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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Life after uni – what’s next?

2018, lifestyle, student

Hello!

At the beginning of May I handed in my final university project, next week I’ll receive my final results and on July 10th I will be fully gowned up and walking across that stage to collect a fake scroll (to get the real one in the post three months later).

And for the first time in my life, I don’t know what’s next.

Sure, when you’re picking your GCSEs you think the possibilities are endless, and the same when choosing A Levels or Sixth Form or College. Then when choosing a university course and a university and whether to go to university and sure those are all big decisions, but it was a natural progression – from Primary School, to Secondary School, to A Levels, to university it’s all been a fairly easy ladder to climb. Now I’m at the top and there’s isn’t an obvious step but if I don’t pick one I’m falling on my ass.

It’s scary – I’ve been in education since I was 4 years old and at 21, I now have to make a life for myself. There was a point where I found this exciting but now it’s absolutely terrifying.

But I’ve got to do something about it – I’ve got about five weeks between now and graduation and I’ve got to balance sorting out the details of moving home, deciding what stuff to put into storage and what I need to take with me, alongside building my portfolio on instagram and my blog (both a work in progress but I’ve put days of work into this thing so far) alongside applying for jobs and trying my best to get myself started on life in the real world.

I’d hoped to not have to move home – where I’m from is in the middle of nowhere and I know I’m going to have to move out again whenever I do get a job but it’s just not worked out that way as of yet. My boyfriend is just waiting to hear back from a couple of companies about potential jobs and I’m waiting back to hear from a bunch of applications but currently not holding out a lot of hope. I have so many ideas of projects I’m so passionate about but they’re just not an option right now.

So what’s next? It’s a waiting game – doing everything I can to build a portfolio that’s truly reflective of me and my skill and make a dent in the worlds I’d love to be a part of. I have a lot of big ideas and I feel I could really make a good addition to a creative, digital media team but I just need to find something that’s fit me and that I fit in to. A waiting game and a work in progress.

It’s all very scary – I’m feeling very overwhelmed and lost by the whole situation which then makes it even more difficult to feel motivated to keep applying and keep doing the best I can. There’s a lot going on in my brain right now and I’m trying to work through it – I’m making lots of blog and YouTube content and this portfolio is going to take another week or two to finish. But I think there’s progress. At least I hope there is.

If and when I do get a job, I’ll probably post about it on Twitter or Instagram first so be sure to follow me there if you want to know as soon as. My socials are always linked down below!

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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we’re more than statistics

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

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

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

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

There’s a lot going on.

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

We’re not just a graduate unemployment statistic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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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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“maybe I grew as a person” – my 2017 resolutions

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello,

I was going to make a New Years Resolution post looking back on my resolutions from last year and talking about my resolutions for 2018 but I know for a fact that a post consisting of both of those things would end up with a blog post that’s about three thousand words long. I’m a very reflective person and I like checking in on my own progress so that’s what this is.

Should I publish this on the internet? Probably not, I don’t know if anyone else is interested in this. But I like being able to hold myself accountable and I don’t know if anyone else would maybe like to see if I’ve stuck to what I said I wanted to do in both my 2017 resolutions post and my mid-year check in post!

For context, I split my goals into three sections – personal, creative and university.

My personal goals:

  • being healthier
  • exercising more
  • focusing on my dental hygiene
  • becoming a morning person
  • be more careful with money

Being healthier and exercising more didn’t go well – I’m the heaviest and unfittest I’ve ever been and it makes me very sad so we won’t dwell on it, but it won’t be a surprise that this appear on my 2018 list too! Dental hygiene was a mixed bag – I’ve come to the conclusion that I just hate brushing my teeth and I will never enjoy it, it will always be a sensation that I just don’t enjoy. But I have got better and I’m still working on my dental hygiene despite hating it so much.

