I Don't Know How to Be Brief: on YouTubers and Insight

    It's been brought to my knowledge that I haven't actually written a proper post in nearly three months. I've actually done pretty well at posting regularly, but then this happened. I'll try to get better, I promise.
    A pretty big thing that has affected me lately is YouTube. Not in a, I really want to make YouTube videos way, although I have done that, but more in a way that I've gotten quite a bit of insight and inspiration from the people and/or web series I've been watching lately on YouTube. So I'll take you on the little journey with me and I apologize for this ridiculous length because I have so much to say on the subject and I could talk for hours about it. 

I'll start with the web series that I have been watching, and I'll try to make this short because I could talk about this forever. It's called the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (which is produced by Hank Green, but we're not going to talk about him otherwise you'd be here for days), and to put it briefly, this show is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice told through the video diaries of Elizabeth Bennet, (there is a side channel of Lydia's video diaries, but I'll come back to that.) who goes by Lizzie, who in this adaptation, is a grad student in communications. What I really like about this is it's a way to get to know the classic literature for people who aren't into the classics. I've never actually read Pride and Prejudice (BAD ENGLISH MAJOR!) so this is a really good way to get to know the general storyline in a way that is more relatable. Maybe now that I know the characters and the storyline a bit more, I'll actually get around to reading it one day. I've fallen in love with the characters, and surprisingly, the character I love the most at the moment is the one I absolutely hated at the beginning of the series. And that character would be....Lydia Bennet!

At the beginning, I can sincerely say that I outright despised the character Lydia Bennet. She was a party girl with no boundaries, and in real life that makes me rather annoyed, so of course seeing it on screen would have the same effect. But as the story goes on, we learn SO MUCH about Lydia that it's really hard to hate her. I didn't start watching Lydia's vlogs until about a week ago, and watching those gives so much insight that you don't see from Lizzie's point of view, so it's a really cool thing. I love seeing character development, and Lydia's character development is ridiculously amazing and very well done by the actress who plays her: Mary Kate Wiles. It's so brilliantly done the way that you can see Lydia changing as the show progresses. 

So that has definitely been a big part of my life lately. And you know, having super attractive guys on the show doesn't hurt. William Darcy (left) and George Wickham (above), my friends. Not bad to look at. 

The first individual person in my current YouTube list is Christine Riccio, who goes by the username of polandbananas20. 

I somehow came across her video about having long hair, and since I too have ridiculously long hair, I couldn't not watch it. From there, I discovered her love of film and books, which is pretty much the reason why I subscribed because she is just as obsessed with books as I am and she has quite a sense of humour that I highly appreciate.  She has a book channel as well, which is awesome, and her videos are just fabulous. Oh, and I bought a really freaking awesome shirt from her that says, "My Hair is a Weapon, which is pretty much my life story, so that's cool. It's THIS shirt. 

The next few, which should come to no surprise at all, are English twenty something boys. 

We will start with Dan Howell. This picture is actually a pretty accurate representation of him. So Dan's YouTube is danisnotonfire and though his cussing is a little more than I'm usually okay with, I've grown used to it. So viewer discretion if you are under eighteen because it contains some more mature content (language wise). A lot of his videos are just fun things, and I really adore that, but the few videos that are serious are probably my favorites. In the serious ones, (more specifically, his fan-mail and his "The Meaning of Life" videos) he just seems so genuine. In his "The Meaning of Life" video, which you can watch HERE, he talks about how it's just occurred to him that we have ONE life as humans on earth, and so we need to do something that in the long run, is going to make us happy, and it's really inspiring for obvious reasons. In his fan-mail videos, while they do have their humour and a bit of creepiness that comes with all of his videos, it's obvious that making videos is something that he really likes to do and he really appreciates everything that this channel has done for him. It's really important to have that mixture of hilarity and entertainment while still having seriousness when it's necessary. Another thing that I like is he has a video about being left handed which because I am also 99.9% left handed, I can relate too a little too well and it is quite unfortunate. Fun fact: His birthday is 4 days before mine (although he is 3 years older), so I thought that was cool too. He is also addicted to Maltesers which is the English version of Whoppers, so I'll definitely have to try those eventually.

