carrying on surviving the past year

Carrying On: Surviving the Past Year

Hello, hello, hello

I know, why am I talking about the past year when it’s April? You see the past year has been tough, really damn tough. It was unexpected and difficult and at times I didn’t really know how I was going to get through it all. I wish that was me being dramatic, I really do.

Career Changes

Aaaaaand this is where it kicked off. In April 2017 I was let go from a Marketing job. To be fair I wasn’t happy in it and now I know it was a good thing, a really good thing. So I did some temp work, some more work which turned out to be temp work before I found my current job. Now I do what I wanted to do when I graduated, I work in Social Media. I love doing extra research, looking at stats and people listen to what I have to say! That said my confidence took a really bad hit for a chunk of the year but I’m back guys!

 

Relationships!

So, Ali is a Sound Engineer and back in April 2017 he hadn’t done much travelling for work. We also hadn’t spent more than 2 weeks apart since we were 13 and 14. Everything changed in that regard this year. Now we’re used to spending time apart from a few nights to two months after a busy summer and his first tour. When it first came around I panicked, I cried and I was petrified of sleeping alone. Now? I miss him but hello, double bed for one? Yes, please.

Personal Challenges

Only a few days after losing my job, I lost my second Dwarf Hamster, Hamski. That was heartbreaking, we knew she was old but the timing just seemed cruel. Because of everything that was going on my mental health took a hit, I became very anxious and depressed, I thought that everything was destined to fail in my life. I was in a lot of pain which, I found out was going to continue to be a constant in my life. I really had to work hard to overcome my personal issues to succeed.

But it wasn’t all bad…

Of course, I’m going to throw in a cliche. It has to rain for flowers to grow. I believe that everything happens for a reason in your life, this year reminded me how resilient I am. I’ve been knocked on my arse and got up again. I’ve got a job that I love, that I feel so passionate about. I have my little Hamster, Wickett. Ali and I are actually closer since he started working away and then coming back. I started to get comfortable with how ‘boring’ I am. I know I can be fully independent if I need to be.

Long story short, it was shit but I got through it and I bet you could too.

 

How to Switch Off From Social Media

When some people say that Social Media is their life, you may think that they’re being dramatic but hold fire because I’m being serious. You see more than loving my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram these platforms are my full-time job. I spend 8 hours a day thinking, planning, checking and considering social in one way or another. So, how on earth do you switch off?

I’ll be honest with you this is not going to be a post that tells you of the incredible detox and how I’m a new person. That’s not me at all, I love it. But, just like everyone else I need to take a breather from time to time. I have found some ways that aren’t deleting apps on your phone or taking holidays if that works though you do you.

Have something else to take up your time 

For me, this is reading. That doesn’t mean I can’t post about something I’ve read later (yes, I’m on Goodreads too) but going into a fictional world helps you get away and back into your own mind.

Try and have a cut off at night

I try to have a cut-off of 10.30pm (I know this doesn’t always work). After that time it’s for me, which leads me on to my next point…

Have an evening routine  

I have a routine in the evening which is focused on me. Just little things that aren’t anything to do with my phone or social, I’ll make sure that I put some music on and have a shower or bath, read a little bit, get some nice PJs on etc.

If you have to have your phone keep it in a bag 

When I go out it’s so easy to have my phone in a pocket, I can feel it vibrate or hear it but I realised that when it’s in the depths of my bag (and I am very stereotypical about having a lot in my bag) I still have access if I need it but can go about my day.

Read 

I’ve mentioned this a lot in this blog but it’s my main way to disconnect and get away for a little bit. Recently, I have a lot of fantasy on the go and I LOVE it.

Remember you’re allowed to walk away 

It’s easy to get caught up and feel like you have to be online all the time and constantly interacting BUT it’s ok to take a break. You don’t need to apologise on social channels for some time away, although a lot of people do!

What do you do to unwind and get off of social media? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

My Goals For 2018

Welcome to 2018! January 1st, the start of a whole new year. If you’ve been following my blog for longer than a year, first of all, thank you so much you’re amazing, anyway, you’ll know I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. I say it, again and again, every year. Long story short, it’s cold, it’s miserable. Why start something new when it’s kinda shitty and everyone feels a little down?

