MODEL DIARY: TIMES WHEN IT IS HARD TO COMBINE EDUCATION WITH MODELLING

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We recently published an amazing and inspiring post by our December guest blogger, Victoria, about why it is so brilliant to combine modelling with taking higher education. I so agree with everything that Victoria said – and I have been combining these two things for years now, and still am. As great as this combo is, I also do meet some rough patches where I feel like it’s just too much and I want to give up. I will therefor in this post share with you some of these moments and how I always seem to find a way to power through. But before I start, let me just point out that this is absolutely not meant to be a ‘poor me’ post, it is just me sharing some of my ups and downs with this lifestyle. Maybe you will be able to recognise some of this from your own experiences, or maybe not… :P

I am in the middle of one of those super hectic ‘how am I going to get through this’ moments right now which is why I thought of writhing this post.

I go to The Norwegian School of Economics, and all of our exams and most of our course work etc. is crammed into the last 6 weeks of the year. I have now handed in all my work, and finished 3 out of 4 exams. I can just about start to see the light the end of the tunnel = Christmas holiday!

How is it that everything tends to always happen all at once? When working freelance you never really know when the next job will come and you pretty much have to say yes to anything that comes your way. Part of 2017 has been great work wise for me, but big parts of it has also been pretty crap to be honest. Over the Summer for instance, I went for ages without a single job. Of course, just at the time when I actually had lots of time to work. Now for the last month when things have been and still are absolutely manic with Uni, I suddenly get lots of jobs! I am of course very thankful for all of these lovely jobs coming in, but why now, when I actually have no time at all for them?

After a rather manic November with lots of Uni related work and several modelling jobs, I was ready to go to Norway and spend the rest of the year there only focusing on my two remaining exams before seeing my family for Christmas. Has it happened like this? Of course not. Because of a modelling job end of last week, I had to push back my outbound journey to Norway and ended up flying out late Friday night to get there for my exam the following Monday morning. Instead of studying I fell asleep immediately on the plane, only to wake up with a very sore throat and a blocked nose. Great – a cold is just what I need! I woke up to the captain saying that there was currently a hurricane hitting the west coast of Norway, but that this shouldn’t lead to too many problems on our way down… ehm, does that mean that there potentially will be some problems!? Apparently so. After sitting through probably the worst turbulence that I have ever experienced it is finally time to land. By the time we get so close to the ground that I can even see what people have in their gardens, the plane seemed to be thrown in all kinds of directions by the wind, and only a few meters from the ground the engine kicked in and back up we went! Back up to the dark clouds and horrid turbulence. I would have thought I’d be over my flight nerves by now after years of constant flying, but this experience still really threw me. Maybe my lack of sleep and my newly arrived cold made me more on edge than usual, but I was in proper panic mode by the time we went back up again. So was the Russian girl next to me, who looked even more scared than I was. We started talking, which definitely helped get our mind of the shaking airplane we were currently on. After circling around a few times, the pilots decided to give the landing another go and, despite the still very windy conditions, they landed the plane safely. The Russian girl cried from relief and I have never been so happy to have my feet on the ground again. Apologies for making this all sounds so very dramatic. I’m sure that we were perfectly safe the whole time and that the sudden aborted landing is something that often happens.

Of course they knew of the hurricane before even taking off at Gatwick and they would never have gone through with this flight if it wasn’t safe. Even if I know all of this, the irrational side of me couldn’t help but freak out a bit. As I am writing this I am yet again on a plane, and so far, so good! It’s all about getting straight back up on that horse, isn’t that what they say? After my traumatic journey, I finally made it back to my brothers flat in Bergen at about 2 a.m. For the following two days, I was fighting a fever and an endless runny nose whilst trying my best to prepare for the exam. By the time I went to bed Sunday night I was so sure I would end up failing the next day, but through some sort of miracle the exam ended up going pretty amazing (at least I think it did). I’m constantly amazed by how our bodies are able to somehow find energy and release the adrenalin in times like these when it really matters. I should have been on the floor crying by then considering the state I was in, but instead I managed to perk up and give what I hope was a pretty decent answer. For the hours following the exam I slept like a baby of course (even though my brother's neighbour was hacking ice of the front porch directly outside the window next to my head), before having to go back to the airport and back to London.

