My journey in the studygram community started in September 2016. I had just restarted my A-Levels at a new college after a pretty rough year, and after following a few studygram accounts for a while, I decided to take the plunge and create my own. This was a big thing for me as growing up I was pretty shy and reserved. I liked to keep to myself and lacked the confidence to push myself out of my comfort zone. However, I had a really good feeling about creating my studygram account.
I started off by posting pretty basic pictures of my notes, nothing too fancy about them – just standard revision notes.
Looking back at these notes they were pretty bad, haha. My handwriting was pretty illegible but that’s the beauty of a studygram. It’s your account, dedicated to your studies so you post whatever you want, no matter what it looks like. I’ve actually archived most of my original posts from 2016 to fit my current theme!
I wanted my account to be somewhere I could track my progress throughout my studies, and hold myself accountable for the work I was getting done. That’s exactly what it has been so far. I’ve shared the real journey throughout my entire education. Failing A-Levels, resitting A-levels, applying to University, doubting myself, and succeeding by getting into University! I want it to be an account people can relate to – at the end of the day, I’m a real person.
I’ve always been a creative person from a young age, loving anything related to arts and crafts. I even studied textiles during my GCSE’s, making a variety of pieces such as dresses, pillows, etc.
However, the thing I loved the most was making spreads relating to the topic we were studying. There was something so fascinating and relaxing about making your idea visually come to life.
The problem is when you’re 16, you’re put in a situation where you have to determine what kind of career pathway you’d like to go down there and then. It’s pretty stressful. I’ve always loved science, and working within that industry has always been my dream. That meant that something had to give, and unfortunately, it was my creative subject.
I went down the route of A-Levels, studying Biology, Chemistry, and Sociology. I got pretty poor results my first attempt at A-Levels, opening up the envelope and seeing E’s and U’s really was destroying to see. That’s when I decided to create my studygram.
I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, decided to resit A-Levels, and give it my best shot. I used my studygram as my motivation, posting every other day with updates on how my studies were going, and what I was struggling with. I persevered for the next two years and changed the way I studied. I didn’t just write sheets and sheets of information, I condensed the information for each topic into just one sheet of notes. I used fellow studygram accounts as my motivation, and as a way to learn new tips and tricks on how to effectively study.
Fast forward to the future, exam results day approached and I was shocked. I had done it, 3 years studying A-Levels and I had finally passed. I had achieved the grades I needed to get into my dream university, Cardiff. My studygram account was definitely the thing that helped determine my success. I had doubted whether to make Cardiff my firm choice, but I was flooded with messages telling me that if I wanted it enough, I could put the work in and do it.
The appearance of my notes had changed drastically. They were now clean, presentable, and easy to understand. Okay, they still aren’t the most amazing notes you’ll ever see, and they aren’t the most creative, but they work for me and many others!
I kept my account to myself for a long time, with only my closest friends knowing about it. I didn’t share too much of my life on there, up until recently where BBC interviewed me for a news article about my Instagram account. I hadn’t even thought about it being that big of a deal or the fact that people would be so intrigued by it, but they were. The concept of some girl in her bedroom taking photos of her study notes was clearly hard for some people to understand, but the positive feedback from students and teachers all over the world made me realize that I had a good thing going on.
It made me realize that so many of us are scared to do something that we really want to do, in fear of what others will think and say about us. That really shouldn’t be the case. If anyone is thinking of starting a blog, an Instagram account, YouTube, or any other venture which just feels right to them, then go for it! I’m such a firm believer in knowing when something is meant to be, and if you have a positive attitude towards whatever you do, it’ll bring you heaps of success.
You don’t realize how involved you can get with an online community, but it’s one of the best things that has happened for me. I’ve made friends for life through my account, and have come across so many amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have even known existed. I’ve had strangers from around the world cheering me on and motivating me through various challenges I’ve come across.
My studygram account has been one big adventure, one that I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It’s enabled me to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things. I’ve started my own blog, sharing my own study tips and tricks, and reviews on pieces of stationery I love! I’ve worked with some amazing brands and even had my notes featured on covers of notebooks. I feel like my Instagram has pushed me to bring that creative side back to me, and honestly, I’m loving it.
I’ve always been fascinated by lettering, and always wanted to learn just how to do it! I started out by using some other accounts lettering alphabets as inspiration, before trying it out for myself.
Now it’s something that I use in almost every sheet of notes I make, I find that it really makes my notes pop and draws you in! The more color and character to your study notes, the more you’re going to want to look at them right?
The UK being put into lockdown allowed me time to really work on my creative side. I’ve started to do things that I used to love again, like scrapbooking, setting up a bullet journal, painting, and taking classes to improve my brush lettering.
Of course, I’ve been sharing all of these things on my account. I think it’s important that when life gets busy, or whatever route it takes you down, you don’t forget about the things you really love doing. I love scrolling through my Instagram feed and looking at the different ideas everyone has, and how they make them come to life. It’s amazing to see so much positivity within this community, people constantly inspiring and motivating others, and cheering each other on.
I have so many great ideas of things I want to create and share with my followers, and so many dreams I want to achieve. I’m taking my time and working on them slowly to make them all as successful as possible, and I’m looking forward to the day I can share them on my account.
I’m excited to continue to document the rest of my journey. I’m slowly moving away from purely posting pictures of my notebooks, to incorporating a little more of my lifestyle. I truly believe that this account has been one of the best things I’ve chosen to make, and without it and the motivation the community provides, I’m not quite sure where I’d be! If you’re thinking of creating an account and joining the community, I push you to do it. You’ll be welcomed with open arms, positivity, and inspiration.
You can find Zoe on Instagram @zoestudies.