So I’m all about making goals and they don’t need to be big or have a huge final solution. They can be whatever you want them to be and you can start them when you feel ready! So I do have a few goals for myself BUT with the idea that I want to start them. It doesn’t have to be finished by the 31st December 2018 at 11.59 but if it’s started then I’m pleased.

Get to 5000 Twitter Followers

Originally I wanted to do this in 2017 but it didn’t happen but I did get to 4000 which is a great start. So I’m going to work to get to this goal and connect with more people.

Start working on my first book…whatever that may be! 

I’ve wanted to write a book for years, I get ideas, I start writing, I hate everything I write, I stop. The cycle goes on and on. I need to carry on writing, even if I think it’s awful because the end result might not be…

Work towards a healthy weight

My weight has really changed in the past few years there’s a lot of factors, the biggest of which was breaking my spine, but other things too. Emotionally I wasn’t in a good place during the early part of last year but I did make a change. Between July and November, I lost just under half a stone, which is a start but I want to continue to make progress. I know what my goal is but it’s very personal and I don’t want to share it.

Write more poetry

I’ve loved writing poetry more this year and really getting into it. I’ve even published a poem here! I want to work on it and maybe share a little more…

Be a kinder to myself 

Sometimes I’m too hard on myself, I’m gonna try and change that this year.

Work my ass off in my job and see results

I started a job as a Social Media Manager in 2017 on a new project which is really exciting. I want to work hard and see results and see it grow. I’m so excited.

Manage my Anxiety in a healthy way! 

I’m a lot better than I was with my Mental Health but it’s an ongoing thing, I want to carry on getting my anxiety under control.

 

What are your goals for 2018? Let me know in the comments below!

Growing & Keeping Your Twitter Followers!

In the last few years, I’ve worked to try and organically grow my Twitter following. As I write this I have 3702 Twitter followers. While to many it might not sound huge or impressive, it’s taken some work. I’m not a big Youtube star or self-employed blogger, nor have I ever used a bot or paid for my followers. While it’s still a little way off of my goal of 5K by the end of the year I fully believe that I can do it! If you’re looking for a way to get to 10K fast, this isn’t the blog for you BUT if you want to know how little by little you can build a great following then you’re in the right place.

I first got Twitter a few years ago and barely used it, it’s only in the past 2 years I’ve really gotten into Twitter and increasing my followers. So, I’ve learned a few things about being authentic while still getting steady growth. Since January I’ve gained over 100 followers a month, and some of those months I haven’t been at my most active!

Engage with the followers you have 

There is no use trying to build a following if you ignore the people that are already there. Tweet your existing followers, follow them back if you find them interesting! Engagement is key and is what will make people want to check in with you/ your projects

Follow people who interest you and in turn, they may find you interesting!  

It’s no use following people just because you want to be followed back. You want people who are going to engage and make Twitter more interesting for you. So follow people you have an interest in and don’t judge accounts if they’re small. Who’s more likely to follow you, Kylie Jenner or the newbie blogger? Think about it.

Use apps like Crowdfire to see who’s following you, who’s unfollowed  

I have a huge online pet peeve for people unfollowing you once you’ve followed back (it’s not cool) so apps like Crowdfire are really helpful to see who’s following you and who’s staying following you!

Use relevant Hashtags  

Seems easy enough right? Using Hashtags can connect you with THE most awesome people, I was mentioned in the New York Times online once! You can debate or share an admiration for the same things, it’s a great way to find new people to follow and get more followers yourself.

Link people in your tweets 

Whenever I review anything I always tweet the company or the person I’m Tweeting about, you never know who’s watching! I’ve spoken to some lovely people online, gotten signed books and got to meet a few celebs too! All through Twitter!

Join Twitter chats for your interests! 

There are so many chats online every day for all time zones. It’s a great way to meet new people online and I always get at least one new follower from each chat that I partake in.

Think before you Tweet! 

