how I’m organising my uni work

2019, organisation, student

Hello!

Oh it’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a chat about organisation hasn’t it?

Whilst living out of a mate’s flat and my car being in the garage, I feel a little up in the air and figuring out how I’m going to stay on top of my uni work is a little bit overwhelming at the moment but because it’s me, obviously I’ve made approximately seven lists and writing it all out will be helpful for me and hopefully for some other people too! So let’s jump right in.

1. Make a visual calendar

It’s probably as easy to buy a calendar but I’m all about resourcefulness and being able to design my own planners – I’ve made a ‘week per page’ diary like section at the back of my uni notebook and I find it much simpler to visualise when Week 7 is when I’ve got it all listed out in front of me.

I can write down when my lectures are, when my assignments are due, any formative assignments, plan when I’m going to do certain work by, self set deadlines and even put some social life stuff on there so I know which days to keep a bit clearer. This is basically a duplicate of what’s in my bullet journal but I normally only design my bullet journal spreads one week ahead so to have a whole semester works well for my visual brain.

2. Have a list of all your assignments in the order they’re due

It’s easy enough to know you’ve written an assignment down somewhere but I think it’s so important to know exactly what you’re doing (so you can ask your lecturer questions on things you’re not sure about if nothing else!) and when it’s due. From there’s it’s easier to self-set formative deadlines.

For example, if you have a 2000 word essay due, you can look at the due date, see how many weeks you have a plan ahead – say you want all your research collated four weeks before it’s due, you want to have a full first draft written two weeks before it’s due and all your appendices and references done a week in advance so you can send it to your mum and your mates to once over.

I won’t lie – I love the idea of setting these deadlines and I still end up writing most of my essays the night before they’re due. But I’m a post-grad now so I’m hoping to take the mistakes from my undergrad and learn.

Though most of the learning I’ve done so far is ‘pick a practical course so I don’t have to write essays’. It’s working out for me.

3. Don’t plan to spend a whole day doing uni work

I mean, obviously everyone is different and I know I spent a lot of my secondary school days doing all my homework on a Sunday but now, I personally find it better to do one task a day interspersed with other things I need to do or more fun tasks.

At the moment I’m having to watch a lot of pretentious high brow foreign films and read articles, but rather than spending one day at the weekend watching three films and reading four dissertations, I’d rather spread it out over the week. Making sure I plan to do other things like catch up on the Circle, write blog posts, go for a walk into town for food shopping etc makes the uni tasks feel less heavy and overall make me feel far more productive.

4. It’s all about balance, give yourself a break

No one is productive every day. Nah, I’m not having it. I don’t believe it. I’m a busy, productive, organised person but I still have days where I can’t bring myself to get out of bed or binge watch YouTube on the sofa convincing myself I can ‘do uni work at the same time’ when I know it’s not true.

Find a balance and be kind to yourself – if you’re feeling stressed, bogged down and reluctant you’re probably not going to do any good work anyway so let yourself relax and come back to it another day, or maybe even a few hours later.

Obviously, the balance is the key bit – if you’re having these days more than maybe twice a week, reaching out to your lecturers or the welfare team at your school or uni might make you feel better to have shared the problem and those people can help you put plans in place to help you make those tasks easier.

I started school in the year 2000, my first year without education was in 2018 and in 2019 I’m right back at it with my MSc. I know myself pretty well and I’d like to think that I’m doing it somewhat successfully getting medium-high grades all round, but I don’t think we ever stop learning. We never finish figuring out how we learn best, how we work best, what ‘routine’ works best for us. Continuing to grow and develop can be daunting, but it’s exciting too.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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new beginnings | diary 8

2019, lifestyle, student

Hello!

September has been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it’s nearly over – it’s not gone quite to plan, the whole ‘moving’ thing hasn’t really happened at all, but there’s a lot of amazing life things that happened or are happening this month so I thought I’d collate into one nice succinct blog post.

~ turning 23 ~

No, having a birthday doesn’t feel all that different but I don’t know why it felt important – I think because there’s 9 months between my boyfriend and I it means I’ve been mentally preparing myself for being this age for so long and now it’s here it doesn’t feel real.

