Final Thoughts and Reflections

My university experience has been full of ups and downs, but after taking a year off, PUB101 has been an amazing way to jump back into school. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into this class. I had a feeling that it would include some sort of content creation based on the course description, but other than that I went into this blind. That being said, I was so pleasantly surprised. This is the first course that I have taken that has allowed me to express myself and my ideas so freely. I also loved how challenging it was though. I learned so much about WordPress, the types of content I like to create and consume, the way I like to write, and also how to step out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed PUB101 so much that I have already declared into the Print and Digital Publishing minor!

Before taking this class, I was always so anxious about sharing any of my work with anybody, but having a class full of people who are learning and creating at the same pace as me gave me a level of confidence in my site that I never expected. I have shared my site with so many people and have received so much positive feedback, which always feels great. As I mentioned in a previous post, I plan on transitioning this site over to other social media platforms so that I can continue to develop my short-form video creation skills and build my audience on a platform that I am more familiar with.

To anyone who is interested in taking this course in the future, Suzanne and Christina have been phenomenal instructors. Suzanne creates really engaging lectures, her energy makes it super easy to feel comfortable participating in class, and it’s clear that she cares about improving the education system for all of us. Christina brought a lot of knowledge about both the course and the publishing industry, and she has been approachable and understanding throughout the semester.

I Really Enjoy Short-Form Video Content

At the beginning of the course, I was certain that I wouldn’t post any videos. I had never used any video editing software, and I didn’t take a lot of videos in general, so it didn’t seem realistic to me, but my mind changed after we had to submit a mini assignment without any text. I made a reel-style video and really enjoyed it. It was super simple and the editing is far from perfect, but I enjoyed the process a lot. I made 2 or 3 other videos after that, and they are some of my favourite content on my site.

If I could go back and change anything, I would have turned “Fueling Your Twenties” into a TikTok or Instagram, and I would have focused on developing short-form video content. I used Capcut to make all of the videos, and I think I’m going to continue learning how to use all the features of the app so that I can make higher quality videos.

Rather than continuing with my posts on this site, after the class is over I plan to move all of my content to a social media site, most likely Tiktok. I am going to turn all of the posts that I have so far into some sort of video. Fitness content is huge on social media, and I can totally see myself building a bigger audience there than I can with this site. I also think I would find a lot more enjoyment in posting on social media, as I really enjoy consuming fitness content on social media.

Peer Review 3

Radu’s site “Radds Games” reviews indie video games. The site’s design is really cool. The live graphics on the homepage capture the essence of a video game, and the bold colours and fonts really enhance that vibe. My only recommendation for the site’s design and layout is to add some additional categories to the menu so it is easier to navigate between the blog posts and the PUB101 content. 

When completing these peer reviews, I find it really helpful to read all of my peer’s process posts to develop a better understanding of their vision. Unfortunately, Radu only has 1 process post on his site, and I couldn’t use it as a resource for this review. With that being said, it’s pretty clear that Radu set out to create a site that appeals to other people who appreciate gaming as he uses a lot of vocabulary that is pretty unique to the gaming community. What I enjoy about the content, even though I am not into video games, is how thorough every review is. I was really able to gain a good understanding of each game just through Radu’s commentary. We are already in week 11 though, so Radu is behind in his content as he only has 6 posts. 

The reading from week 10, “State of Mobile,” really helped me to come up with some ways that Radu could increase the marketability of his site. The reading provided some examples of how different types of video games appeal to different demographic groups. I think that Radu could use this to inform some of his content. Radu could tailor his content towards his target demographic, whether older versus younger age groups or female versus male, by reviewing the types of games that appeal to that specific demographic. Additionally, I think that Radu could grow his site by linking it to other social media sites. Based on the little bit I know about video games, a lot of people who play video games enjoy doing so online with their friends, so it would be fitting for Radu to start a discord server where the site’s audience can come together and play the games that he has reviewed. This would allow Radu to directly interact with his audience and build a community. In the same vein, Radu could livestream his gameplay for his audience and do real-time reviews. 

Overall, Radu’s site lacks some content, but the content that is available is high-quality and clearly tailored to a specific audience, and the design is simple but effective. To increase the marketability of his site, Radu could narrow down his target audience and review games that appeal to that group, as well as expanding his site to other social media platforms. 

Balancing Fitness and Student Life

I started to take fitness seriously during a period when I was not taking any classes, so I had to adapt my routine quite a bit when I started taking classes again. It boils down to three things: a realistic routine, preparation and organization, and discipline.

A realistic routine is one that makes it the easiest for you to stick to it. If you are not a morning person, don’t schedule 5 a.m. workouts five days a week before class. If you rely on public transit, factor in commute time. If you know that you have a day where you have to work and go to class, maybe schedule a rest day. Within your routine, it’s important to use your time wisely. I take public transit and it’s at least an hour and a half each way to campus, so I often use that time to do my readings. I will also watch videos and lectures while I’m on the treadmill at the end of my workout.