Think, think, think. Some people can Tweet rude or obnoxious things and get a huge unfollowing. It’s great to have thoughts and opinions but not at the expense of someone else!

 

What would you add? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Beautiful Brighton Conference and Chloe Break 

  
Yesterday I was invited down to the beautiful Brighton by The Student Room to be the only student representative in the country to speak at an international conference for Social Media in Higher Education at CASE. 

Although I could have stayed the night before too, I decided to brave rush hour because I’d only just come back from being in Basingstoke and, you know, I do kind of like Ali ;). So I arrived for 9am slightly asleep but soon chatting to other people including the other people who were on my panel. For those of you who signed the ‘Save BBC 3 campaign’ Jono started and led that campaign, I was a little awestruck when I met him. 

The conference itself was good but also at times hard to understand because it was specific to some things I haven’t come across in my role yet. I tried to learn as much as I could, make contacts and generally enjoy the day. I didn’t realise what a big deal our panel was until we started it. We had a lot of people approach us through the day about our work on the student room. 

It was weird, I didn’t feel very nervous about what I was actually speaking about, instead, I felt like this was something I was confident to speak about and that took away some of the nerves. Well that and I already knew it was a nice crowd who wanted to help, that’s always a bonus. It was really well received thankfully and some lovely tweets went out after we spoke, including from one of my bosses who was also attending. 

   
   
Before I came back to the hosting hotel for dinner, I was able to check into my own hotel – MyHotel Brighton for the night. I was shocked to find myself in a huge double room, very chic and with one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in. I was a little excited… 

  
Dinner was a chance to talk to people again, although everyone else was staying for the full two days, whereas mine was just for the day of my slot. There was some really quite hilarious chat on my table, including educating an American on British comedy he should watch. 

Jono and I both had early starts the next day and so were one of the first to leave. We were both surprised to receive chocolates and a card to say thank you from CASE for our work and taking the time to speak. The whole day gave me a lot of confidence in my own abilities to become a Marketing and Social Media Coordinator as a job when I leave uni. 

This morning, before I had to get a train back to London, I enjoyed my breakfast before taking a stroll around Brighton, the North Laines, The Brighton Pavillion and along the beach, taking in some Spring sun. 

  
On a personal note I’m proud of beating my anxiety over the head. I was so worried and nervous about going to the conference that I only had 4 hours sleep the night before. It was also the first time I’d gone away and stayed alone, but it was nice to have some time for myself in the hotel. 

Now I’m sat at the O2 with my Mum, sister and cousin waiting to see The Vamps with them (don’t judge me, free concert ticket and time with the girls). I’m absolutely shattered but at the same time really proud of kicking my anxieties butt and achieving something. Although, I am looking forward to getting into bed tonight without setting an alarm. 

How blogging has changed my life

I wanted to start this blog saying thank you to Jenny in Neverland and her blog which inspired me to write this.

My Career ideas 

I’d never really thought about blogging in this way but as soon as I sat down I realised that it’s one of the biggest parts of my life and it really has changed me and my opportunities. Before I started the blog I had absolutely no idea of what I could do as a job. I definitely still want to do the whole lecture thing and that’s the main aim but it’s five years away and even if I get the grants and financial help I know that I can’t just do nothing in the time that I’m studying. My blog started my spark for social media and marketing so professionally, it really kick started an idea for a possible career if I decide not to do my PhD.

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My Confidence 

It’s no secret that through school I had a massive confidence drop, I didn’t feel confident with myself, I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to do. So when I started to get likes, people reading what I’d written and being told that they enjoy it. I might not be getting 10,000 views but the views I do get make me feel good about myself and that I’m doing something worth doing. If I’m having a bad day, one of your comments can make all the difference.

Connecting with people 

Like I just said, talking to people online can really change my day. I’ve ‘met’ some great people through blogging, people who understand some of the things I struggle with. I’ve spoken to some amazing authors too, I’ve received notes, preview books and other things from truly nice people.

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I got to talk to Katie Piper  on Twitter, one of my absolute idols

Trying to make a difference and sharing my experience

I write about mental health because I want people to understand and be educated. I know that education is power and the only way that we can possibly end the stigma that people who have a mental health condition face. If I can help one person or educate another then I’ve achieved something that I’m proud of.

