Weekly Thoughts: Online Learning, Covid and Finding Balance

I’m back with another weekly thoughts post so I can update you on what has been going on in my life and why I’ve been a bit distant on this platform. Even if covid is still ruling our lives (ruining it would also be highly applicable at this point), more than I wish to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed.

You might have noticed I’ve had to scale my posts right back to once a week. A decision I didn’t want to have to make but unfortunately I genuinely don’t have the time to sit and write something, take photos, come up with interesting ideas and most importantly, come up with quality content twice to three times a week. I want you to enjoy what I write and make sure it is worth your time to engage with. This at the moment is a lot more manageable once a week. Hopefully you understand and love the one blog post I do put out.

This annoying decision comes from the increasingly stressful lifestyle I’ve encountered after moving back to Edinburgh. I say lifestyle, it is entirely filled by one thing and that is online learning. What I’d like to call it at this very moment is, ‘the bane of my existence’. Don’t get me wrong, there are pros and cons to doing it at home, namely the chance to do it safely, which will always exceed the negatives. However, I can’t ignore the constant feeling that I am going to fail, the week of near panic attacks I had even when out and about supposedly relaxing and the impending dread of assignments which I have no idea how they’ll get done on top of the already huge amount I have to do.

So, if you haven’t already gathered the first few weeks of third year have been an absolute joy. I HAVE NEVER FELT BETTER.

You might be asking or just simply wondering if it’s just because I can’t deal with third year in general. Trust me I have thought the exact same thing. However, when your whole year feels the same and lecturers have openly admitted to giving you more work because you should have ‘more’ time, it’s hard not to get a tiny, tiny bit angry at the whole thing.

At this point I really wish there was more time in the day.

Balance on the other hand is something I’ve been trying really hard to implement because of this. I’ve never been good at looking after myself and I have a very long way to go but I’m hoping that soon (if my uni decide to be better in terms of workload) I can find a balance where I can get enough sleep in a night, don’t have to stress 24/7 and can actually take a day off. At least this way I can then sort my blog posts out, my print business can be less stressful and more enjoyable and I can generally feel better about myself.

Out of curiosity, how do you find online learning/working from home? Do you have any recommendations for finding balance? Let me know down below!

To top all of this off, this week (or the past month) has really got me frustrated at the medias perception of students and covid. Before you jump on me and start shouting at me in the comments, YES students really have not been doing a good job, mainly first years in halls. However, there are 18-23 year olds (including those both younger and older who are studying) who are trying really hard to abide by the rules. As someone who has friends and family who are high risk (who aren’t all in the older generation bracket might I add) I find it infuriating that people want to blame me for not sticking to the rules or being the cause of a second lockdown.

In fact I know A LOT of people who are older than I am, who have been a lot worse than my friends and I, when sticking to the rules.

If anything the whole thing makes me feel a bit disheartened. So please, if you are young, old or middle aged, please just do the right thing. I am sick to death of seeing my generation getting blamed, looked at or victimised in the press. But more importantly I am sick of being stuck in lockdown with the possibility of my friends and family being hit with covid.

If we all are a little bit less selfish and actually stick to the rules this can be all over with that bit quicker. Even if you somehow think you are invincible, or are ‘in a small area where it won’t touch you’ or generally couldn’t care less, take a second to think about the people who do care and who aren’t invincible. Do it for them.

I know this hasn’t been a completely upbeat post but I don’t want to paint a picture that everything is 100% great the whole time. I think if I did that you would expect the same for yourself and I don’t want that. Expectations aren’t good for anyone.

Whether you are having a good or a bad week, both are entirely valid, so don’t feel guilty for having either. If you’ve done something truly amazing let me know! Or if you, like me, have been bothered by a load of things recently or aren’t feeling great mention it in the comments. Life is crazy (especially at the moment) and that is fine!

Sending you all the hugs,

Much love,

Sophie x


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Thought of the Week: How do You Measure Success?

This is a question that has been bothering me for a while. That much it was nagging me in my sleep.

After starting my own business and writing this blog for over 6 weeks it’s come to my attention that I keep asking myself when is it deemed *right* to say I am successful?

Is it how much money I have in the bank? How many likes and follows I have on Facebook and Instagram? How many people read my posts? How my family and friends are doing? How my mental health is? The problem I see with success is that it is completely up to you where in your life you place it. I think in loads of ways we are ingrained to see success as a large corporate job that barely leaves us any time to do anything else which makes us happy; is that really what we call being successful?

