a reflection on my first week of college

Before you read this, I just have one thing to say!

I originally had no intent to ever post this. I wrote what I was feeling because I felt like I had no one to talk to and I really needed to let this all out.

I am now in my fifth week of school, and I feel a whole lot better. I’m getting used to it, making great friends, and doing well in all of my classes. I might even be starting to love it! There really is an adjustment period, so if you are feeling the same way as I was, just give it time.

And for everyone who is not in college yet and is reading this, don’t worry. It’s not as bad as I made it seem. I tend to exaggerate things (a lot), and I feel completely different about school now.

Ok, on with this little open letter!

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I hate it.

I was anticipating this for months. Living on campus, being surrounded by friends, going out all the time, having freedom and more time to do whatever I like.

Instead, I feel stressed. Anxious. Lonely. Different.

I always relied on my ability to handle change and adapt to any and all circumstances. This is a change that I was excited for- I literally counted down the days. But I feel so lost. Like I’m missing a part of myself and don’t know how to get it back. Everyone around me seems to be doing so well. People have already made the friendships that they’re going to keep for life.

I feel like I’m so behind and having a hard time adjusting while everyone else has it so smooth sailing.

For the first time in my life, I miss home. I miss my room. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I even miss high school. That is a sentence I never thought would come out of my mouth.

I have always seen people older than me post about their experiences online and they all look like they are having the time of their life. That is the experience I wanted. I want to love this school so much that I’ll miss it when I’m home for breaks. But I can’t see that happening.

I know it takes time. Everyone tells me that. But it just doesn’t feel like it will change.

I’m trying to stay positive, but it can be really hard sometimes. Here’s to hoping next week gets better.

Xo, Jess

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Booktuber Interview- Julia Sapphire

Hey everyone! As promised, I am here with another interview :) This time with Julia Sapphire, who has an amazing Booktube channel. I highly recommend checking her channel out! 

Let’s get into the questions!

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First, can you introduce yourself and what you do on the internet?

Hello, my name is Julia Sapphire! I make bookish videos on YouTube and am apart of the BookTube community. I upload videos such as, reading wrap ups, hauls, tbr’s (to be read), Stephen King videos, book recommendations videos, etc. I have been making videos for over three years now and started at the age of thirteen, so you definitely see me grow up online a little bit haha.

Obviously, anyone who has checked out your channel knows you love Stephen King. Which book would you recommend for someone who has never read any of his works?

Haha, yes! This is a question I get asked quite a bit and always have trouble answering. I would say that Carrie is a great start for some, it is where I started myself! It is his debut novel and one of his shorter novels for sure. You can totally see him progress as a writer and a person as you continue reading his books. I also suggest Mr. Mercedes, more for people who don’t want to jump into straight-up horror. It is more of a mystery-suspense book and follows a detective! It is blunt and intense but its not considered “horror” so take that as you will :)

Have you been to any bookish events in the past and do you plan on going to any this year?

I have been to book signings, four in the past! I have been to one with Kendare Blake and Lauren Oliver, another with Angie Thomas, Julie Murphy and Becky Albertilli, as well as a Sarah J. Maas signing! Not long ago I also attended the book signing for Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. I do plan on attending Bookcon this June and am super excited but kind of nervous haha.

What are your plans and goals for your channel for 2018?

Ouu I love planning so I did make some channel goals for 2018. *whispers* I kinda sorta have a video on it if you’re interested… ;) My main goals though are to reach 10k subscribers (which I have surpassed!) and really take my viewers feedback and requests to improve my channel more in 2018!

What are your top 3 favorite King books?

Oh gosh!! I get asked this probably daily and typically refuse to answer lol. I will say some of my favourites but I cannot choose an order!! The Shining, Mr Mercedes, Misery, IT and Rose Madder are all great reads! Salems’ Lot is excellent as well!

If you could live in any book world, which would you pick and why?

