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Time Away

November 21, 2019

Hey loves!

 

It has been quite a while since I last wrote a post on here. I have not forgotten about this blog, but whenever I write a post, I want to take my time writing it and reflecting on the things I write about. The past few weeks were very busy and so I decided to take a little break from writing this blog in order to make sure that my posts stay reflective and that I enjoy writing them. Cambridge tends to get very busy around mid-term time since that is the time when much work is due. 

 

Although the past weeks were very busy and stressful, I have realised that I have coped much better with the workload than I did last year. Last year, I was hiding in my room most of the time at this point of the year and in hindsight, it is very obvious to me that I was not ok at that point in time. So what have I been up to? I have just posted my first lookbook video which is a big deal for me since I have never done something like that before: 

As I also said on my blog, I used to be incredibly insecure about my weight because I was worried that I was too skinny. I only started having this insecurity because compliments like 'you're so skinny' easily turn into 'you must be anorexic'. Making this video was a lot of fun but it was also very new for me to pose for a video.

 

This video also marks another sponsored video on my channel and it is still crazy to me that people would send me anything to show it on my channel. I hardly ever do sponsorships or collaborations because most of the collaborations I am offered to do concern products I do not and probably would not use myself. I know that quite a few of you guys have trusted my advice at one point or another - whether it was when preparing for exams or deciding which book to buy. To me, this means that I have a responsibility towards you guys to keep my advice honest and I try to do that on here and on my YouTube channel. 

 

But I have noticed over the past months when I started to receive more and more sponsorship offers that there is very little guidance for content creators on this. Should you charge for it? If yes, how much? When do you start being taxed for it? Does you making money from it mean you have to have things like an imprint and a data protection policy? Given that most content creators work on the internet, it is quite surprising that there is so little guidance on this on the internet. I guess that money is something that most content creators are shy to talk about and I totally get that, but if you are someone in a similar position and you would like to have a chat about it, please feel free to get in touch here. I thought it might be good to offer to talk to people since it is so hard to find people talking honestly about it. 

 

I thought I would turn this post into a bit of a catch-up post, sharing with you all what I have been up to over the past few weeks: 

 

What I'm Listening to at the Moment

Well, it only took me a about a year to figure out how to make playlists on Apple Music (better late than never, right?). You can find my (slightly terrible) taste in music here!

 

Here are my current top three songs (and yes, I am one of these people who listen to only these few on repeat until they get tired of them):

 

Faouzia - Tears of Gold 

I am a massive fan of Faouzia's music and she had shared her work in progress on Tears of Gold a while ago. I have been waiting for the song to come out ever since because I found the lyrics so touching. This song and Exothermic are probably my favourite pieces of hers. 

 

Endlich August - Das ist Berlin 

 

Well, this song is a little bit random in this list. It is a German song about the German capital Berlin - its character and the people who live in it. It is a celebration of what makes Berlin the city it is. The reason it is here that I really like it and a new friend of mine shared it with me. For me, songs mean a lot more to me when I can relate to them or I can associate them with a memory. I am really grateful for my new friend and the song just reminds me of our friendship. It is also a sign for me that I have gotten a lot better because last year, I used to completely isolate myself from people and I have been a lot more open to hanging out with new people this year. 

 

Terence Blanchard - Stand Up (from Harriet) 

I randomly came across this song on YouTube and I fell in love with it. Harriet is now definitely on my watchlist and the song is among my new favourites. 

 

What I'm Reading

Lots of law books, but I guess you guys are probably more interested in the books I read for fun. But I wanted to share two law books I read which I enjoyed a lot: Hart's The Concept of Law* and Bhuta et al's Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law, Ethics, Policy*. Hart's book is one of the most, if not the most influential, book in jurisprudence and I genuinely enjoyed reading it. If you are a law student, you try to figure out what the law is in a particular situation, but you hardly ever stop and ask yourself what law actually is. Most of us know how to look for the law and we have a good sense of when we are wrong in doing something, but what actually is law? Do you have a good definition? Hart looks at various definitions and then proposes his own concept of law and it is fascinating as it explores questions we often forget about when studying the law. 

 

Bhuta et al's Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law Ethics, Policy is a book which I randomly picked up in a bookstore because the title sounded interesting. It is certainly related to my international law course, but it goes beyond what is on our syllabus. The questions posed by autonomous weapons for both ethics and law are questions for which we do not have easy answers, but by examining a topic like that, we can see the limitations of law and I really enjoyed reading it! It is a collection of academic essays, but I do not think that you need a background in law to read it (though it certainly does not hurt to have one). 

 

Ok, but now let us turn to some books that I read for fun! I read Lord Byron's Selected Poems* because I love his poems. I think of him as history's favourite playboy, but his poems are awesome! The collection contained some pieces I had not read before, but my favourite piece of his will probably always remain To Caroline.

 

I also read How Democracies Die* by Levitsky and Ziblatt. The book is a relatively quick read if you are familiar with academic writing, but it is incredibly interesting! I am currently working on verification projects related to it for Amnesty International and so reading the book put a lot of the work we do in context! Their main point is that democracies no longer die through coups, but rather through democratically elected governments that slowly abolish democratic systems while still enjoying their democratic legitimacy they gained through elections. I found the thesis quite intriguing and I have found myself analysing news with it on my mind. 

 

What I'm Watching 

The Morning Show

When Apple gives me a show with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, there is just no way I am not watching it. So of course I have been watching The Morning Show! So far, I really like the show as it raises many contemporary issues and it is really interesting! I think it is sad that Apple decided to only release one episode a week (I am more a 'one season a day' kind of person), but it keeps up the suspense!

 

Dynasty

This show has been one of my favourite shows for a long time and I am of course binge-watching season three! It follows the life of a super rich family and it will definitely make you laugh! Trust me, as soon as you start watching it, you will fall in love with Fallon's roasts and expressions! 

 

The Blacklist

I have a few TV shows which I rewatch a lot because I simply love them - the list includes Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl and, of course, The Blacklist! When a wanted criminal offers the FBI to deliver high-level criminal to them (who made it onto his blacklist), he makes the condition that he will only talk to a particular profiler who has no idea how he even knows about her. The show is entertaining and has suspense! I love seeing how the characters' plans are developed over several episodes and how the episodes often later on show the execution of a greater plan of a character. 

 

That is it for today. Thank you for giving me some time away and I am looking forward to writing here more regularly again. 

 

Lots of Love,

 

Elena 

 

P.S. If you would like to contact me, you can send me a message here

 

The picture for this article was taken by Cie Jen Wong. You can find her here!

 

*Links marked with * are affiliate links. If you use these links to buy a product, I get a small commission. The product’s price does not increase for you. It is of course your choice where you buy your products, but it would mean a lot to me if you would support my blog by using my affiliate links.

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