meganatkinsonslife

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You may have seen the drama on twitter recently surrounding the infamous £50 Zoella advent calander and the Hello World Live event, which has prompted me to throw my two cents in and have a little rant about bigger YouTubers and their explotation of younger viewers.

I’ve been a huge fan of YouTube since 2012 and looked up to Zoe for the majority of my teenage years. As a thirteen year old, I literally took everything she said as gospel; if she was wearing a foundation I’d go to town and pick up the exact same one straight away. This wasn’t a bad thing, I genuinely valued her opinion and felt she took time to help her audience in deciding what to buy through monthly favourites and boots hauls. Fast forward four years and she now has her own, horrifically overpriced, products in boots which she tries very hard to plug in said favourites videos. I’m not trying to say she isn’t deserving of her success, I understand she’s worked for years to build her brand and, admittedly, if I had my own products I’d be mentioning them in videos too, but my issue is her ignorance towards her audience. Charging £50 for half an advent calendar that contains glitter and stickers is absolutely unacceptable. Just to put it into context for you, you could buy a concert ticket, six months of Netflix or a return flight to Poland for the same price as the calendar. You could literally fly to a different country and back for the same amount she has the audacity to charge for Poundland junk. If I were to buy the calendar, I’d have to put six and a half hours in at work. Glitter and stickers are NOT worth six and a half hours of my life nor are they worth a days wage for all the parents  who will buy one to make their children happy. Why should parents spend a whole day working to line a millionaires pocket when they don’t even get a quality product in return? After years of seeming genuine, Zoe has well and truly proven herself to be WAY too money hungry, and yes, I know she may not have had a huge say in the price, but she chose to put her name on something that is very obviously exploiting children, which is inexcusable. The fact that she’s chosen to completely ignore the issue isn’t helping her case either.

My outrage doesn’t stop there, I’m appalled by the majority of bigger YouTubers, especially those who attended Hello World Live, who allowed children (or their parents) to pay upwards of £100 to stand in queues all day. From what I can gather, the whole day was unorganised and just another way to sell over priced merch that had absolutely NO effort put into it (I’m looking at you with your PB logos Alfie). I no longer watch a lot of the YouTubers who attended and had stopped watching Alfie and Zoe long before then, simply because I was sick of them dropping in lines like ‘I got a FREE Mulberry bag in my PO Box’, and ‘I have to have VIP insurance on my Range Rover’ just to let everyone know how privileged and luxurious their life is. Its great that they have nice things, but if child exploitation is their only way to go about getting them then they really need to rethink their strategy.

To be honest, I’m very disappointed with the state of YouTube at the minute. Don’t get me wrong, there are SO many great channels out there that I watch daily, but theres a select few people who are bleeding their status dry to buy bigger houses and better cars, and I’m SO glad people are starting to take notice.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the advent calendar drama and bigger YouTubers in general, feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think! Megan x

Thumbnail credits go to Zoella’s video

Welcome to my fourth gap year update! October is by far my favourite month of the year and this one was a good one.

Week 1

I went into October feeling really positive, I channeled my new year vibes and convinced myself October was going to be much better than September and that it was a fresh start, and I was right. I started the best month of the year by watching this seasons first episode of  ‘Saturday Night Live’, albeit not live from my living room…on a Sunday morning. Even so, it gave me the autumnal vibes I needed and I feel SO content now knowing I have new Kate McKinnon videos to look forward to every Sunday. Things also picked up for me job wise during the first week of the month and I got a trial at a local coffee shop. I went for six and a half hours expecting to serve old people cake and coffee and instead was put in a room with fluorescent lighting and told to load and unload a dishwasher for the entire thing (thats a lie, I also took the bins out, what a treat). After being to scared to reject the job offer when the manager asked me infront of everyone else whether I wanted to work there, I went home, cried and text her saying I wouldn’t be taking the job. I know you have to start somewhere and it may sound like I’m scared of hard work, but I value my time and mental health more than washing dishes for minimum wage. I promised myself and my parents that I’d get a job by the end of the month, and after rejecting the job offer at the cafe, I was given three job interviews in one day. All three were for retail stores, the first being a telephone interview, the second a face to face interview and trial and the third a group interview. They all went well but I had one in mind that I really wanted but didn’t think I’d get because of my lack of experience. Two days after the interview, I was offered the position and I couldn’t be happier. I was even offered more interviews, so after feeling hopeless and applying for over 150 jobs without hearing anything back but rejections, I got six interviews and a job offer in one week. On the same day I was offered the job, I started a film academy. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and as I mentioned in my last gap year update I am not one for drama lessons or drama games, so when the course leader announced we’d be playing ‘shuffle monster’ I wanted to walk right back out and never come back. I didn’t though, I decided it was at least worth giving it a try for a day and I actually came out with some really good ideas and the confidence to talk to new people.

