Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Ugly Truth About Blogging Whilst at Uni

As you may know, I only started this lil blog in August during my long summer holidays from Uni, in which my only other achievement was my ability to consume my daily recommend dose of calories before lunch time. Back then, blogging was fab. I'd wake up in the morning, pen a #relatable post from my bed and spend the afternoons planning future posts and taking pictures. However, my summer love affair with blogging had to end at some point and I went back to Uni sickeningly optimistic about my first semester as, not only a student, but now a super cool, ihavemylifetogether blogger too. Oh boy, was I wrong.

 




At first, everything was going great. I'd plan everything in advance, use my breaks between classes efficiently and publish my posts at 9am on the dot. However, I was naive in thinking that it was going to last. By week 3 of the semester things were already proving to be difficult and, when my first essay was due, I made the dramatic decision to miss a post..DUN DUN DUN. Nowadays, of course, you'll know that this is a regular occurrence and that I'm missing them left, right and centre. Recently, I've been slightly more absent because I'm just a big ball of exam stress and should not be approached unless you bring chocolate or a sheet containing all the answers to my exams. As much as I hate not being able to be as committed to blogging as I would like, I have realised that after all my deadlines and exams are over, my blog will still be there waiting for me when I get back (albeit minus a few followers…I'm sorry, I'm trying, don't leave).

However, before this epiphany, I found myself making a rookie error, which I'm sure a lot of bloggers are familiar with. I began prioritising blogging over everything. Missing posts and having little breaks freaked me out so much that blogging became the focus of my entire life. Sleep, Uni work, a social life and even my own sanity fell second to writing, photography and editing (but at the same time I kind of loved it??). However, I knew that this was going to have to change when I ended up missing a class to meet a blogging deadline, slightly regretting that now that my exams are next week.

I've certainly learned some valuable little lessons about balancing Uni and blogging the hard way but having (nearly) come out the other end of this semester I feel qualified enough to share what I've learned with any of you who also might be struggling.

  • There is no natural light. Ever. Leaving the house when it's dark and coming back when it's..guess what..still dark makes it super hard to fit in taking nice streamy-light-white photos. Taking pictures in bulk during the few hours of light we have in Scotland on a Sunday morning has definitely helped me.

  • Writing posts on the move using the Blogger app can be a good use of time, just make sure the things you wrote on your phone and things you wrote on your computer are in the same font. An embarrassing click of the 'revert to draft' button was needed.

  • For me personally, I will never look good in pictures when I've had my weekday norm of six hours sleep. My stupid camera could literally pick up my eye bags from outer space. If I've not had a solid eight hours, I won't even try. 

  • It's okay to take breaks from blogging and you shouldn't feel bad about it. If anyone unfollows you for simply taking some time out to…you know…get a degree then they probably weren't a very supportive, invested reader anyway. (Shout out to my loyalists, thanks for persevering.)

  • No, it's not really possible to write a blog post mid-conversation with someone without them noticing you're really not listening to them. So even if you're really busy, subtle writing during coffee dates is not a viable option. 

  • Don't miss classes to blog, that was just stupid.

  • Don't involuntary let blogging take over your life. There are sometimes when you'll choose for blogging to consume you and if you're at a place where that's an opition then that's amazing. However, hobby or job, blogging shouldn't get in the way of you having a social life, getting enough sleep or even just chilling out for a while. 

I guess it definitely is all about striking a balance and, although I'm definitely not 100% there yet, I feel a lot more prepared for next semester. My exams will be over in less than a week and I'm so excited to be able to throw myself in to doing what I love again. What are your tips for balancing blogging with Uni, school or work? I need as many as I can get! Thanks for reading.




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11 comments

  1. I blogged while at uni and throughout my dissertation and it was a little difficult but I personally found blogging to be a great escape from uni work when I needed a break x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

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    1. I'm dreading blogging whilst doing my dissertation in a couple of years. You're definitely right about it being a good escape!! xx

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  2. I also started my blog during a summer holiday, and then found it impossible to keep up in the same way once I went back to uni. What helps me though is remembering that there's no such thing as 'missing' a post - unless you've told everyone that you're sticking to a really strict schedule, and are probably blogging professionally so have advertisers etc. counting on you. I like following student bloggers because I love seeing what other people get up to and I find student bloggers very relatable! But this also means I completely understand the need for stepping back from the blog now and again. Your main audience probably aren't looking for you to post all the time - they just want to see posts when you can!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

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    Replies
    1. Yeah that's true, I had kind of set out the target of posting three times a week on specific days but I don't think I'll do that next semester. You sounds like a nice, sympathetic reader!! Completely agree. Xx

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  3. I know how you feel. I started my blog two years ago and this summer I started to take it seriously, so it's now becoming more than a hobby. The problem is, I'm in my final year now and I am finding it hard to make time for blogging :( which is rather unfortunate.

    The good thing is, I always make sure to schedule my posts and whenever I have the time to blog, I make the most of it! :)

    Chichi
    http://chichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. Scheduling posts is a life saver!! If I'm finding blogging this hard in 2nd year I dread to think what I'll be like in 4th year. Good luck with everything. Xx

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  4. 100% been in the same boat! However I worked full time over Summer and I found that to be even more difficult to maintain my blog! I still can't find the balance and I do find both writing and reading other blogs takes my mind off the stress of uni and work! Now it's deadline season, whilst Christmas just around the corner and being the busiest time of the year at work! Everything just seems that little bit tougher!

    It's lovely to read that so many other bloggers can empathise with this!

    Hayley xx

    http://www.beautywithhayleyjane.com/

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    Replies
    1. You're right, this time of year is so so busy. I'll be on placement full time next year so if you have any tips for balancing everything they'd be greatly appreciated!! xx

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  5. This was a great post! I'm still a newbie blogger and definitely still trying to figure out the blog-work-life balance. I find myself sitting at work drafting posts and planning my blog calendar and I have to think woaaah hold up! What are you doing Jodie?! It's very difficult! Hopefully I'll find the balance.

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

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  6. So relateable! My blog has evolved so much over the two years I've been at uni. I always find I don't make time for blogging when I'm busy with essays because the last thing I want to do when I'm done is write more!

    Lauren - Girlinbewteen.com

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  7. I am still blogging while at uni, but probably the only reason why I had regular blog posts last term was because I wrote most of them in the summer, and a lot of my blog posts this term were already planned and wrote over the christmas break. Lovely post by the way.
    Alicia :)
    http://bambidreaming.blogspot.co.uk

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