Mentally, I still feel like I’m 19/20 and being this far into my 20s just feels wrong – I’m dealing with stuff for my car or talking to letting agents and in my head I’m thinking ‘do they have any idea how naive I am about all this?’ and it just feels like I’m pretending. But I think that’s what adulthood is meant to feel like.

I’m all about new starts – I love a Monday, I love New Years and I think that’s why birthdays feel so significant to me. It feels like a new chapter.

~ going back to uni ~

This was always going to be a big change – having decided when I finished third year that I didn’t want to go back into education and I’d ‘make it on my own’ I then spent a year faced with rejection and heartbreak and further reinforcement of my incompetence in being ignored for literally hundreds of jobs. It was about May time when I decided to take matters into my own hands and apply for the masters I said I wanted to do at the beginning of third year to steer my career away from journalism.

In the last week I’ve felt so many almost-overwhelming emotions about whether I’m doing the right thing and whether I can actually do this but I’ve met some amazing people and I’m more driven than ever to build the career for myself that I really want. I can have a dream but it’s not going to come true by itself and I’m going to work my ass off for it.

So I’ve had my first lecture and I have homework to watch pretentious film student films and think of critical analysis, but I’m going to make this year work for me and 2020 is going to be a different story to 2019.

~ moving to Berkshire/Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire? ~

I’ve spent the last week and a half driving between three counties pretty much everyday and not only is it a very different driving scene to where I’m from, but the whole ‘moving’ thing has been a drama.

I feel like I’ve mentioned it about three million times, but we were all set to move into a flat in Reading and then three days before the move we get an email saying the flat is not safe to be lived in and our move in date is pushed back by two weeks. Cue nearly a week living in a hotel in High Wycombe (because uni and my boyfriend’s job still started, even if we hadn’t moved) and then our incredible friend Nick said we could stay in his flat while he’s working in Japan.

And what we’ve learnt from this is that commuting from Reading is more difficult than commuting from High Wycombe and realistically living there would be much more convenient. So with less than a week till we’re potentially moving into a flat in Reading (the move in date has still not been confirmed!), we went back to viewings. The first property we viewed was a terraced house in High Wycombe and we fell in love – it’s a proper house, it has stairs and a breakfast bar and a little front garden and a shed and we’ve applied for it and hopefully we’ll be able to move in there soon.

So in terms of an ‘update’ there isn’t really an update on the moving front – we’re still living in Nick’s flat and just waiting for things to happen now, but hopefully we’ll get to move into this amazing little house and I’ll show you every step of the process on my YouTube channel! Keep an eye out if you’re interested in that – it’s linked below if you’d like to subscribe!

~ first car accident ~ 

Not the most positive of updates but it’s a first and a life thing and I’m learning a lot from it – whilst I was away in London at the weekend my boyfriend was caught in a three way collision that wasn’t at all his fault (literally, no sarcasm here, it was just collateral damage). Fortunately no one was hurt, but the back bumper of my car is looking a bit worse for wear and I’ve spent so much time on the phone with my insurance company, the intermediary company who are coordinating getting it fixed and the garage that’s actually going to do the work.

Considering I passed my driving test less than two months ago and have only owned the car for nearly three months, I didn’t think I’d have to go through all of this so soon, but I do and I think I’m actually handling it surprisingly well.

I’m the kind of person who names their car and my boyfriend refer very fondly to our little Harry (Harrison Wheels, if you watch The Flash you’ll get it) and I feel guilty about all that he’s been through. Can you imagine how much worse I’d be if I had a pet or a child?? Definitely just going to have to stick with the car for now!

~ new beginnings ~

I wouldn’t say I’m a big believer in fate or anything but I think things happen for a reason – if we moved straight into our flat we would have immediately run into commuting issues and we’d have been tied into a contract without knowing that there was somewhere more convenient to live.

If I’d got a job I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to move somewhere brand new and explore a bit more of the country I live in. I wouldn’t have thought to go back to uni to refine my portfolio and what it is I want to do. I wouldn’t have learned to drive or been able to buy myself a car.