The next on the list is Phil Lester. Another very accurate representation in picture form. I believe that Dan and Phil (amazingphil) are flatmates at the moment. Unlike Dan, Phil hardly ever swears, which I really like. He's hilarious and I love listening to his stories of his childhood. It's rather entertaining. Random facts about Phil: He likes red pandas and lions. I really like his videos as well because they are very relaxed and just talking to the camera about his life, which I really like. Just Phil. Stay cool man. And keep loving red pandas because those are my favorite animals.

This last one's going to be brief because I'll talk some more about him in another post soon, (and by soon, I really hope that I don't mean three months because that is unacceptable, girl.) but here is Charlie McDonnell, also known as charlieissocoollike. He also doesn't swear, like EVER, which I really love.

Besides the fact that he's incredibly adorable (because seriously, just look at that face) and he's friends with Hank Green, there's just so much positivity being emitted off of him and I can't get enough of it. I only started watching his videos yesterday, but already it's made such an impact, so I'm really excited to talk more about it in my next post. To summarize my thoughts on him, he's just so sweet and motivated and excited about what he does, and that makes me excited. His motivation strategies are motivating me to do what I love, and it's all so fabulous that it's really hard not to smile just thinking about it. Most of my opinions on his motivation and everything I'm going to save for next time, but I will tell you one thing because I just need to say it.

He has this strategy that I saw in one of his videos called "Don't Break the Chain,"(he got the idea from a strategy used by Jerry Seinfield) and in his case, he has a three separate charts for exercise, videos, and his feature film that he's working on. The whole point is to make sure that he's being productive every day, and since he marks on the little calendar thing every time he accomplishes what he's trying to accomplish, it's both a metaphorical and literal chain of productivity that he's trying not to break.

Don't Break The Chain 
The video is ^ here if you want to see for yourself what I'm actually talking about.

I'm actually going to try this method for myself and see how it works out in the categories of both writing and exercise, so I'll let you know how that goes later on. You can download and print one HERE if you want to try it out.

So that was, as briefly as I could put it, Charlie McDonnell, who is currently my favorite person on YouTube. More about him to come in the somewhat near future.

In other less exciting news: I started my second semester on Monday, and it is going swimmingly. Yesterday was quite eventful. There was a power outage while I was in the fitness on a treadmill, so that was interesting. I was almost done with my workout (I had literally less than a minute left) when the lights went out and everything shut off. Then I got locked out of my dorm for a few minutes because the doors use a swiping system, so I had to wait until someone came out of the boys dorm, then I walked all the way around and through the basement.

Second event of yesterday: I went puddle jumping! It had been thunder storming and raining quite a bit during dinner, so afterwards, a few girls and I went and puddle jumped, soaking our clothes through and though it was a bit uncomfortable with four inches of water in my rain boots, it was a good time.

The Ever-changing Playlist

You Break Me- Ed Sheeran

Perfect for You and Better Than Before- Next to Normal (a musical)

One Direction (I don't even know why. I can feel myself being judged right now.)

Awake My Soul- Mumford and Sons 

The Cave- Mumford and Sons

So clearly YouTube has affected me quite a bit lately, and hopefully that Don't Break the Chain method will actually motivate me to do something. Questions for YOU:
1. Are there any specific people you've been watching on YouTube?
 2.What are your methods to be productive and not procrastinating?

And so I leave you with something Charlie has said in a video ( in song actually) that just made me smile. "I wanna say thank you for brightening my day, and I hope that I could do just the same."

Have a lovely day everyone, try to brighten somebody's day today and at least attempt to do something productive. :)

~Sophie Leigh

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