Becoming a morning person has been much more successful though! Having 9am starts for most of this semester at uni has really helped but I naturally wake up between 7am and 9am (depending on what my schedule has been like – during a busy week, I wake up earlier and in the holidays or a quieter week, a bit later). At the moment I’m not pressing myself to be up too early because uni has really taken it out of me, but when I’m properly back in Southampton for uni next year I’m going to get back to working on this. I feel like this is my most sustainable change I made this year.

And the money goal was really successful too – I’ve been lucky enough to come into a couple of fairly large sums of money and my family have recommended to me that I use that to get out of my overdraft and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted that money to go back into something more memorable so I put that into my travel saving fund and worked on getting out of my overdraft on my own. So when loan arrived in September and I paid rent and my bank account was still positive and I’ve never been happier than closing my overdraft and knowing that all the money I had was mine. I was so proud and I’m so glad that the only debt I’ll have leaving university (‘glad’ ish, I guess) will be my loan.

So personal goals, a big ‘ish’ but feeling positive.

My creative goals:

  • keep learning about photography
  • maintaining my blog and YouTube channel
  • make sure to keep trying out new content
  • start writing again
  • find new creative outlets

Taking advanced photography taught me a lot about thinking about photography and how good photos can be much simpler than all the daunting equipment and scary editing software. I’m excited about the prospect of continuing to learn about photography and I’m saving for a camera that I think will really enable me to explore more creatively.

Maintaining my blog and YouTube channel was a mixed bag too – they were okay for a while, I dipped in and out of both throughout the year but these last four months has just been radio silence. I’m working on getting that back – exhibit A is the blog posts and videos I’ve been making in the latter half of December and I’m really hoping to maintain this when I go back to uni but we’ll see, the biggest aim for 2018 is taking the pressure off.

In terms of trying out new content most of it for me was making sure I didn’t feel like I was churning out the same shit that every other blogger desperate for brand deals and pretty instagrams was. I didn’t necessarily ‘try out new content’ but I’ve been particularly thoughtful about what I’ve made and I’m pretty pleased with it to be honest!

In terms of writing again – I actually kind of have! Yes, it’s fanfiction but I’m 16,000 words and 50 pages into it and I’m writing. Right now, where I’m very focused on my degree and making content online, realistically working on a personal work of fiction isn’t something I have the mental capacity for so what I’m writing is 1) much more manageable, 2) keeps me writing creatively and 3) is something that I really enjoy, like a lot. And I haven’t found any new creative outlets other than perhaps interior decorating the house I moved into in July so this project works for me!

My university goals:

  • stay motivated
  • stay organised
  • keep trying new things
  • keep putting yourself out there
  • work experience

I feel like I could write a whole blog post about my university story – the long and short of it is no one in my sixth form believed I was capable of anything and I fought through the battle that was my A Levels on my own whilst being bullied by my maths teacher so to think that I finished second year with a grade I was so happy with and being treated as a ‘High Achiever’ by my university just blows my mind.

So yes – I stayed motivated, I stayed organised and I kept trying new things in the stories I covered and the roles I took on within my course and outside of it. I put myself out there in ways I never thought I was capable of, even taking on editorial roles and too many commitments outside of my course but I got through it. In the end. Ish.

And work experience might be the most successful part of 2017 – two weeks at BBC Three, a week at NASS festival, a week working at Reading festival (one of my first paid freelance jobs!) and a week at Sky Entertainment which actually helped me figure out a three year plan (let me know if you want a whole post about it?) and I feel like my university goals were the most successful part of my 2017.

Just looking back at what I asked of myself a year ago and knowing that that version of me didn’t even imagine what she would have to go through and what she achieved is genuinely making me really emotional. It’s been a huge year and this is the first year that I can remember that I look back and feel proud and I’m excited for next year, it’s a really nice feeling. I’m motivated now to get the same out of 2018!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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“under pressure” – why I disappeared from the internet

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

When I started this blog (over three years ago now, wow) I knew it would be a fairly big ask – I was in my last year of sixth form, I was applying for uni, I was already making YouTube videos once a week. But I didn’t make a big deal – it was somewhat unfamiliar territory so I didn’t make a big deal about pushing myself. Between September and December 2014 I wrote 8 posts.

