I needed to sort my life out so I became a studytuber for a week
A week of me being entirely obnoxious, but at least it worked x
It was the Sunday of week seven, I had four essays due in week 10, and none were finished. Essay crisis meets Michaelmas Term burnout. Who’s here to save the day? UnJaded Jade. Lucky for me, she happened to upload a series of tips on her Instagram story as well as a YouTube video on how to survive and thrive at online university. I, buried deep in my hole of essay anxiety and denial, consumed that content like it was a blue VK on Whoops Wednesday.
Jade’s five steps of success were: sanctity of space, routine, exercise, social interaction and mindset. Five tips from the studytuber queen herself to deal with online university and succeed, especially in lockdown circumstances. Jade Bowler attends an online university anyway. Thus her tips for virtual higher education are more reliable than most. Hopefully, you can learn from them as much as I did!
Sanctity of space
The idea of the sanctity of space is that you assign certain spaces to certain activities and you endeavour to preserve those boundaries, such as don’t use your phone at your desk. It’s also about creating spaces conducive to productivity and what you wish to get out of them, so the tidier and more organised they are, you will be too.
When I go to bed in the evening, honestly the last thing on my mind is putting clothes in the washing basket and clearing away the mugs on my desk. When I woke up at the arse crack of dawn, I did use the time to tidy and sort my room- every morning. Clothes would be put away, rubbish disposed of and mugs cleared. I made sure that I did not start my day in any way until the place was spotless- that includes showering, eating or sitting down to work. It honestly made such a difference, and it was so appealing sitting down to an organised area in a clean room. Would 10/10 recommend.
Jade also placed a strong emphasis on a regular sleep schedule. In fairness, she only recommended getting up at five am once to be so tired that you went to bed earlier and could wake up at a ‘reasonable’ time instead of noon. She also recommended making a timetable for the day with the tasks you’ve been putting off already pencilled in for the coming day. I took the timetabling to another level, as well as the five am starts. I was so productive the first day I tried it that I decided to do it for the whole week and it was in-cred-ible.
Five am is really, really, really cold. It is also very dark, and generally miserable- Lancastrian weather is not known for its balmy nature. However, getting up this early gave me so much time. I would spend my first half-hour tidying up, listening to music on my ‘must listen to’ list. I’d then read a book for a half an hour, just in my dressing gown, enjoying the time. I’d eat around six, so my food schedule would not be wacky and then by seven I was washed, dressed, and ready to sit at my desk and work. Five am is so quiet, it is genuinely a nice time to have to yourself.
Exercise is always important in some form, and I have recently been getting into running as my sport has been stopped thanks to Miss Rona. I’ve been on my own and with my wonderful housemate and it’s been brilliant- yes, I did call running brilliant please don’t judge me. I can’t say I changed how much I was doing because of UnJaded Jade, but I definitely felt less guilty taking the time out to do it because I had already done so much.
It was also great to get outside and do something, generally speaking, at the ‘end’ of my working day. We tended to go for a run at around three, just as the sun was beginning to set, and it was stunning. I’d honestly recommend using the daily-allowed exercise if you can outside because it makes a real difference to your mindset and health.
Social interaction, fairly obvious but perhaps difficult in lockdown. Jade recommended spending at least a small amount of time each day interacting with others, whether it’s in a seminar, on a FaceTime call or in-person with your household. I’ve tried to do that every day anyway, but it does tend to make my day better on the whole when I make a concerted effort to be with others.
Running with my wonderful housemate was brilliant. We also cooked together for lunch, ate dinner together watching Netflix and such. We did house gatherings on Fridays to replicate pres etc. It’s tough not talking to anyone for five hours in the morning while you get up and everyone else sleeps like a normal person, so making a concerted effort to spend time with my housemates was honestly amazing.
Mindset. Mindset mindset mindset. Really difficult to uphold in a pandemic, especially with about half an hour of daylight in Lancaster and essays and burnout drawing ever nearer. Jade recommends reminding yourself why you’re here, what you want from this and where you want to go. Derive motivation from the goals and standards you set yourself.
I would divide my day on my calendar into what specific work I would do in each slot, and I held myself to those deadlines. I reminded myself that these essays actually count towards my degree, and I need to make all the work of the term that I had pushed through worth it. Growth mindset is a cliched phrase that I’m sure we’re all bored of hearing from school and elsewhere, but recentering your motivations from short-term pleasure to long-term gain really makes a difference.
Conclusions: what can you get from this?
I think it must be really nice to live like UnJaded Jade consistently. I did ‘Study with Me’s on Instagram (not well-attended but I digress) and shared my day on my stories. I went full studytuber, and I loved it. I’m not saying wake up at five am, because for some that could do more harm than good, but find your five am equivalent. Set a schedule that you have to stick to, create that sanctity of space and work on exercise, social interaction, and mindset. There’s nothing to lose at this point if you’re already struggling, as so many of us are with this shitty pandemic and lack of uni support.
There are a fair few things in your control that you can change to improve yourself and your work. UnJaded Jade told me so, and now I’m telling you.