There's something fascinating about people who live dual lives.
Blogger-slash-student. That duality has always fascinated me and I've invited some of my favorite blogger-students to share their experiences about balancing blogging with school and some of lessons learned.
Kevin O'Gara, Thou Swell- interior design blogger; 17
Kevin just started blogging a year ago and has come a long way since then! He's been featured on multiple publications, including Apartment Therapy and I'm excited to see what's in store next for him.
School has always been my first priority, but I’m constantly thinking about my blog and dreaming up new content. I try to get all my schoolwork done before I engage in social media or blog post drafting, but I often check into social media during the day. That being said, a lot of my blogging goes on at night, when I can just focus on drafting new posts. As my blog progresses, I think about it more as a job and a long-term art project than a hobby, and I prepare to use it as a tool in my portfolio when I apply to colleges.
Some of the difficulties I’ve faced as a student and blogger include that precarious balance of school and blogging, but that balance has been increasingly easy to maintain as my blogging process becomes more efficient. I do notice the gap in ages between myself and my contemporaries in the blogosphere, though this doesn’t necessarily bother me! I’ve learned a lot about what my interests are, what my personal style is, and how to build momentum and my own voice through my blog’s brand. I really believe that building a blog requires toolkit that can be super applicable in so many professional environments!
Margaret Zhang, Shine by Three-fashion blogger/stylist/photographer/writer; 21
I've mentioned Margaret here and there on my blog and I'm honestly in awe of her. She's a Law/Commerce student at the University of Sydney and she's a fashion blogger/stylist/photographer/writer all at the same time. #GIRLBOSS
She's mentioned balancing both on her blog and I've compiled her advice here:
In short, it’s not impossible. Consider all the time you spend procrastinating on Facebook, on the couch, on your phone, in a day, and reallocate that to something productive, even if that means going for a run, or cleaning out the house, or making dinner for your parents, or volunteering at a community centre. Set signpost goals in your mind of where you want to be in a year, two years, five years, and ten years. If what you’re doing at any point in time isn’t contributing to that, stop and do what you should be doing. Time management and long-term ambition is key. (Having said that, you really do need time off to stay healthy – just allocate that to a particular day of the week or month).
#YOLO! My degree is quite intensive and blogging the content I like to produce has effectively grown to the size of a full time job. But the way I see it, both of them will never be 100% complete: I can never have ‘finished studying’ for Law or Commerce, and there always be more videos to edit, more photos, more copy and more emails on the blogging side. It does work out quite well because they are on opposite ends of the brain spectrum, so I can procrastinate between the two: when I’m craving some creativity and exciting content, I’ll blog; when fashion gets too fickle, I go back to straight theory and hardcore textbooks. Nothing like a gory criminal law case to bring you back down to Earth… I will admit that I give and take a little. I take note of how much assessments are worth, whether I need to go to a 3 hour event over studying, and if that awesome backstage video is worth 2 hours less sleep. Truth is, though, I am one of those people who never really stops and works better under pressure and less effectively with free time (which is why I don’t have too many qualms with taking on more every week). Overwhelming? Sometimes, yes. But very much worth it in the long run. You sleep when you die!
Hazel Ureta, Stay Bookish-book blogger/blog designer; 19
I really enjoy reading Hazel's posts on books and seeing her photography. She's been featured before here and since then, she's continued to blog as well open a design shop. So happy for her and excited to see what's in the future!
I’m a 19 y/o bookworm who is currently in college and sometimes I also wonder how I still have time for book blogging. Shouldn’t I be buried in schoolworks and papers to write? Really, that’s definitely the case for me more often than not- especially when it’s so hard to get my priorities straight sometimes.Occasionally, I’d find myself doing blogging duties instead of studying for a test. At the end of the day though, what’s important when you’re a student blogger is that you know that school should take precedence and that blogging is simply a hobby. Don’t lose focus. Well, that's what I remind myself at least.
How to keep balance of both is another challenge. Like I mentioned, knowing your priorities is key but knowing how to manage your time is just as indispensable. Keep a time slot for blog tasks. For me, I usually do blog commenting during the morning commute to school, blog planning on long class breaks, and blog writing at night after I’m done with my assignments. Ultimately, being efficient and responsible will help you achieve a good equilibrium when it comes to being a blogger and a student. Then, you can do what you love and do what you must at the same time.
How do you balance your life?