Life happens – it’s never smooth, it’s never easy, but it’s what you make it – I feel like I’ve rattled off these reasons time and time again in blog posts but it’s trying to convince myself as much as anything else. Things are going to be okay, even if I feel a little bit like I’m drowning at the moment, it will all settle down eventually. By Christmas we’ll have settled!

Change is something that daunts me, but I wouldn’t do without it – if you don’t embrace change than you’ll only grow to resent it, which just makes it all more difficult when it happens anyway.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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going back to uni – am I a failure?

2019, career, student

Hello!

It’s been over a year since I handed in my Final Major Project and finished working on my degree which means I’ve been applying for jobs for over a year and I’ll be honest, it’s utterly soul destroying.

I’m sure other people in my position feel the same – it starts to feel like maybe you don’t have the skills you know you have, maybe you’re not good enough for any of these jobs, or maybe you don’t actually want to go into the industry you’ve been working towards or whether your entire life so far is a lie.

Or maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic?

Maybe I am, but those are just some of the thoughts I’ve had over the hundreds of jobs I’ve read through and not applied for because it would either just be added to the pile of ones I never hear back from or I’ll get another rejection email and that won’t help anything.

So with the help of the careers team at my old university, I’ve been given the opportunity to study a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Development Planning, which is designed to do exactly what it says on the tin – plan for my professional development (i.e. help me figure out how to get a job). And from there, depending on how the summer goes and unless I miraculously get a job, I’m hoping to start a masters degree at the end of September but I’m going to go to a couple of open days in June before I properly decide.

But is going back to uni just giving up on getting a job? Is the equivalent of saying ‘I know I can’t get a job without more training’? Obviously that’s just how I feel in my field of study – lots of courses have natural progression on to a more specified field including mine but for me there’s always that element of doubt.

So I thought I’d collate a few reasons why going back to uni definitely DOES NOT make me or you or anyone a failure and some things we can remind ourselves of whilst we’re still looking for the right job.

Getting more qualifications is never a bad thing – lots of people will do courses in the workplace, so it’s not that different to that really is it? In my unplanned year ‘off’ I’ve learnt to drive and become a qualified first aider so they’re other qualifications too, it’s just a larger scale much more expensive version of that.

It’ll make us more employable in the long run (hopefully) – having an MA to your name has to help a bit, doesn’t it?

I want to better myself and learn more and I would have done that if I got a job anyway – I love learning, developing my skills and keeping up with whatever changes in technology and I would have wanted to keep learning if I was in a career related job anyway. It’s just going about learning in a slightly different way.

I’m clutching a straws a bit I guess – it’s quite specific to be going back to uni because I can’t get a job and I’m sure most people going to do a masters are more than happy, in fact excited, to go back to studying because for them it’s not a last resort. And I suppose it’s not a ‘last resort’ – a real last resort would be giving up and deciding I’d work in retail or a job I don’t really want for the rest of my life. I probably won’t even be in this job I’m craving at the moment for the rest of my life so who knows why I’m being so dramatic about it all!

In conclusion (I’m getting back into the essay writing, can you tell?), going back to uni or studying a Masters or a PhD or whatever should never be something to consider a failure or be ashamed of. This post is as much for me as it is anyone else worrying about their future – even though it’s not quite going the way you’ve planned, it’s okay, something will happen, it’s just not our time yet.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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so no one told ya (post-grad) life was gonna be this way…

2019, career, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I thought today I’d have a little rambly chat about what’s going on re life post graduation! It’s been nearly a year since I finished my degree and 9 months since I officially graduated and if anyone wants any reassurance that you’re not the only one in the universe that still hasn’t got a career job since then this is what this post is for.

It’s that darn social media again isn’t it – you scroll through instagram and see people talking about cool projects they’re taking on or even that they’ve been promoted to another role and it’s so isolating – to feel like you’re the only person who hasn’t been able to start their career, it starts to make you’re not good enough, maybe it’s because you can’t do the job you want and all these other thoughts start floating around.

I know in my heart of hearts that isn’t true, but I start getting to this point where I’m saying things like ‘I just need someone to give me a chance’ – no I don’t! I don’t need ‘a chance’ because that makes it sound like someone’s taking a risk on hiring me and I’m not a risk.