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Something to get out of bed for and a positive way to let everything out 

Depression doesn’t choose the days you have nothing to do to hit you with it’s worst, it’s fun like that. Some days the whole struggling to get out of bed thing rears it’s ugly head and I just don’t see the point. I do struggle like loads of other people in the world but the blog gives me a way to express myself in a positive way. It lets me talk to other people and I get encouragement too. I can use it to look at how far I’ve come too, one of my favourite things to do on New Years Eve.

I have a way of looking back at my uni days, I won’t forget

And if that’s not a good enough reason I don’t know what is. 1907515_10206793085448473_2364060322551983456_n

I’d love to hear your responses so make sure to tag me if you want to write about how blogging has changed YOUR life. Also give Jenny a follow too, because her blog is awesome!

Paid Internships Exist! Starting my job as a Social Media Coordinator

We all know the problem with finding a job right? To get the job you need experience, to get experience you need a job. Now I know like the rest of the student population it can be ridiculously hard finding any kind of work experience/ internships. Today I was lucky enough to start mine!

Before getting super into social media I thought about going into teaching or magazine journalism. Now most of the time you need to ‘volunteer’ in schools so I did that under a scheme which luckily made sure I got a bursary payment as I was promoting the university. As for magazines, I am get to find a paid internship that are above minimum wage (seriously try travelling into central London and living on minimum wage while looking good enough to work at a magazine, nope, not happening). So I’ve always been a little cynical about becoming an intern, it’s something that more well off people seemed to be able to do, not people like me. Not any more!
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Ready to start this morning, trying out my new lipstick too! 

I applied for the position because firstly, it was paid, secondly, it’s something I’m interested in and thirdly I thought I might as well. I felt like I had a good build up and some experience that would get me an interview, but did I think I’d get it? No. I really didn’t. Although the interview went well I hadn’t had a proper sit down interview for a few years (they’ve all been group interviews for my last few jobs) and there were some questions to make me think. I left and tried to put it out of my mind, knowing that I would know by the end of the day. Then I got an email saying it would be at least another day, maybe more. At this point my spine was still making me sleep almost all the time so I didn’t think too much but the longer it got, the more I thought I hadn’t gotten it. So imagine my surprise when I got the email offering me the job and it would pay a little under what I’m earning as a Student Ambassador.

It was decided I’d start after going to Athens, fine by me seemed like aaaaaagggggeeeeesss away. Nope. Today rolled around and I had everything ready, woke up early, played with the hamsters but I was SO nervous. I couldn’t remember what medication I’d taken and didn’t want to take it again so I was flapping about that. I ended up going with just paracetamol for my back (in hindsight a BAD, BAD idea.) I was worrying, what would people think of my brace? Could I really do this job when I only have 400 followers? I was so nervous/ daydreaming once I got on the bus I nearly missed my stop altogether.

I shouldn’t have worried, I was very well looked after. I was introduced to everyone in the office, a lot of people happened to recognise me from the KU Talent Awards. I’m slowly learning peoples names but I think it will take me a while. I’ve been set up with a staff account, I’ll be getting a staff ID card and can use the canteen…god I’m such a dork. Everything was gone through slowly and my new boss is fab, she’s open to ideas as long as I have reasoning! I’ll also be able to meet some of the fab guest speakers we have coming up (beyond excited).

So I’ve really landed myself a great opportunity, doing something I love. I will still be a Student Ambassador and International Ambassador too! This is just something that is more specific to a career path if I decide that I want a break from academics. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

I wrote a post a while ago about being brave. This is it. If there aren’t any opportunities for what you want to do then go make some. Start a blog about your interests, do research just because and don’t give up. I never, ever thought I could be an intern and be paid a decent amount, whilst being treated like one of the team. People think that I just get given these opportunities sometimes but, I really don’t I work very hard and stay connected with people, it works!

I hope you all enjoyed reading today ( I know it’s been a long one!) and if you have any questions let me know below!