ran out of time and it’s been a very busy day today so here we have a very random ramble idea.

Today I have my first dance competition of the 2016/2017 season and I’m both excited and dreading it (I have to be at uni at 5am and it’s a long, long day of a lot of sitting around) – dancing is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember, I started ballet at aged 3 and tap and modern age 9 or 10 and I joined hip hop at various dance schools and ages but I’ve always danced and sometimes I miss going to classes every week and doing exams and big shows.

But at uni I tried out for the jazz and hip hop teams in first year and I got on the jazz team and this year (my second year) I got onto the jazz and the hip hop teams. We learn a routine and each team trains for 2 hours a week and then we have competitions in February and March.

I just love it – I love performing in front of an audience and having a huge mat with a sprung floor and sometimes I wish I had a space like that to myself to just put on music and improvise but comps are just so much fun.

I love dancing because it’s so expressive – if I’m choreographing it’s to a song I feel an emotional connection to and I throw everything into it. Dancing can bring you to tears and make you so happy and you can learn so much about yourself. It’s also really good exercise, especially if you’re on your own because you don’t worry about other people watching or making a mistake.

Conclusion from this blog post: I really need to rent a dance studio and spend some time by myself just choreographing and have a really good time. I’m not going to be dancing with my uni team again next year so I’m going to have to find a way to keep dancing, let me know if you’re interested in hearing more about my dancing!

I’m not that good at dancing and I don’t have the figure for it, but I love it with all my heart. It’s not a career for me but I feel like being able to dance for myself could be a massive benefit for my health, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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why finishing uni is terrifying

2017, student

Hello!

Next week I go back for my second semester of my second year of uni, and yesterday I said the words out loud ‘I graduate next year’ – the thought of finishing uni that soon absolutely terrifies me. But that’s not unusual.

Hundreds, if not thousands or millions, of prospective graduates are scared of graduating because employment isn’t great, a lot of people have to move home and there’s a very high chance that you’ll be even poorer whilst facing a lot of debt.

Oh yes, wow, that really is terrifying isn’t it?

But I think I’ve figured out why! Aren’t I clever (note: the sarcasm)?

Ever since I’ve started school, the rest of my journey has been pretty much planned out for me – from primary school, to secondary school and then the assumption is that you’ll go to university (though, more and more, it’s not the norm) and after that it’s completely up to me to decide my future.

From the age of about 4 to around 21 (ish) your life is entirely planned for you.

Whilst it can be really exciting to finally take control of what you do and start carving your own path, it can also be overwhelmingly daunting – I’m beginning to see the looming future of nothing and that’s why it’s really scary! There are so many options but I have to pick one and work my way up through it and start a career, which is in equal parts exciting and terrifying! Maybe not equal, maybe slightly less exciting.

But then things start to pick up – when you start to see your hard work reflected in your grades and your tutors give you such lovely comments and it all starts to feel worth it, like maybe we can take on the working world.

I’ve been given the chance to do a two week work experience placement with BBC Three in February and March this year – I’m still sorting out when I’m going with my university tutors and course leader but I’m definitely going to be documenting the whole thing and I can’t wait to share more with you!

Finishing uni is scary, but with potentially doing a masters and then getting to start the journey to making my mark on the world? It’s going to be okay in the end.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Going to uni so far from home

2016, travel

Hello!

Writing about travel and new places for me right now is difficult because I haven’t done masses of travelling, but I want to practise travel writing so when I travel I then feel ready and that I already have some experience to write about it!

Part of going to university for me was being far enough away from home that I had to be fully independent and getting to see a part of the country I hadn’t been to before, and that involved moving 170 miles away to a new end of the country and from that, I get to visit lots of new places and towns and cities I’ve never been to all the time because it’s all so new to me.

I also get called “Northern” a lot but that’s not the point. (#DefendtheMidlands)

Travel blogging doesn’t have to be exotic (though if you want to be a ‘successful’ travel blogger you’ll probably have to leave the country, let’s be honest) – big trips to other countries are really fun to write about but it can be a new town or a pretty spot that you found on a walk. I’m hoping to do a few more of these as the summer months approach and hopefully money will be more on my side.

Going home this semester has been a no go with the amount of deadlines I’ve had and how they’ve been spaced out to every couple of weeks, meaning one weekend I’d be working on the deadline and the next weekend I’d be making sure the assignment was ready to hand in and this has been going on since October.

At one point the plan was that I was going to spend Christmas in Basingstoke with my boyfriend but we’ve decided we’re going to spend Christmas apart – I’m so excited to be going home. At this point even it’s still undecided when I’m going home or how long I’ll be home for but I’m hoping everything works out in my favour and I get to spend as much time at home as I can.

I’m so excited to be back somewhere the feels so familiar and I’m excited for the New Year and 2017, especially in terms for what I have planned with blogging and my YouTube channel.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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My last assignment deadline!

2016

Hello!

Since the beginning of October, I’ve had nine assignment deadlines at uni and today, just half an hour ago I submitted my last one of the semester. It’s been so stressful; so stressful.

I did three units this semester – Producing the Package (where I make a full news package), From Concept to Commission (where we pitch ideas and then write the features) and Who’s the Boss (doing an academic presentation and essay).

I’ve had to make two full, multimedia packages (video, audio, copy and pictures), a pitch presentation, a 40-page workbook, a PowerPoint, an academic presentation, two features and an academic essay… and it all starts again next year. I’m hoping 2017 will be a better year for my brain.

I’m so glad I get about five weeks off for Christmas.

My deadline were every two weeks at minimum so it wasn’t even like I could have a big day and chill for a day or two – I’ve been constantly working for about three months and I’m physically and mentally drained, like my chest actually hurts. Time management has been difficult this semester because making sure you prioritise the rights things while working on everything just feels insane?

My results so far have been really surprisingly good and I’m really pleased but I’m also really excited to have a month off to recover over Christmas.

I still don’t know Who the Boss is.

(Credit to Josh Stokes for his joke that I’m shamelessly recycling, it just makes me laugh a lot).

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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