So I’ve been planning for months to start a uni series on this blog in Summer, around August when people get their places and have to start sorting accommodation etc buuutttt, I thought I’d do this one now because it’s more of a personal experience thing and isn’t specific to everyone who will start university. Sub in school / college / a job / whatever applies to you.
If you didn’t know, I started this blog back in 2015 during the Summer between school and sixth form, but only spent the first few months blogging regularly to a schedule and then spent the following two years blogging sporadically, so I can’t really say I ever juggled blogging with sixth form or my part time job back then – as much as I used to use those as my excuse. Starting my degree was when I started to get serious about blogging again, so for the last few months I’ve had to balance the upkeep of this blog and all my social media accounts that go with it with, ykno, doing my degree.
Blogging on the side of a full time job or education, or even part time, is a struggle. You have to manage your time efficiently, work blogging around your main priority, and try to put money into your blog and content whilst still paying bills, buying food and generally trying to survive. Hopefully my experience and tips will help you better manage blogging with your education or job.
ask for help
Whether it’s a member of your family, a friend, another blogger – you can’t do it all alone. This doesn’t even just apply to those who juggle blogging with another thing, it’s important to make sure you aren’t giving yourself a huge workload and to remember that asking for help is not a weakness whatsoever. Sure, you can take photos with a tripod and remote, but isn’t it better to have an actual human being behind the lens the very moment the shot is being taken to make sure it looks good. I literally could not keep up with the visual side of things without asking for help. Whether it’s my parents or my friends I’ve always gotta be that little leech and beg them to take outfit photos of me. Reward them with a coffee or something after for taking time out of their day to help you though.
work it into your budget but don’t prioritise it
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this recent, either in a post or tweet, but my maintenance loan at uni is £1000 under the cost of my accommodation, so my parents have to add to my rent and then give me a weekly allowance on top of that which I hate. Being in first year I’ve found it hard to get a job – I go home kind of often and I can’t live there during Summer which seems to be the question employers always ask me – so when it got late into the academic year I gave up, no point in me taking a job for two months when I’ve got to go home over Easter and than have exams not long after and then move out for the Summer. If I had a part time job I’d probably put this money back into my blog and content, because I’m lucky enough to have parents who would continue to give me money for a food shop which is my only other necessity. When I say put money into the blog, a big part of this is buying new clothes to showcase. I wrote about the pressure of needing to always buy clothes in order to keep up with blogging, it’s not one I want to succumb to but I’ve found that my style is changing and evolving a lot whilst at uni, perhaps part of me feeling like I’m really ~growing up~ and ~maturing~ so it’s something I’ve ended up doing, but I always buy stuff I know I’ll keep wearing and it’s just an added bonus that I can shoot these for the blog.
On average I get about £50 a week, though on the odd occasion it’s been up to £80 when I need to do a bigger food shop because lots of things run out at once or because I’m doing a lot that week. I usually spend £20-£25 a week on shopping because the only things I need to repurchase weekly are fresh foods like meat and vegetables. Sometimes I spend a bit more when my eggs or milk or yoghurt or certain dry goods have run out and I need to top them up, but usually it’s £20 a week. This gives me at least half of my weekly allowance for anything else and I pretty much never ever spend it all, so every few weeks at the end of the week when all my leftover money has accumulated I pop into Topshop and see if anything catches my eye, thus giving me new stuff to shoot for the blog. In terms of blog design, I bought my current theme a year or two ago when I still had a part time job so I don’t need to maintain those but I’m planning a WordPress migration for when I come home for the Summer and just saving with my leftover weekly allowance. In terms of apps, I pay the yearly cost for VSCO Cam because it’s not that much for a whole year, and my payment is taken in January aka straight after Christmas and my birthday so I’ll always have some dolla. I have the student discount on Adobe programmes but my dad pays for it because he needs them too and just lets me use them because he would have to pay waaaaay more were it not for my discount. Back when I had a part time job I used to save 10% of my monthly pay and transfer it straight to my savings account, then I upped this to saving £50 a month, so if this is something you can do it’s worth shoving any excess money into your savings and then coming back to it when you need to invest in something for your blog.
do things in bulk when you have the time
Whenever I’ve got less work to do for uni or I’ve completed it all, this is when I want to do as much as possible for my blog before more work inevitably piles up for uni again. Whenever I have free time that I know I don’t need to do uni work in, I will do blog work. Sometimes I mix the two together, using blog work as my break from uni work because it puts my mind on something that I actually enjoy but because I’m still doing some form of work my brain won’t lose momentum and I can easily go back to revising or writing an essay after.
I like to shoot my outfits back home in Brighton, so when I’m home I will drive somewhere with my parents and spend a good chunk of time shooting several outfits in bulk to last me until the next time I come home. It’s not a glamorous life – think frantically changing in the boot then getting back out to take pics and repeat – but it works well because we usually do it on a Sunday when we all have the time and can fit in a food shop before or after. When I’m back home, especially if it’s only for the weekend, I don’t do as much uni work as I do when I’m actually at uni so I know I have more of my free time to dedicate to blogging, so this is when I like to cram as much in as I can. Don’t compromise your priority, whether it be education or a job, for blogging but whenever you know you can take a break from your priority and dedicate some time to blogging, get a lot done in that time to last you for those times when you won’t have time at all because your priority is consuming everything.
These are the three main points I have for how I’ve been able to juggle blogging with uni, anything else would just be stemming from these anyway, so here’s hoping you can use them to juggle blogging with whatever your full-time occupation is.