So, this ‘introductory paragraph’ I wanted to open this post with has turned into a nice little summary about the spiral of thoughts I’m having regarding my career! I’m looking into going back to uni, I’m thinking maybe I just give up and work in retail for the rest of my life but then, I’m a very ambitious person. I have life goals, I have places I want to go and see and that doesn’t make me special or different in any way, but then the insecurity fizzles into frustration – how have so many other people I graduated with managed to find jobs in the field I want to go in but I’m sat at home sending out application after application and getting nothing back?

And then we cycle round to insecurity and how they’re all better than me and so on and so on.

To be honest, I don’t know how to fix it other than getting a job. I trawl through job sites and I look at all these jobs and I start to pick out things that I can’t do. This time last year I had the approach that no, I don’t know how to do that thing but I’m a fast learner and I really want to be good at these things so hopefully that won’t be an issue but now? Those things are still true but I’ve given up on thinking that anyone will let me try. I don’t know what to do anymore.

But let’s have a look at the positives – I’m in a very fortunate position that my mum owns a business that she can give me a part time job and I’m working so it’s not like I’m literally living off nothing. I’m gaining lots of skills in office admin, being a PA and databasing that I didn’t know before and I wouldn’t have learnt if I’d gone straight into a graduate job.

I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to volunteer at my old dance school and contribute to the place that kept me sane while I was a teenager – from there I’ve also learnt more about being a receptionist (and pretty much conquered my fear of talking on the phone!) and gone back to doing a couple of dance classes (always wishing I could do more) which I definitely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do if I’d gone straight into work.

And I definitely wouldn’t have had the time to learn to drive if I didn’t have the flexibility of part time work – I’ve been learning for 8 months now and I’m about to book my test for late June so hopefully (if I pass first time!) I will have gone from knowing literally nothing about a car to taking my test in 10 months and I’m so excited about having the freedom to go wherever I want whenever I want and not be bound by public transport for the first time in my life, I literally can’t wait.

And that’s just three things – alongside having the time to keep up with my blog and YouTube channel, working on more of my hobbies like learning to knit and playing the piano, spending so much time with my boyfriend before he starts work and getting to live at home with my mum for a little bit, these are all things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I’d got a job straight away.

It’s all swings and roundabouts – on the one hand, I feel like maybe this is just my path and my next step is yet to come. On the other hand, I’m still toying with the idea that maybe I’m completely useless and I just need to reevaluate my entire life. Who knows?!

Conclusion – right now, it’s tough, being rejected for so many jobs it’s disheartening and it’s taking it’s toll but letting it totally destroy any self confidence I may or may not have is not going to help anything. So I’ve got to keep truckin’ – get my driving license, work on expanding my skillset, self learning. There’s a career for me out there, somewhere (hopefully).

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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nothing is permanent, even unemployment

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

After graduating, the only thing anyone ever really wants to talk to you about is whether you’ve got a job, what’re you going to do next and what your plans are and when you don’t have a job or a plan it gets pretty boring and incredibly down-heartening.

That’s not to say I resent anyone who asks – it’s nice to know that people care enough to ask, especially my family – I’m mostly annoyed with myself for not having anything to update them on.

And it is disheartening – when you’ve spent three years working on something and you’re proud of your achievements and you’ve been told ‘you won’t struggle to get a job’ (maybe all lecturers say that to everyone) it’s hard to apply for some really exciting jobs and some jobs that you could do but wouldn’t love and some jobs just to pass the time and to get a new rejection email every day. Even my mum today used the words ‘soul destroying’ and she’s right.

This isn’t new information – I’m not the first graduate to feel like this and I most certainly won’t be the last, I’m not trying to be a voice and I’m not trying to pretend this is something new or original.

I’m just saying that if you’re feeling like this you’re not alone – being in this post-graduate unemployment slump can be incredibly isolating. After three years of living with your best mates, seeing your friends every day and living a completely independent life, for most students it’s moving back in with your parents, knowing that all your friends are scattered around the country and it takes more than just a Facebook message to see them. It’s lonely and on top of that you may start to feel like the universe is telling you that you’ll never get a job.