 

Week 2

The second week of the month was a lot more productive. I made the spontaneous decision to have a bath, which won’t sound like a big deal to some, but I’m a shower person so to sit in a candle lit bath for an hour listening to an audio book was an absolute treat. I made my way through the audio version of ‘Girlboss’ which gave me SO much motivation after having none at all during September. After finishing the book I was more than ready to get my sh*t together and started the ‘Simplify Your Life Challenge’ which was one of my main goals for the month. The main aim of the challenge is to have a decluttered, organised environment and mind which will allow you to be more productive. The challenge was made by Michelle from ‘muchelleb’ who I’ve become absolutely obsessed with recently, who also runs a self development themed book club I’ve decided to join. The combination of taking some self care time, taking motivation from others and doing practical things to take back control of my life meant that by mid October I was back on track and out of my September rut and to top it all of, I had an interview to work at a summer camp in America next year!

Week 3

The highlight of week three was going to see Mamma Mia the musical at Sunderland, I’ve mentioned before how much I love going to the theatre so to be able to spend another night there with my family was lovely! Things did start going a little bit downhill this week though, I slowly started losing motivation and still hadn’t made any progress with my blog or YouTube channel, but I was making time for self care and more baths which is always a good thing!

Week 4

The majority of the last week of the month was spent at the film academy I’m going to, which meant I was travelling back and fourth a lot and didn’t get much else done. By this point, the minimalism challenge had gone out of the window half way through and I wasn’t making much progress with anything else either. The month was of course finished off with Halloween though, which I’ve realised is a night much better spent inside giving out treats than walking in the cold singing to get them.

Overall Feelings On The Month

October has probably been the most positive, productive month since I started these updates in July; it was the spooky season, I got a job, started a film academy, focused on self development and made more time for self care. Although I lost motivation towards the end of the month, I’m taking as much of October’s positivity as I can into November!

Social Media Goals

Just like last month, no social media goals were set for October. I haven’t been doing any blogging or YouTube so there was no way anything was going to grow, but I’m going to try my best to get back on track next month.

Last Months Goals

I’m SO glad to say last month’s goal of ‘Finish America photo diaries’ has FINALLY been ticked off. I went to America in March and these posts have been hanging over me ever since and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to finally have work up that I’m proud of as well as memories of my time spent in the USA.

As I said, I got half way through the ‘Thirty day simplify your life challenge’ so I didn’t quite reach this goal, but I am proud of myself for getting through the physical decluttering and I’m sure at some point in the near future I’ll dedicate a couple of hours in bed with a cup of tea to get through the mental decluttering part.

I’m also very pleased to say that my third goal for October, ‘Get a job’ has been achieved. I got a Christmas position I’m really happy with and I’m glad my life has some structure again.

Next Months Goals

-Put in as many hours at work as I can

-Post to my blog and YouTube once a week

-Start my new year planning

Hope you enjoyed another update on my gap year! What was your biggest achievement of October? Leave a comment and let me know! Megan x

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 17.24.28We have officially started the best three months of the year, so to get you into the spirit I’ve put together a list of the BEST things autumn gives us! Grab a pumpkin spiced latte and enjoy…

  1. Halloween- LETS GET SPOOKY
  2. Halloween Movies- Think a whole day of Halloween Town and Hocus Pocus
  3. Halloween Costumes- By far my favourite part of October is getting to go all out with a costume and make up!
  4. PSLs- Anyone complaining about Autumn needs to get themselves an overpriced sugary latte and get spookyStarbucks Cup (1 of 1).jpg
  5. Pumpkin Scent- I recently trick or treated myself to The Body Shop’s pumpkin range  and I can’t wait to have a pamper session with it!Body Shop (1 of 1).jpg
  6. Pumpkin Carving- Literally NOTHING beats going to pick out the best pumpkin, coming home and creating a masterpiece (or if you’re me, the same pumpkin face you’ve been doing since you were 6. Think triangle eyes and a jagged mouth.)
  7. Riverdale- Season one had me hooked and I’ve been counting down the days till season two ever since it ended!
  8. Stranger Things- No one even attempt to talk to me on October 27th. Just don’t.
  9. SNL- For a British person who has to watch Saturday Night Live on Youtube on a Sunday afternoon I still get pretty excited knowing its back every week!
  10. X Factor- Nothing says its the run up to Christmas like someone crying because they lost a game of musical chairs
  11. I’m A Celeb-Nothing says were even closer to Christmas like a D list celeb eating maggots
  12. Bake Off
  13. CandlesGhost 3 (1 of 1).jpg
  14. Cosy ClothesFlatlay 2 (1 of 1).jpg
  15. Fairy LightsFairy lights (1 of 1).jpg
  16. Rain
  17. Dark Nights
  18. Leaves Changing Colour
  19. Conkering
  20. Blog/vlogtober
  21. Ice Hockey
  22. Bonfire Night
  23. Pinterest Boards
  24. The Colour Mustard
  25. Garden Centres

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 22.41.07.pngAnother month of my gap year is over and not much progress has been made. I’ll warn you, this isn’t going to be a very positive post because this month I completely lost interest in everything. I haven’t done anything special or productive and I’ve pretty much felt uncertain and lost for the whole of September, but I’m going to document it anyway, because I want to be able to look back on an honest account of my gap year in the future.