All my life I’ve been working for my future and what will keep me busy and provide me with the means to do stuff which makes me happy. But surely I can stop right now and be proud of what I’ve achieved. Recognise that I have done a lot, maybe not as much as others, but that doesn’t mean its not noteworthy. I don’t have to reach the age of 35 and only then, finally say I am successful.

Even if my social media accounts don’t have over 1,000 followers and I am not rolling in cash, that doesn’t determine my worth or show me that what I am doing isn’t right or working. It is a slow process but one a competitive, perfectionist finds hard to digest.

I think that when so much of what we do is on social media; a business promoting on there or simply celebrating a success via sharing it on a platform, it all makes us feel self conscious about our own rate of success. A thing I majorly struggle with is self comparison and imposter syndrome, purely because I am constantly seeing people doing great things and comparing myself to them. This way I decrease my own self-worth and what I have done.

If I were to hone in on that point it would be to suggest that more people need to integrate all parts of their life onto social media so people can stop perceiving others as robots who simply swim in success. But this is something which has been suggested for SO LONG and I am still to see a viable difference. Might I add that you can also tell yourself however many times you want that you ‘just shouldn’t think this way’ and it does little to change that mindset, I promise (I have tried).

Content Creator Claudia Sulewski recently said that there is no point in comparing yourself to others when their success and how they look does nothing to change your life or impact you. So why then are we made to feel so horrible when it comes measuring our own successes to those we see on a screen. Even though I perfectly understand that this is a mental attitude that is completely down to the person feeling it rather than hatred towards someone else, it’s still hard to grapple with.

It is also possible that someone reading this is thinking the same things towards me (and even when writing that I feel an overwhelming sense of self gratification which is cringe worthy). Not that I’d quite understand that or really get why but if you do then I am sorry. Trust me, my life is not full of roses or celebrations (definitely not talking about the chocolates) and I don’t look at myself like that either. But if I have this mindset then I know someone else most likely does too.

It is a horrible cycle and one that typically decreases other major things that may contribute to you being considered successful, like your mental health. If you have any tips when it comes to this I’d be very interested to hear anything you have to say down below.

If anything it sounds like I should just strip the word ‘successful’ out of my vocabulary altogether. I have done major things in my life so far; I was part of a long squad for the Scottish Netball team, I designed a logo for the local book festival, I did well in school, made change in my community, I am a Captain of my uni’s Netball team, launched a website and a print space, but after all that I am still not content with absolutely anything I have achieved. Most importantly, and quite sadly, I can’t look at the majority of them with fond memories purely because I didn’t appreciate what was happening. Surely each of those can be considered a success? But do I? No.

I don’t know if this is a mentality ingrained from school, where you are always looking for the next thing. Looking for a future rather than the present. It is not healthy and not right. In fact I’d consider it dangerous because if at no point you consider anything successful what is the point in doing it in the first place? You’ll be a cog in a machine rather than a human being doing great things.

Now this isn’t a sob story, I promise there is an overarching point to this post. With all the things I have done I’ve never sat down afterwards and gone ‘I’m proud of myself’ or ‘that took a lot of work, well done!’ or ‘that actually went well and it’s because I put a lot of effort into that’. Instead I looked onto the next thing and ignored what I just burnt myself out for.

It’s something I think a lot of people can learn from and do better at. Sit yourself down and celebrate even the smallest of things because at the end of the day you can’t get where you want to be without those small successes. Don’t instantly look forward and try to do the next best thing, instead ride your own wave (as cheesy as that sounds) and try, as best as you can, to remember that you are your own person. Celebrating everyone else is extremely important but there is nothing wrong with appreciating what you yourself have also achieved.


Well that is my thought for this week. Even calling it that makes me sound extremely philosophical, considering it sounds like I have profound thoughts 99% of the time. I don’t. I just have a sense of curiosity when it comes to sentiments like this and when I get myself into this headspace it bothers me a lot. Hence me writing about it.

But this is a step in the right direction and if we all start treating ourselves with a bit more respect, I think we would all be doing a lot better.

I would love for every person reading this to share something successful in their life, with me, or the closest person to you and if you can’t do either of those yet just tell yourself. Even if you tell yourself there is nothing to celebrate, I promise there is something. At the end of the day success is relative, you decide.

Much love,

Sophie x