I am going to go with a classic YA series and say the Shadowhunter world from Cassandra Clare’s books! It is more urban fantasy so it is set in our world but I would love to be apart of the life Jace and everyone is from. It would be super cool to be a Shadowhunter or a vampire or even a warlock! It is probably a typically answer but those books have made quite the impact on my reading and my life in general!

How did you get into reading?

I got into reading when I read Carrie actually! I was researching popular horror films when I was around ten years old and saw Carrie, so I decided to check out the book! I read it in like a day which at the time has never happened! See I did not grow up with Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, I read Goosebumps, the Spiderwick Chronicles and Judy Blum when I was younger. Carrie did really spark my love for his books and for books in general! What got me into YA fiction was the Visions trilogy by  Lisa Mcmann. It was one of the first book series that I adored, I could relate to the main character and loved the boy in the book haha.

I know you live in Canada, so have you ever been to the US and if so, where?

Yes, I am from Canada! I have not been to the US much at all… I have been to Buffalo which is right outside the Niagara Falls border in Canada just to shop for a day, that’s about it though!

What do you see yourself pursuing as a future career? Do you think it would be related to books?

I see myself doing psychology or criminology in the future. I have wanted to pursue this as a career for many years now and books have helped give me new perspectives and increased my interest in these areas. I have thought about working in publishing, it would obviously be something I am passionate about. As for writing, people think that because I read my goal is to become a writer which has not really been the case… mind you I am sixteen so this could change haha! I could see myself writing poetry though.

Finally, what advice would you give someone who wants to start a booktube channel?

I love this question! I think you just have to do it, put your fit in the door kind of thing. It can be scary putting yourself online but it is so much fun and you can really learn things about yourself and grow as a person. Try not to think about subscribers or making money right off the bat. Its just not how it works and people can tell if you are not genuine. I would say have fun, interact in the community and to always share your honest thoughts on a book during a review!!
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Thank you so much to Julia for doing this interview! It was a lot of fun :) Once again, make sure to go check out her channel! If you would like me to do more interviews like this one, please leave a comment down below.
Xo, Jessica

interview with booktuber- Kat

You might not remember this, but I used to do a series of interviews on my blog with different poets, youtubers, authors, etc. It has been MONTHS since my last one. BUT, I have decided to restart the series, and I have an amazing interview for you guys today that I am so excited for :)

Meet Kat, or paperbackdreams. She is super sweet and I absolutely love her videos! Please check her channel out. Now, let’s get into the interview!

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First, can you introduce yourself to everyone?

My name’s Kat. I’m 18, and I’m a Booktuber/Bookstagrammer/General Bookish Internet User.

Why did you decide to start a Youtube channel (and specifically Booktube)?

Youtube came to me sometime in middle school when I discovered Danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil. They were the start of my internet obsession along with the desire to start a channel of my own, but I didn’t know what kind of videos were right for me to make. I spent my time watching really popular YouTubers for years until the last half of 2013 when I randomly decided to type “bookshelf tour” into the search bar (completely sure that such a thing didn’t exist) and found one of the super popular booktubers. This spurred me on to discover the entirety of the community, and I just spent all the years between my discovery and my first video working up the courage to sit in front of my camera and film.

What are your favorite genres to read?

I am currently trying to branch out my genre reading and have recently discovered my love for thriller and suspense novels. I also love YA fantasy, paranormal, and darker contemporaries.

How has Booktube impacted your life?

This is a pretty average answer, but Booktube has helped me realize that my avid reading is not as strange as I once thought was. It’s allowed me to meet some really cool people who have just as much to say about books and fandoms as I do. Also, I’ve learned a ton about reviewing books and writing!

Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?

I’m not exactly sure. Probably a tired college student who will have hopefully decided what I want to major in and where I want to go in life. Maybe. And I better still be reading as much as I do now or else my future self better watch her back.

Have you always been an avid reader or did this interest just begin recently?

I’ve been reading for pretty much as long as I can remember. My parents read to me when I was young, and my sister also loves to read, so I grew up around books, and from the point that I learned to comprehend words on my own I would just read and reread books constantly.

What is your favorite book of 2018 thus far?

It’s currently a tie between Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire and The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson.

