28.The Liebster Award!

Liebster I was nominated by Anna (A Sparkle of Grace) for this and am super honoured, so thank you! Also I apologise for not posting this last week, I’ve just been ridiculously busy!

1. How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging on Sea Banana for 10 months now, but I’ve been on and off blogging for the last 7 years now (i.e. opening and closing blogs, plus going through Tumblr stints, haha!)

2. Where do you get your inspiration for your posts?

It comes mostly from what I’m experiencing in my personal life, although I try to keep some of that to myself. Also seeing what’s happening on Twitter/Pinterest helps for garnering ideas!

3. Is there anything you wish you could change about the blogging community, or even just blogging in general?

The only thing I can think of would be a way of bringing more reader engagement to smaller bloggers. If I can help with that and let more small bloggers know that their content is appreciated then that would be nice!

4. You are given a million dollars what do you do with it?

I’d put more money into research on mental health, as I wouldn’t want anyone else to struggle in the same way that I have. I’d also pay off the bills of those nearest and dearest to me and buy myself a property to live in. The rest would collect interest in the bank!

5. If you could meet any three people throughout history who would you pick?

Chiune Sugihara because I’ve read about his work recently and it inspired me, Anne Boleyn because I always thought she was an interesting person when I learnt about Henry VIII’s wives, and King James VI because I want to know more about why he became the King of England as well as Scotland and Ireland.

6. What is your favourite era for fashion and makeup?

The 1930s for the long lines in the outfits, along with the androgynous fashion. I love how flattering the outfits look without being revealing; that’s not to say that I have a problem with revealing clothing, I don’t, I just prefer to be more covered.
7. If you had to live without your phone or your computer which would you keep?

I would keep my computer because then I can still all of my blogging and social stuff, as well as email people rather than endure awkward phone calls!

8. Dogs or cats? Why?

Cats, definitely! Although this could be because I seem to be allergic to dogs…

9. Who are your favourite bloggers?

I love Cheesie at Cheeserland in particular, but I’ve been really enjoying Jemma’s blog Dorkface recently!
10. If you had your own brand/business what would your products be?

I actually have a stationery shop online (which you can see here)

11. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Reading so many books in my room, while hiding under my desk and wishing I was like Matilda, haha!

Phew, that took me longer to write than intended!

I’d like to nominate @a_blogger2017 (blog can be found here) and @travelbear92  (blog can be found here) as they’re absolutely lovely and write great posts!

My 11 questions:

  1. What made you want to start blogging?
  2. What motivates you to write?
  3. What’s the last show you watched?
  4. What’s your favourite animal?
  5. What is the last blog post you read?
  6. What are you listening to currently?
  7. What is your current blogging goal?
  8. What is your blog about?
  9. Where do you see your blog taking you in the next five years?
  10. Who are your favourite bloggers?
  11. What book are you reading currently?

 

23. Why I Still Read Teen Literature

Teen literature

 

I am currently 22 years and 7 months old. Yes, I am that specific. But in spite of that, I still enjoy reading teen/ young adult fiction over the traditional ‘adult’ literature.

Why should you read teen/ young adult literature?

The connection and relatability to issues brought up in the stories is personally that much stronger in literature aimed at my age group or younger. Below are a few aspects of teen/ young adult literature which are reasons why you should consider reading it more:

  • The Ability To Balance Life and Academia: As I’m still in education (and university doesn’t feel that different to secondary school), I relate to the plights of characters navigating education. The balance between academics and a social/ romantic life is another aspect of teen/ young adult literature that I recognise with. While this is also covered in the work/social balance covered in adult literature, I feel that this is discussed in a more mature point of life than where I’m currently at.
  • The Ability To Discuss Culturally Relevant Topics: This isn’t to say that relevant issues are not discussed; saying that would be preposterous! But looking at issues directly relatable to young adults and teens? That’s a much more niche target audience, making it potentially less marketable yet still so important. Topics I’ve come across in my reading and trawling of Amazon for teen/ young adult literature include:
    • Social media use and its impacts
    • Mass shootings in schools
    • LGBT awareness
    • Sickness and health

Undoubtedly there are probably many more topics here that I haven’t listed, but these are just a few that I have personally come across.