Being organized will save you. This is not my strong suit, but I’ve developed a few tips and tricks to keep myself on track that might help you out as well. On Sunday, I sit down with my work schedule, my assignment due dates, and my workout program and I write down every one of my commitments and due dates for the week. Once I have those in my calendar, I schedule my workouts for the week around that. This ensures that I am prioritizing school while also doing the things I love. This has been a pretty fool proof system for me so far, but there are weeks where I have to more flexible and spend more time doing schoolwork than I do in the gym, which is totally okay! It’s all about finding the right balance.

While a realistic routine and some good organization can help you a lot, a schedule like this requires a lot of discipline. It’s really easy to make excuses and say that you’re too tired to workout after a busy day, but sometimes you just have to push through and do it. Every time that I consider skipping a workout and end up going, I feel so proud. Every time you push through, you’re practicing discipline and showing yourself that you are capable of doing hard things. It is important to note that there is a difference between discipline and pushing yourself past your limits. If your body isn’t properly fuelled and needs to rest, listen to it.

Analytics and SEO Sounds Like a Foreign Language

For class today we had to complete two online courses about Google Analytics. Honestly, I completed both of the courses but I struggled to follow along. I have always struggled with collecting and interpreting data and this week’s material is no different. I really want to better understand this stuff though, so I am going to share the things that I did learn this week so that I can come back to this post as I learn more to fill in any gaps.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. From what I understood from this article, SEO is a way to increase your site’s visibility and expand your audience. The goal is to make your site easy to find through a search engine which can improve the site’s performance, whether that be through sales, engagement, etc.

Analytics are a way to understand what is working on your site, as well as what isn’t working, based on data like site traffic and demographic information. Sites like Google Analytics make this more convenient by putting it all in one place. The reports that Google Analytics creates for you will vary based on your objectives and your role.

I started to get really lost when the course talked about tags and dimensions and metrics.

I have the Google Analytics plug-in installed in WordPress, and I try to check-in every few days to how much traffic my site has had. Other than that, the features of the plug-in go totally over my head.

Dealing with Setbacks

In the last six months or so, I have really focused on consistency and discipline and I started to feel kind of invincible. It seemed like no matter how hard I pushed myself, I was making huge improvements in my performance and I was able to recover well, but last week it all caught up to me and I got injured. Luckily, the injury isn’t serious and all I need is some time away from the gym to rest and recover, but it’s frustrating nonetheless. The physical benefits are a huge part of why I take the gym so seriously but it’s also one of the main things I do to take care of my mental health, so having to take a couple weeks off has really taken a toll on me. Setbacks are inevitable, especially if your fitness journey is a lifelong one, so learning how to deal with or cope with them is going to help you out a lot in the long run.

If you’re dealing with something like an injury, of course, the first step should be to take care of yourself physically. Whether it’s resting, going to the doctor or a physiotherapist, or just adapting your training until you recover, listening to your body is the most important step. Even minor injuries need care so that they don’t turn into major injuries, so listen to the warning signs from your body and don’t push it past its limits. A few days, or even a few weeks, out of the gym to recover is not going to kill your progress, so take the time when you need it.

I find the mental impact of these types of setbacks to be harder to deal with than the actual injury itself. Filling the time that I would normally spend in the gym with other self care activities has been the most helpful thing I’ve tried so far. Personally, I love to read, write, and crochet, so I have been dedicating at least an hour a day to these things. While they are super different from working out, they help me stay grounded and keep my mind busy, which is exactly what the gym does for me. I have also been trying to stay active in other ways. The injury that I’m dealing with allows me to go for walks and stretch, so I’ve been trying to do a little bit of that every day to keep my body moving and blow off some steam.

Long story short, injuries suck and are super frustrating, but it is so important to take time to recover so that you can get back to working toward your goals.

Reflecting on My Week 7 Presentation

In week 7 I did a presentation for the class about habits to practice to get more comfortable with writing. Presenting is not something I am very comfortable with at all, but at the beginning of the semester, I promised myself that I would do things to get out of my comfort zone. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the presentation went! The class made me feel welcome, they engaged with my presentation, and I even received a few compliments afterwards, which obviously felt super great and increased my confidence. I have felt my confidence about my site slowly increasing as the weeks go on, which has made me feel more comfortable posting videos and photos to my site, and I feel like I am more comfortable writing in my own voice. I have even started to consider starting an instagram to go along with my site, which is something that I have always been too scared to do.

My presentation slides and the transcript I prepared for myself are attached to this post so that my classmates can refer back to it if they wish!

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