What are some items on your bucket list for both 2018 and your life?

I have too many things on my bucket list that will probably never happen because I’m not super great at following through, but some of my book-related goals are to one day interview an author somehow and maybe write a thing one day. I don’t know what kind of thing, but a thing.

I know you have mentioned that We Are the Ants is your favorite book at the moment. I have just begun reading it myself recently and can understand the hype. What specifically made it a favorite of yours?

To put it very briefly, We Are the Ants surprised me. It’s got so many different storylines going on and all connecting back to this one boy. It’s a lot to take in in the story, but to me it was just about this kid who was kind of lost and hurt, and who didn’t know what to do, but needed to make a decision. All of his thoughts and emotions lined right up with a lot of what I felt/feel and his bitter sarcasm and pessimism was incredible to read because I felt like I was the one talking. It came to me at the perfect time and I know it’s a favorite because I’m not scared of it. There are other books that I’ve read, loved, and never touched again because I have a feeling that if I do I’ll probably find some way to criticize them, and while We Are the Ants is certainly not a perfect book, I am almost certain that if I were to read it again (which I plan to do) I would love it just as much as the first time.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is just starting a Booktube channel?

If you want to start a channel, just do it. Terrible advice, but it’s the truest thing I can say. You don’t have to make a big introduction video, or have a fancy camera and lights, or even know exactly what you want to say. I’ve found that if you just sit down in front of some kind of recording device and start talking about books you love (or maybe some books you don’t love) all the rest will follow.

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HUGE thank you to Kat for agreeing to do this interview. It was so fun reading all of her answers. Please be sure to check out her channel, and maybe even leave her a comment saying you came from my blog!

If there is anyone you would want me to interview next, let me know in the comments :) I already have the next one planned!

xo, Jess

 

2018 goals

I am a huge goal setter. I set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for myself all the time because I like to keep myself motivated with them.  So naturally, I had to create this post because the beginning of 2018 is now upon us. I know 2017 wasn’t the best year for everyone, but that just means we can only go up in 2018. Besides the things that were going on in the world, I changed a lot in 2017. However, I am looking forward to 2018, and I hope to change more than just myself- I want to change the world.

And now, the reason you clicked on this post- my goals!

Say “yes” more

I say no to going out and doing things a lot. I am a homebody, and I need time for myself in order to recharge. I haven’t been spending a lot of times with friends over the past couple of months, especially since I started working. Over winter break, I finally had the rest I needed, and I feel like I am ready to go out again.

Go on more adventures

Like I said before, I stay home a lot. When I do go out, it’s always to the same few places, and I don’t mix it up a lot. This year I am hoping to change that. I want to explore new places in my town and in my state. I want to step out of my comfort zone and see all the different sights there are to see.

Use my film camera more

Over the summer, I bought a film camera, and since then, I have only developed one roll of film. I want to take more pictures and actually use the camera, since I spent a lot of money on it. I want to take the pictures so I can turn them into physical memories. I just need to remember to bring the camera with me.

Spend Less money

I have been a shopaholic my entire life. This is my worst trait in my opinion, because it means when I finally have some money, I impulsively buy way too many things that I don’t even need. If I only follow one resolution, I want it to be this one. Wish me luck (I’m really going to need it for this one).

Read for quality, not quantity

In 2017, I read a total of 65 books. My goal on Goodreads was 50, so I definitely surpassed that. However, I was constantly picking up the shorter books from my TBR in order to finish more books. I don’t want to read like this in 2018, because I don’t want reading to be a competition. Therefore, I set my goal to only 1 book this year so that I can still keep track of what I read, but without the added stress of reaching a goal.

Get organized when it comes to blogging

Way back two years ago, when I first began this blog, I was so organized. I planned out each post, I scheduled them weeks in advance, and had all my pictures taken and ready. Now, I write blog posts in a hurry because I find that I never have time to write them. I want this to change. I want to go back to producing quality content. Hopefully this first post will begin this challenge. I also want to get a routine and a schedule for posting.