Week One

Week one was pretty bleak. My motivation was low and I didn’t really have a purpose to get out of bed since I was unemployed and uninterested in my blog. I’d been applying to tons of jobs and got rejected from all of them and I was losing hope of ever getting one. A YouTuber that I’ve been watching for a while now is ‘muchelleb’, who has a channel dedicated to living your life intentionally. In one of her videos she mentioned the importance of positive affirmations and since I’d been playing with the law of attraction concept during August I decided to give affirmations a go, and I can confidently say…they.are.LIFE CHANGING! For the whole month I’ve been sitting down regularly to make statements that make me feel secure, such as ‘I am making small improvements to my life every day’ and ‘I am making a conscious effort to look after my physical and mental health’, and combined them with ‘brain dump’ journaling, which really helped pull me out of week one’s rut.

Week Two

Week two was pretty much the same, applying to jobs, getting rejected, not making an effort with my blog, getting stressed because I wasn’t making an effort with my blog…you get the idea. Throughout the week I continued journaling and writing positive affirmations and had a night at the theatre to look forward to. My family and I had booked tickets to see ‘The Addams Family’ musical in Sheffield, in which Carrie Hope Fletcher was playing ‘Wednesday’. I’d been watching Carrie’s ‘Watch Me Wednesdays’ for months leading up to my show date, so needless to say when I arrived at the theatre and found out she had to drop out of both performances on the day I was going, I was devastated. Don’t get me wrong I know she couldn’t help it and it was an amazing performance regardless, but it was just upsetting that the one thing I was looking forward to during two very bleak weeks wasn’t what I expected.

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Week Three

Two of my friends and I went to see the ‘Kingsman’ double bill release day midnight showing during week three, which really picked my mood up.

IMG_3050.JPG.jpgSince we were going to be watching four hours worth of film I went all out and baked Kingsman cupcakes and brought a blanket and slippers to the cinema and had an amazing night. Then I did something ridiculous. Anyone that knows me on a personal level will know that I’m incredibly introverted and shy. Drama lessons at school were my absolute worst nightmare, but for some reason last year I had the urge to take them again. I never actually took one and the need drifted away after a while when I accepted acting wasn’t for me. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for my brain to move on and during week three of September I convinced myself that acting lessons were exactly what I needed to overcome my shyness. After watching a ‘muchelleb’ video recommending you do something completely weird and random to get yourself out of a rut (which is still excellent advice that I’m trying to take), I booked in for a trial session at a local drama club and even started watching videos on how to get into drama school (I jumped the gun there, clearly). When it came to the night before the lesson I was up until 2.30am worrying and ended up emailing the teacher to cancel so I had enough peace of mind to go to sleep. I decided anything that causes me that amount of stress just isn’t something worth doing, and I think I’ve finally realised I’m better behind the camera than infront of it. I don’t regret booking the lesson because at least I proved to myself I had the nerve to push myself that far out of my comfort zone, but it definitely caused my mood to plummet right back down for a while which wasn’t great.

Week Four

By week four I still hadn’t got a job or even an interview, but I did receive a call to tell me I’d gained a place on the ‘British Film Institute Film Academy’ for 15-19 year olds, which was an opportunity I’d worked really hard to get during the application process. Although the programme is only one day a week and I still didn’t have a paid job, it gave me a sense of purpose going into October. It was also annual conkering day during week four which well and truly put me in the mood for pumpkin spiced lattes and mustard coloured everything!

Starbucks Cup (1 of 1)

Social Media Goals

I literally have nothing to put in this section because I was so disinterested in my blog and Youtube during September I didn’t even bother to write posts never mind promote them and grow my other sites. I’m currently working on implementing the 80/20 principal into my social media and quite honestly at this point I’m considering leaving Instagram all together and focusing on the growth of my other platforms. Hopefully when I get my blogging motivation back the same will return for my social medias. Until then I’m just going to give myself the break I need and stop focusing on numbers.

Overall Feelings On The Month

September was an uncertain month. My moods went up and down and I didn’t really achieve anything, but everyone has uncertain periods in their life and ultimately I’ll get where I need to be, I just need to make next month better than this one.

Last Months Goals

-Bulk write, edit, photograph and promote posts

-Be at least a week ahead with posts and videos at all times

-Book my first solo trip

Needless to say, all of these goals failed miserably. I feel like I’ve failed every goal I’ve set in all three of my gap year update posts so far. I am working on it though, everyday I’m adding small strategies to my life to become a more motivated, productive person so I just have to accept that self improvement is a slow journey and I’ll get there eventually.

Next Months Goals

-Finish my America photo diaries

-Complete the ‘thirty day simplify your life challenge’

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 22.47.19

-Get a job

Sorry if this post was a bit rambly and negative! I promise October will be more positive and productive! P.S How was September for you? Did you achieve everything you set out to? Megan x