Friday, 19 August 2016

Top tips for juggling blogging and university.

So yesterday was A Level Results Day, which means it's now been four years since I received my A Level results and headed off to Cardiff University to study journalism. I remember being absolutely terrified before getting my results. I worked really hard throughout school and I had always wanted to go to university, not that that's the right choice for everyone or the be all and end all, of course. But I'd always wanted to go to Cardiff and had always wanted to write and become a journalist so it was a huge deal for me. I was absolutely thrilled when I got in, and after a few months of studying and being incredibly homesick (you can read about it here) I set up this little blog and never looked back.

I've now been blogging for just over three years and continued to blog and post several times a week throughout my undergraduate degree and my masters. It's been tough, I won't lie. Juggling studying, blogging, part time work, training five times a week and having a social life can be exhausting. And blogging doesn't just mean writing a post and publishing it - you have to photograph, schedule tweets, interact with other bloggers, keep your social media accounts up to date. There's so much more that goes on behind the scenes. But it is absolutely possible to achieve top grades whilst continuing to blog, you just have to be really organised and know when to take time out.

1. Planning is key

I use my diary for absolutely everything. I write down when I'm going to work out, what university work I have to do, what blog posts I need to write, when I'm meeting a friend, and what shifts I'm doing in work. It's honestly like my bible, and without one I'd be completely lost. Get yourself a diary, whether it's a paper or a digital one on your phone or laptop, and plan out your week so you know when you have time to blog and when you need to prioritise studying. This really helped me to keep organised.

2. Jot down any blog posts ideas for when you have time to blog

Ever get a really good idea for a blog post and then when you sit down at your laptop a few hours later, you've completely forgotten it? I am so guilty of this, but now I write down every little idea that comes into my head immediately. Whether it's on my phone notes or on a piece of paper or in my diary. Then I add the titles of the posts to my drafts ready to write up when I have time. This really helps when you have bloggers' block too, as you have a number of ideas just waiting for you to show them some love. 

3. Use blogging as a break

I used to feel really guilty about spending time on my blog instead of studying or working on an assignment, but it's so important to take a break from uni work and I find being creative in other ways really helped with my assignments. Obviously if you have assignment deadlines coming up, or have an exam to revise for, that takes priority, but I liked to wind down in the evenings by commenting and reading a few blog posts or writing up my own, or by interacting on Twitter chats or working on my Instagram feed. It's so therapeutic. 

4. Photograph in bulk

So important, especially when you're living in dingy student digs where the lighting is pretty crap and the windows are so small no natural light filters through. I used to go home a lot on the weekends and would take blog photographs at home in my bedroom where I have a big bay window and lots of light. This meant when I was in university I had the photographs to accompany each blog post all ready to go. In the winter especially it's so important to make the most of daylight as the nights get longer and days get darker. Choose a set day to get your photographs all shot for the week ahead.

5. It's okay to take a break

If you're having one of those days where all you want to do is curl up in a ball and binge watch Netflix, then do it! Blogging is meant to be a hobby and a fun one at that. Don't get yourself all worked up and worried about completing a blog post on time; your readers will completely understand and will still be there when you're ready to blog again. I went through a phase whilst studying for my finals this year where I posted about four times a month, instead of my usual 3-4 times a week, and while interning I didn't blog for two weeks. Life just takes over sometimes, and that's completely okay. 

What are your top tips for juggling studying and blogging?
Lots of love, 
Jessie. xoxo

14 comments:

  1. I'm not at uni but taking the advice for photographing in bulk is fab, I feel like I need/want photos to go with my posts but I hardly ever have any unless I've been out, I think I'm going to do this!
    Fab post :)

    HANNAH FROM NYLONTOAST

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  2. Im not at uni but at sixth form and i find the same struggles. I get really strong urges during the day to write all i can then when i am home i have forgotten all about it and i'm asleep- typical really! x

    https://wineandwhine99.wordpress.com/

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  3. This post comes at a great time as I'm starting university this year and I'm a bit worried about keeping up blogging. Your tips are great, organisation really is key, I learned that when I was travelling and often didn't have internet connection. And I'm also really guilty of forgetting blog post ideas. xx

    113-things-to-say.blogspot.com

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    1. Best of luck in university - I'm sure you'll absolutely love it! xx

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  4. Use blogging as a break is the best tip ever!!

    www.blossomikebana.com

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  5. I honestly don't know how you juggled the both so well, serious props to you lady! When I worked in TV, blogging was the best outlet, I definitely used it as a break!

    Elle
    www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

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    1. Aw thanks Elle :) I totally agree with you there! Perfect break xx

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  6. i always plan out my blog posts, take photos in bulk and schedule my posts for one week. usually every sunday. that way, i have time to study and my blog is going well too.


    loovelle.blogspot.com

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    1. Great idea! :) Sunday is always a good day to get organised for the week ahead xx

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  7. Gosh, how relatable is this! I am at University right now too and man is it hard to juggle some times. Glad to know someone else uses blogging as their "break" too xx

    www.lovelylittleroses.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks so much lovely. It definitely is tough but you'll get through it! xx

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