In the new year of 2015 I started what I called the ‘365 Pages’ project, where I wrote a blog post every day for a year with each post being ‘Page 1 of 365’ and so on. I didn’t actually write a blog post every day – there were a couple of days I missed and I actually went away on an charity work expedition to Ecuador for four weeks and managed to pre-write over 30 blog posts and schedule 9 or 10 videos too (I’m still very proud of this, don’t know if you can tell).

So as my blog has gone on I’ve piled on the expectations of myself. It’s really not unusual for me to ask too much for myself. As the year of blogging ended, I decided I wasn’t going to have a schedule – I was going to have lots of ideas and write fairly regularly?

Yeah, no.

That didn’t happen so I planned a schedule – I think I uploaded three times a week and then I didn’t do that anymore. I don’t remember how my blog schedule changed between the end of 2016 and the entirety of 2017 but by September this year I just stopped. Third year began and blogging and making videos and basically everything else (like my diet and mental health, lol) took a massive backseat.

Third year has been really intense – in the 12 or 13 weeks that made up my first semester (I lost track, to be honest) I had 11 deadlines, pretty much one a week, I didn’t have time to do anything like cook myself food, I was in university 40+ hours a week every week, alongside running a society and rehearsing for a drama and performance showcase and trying to maintain friendships and a relationship and it was a lot.

Following the final result of my second year, I was driven for third year – I’d done the maths, I knew exactly what I needed to do to get the grade I wanted from my last year of university (so far). But that made me very stressed when suddenly I was faced with the reality of actually working at that level.

I don’t know if I’m writing really ominously or pretentiously or if I’m just not making sense at all, but not all the pressure came from myself. Third year is intense – obviously, it’s my last year of uni so it’s meant to be challenging and I thought I was ready but clearly not.

Maybe by asking myself to do as much as I can for third year, writing for my blog, making YouTube videos, running a society, being part of a performance society and having a job was putting too much pressure on myself? I was made redundant at the end of November so that’s one thing off the list and I’ve taken a step back from drama and performance until after Christmas. Sonar Film has been manic and I want to sit and have a day focusing on that over the holidays and I’m slowly working my way through uni stuff.

Writing all of this out really helps me, which is partially why I love writing on my blog and why I’m determined to get back into blogging and YouTube.

I’m someone who thrives on routines – writing and making videos as and when ‘I feel like it’ doesn’t work for me at all because I’m not someone who gets inspired to write things as and when.  So I’ve planned a new routine.

I have so many blog post ideas and I’m going to write as much as I can before I go back to uni properly at the end of January and I’m excited about it.

My aim for my blog and my Youtube channel is to take the pressure off a little bit – so that I have time to do it around my uni work but enjoy it as a welcome break from my degree. I don’t need anything else to be stressed about!

If you have any tips for maintaining a blog and a million other commitments do leave me a comment, I need all the help I can get!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Snapchat: SophieALuckett

progress is a step | new year’s resolutions check in

2017, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I’m a big fan of Hannah Witton – she’s a YouTuber who talks so openly about things that a lot of people don’t and I love the way she presents her ideas and promotes such positivity in a way that isn’t all airy fairy and unrealistic. She wrote a blog post over a month ago looking back on her New Years Resolutions 5 months on and at that point I immediately wrote down that I want to do the same.

I’m someone who relies heavily on goals and focus – 2017 has thrown me some amazing opportunities but also some huge, huge challenges. I’ve been and worked at BBC Three and had to balance my entire family coming together to console each other at the passing of my beloved Nanny, I’ve started a new job and had to handle a lot of difficulty in people quitting and having to do basically full time work whilst still being at uni, I’ve got through my second year at uni! Considering we’re only in the sixth month of the year, it’s been pretty jam packed so far and I know there’s so much more to come.