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This brings me to where I’m at right now – in a flight seat on route to London. So, remember how I said my plan was to stay in Norway to be able to only focus on preparation for my exams. Well, that plan changed when I booked a job in London for 2 days this week. Going to the casting for this job, I knew that I couldn’t really make the shoot dates, but figured it was worth going to see the casting director anyway as I was in the area. I also didn’t expect at all to get the job. But I did–and it was just far too tempting to take the job. So here I am, going back to London less than three days after leaving, offering two much needed revision days for the sake of a modelling job–a fairly well payed one and for a nice client of course, so I figured it was worth cramming it all in. Then 3 days from now, I will have to go directly from this photo shoot to the airport to make it back to Norway in time for my next and very last exam of the year. I’m pretty sure I will end up just sleeping through all of Christmas… yay, I’ll be such a bundle of joy for when finally getting to spend time with my friends and family. Oh, and I haven’t even started thinking about Christmas presents yet–that’s a whole other thing weighing on my shoulders at the moment. I guess my family will have to do with Christmas hugs from me this year… hmm. Then after Christmas I will be flying to Manchester and then take a train to York to spend time with my boyfriend who is in a play there atm, and being just as busy as me these days.

So yes, as you can imagine this has ended up being a rather crazy end to the year. I’m sorry if this post just ended up being a lot of complaining from my side–I am actually very very very thankful that I get to live in London where I have a super fun job whilst at the same time taking a kickass degree back in Norway at an amazing University. I'm just in need of a break right now. So, if you too are having a manic Christmas so far, then know that you too will find a way of powering through, no matter what life throws at you–but please do make sure to take breaks too when possible!

Only 7 days to go until holiday time for me–I’ll see you on the other side! :)

Love, Sara x

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THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE OF MODELLING-HOW TO SOURCE AND DISCOVER ORGANIC INSPIRATION

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Within today’s social media age, our generation is constantly influenced by amplified beauty and extremely edited photographs of fashion models. The promotion of such image often portrays an unrealistic idea of models, and even indeed the lifestyle of our career. That’s why I believe it’s more important than ever for models to vocalise the reality of the industry, sharing both the positive benefits and the struggles some discover. Social media is an amazing and of course potentially damaging tool. However, it is a tool which allows models to share their story, sharing behind the scenes footage, before and after images, and the reality of the every day life of our careers. It’s this organic content which I believe will help positively reflect the future of the generation of models, showing followers the truth behind the camera and allowing aspiring models to decide for themselves if such career suits them.

The online world is an amazing inspirational source for models, both aspiring and established. However, with such a clutter of unrealistically edited and off duty posts, it’s hard to know what the industry is truly like. That’s why I wanted to share just a few simple ways I found to help balance social media whilst still inspiring my modelling motivation!

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1. Only follow accounts which truly motivate you.

One piece of amazing advice I was once told was this. Maybe monthly go through who you follow and double check their feeds to ensure its still something which positively inspires you. Overly edited images for example, slowly but surely become a daily invasive influence within your feed and subtly provides a negative impact on your self esteem. Try your best to follow accounts which generally provide organic and realistic content.

2. Read interviews.

A picture says a thousand words, but it's hard to know the organic message when it’s hidden by an array of filters. That’s why I began reading online interviews models shared about their daily lifestyle. This helped me understand a bigger picture of what other models experience and what they advise. It was even simple things like knowing what to wear for castings, that helped me learn how to present myself to clients.

3. Ignore negative comments.

As I mentioned above, social media is an amazing platform but also potentially damaging. Whilst its good to obtain constructive criticism from genuine industry insight. Online bullies often target models causing issues such as fat shaming and skinny shaming to arise, affecting mental and physical health. It’s something that sadly almost every model now daily experiences online. It’s sometimes really hard to block out the names and false accusations people may assume about your lifestyle. I truly believe modelling is an incredibly hard, dedicated career which is over glamourized and so sometimes prompts such unnecessarily negativity. Models are judged enough on a daily basis within the nature of the industry and such unwanted online comments are often just pure jealously. Believe in yourself and value your own identity.

4. Consider a digital break.

Even if it’s on your commute to castings, travelling or at meals, turn off your phone and try to immerse yourself in reality and those around you. Ultimately those who know you best are your friends and family, they will have your genuine best interests at heart and its sometimes easy forgotten within this digital age. Focus on yourself and such grounding will definitely help inspire you.

5. Remember your power to influence.

Whilst of course you can search and discover such inspiration online, remember social media is you’re tool to help motivate your own following. When posting, think about who you are targeting, what message you want perceived and how to best positively promote your identity. Modelling provides an amazing opportunity to help you vocalise your thoughts. Try following motivational model activists, join charities and help endorse brands which you believe in. Now more than ever models are able to use social media to help monetise our digital footprint, so take advantage!

I hope this helps motivate your inspiration, please search and discover alternative and additional advice however and find what works best for you.

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