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Those are all of my goals for this year. What are some of your resolutions?

xo, jessica

first q&a !

A few weeks ago I asked you all to ask me some questions for a Q&A, and now I’m here to answer them!

What book(s) made a huge impact on you as a kid and now?

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was The Hunger Games. I was obsessed with it and it was one of the first books that I actually couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I was in 6th or 7th grade when I read it, but I think it would be so interesting to re-read it and see if my opinion has changed at all.

Now, there are way too many books that have had an impact on me. To name a few- To Kill A Mockingbird, The Hate U Give, The Princess Saves Herself in This One.

Has a book ever derailed you and completely changed the course of your life?

No, a book has never completely changed my life. There are definitely books that have changed my mindset or made me see things from a new perspective, but not enough to change my life around.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I am planning on going to college to be a public relations major, so I would like to be something under that field. Possible a publicist or a public relations manager. I also hope to be an author, which would be my ultimate goal in life.

Do you collect anything? If so, what?

I don’t collect anything now, unless books count. When I was younger, I used to collect many random things- rocks, nail polish, etc.

What is your favorite poem and favorite form and why!

I have so many favorite poems. There are honestly too many to choose. One of them is haiku #2 from Madisen Kuhn’s book “Eighteen Years”. I also really love poems by Amanda Lovelace.

I don’t have a favorite poetry form though. I like any style, as long as it is well written. What I look for in poetry is just emotion and an ability to relate to the subject.

If you’d like to answer any of these questions in the comments, feel free to do so! I’d love o know your answers.

Also, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and an amazing holiday season!

See you soon.

xo, jessica

end of the year goals !

I can’t believe it’s already December. This year went by insanely fast but I feel like so much had happened. 2017 was just wild. I am ready to embrace the new year with open arms and see where life takes me.

By the way— my next post is going to be a Q&A so ask me questions on this post if you want!

I have some things left to accomplish by the end of this year still, so here’s to hoping i can complete them all.

  1. Read 65 books- i have already read 63 books, which means I only need to finish 2 more books in about 2 1/2 weeks. I have started multiple books that I have yet to finish, so I should finish at least 2, if not more.
  2. Develop a routine for blogging- I started working a real job back in September, and ever since then, blogging has been extremely difficult. I need to work on setting up a schedule every week so that I don’t fall behind all the time.
  3. Write 35 pages in my journal- I have multiple journals, but I have one that is strictly dedicated to writing poems. I have about 30 pages written in it, but I want to write 5 more. I haven’t done a lot of writing recently, so I want to get around to it.
  4. Finish watching The Carrie Diaries- Yes, this is my third time watching this show, but I can’t get enough. I have less than 1/2 of the second season left, so it shouldn’t take me long to finish.
  5. Start Working Out Again- I haven’t worked out on my own in a really long time. I started fitness in gym class this marking period, so at least I work out a little bit. I really want to get back in shape and actually feel motivated to work out.

17 things i learned being 17

On November 15th, I turned 18. That is INSANE to me. I am officially an adult. This past year has been all about growing and learning for me. I have definitely changed as a person, friend, writer, blogger, and student. Not only did I get my license, but I also started my first official job, finished my college applications (and even got some acceptances back already), and so much more. I know that I will continue to grow everyday, but I wanted to do this post so that you guys can hear some of my advice (no matter what age).

  1. take care of your body.
  2. do what makes YOU happy
  3. it’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out
  4. crying does not make you weak!!
  5. not everyone is meant to stay in your life
  6. be kind to everyone
  7. mistakes are okay
  8. don’t be afraid to show people you care
  9. write everyday
  10. you can say “no” without making up excuses
  11. get off of your phone sometimes
  12. don’t be so negative all the time
  13. don’t let the little things bother you
  14. embrace the future, don’t let it scare you
  15. you are the only one who can make things happen for yourself
  16. stay humble
  17. you are doing just fine

Each of these little lessons/reminders have helped me live a less anxious and happier life. I struggled a lot at the beginning of the year with anxiety and stress, but these tips were really useful. I hope you keep these in mind, and I hope they help you out!

xo, Jessica

little chat + update!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to write a little post updating you on my life and where I’ve been. My last few posts have been very short, generic, and not very personal.