To be honest, I don’t know if I have any ‘tips and tricks’ to make this easier – we’re not going to be unemployed forever, no one ever is, I just don’t know what the next step is. However much I keep telling myself I’m going to be unemployed forever and I’m not good enough for the jobs I’ve applied for doesn’t mean it’s true – I’m not going to spend the rest of my life living at my mum’s house making food plans and uploading videos not many people watch and I know that not getting a job doesn’t mean I’m a failure and I’m useless.

Well, at least I hope it doesn’t.

I guess the thing I want to share (to make this a slightly less miserable post!) is this – I was chatting to a friend a few weeks ago, he’s just finished his first year and he said his biggest worry about finishing uni was ending up in a dead end job and I said words to this effect.

I mean, it’s hard to say either way – obviously I want to say ‘that won’t happen’ but I finished uni months ago and I still don’t have a job. All I can say is nothing lasts forever – I don’t think I know anyone who has been in the same job at the same company or even in the same career from when they’re in their early 20s to when they’re 60. Things change and move and you’ll change and move with them – nothing is ‘stuck’ or ‘dead end’ unless you decide to stay, so don’t worry about it too much!

Nothing is permanent, even unemployment.

Any advice (or jobs in social/digital media or along these lines) please do let me know! All my socials are linked below as always.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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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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What I wore to graduation | outfit

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I’ve mentioned it in pretty much every blog post, tweet and Instagram since it happened but I graduated last week! I only figured out what I was wearing to graduation less than a week before that and whilst I’m at a point of not liking my body a whole bunch and wanting to find something that I felt comfortable and looked good in was a challenge for me, I wanted to write a whole post about the beauty I found!

I wore this blue playsuit from New Look with what I’m referring to as a cape (that I adored). It was comfy, I felt badass and it was flattering, keeping the bits of my body I’m a little more insecure about more covered.

The sleeves were perfect in this summer heatwave were having – they weren’t so much sleeves as they were curtains for my upper arms and I loved them. They were so airy and light but completely eliminated any insecurities I have about my upper arms.

I wore a size 18 and I liked that it wasn’t clingy but if it was any bigger it would have been too baggy, particularly around the chest. It was just genuinely very comfortable, particularly in the searing heat that we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment.

As for shoes, I’m holding these gorgeous heels from Next (which seem to be no longer available in the grey I chose), the reason I didn’t wear them is because I had worn them to my boyfriend’s graduation the day before (the biggest mistake I possibly could have made) and gave myself a giant blister and bruises so I avoided wearing them for as long as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, they are very comfortable and if I’d been sensible about when I wore them I definitely could have worn them all day, my feet just aren’t build for heels and I don’t really need the height! I’m 5’10” and wear a size 8, if anyone’s interested!

The sandals I’m wearing here are my mum’s and she has no idea where they’re from, but they’re very comfortable and she let me keep them. Thanks mum!

I probably should have taken my FitBit Blaze off for the day but there were some crucial steps that I wasn’t prepared to miss! I was definitely going to make walking across that stage count. In terms of other jewellery, I picked up a necklace from Primark a couple of days before which was a small gold pendant with a moon and an ‘S’ on it and I wore some gold stud earrings, that was it!

I’m not a huge jewellery gal so if I hadn’t spotted them I wouldn’t have worn anything but they were lovely additions and haven’t turned my skin green which I’m actually somewhat surprised by.

Graduation was a really lovely day – having watched my boyfriend and so many friends graduate the day before and had an amazing night at the pub (and a very emotional goodbye to a housemate of basically three years) and then to have my own day and see everyone again and thank my lecturers was just lovely. Good luck to anyone else graduating this summer and congratulations if you already have!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Outside photos taken on my OnePlus 5T by my wonderful blogger boyfriend, photo in gowns taken on a Huawei P20 Pro by my sister.

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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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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“The Impact of Social Media on Breaking into the Music Industry” // my FMP

2018, music, photography, student

Hello!

I feel like the only thing I’ve talked about for the last three or four month is my FMP – my final major project, ‘my degree’s equivalent to a dissertation’ (I hate having to say this); the big project to show what three years of uni have taught me.

