Hello everyone, I’ve decided to do a monthly gap year post to keep a diary of how my year off is going and share it with you all. I’ve already published a post all about my gap year plans if you want to get an idea of what I want to achieve. The first month of my year out has gone very well so heres an update of what I’ve been up to…
After exams, I took 11 days ‘off’ to catch up with all the things I’d been putting off whilst doing A levels like editing and uploading some videos, planning content etc… so I was ready to officially start an uploading schedule on the 10th July. I also planned to get all of my personal to-do list ticked off during this time (like replacing my phone screen and other miscellaneous things), but I still have some tasks on it now that I just haven’t managed to get round to doing which is disappointing. It has gone down significantly though which is a positive!
During week two I took a trip to Alton Towers with seven of my friends as an end of exams celebration and stayed completely off social media for three days. We managed to do 5/6 of the biggest rollercoasters and, despite turning eighteen three and a half months before, I had my first legal drink. I went for a ‘Strawberry Woo Woo’ and didn’t even get asked for ID (even though I did for the river rapids, whats that about?) which meant I had to put my drivers license I’d been waiting to show for the first time back in my bag. My only goal or the whole three days was to have fun and relax; it was like being a kid again, except with alcohol. It was so nice to detox before I fully threw myself into YouTube and blogging and it also ticked off my goal of ‘travel more of the UK’ which I mentioned in my gap year plans post!
I then took a few more days off to relax, then on the Sunday I took on the big task of revamping my social media and setting up a self hosted blog. I’m useless with technology so the thought of making my own blog was daunting and I honestly didn’t believe I would be able to do it; but I did! It took me a full day but I managed to set up a domain and theme and customise my blog to look exactly how I wanted and I’m SO proud of myself.
Week three was a big one for me. I started my blogging and YouTube schedule on Monday 10th of July which is something I had been longing to do for months but never quite managed to do because of A levels (and lack of motivation, but we’ll say A levels). As well as starting a posting schedule on Monday 10th, I also got an operation on my toes which I’d been putting off for literally my whole life because I HATE needles, but I finally got it done and I’m so happy its over with. Wimbledon was on everyday throughout week three which took me back to last summer having live sports to watch every afternoon! In a rare turn of events, England had some good weather that week so me and my family took a trip to Durham to go rowing and watch the Konta vs Venus game with some strawberries and cream.
We had another family day out shopping that weekend which gave me the most unexpected but exciting surprise of this year; Kate Mckinnon’s edition of Elle US in the UK! I know that won’t mean a lot to some people but Kate is one of my biggest inspirations of all time and I thought you could only get her cover edition in the US (I even sent my nana looking for it whilst she was there) but I found it hiding behind other magazines on the back shelf in WHSmiths and it honestly felt like I’d won the lottery!
I also started scheduling tweets, took my first successful flatlay, started a minimalistic Instagram theme and got a new profile picture (which is a rare thing because I have to wait for a good hair day) during week three so I felt VERY productive!
(Excuse the grey baby hair I wanted to stick to my white background aesthetic haha)
I had a bit of a dip in motivation during week four. Monday was average, Tuesday was VERY productive, I got two blog posts and two videos produced, edited and scheduled, but from then on I wasn’t as productive as I could have been and I ended the week carrying things over to the next. In hindsight, this was bound to happen since I’d had such a busy, productive week the week before and I think I just needed some time to adjust to my new blogging/ YouTube routine. I wasn’t very active on Instagram either which I’m quite dissappointed in myself for because I’d just successfully started a theme I liked! The weekend was better though as I started to declutter my room and took a trip to IKEA to pick up some bits ready to redecorate.
The last week of the month was definitely the toughest. Monday and Tuesday were good; I made my first Pinterest graphics which I’d been meaning to do for a long time, so at least something positive came out of the week! Everything was fine until Wednesday when I was told I was going to a theme park (which sounds great and was lovely don’t get me wrong) and had no videos filmed for the week. I’d been doing so well with my schedule up until that point that missing at least Wednesday’s upload got me down and I just wasn’t feeling productive. During Wednesday, when I was going up the first hill of ‘The Ultimate’ at Lightwater Valley to be precise, I started thinking seriously about how I might want to go to uni this year after all. I wondered whether I’d look back and kick myself for wasting a year and convinced myself that a structured three years at uni would get me to the career I want quicker. Which is probably true, but I’ll never know what could have happened during my gap year if I don’t take one. The thought of a year of no plans scares me but I know I’ll never have the opportunity to have a year of such little responsibility and so much freedom ever again. To top the stress off, my blog that I’ve worked so hard on stopped working and no one, including myself, was able to access it. If you’ve read some of my other posts you’ll know I’m a complete technophobe, so the thought of having to download software, change codes and delete plugins sent me into a meltdown. I also feared that all the content I’d worked so hard on would be deleted and I’d have to start all over again, which taught me my biggest lesson in blogging yet; ALWAYS back your site up! I overthought everything so much that after Lightwater Valley I took four more days off to do absolutely nothing. I binge watched TV, ate, drank tea and thought about anything but university and blogging. By Sunday afternoon I was feeling better and came across one of Unjaded Jade’s videos on the law of attraction. Truthfully, I always thought this was a theory on whether people found you attractive or not so I never watched any videos on it, but I was really up for any distraction at that point so I gave it a go. I’ve only been using it for a day and it has honestly worked SO well so far! I was given the opportunity to travel, my blog was waaaay more simple and quick to fix than I thought, I’m slowly but surely gaining subscribers on my channel and I’m just feeling so much more positive in general. I’ve also become more confident in my decision to take a gap year since I watched Lucy Moon’s video where she said she regretted not taking one and I realised the amazing opportunity I have. I’m a big believer in signs and I think this one came at just the right time for me! The last week of this month came full circle for me and even though half of it was rubbish its helped me so much and made me more content and determined than ever!
Although numbers aren’t everything and good content comes first, its nice to know people are paying attention to what you’re putting work into. So, I’ve decided to review my stats monthly to track the progress of my blog and YouTube channel to see which platforms I need to focus on during the month ahead to get my content out there to as many people as possible.
Start Of July Stats
Monthly Page Views- 0
End Of July Goals
Monthly Page Views- 300
Monthly Visitors- 100
End Of July Stats
Monthly Page Views-254
So, its safe to say these goals failed miserably! I didn’t do too bad with monthly page views, monthly visitors or twitter followers but the rest were way off. I’d rather be over ambitious than under ambitious though, and I’m determined to put more time into my social media next month now I’ve found my feet and rhythm with blogging.
Overall Feelings On Month One
The first month of my gap year has been really, really enjoyable. I feel like I finally have time and energy to have a balanced life now I’m not in college and its helped my mental state so much. I’m not constantly tired and stressed and I wake up everyday excited and motivated about what I’m doing. I think I’ve probably put more effort into my blog and YouTube channel in this past month than I put into my A levels (which is probably not something I should admit on the internet, but its true) because I’m truly interested and passionate about what I’m doing. I don’t feel helpless or behind on everything in my life because I know I have enough time to get everything done and I’m FINALLY getting round to ticking jobs off my to do list that have been there for months or even years! I’ve had some lovely days out with my family, Love Island has been on everyday and life in general has picked up a lot for me. I’m ending the first month of my gap year very content.
Three Goals For Next Month
- Focus on Pinterest, Bloglovin and raising my DA
- Make more of an effort to reply to comments on my posts and videos and comment on other people’s
- Do a lot more photography-based content
I hope you enjoyed this life-update, let me know which part of it you found most interesting e.g. the week by week updates, numerical goals etc… I’d love to know! Megan x