School has made me extremely busy, especially with this being senior year. It is important for me to keep my grades up for this semester since colleges will see these grades. I have finished all of my college applications, but that took up most of my time in the beginning of October.

I also started a new job at the end of September, about a month from today. That has taken up so much of my time. I used to have my weekends free so I would plan and write out all of my posts. Now I work 8 hour shifts and it is hard to manage writing. When I come home, I am usually exhausted and don’t want to do anything. I am trying to work on my time management now that I have a new responsibility, but adjusting to my work schedule is a bit tricky.

Anyways, my new job has also sparked the creativity inside me a bit. I work at Michaels, so I am constantly surrounded by paint, crafts, and washi tape. I have been using my watercolors a lot this month, so maybe I can share some of my art soon.

I also have a new journal with me coming up in a few blog posts, because I know I haven’t done one in FOREVER.

Overall, I have really felt inspired to create, I just haven’t always found the time to share it. Hopefully I will be able to post more frequently soon, and I will be back on my game!

Thank you all for being so patient.

xx, Jess

Interview- Ashley’s Lens!

Yay! I finally have another interview :) This one is with a Youtuber I recently found, whose videos are so incredible and inspiring. Let’s just get into it.
I know you have a Youtube channel (which you can check out here), could you tell everyone what type of videos you post?
Yes I do :) I post stuff about art, photography, film, music, and life. I like to talk about stuff that I know will help people, concerning depression and anxiety, just to be an online friend for some people. But also about more uplifting things like books and my general thoughts on life. From time to time I also sing and post covers or original songs. I try not to be tied down by one specific thing though.
Why did you decide to start a Youtube channel? Where did the idea to make one come from?
I started Youtube because of music, actually. When i was around 12, I never used to watch “Youtubers” back then, but as i started posting (really crappy) singing videos, i soon began to lose interest because the music community on Youtube is extremely cut throat and very demotivating. So I took a 1 year hiatus and fell in love with the youtube community as an audience member and learnt the responsibility, passion and dedication a creator must have – I came back with film, my first “short film” called Letter to September around a year ago (I think, maybe 2). Then, I was into Youtube for the right reasons, and it took me till January 2017 to starting posting every Monday (people that don’t do Youtube will never understand how much commitment that takes)  and now here I am.
You posted a brilliant short film titled “Things We Didn’t Say.” How long did that take you to plan out and write?
Before that film i had been planning another film, more classical than Things We Didn’t Say, with a cast and characters and dialogue. However, I started getting stuck at every crossroad and couldn’t write it as one cohesive thought. Thats when the “incident” that inspired the film happened, right when I had given up on my previous idea. It took me about 2 weeks to write, taking some lines from previous unshared work. It also took about 6 re-writes in those 2 weeks and I tried 4 different sets. It was a short but complex and flowing process, i loved every second of it and can’t wait for the next one.
Where do you get the inspiration for your videos from?
Inspiration can’t be pinned for me, it comes just when I don’t want it to. If I try force it, it never comes. I was feeling rather depressed today for the first time in a while actually, and I went down to the beach because I really needed air and thought I might puke, and sitting there in self misery and disgust I came up with a stellar idea for my next writing project. Inspiration comes from dark places, light places, all over really.
What are some of the challenges of having a Youtube? Has there ever been a time when you wanted to quit?
Ha. Yes and No. Youtube is kind of like all hobbies/jobs. There are parts that you hate and parts that make it all worth it. I used to hate coming up with ideas and that’s what stopped me from uploading often but now I just turn the camera on and talk. Whether it’s cohesive or not – doesn’t matter. If you go into youtube completely committed and completely careless as to what the people want, letting what happens happen but on a regular basis, making sure you do it for you and no one else – there really is no downside. I do it to create things and to keep me healthy.
What is your favorite part about Youtube?
Just with my small subscriber base i have a new family. For example;  I have Mark that always comments an essay about his life, and I love learning about him every week. I have Dylan that always snapchats me. I have Sophie who always comments “YAAS”. I have Lola that always writes three honest lines. and so many more. I’ve made so many cool friends. Unlike school, where you’re forced to make friends with strangers, youtube allows you to connect to people who are just like you.
Are you working on any big projects at the moment that you plan on putting out into the world soon?
numero uno – more classic short films
numero dos – (merchandise… how exciting!)
numero tres – more poetry and monologue films
How do you unwind/relax after a hard day? What are some of your tips for relieving stress?
Going to be honest, I’m not good at relieving stress because I don’t really let anything harsh my mellow. School doesn’t stress me because I don’t think it’s that important in the grand scheme of things, but I still try my best. I just try my best at everything I do. If I try my best, I have nothing to stress about. Even if my best isn’t “up to standard”, I do what I can and I’m happy with that.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years? What do you hope to do in the future?
I hope to be happy, most of all. Living somewhere busy in my own swanky apartment with lots of cats and plants and stuff from Pinterest, you know. But firstly happy, that’s what’s most important to me. I also hope I’ll be creating stuff all the time, and I hope one day I can support my family with my art (as a HAPPY artist).
Finally, if you’re not filming a video, what are you doing?
Napping with my cats: Lilly and Cuddles. Shoutout to the real inspiration for my happiness.
Thank you so much Ashley! It was a pleasure to have you featured on here. You’re responses are amazing, and I hope someone gets some inspiration from them.
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Bad Habits To Break