My FMP included making a 10-20 video, 10-20 minutes of audio, 20-40 pictures and 3000-6000 words of copy. I also had to do a pitch presentation and contextual essay but that’s the boring bit.

And the topic I chose was how social media effects musicians trying to break into the industry – how social media effects how much work they get, what defines success and how both social media and the music industry have effected musicians and those wishing to work in the industry at the beginning of their career. It was a really interesting investigation and I learnt so much about the industry I’d like to go into in the future – social media is a massive passion of mine (as in creating content, not just scrolling through twitter for hours) and I love music so making digital content within music is a huge dream of mine.

So I thought I’d do a little run down of my project! For anyone that’s interested in what I did, interested in the topic or maybe a multimedia journalism students looking to what their final project may have to look like!

For our project we had to pick a publication to write for, so my project is done in the style of BBC Three.

The copy articles I don’t want to just drop in here otherwise this blog post would be thousands of words long, but I wrote four articles about a variety of topics – an introduction to the topic, a look into a relevant example from this year and a couple of listicles. I didn’t think my writing was going to be very good but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how pleased I was with my copy in the end. If you’d like to read it, I put the copy doc (and the full final hand in doc if you want to read 100 pages of that – it’s not all words, it’s just everything I had to hand in) you can have a look at this Google Drive folder.

My pictures went hand in hand with the copy, but in the style of the publication BBC Three don’t use a lot of pictures so I made a few stylised edits but predominantly used my pictures as if they were promotion on social media which all felt very relevant to the project. I’ve chosen a selection to include here:

This is the thumbnail I made for Episode 2 of my video series interviewing Producer Connor Panayi. This is my favourite photo from the whole project

I then edited that thumbnail to look like a tweet from BBC Three’s account – using the photo, a screenshot from my own twitter to get the font and the style and a screenshot from BBC Three to get their twitter profile. I think it looks pretty legit

I used this style for my Radio interviews as well

This edit was used as an image in one of my copy articles – I was writing about music that had blown up on social media and wanted a more relevant way of using images that also showed my ability to use and manipulate photos (from the point of view of the grading of the project)

I actually took this photo when I worked at Reading Festival last year but 1) I really like it, it’s a well taken photo so why not use it? 2) It was a really relevant way to show how people get so passionate about music

This photo was taken on a shoot for one of my videos but I loved having the opportunity to photograph live music – the Blue Lion Band were amazing and if you get the chance to see them you definitely should, they’re incredible

Another still from the Blue Lion Band shoot (and another one of my favourites)

I also made a couple of infographics to represent some of the statistics in my articles and I really enjoyed making these, I’m going to work more on my graphic design skills in the future for sure

I was going to include a full portfolio of my photos but I don’t have enough space in my Google drive, so if there’s anything else you’d like to see shoot me a message and I’ll find a way!

Onto audio – I did my audio as two radio interviews as if it was a Radio 1 Breakfast Show takeover promoting the new BBC Three series. I uploaded both episodes to YouTube so you can listen to them here:

And lastly video – the pride and joy of my whole project. Making video content has always been my favourite (I’ve been on YouTube since December 2013) and I wanted to use this project to push myself with my videography as much as possible and boy did I.

It’s the most high quality video project I’ve ever shot – with the help of friends and the beautiful 50mm lens, I think the quality and aesthetic appeal of my video is better than anything I’ve ever made on my channel. I taught myself how to use AfterEffects to make a title sequence for the end of the video and I daren’t calculate how many hours I spent editing the whole project. The video element of my project is the one I am most proud of and I’m so happy to share it.

So rather than one long documentary, I made a three part episodic series and a series trailer.

Series Trailer:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:


I’ll be honest, I was aiming for a First with this project – my life and soul went into it and I was (and still am) really proud of it. Unfortunately I didn’t quite achieve this but I was awarded a high 2:1 (68%) for this project.

Overall in my degree I will be graduating with a 2:1 – 69.06% (only 0.44% away from a First). Yes, I did want a first and I thought I’d done enough but you know what – it is what it is, I did my best and I can’t change it now. I’m going to be writing a blog post about holding too higher standards for yourself at some point in the future because getting those results were somewhat heartbreaking.

But either way, I’m proud to share my project and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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