I split my 2017 resolutions into three categories: personalcreative and university.

My personal goals were:

  • Being healthier
  • Exercising more
  • Focusing on my dental hygiene
  • Becoming a morning person
  • Be more careful with money

Being healthier is a work in progress – I bought diet books and I started doing workouts and I fell of it a little as time went on but I’m trying to focus more now. I made a new Instagram so I could focus more on what I’m eating and document my progress and whilst it hasn’t become particularly apparent yet, I am working on it and that’s what a resolution is – a step, not a conclusion.

My dental hygiene and general hygiene, actually, is something I’ve thought about a lot recently. When I go through moments of bad mental health, my brain’s instinct is to stop looking after itself – to stop looking after my body, not to shower regularly and not to eat or do anything that I would be thankful for later. It’s a little victory but today I showered and washed my hair only three days after I last showered, whereas in my worst moments (i.e. the past couple of months) I’ve left it five or six days, even a week and it’s the little victories we have to celebrate.

I was on track with becoming a morning person – I really fixed my sleep pattern, but then my wonderful boyfriend decided to get a bar job so him coming back at 3am a few nights a week means that I can’t sleep until he gets back safe and then we compensate and sleep late the next day. It’s hard to keep up a routine when his work is so sporadic and unusual and I find it really hard to get out of bed and start my day without him (which sounds really lame and I’m aware of that).

And being more careful with money is going really well too – as described in my ‘no spend’ month blog post, I’m actually getting really close to being out of my overdraft and it’s looking like my payday at the end of June will see me into the positive! I’ll be very glad to close this resolution off soon.

My creative goals were:

  • Keep learning about photography
  • Maintain my blog and YouTube channel
  • Make sure to keep trying out new content
  • Start writing again
  • Find new creative outlets

Photography is something I’m learning to appreciate more – I’ve started less and less to use my phone for blog photos and using my little Canon EOS M10, I care more about my Instagram (I even have a colour theme now!) and I think more about what I take photos of. I’m enjoying photography and I’m excited for the chance to take more photography opportunities in the coming months.

Maintaining my blog and YouTube channel has been mostly consistent, but I’ve been better at not beating myself up if I’m not up to editing a video or I don’t have faith in my idea for a blog post. Making new and creative content is what is currently stopping me from maintaining my blog and YouTube channel but I’m working on balancing the two and making more of what I want and exploring what I want to create, whether that be on the platforms I already use or finding new ways to express myself, which was another resolution anyway.

But that hasn’t led me to start writing again. I planned out a couple of fanfiction story arcs but I can’t bring myself to write them – I’ve not written anything properly for years and that still disappoints me but I have other things I have to prioritise right now and I think that’s okay, or at least coming to terms with it will suffice.

My university goals:

  • Stay motivated
  • Stay organised
  • Keep trying new things
  • Keep putting yourself out there
  • Work experience

Whilst second year has drawn to a close, 2017 wouldn’t be complete without the first half of my third and final year as a multimedia journalism student in Southampton. So far I’ve stayed motivated, organised, I was experimental and tried new things, I put myself out there and how was I do know that a mere few weeks after I wrote these resolutions I was to be offered a two week placement with BBC Three. My university goals are without a shadow of a doubt the most successful of my goals so far (my end of second year mark will be confirmed on Saturday, though if my maths is correct it’s going to be really close).

I’m so proud of myself for what I’ve achieved at university this year and what I’ve achieved in the first five months of the year. Hopefully the following seven will be as promising.

It’s nice to be able to check in on goals and make sure you’re making progress – I wasn’t expecting to find anything completely ticked off but I’ve made a start or am working on pretty much everything on the list. I’m almost excited to check in again later in the year or at the beginning of 2018, though that feels an awfully long way away yet.

Something I’ve struggled a lot with a lot is being able to acknowledge the steps I’ve made and stop looking at the top of the mountain. A goal can’t be reached in one step and each step is worth praising.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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