We all have our own bad habits. Mine, for example, is biting my nails. I always try so hard to stop. Today, I wanted to share 5 bad habits that you might do, and why/how to stop it. I am definitely guilty of most of these, but I think they would help us all become better people if we learned to stop them!

  1. Snacking on junk food when bored: I know we all do this. You’re watching Netflix or doing your homework, and before you know it, you are three bags of chips and two cookies deep. The constant junk food snacking is really bad for you. You lose sight of the body’s natural reaction to hunger, and eventually this overeating can lead to chronic diseases. Remind yourself that you are not hungry, and wait until you can hear your stomach grumbling before you pick up a quick snack. Or, just switch to healthier foods, like fruits and veggies.
  2. Not accepting compliments: Ok, you might be a little confused by this, but hear me out. Do you ever have conversations that go like this:
    Person: Wow, your makeup looks so good!
    You: No it doesn’t. I really don’t like it.
    or
    Person: I love your shirt!
    You: Oh, I just got it at Marshall’s, it was really cheap.
    Why don’t we ever just say thank you? I, personally, feel super awkward when someone gives me a compliment, because it makes me feel like I’m in the spotlight. However, I think we all deserve to be in that spotlight sometimes, and should allow ourselves to feel good about the compliment. Just say ”thank you”- its okay!
  3. Skipping breakfast: I know you’ve heard it before- breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But this really is true! It is easy to just make a quick breakfast of cereal, toast, oatmeal, eggs, etc. in the morning, so don’t skip it. It will help your metabolism get a quick start in the mornings, and it can make you feel more awake. People who eat breakfast in the morning generally perform better at school or work. Just give it a try.
  4. Going on phone right before going to sleep: This one is really important. Going on your phone before bed can affect your sleep. It makes it so much harder for your brain to shut off, because the light makes it think it should be awake. Eventually, this long term sleep delay can mess with your bodies systems. Instead, try reading a book before bed, meditating, or doing some yoga. It really will improve your sleep.
  5. Constant negativity/anger: It’s okay to be upset sometimes, but it should not take over your life. Allow yourself to let go of all the pent up angry emotions you are feeling. It will help lead to a happier and more positive life. According to some studies done, reducing the anger-induced stress from your life can improve your immune system, lower blood sugar, and even ease chronic pain. Before you get upset over something, think about how much it will affect you in a few weeks. If it won’t be important, don’t get angry.

Are you guilty of any of these? Which ones?

XO, Jessica