  • The Choice of Perspective Used: When it comes to reading I think we all have a favourite ‘person’ that we like to read in. In my case, I love literature that is written in the first person, as I want to be personally involved in the story. I like being deep in the protagonist’s mind, as this means I can imagine the scenarios playing out in much greater depth than what I may be capable of in the third person.
  • The Opportunity To Gradually Transition Into Adult Literature: For me, this is the most important aspect of literature. There’s a rush during childhood to grow up, but I don’t think that’s necessary for reading; learning is an individual adventure after all. I’m grateful for the opportunity to slowly ease my way into growing up, as despite my age I still don’t feel like an adult (although this could be because I get asked for ID ALL THE TIME -_-), and I think that it’s okay to reach that stage in learning and in your personal life at your own pace.

Recommended Teen/ Young Adult Literature

Zoella

Below is a current series of books written by UK YouTuber Zoella (as seen in this handy picture above) which to my knowledge were aimed at a teen audience. Covering the recent popularity of blogging and vlogging, along with the focus on creative expression greatly appealed to me as a reader in that it brought back the nostalgia of who I was as a teen. In fact, I felt quite similarly placed in life to the protagonist Penny, especially with her gradual discovery of her identity. I’m still learning who I am both as a person and as a writer, and through this book it made it seem acceptable to not have all of the answers just yet.

Another author that I’d recommend for teen/ young adult literature is Rainbow Rowell. It’s thanks to her books that I even re-applied to start university for the second time back in 2015 after a mental health break, and I truly loved reading Fangirl enough to want to re-read it.

Is it nostalgia that’s keeping me in this target age group of literature? Maybe. One thing’s for sure; I’m not ready to fully tackle ‘adult’ literature just yet!

P.S. Do you have any teen/ young adult literature that you’d recommend for me to read?

22. How to Stay Calm During Finals Season

It’s almost the end of finals season for some, or it has recently ended for others. It’s undeniable that I struggle to cope with large amounts of deadlines (I had eight to contend with) but with some attention to stressors, it’s possible to get through that. These tips are coming from the mindset of someone with mental health problems, but I hope they will help you all.

Finals

How To Stay Calm During Finals Season (And Come Out Unscathed)

  1. Recognise your stressors: We all know within ourselves (or are getting to know) what brings us stress. In my case, it’s having lots of tasks to complete around the same time and not having an approach to getting them done. I need order and structure in my working life in order to stay calm, from making detailed plans for assignments to making general plans of what tasks to do first.
  2. Make listing your friend: Anyone that knows me knows I love to make lists. It feels like I’ve accomplished something as I tick off what has been achieved. Moreover, it’s a clear way of knowing both where you’re at and where you’re going.
  3. Map it out: On the course that I study, we have to write a lot of essays. While it’s true in the British education system that we write larger essays from GCSEs onwards, I’m certainly feeling it now that I’m on a writing degree! One way that you can get through that is to create mind maps for these essays. A way of doing this is to organise them into a ‘road map’ or ‘clock’, with each point relating to a point on the clock face. This helps me visualise the order of my essay as if each point were a puzzle piece, in that a final result can be met in this way.
  4. Be selfish: Sounds harsh, right? But it’s absolutely necessary for the sake of your wellbeing. By being selfish, I mean focus on the self more. Focus on what you need to be at your optimum health; be it eating better, drinking more water, staying active through physical activity or meditation for the mind, you have to do what’s best for you. It will be a struggle to get through all of the deadlines and exams without being selfish some of the time, so take this opportunity to look after yourself!
  5. Limit how much you do each day: This is something I’ve been trying to do more when I have impending deadlines, as I am the type to work until I physically have nothing left to give. If you have a big task, find a way to break it down into manageable chunks, and complete a chunk (or two) each day. By doing this, your tasks become much more realistic and achievable as opposed to being overwhelming. In addition, it reduces the chances of becoming stressed by having smaller targets to reach each day.

Where does all of this leave me?

I need to take some of these steps to heart, that much is true! Now that I’m writing these steps after my deadlines, I know that I will need to heed my own advice in the future if I want to remain calm and do well in my studies.

It’s not easy managing deadlines, but with a little management and taking the time to recognise your limits it can be done.

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