In exactly a month, I’m turning 20 (WHAT?!). I won’t be able to blame my mistakes on being a moody teenager because I’ll be an independent and totally responsible adult. Well, sort of. I’m still figuring out the adult bit of it.
Anyway, in honour of my teenage years, here’s a list of 7 things I accomplished during this hormonal-stressful-yet-still-awesome time:
Discovered my passion for photography – I’ve always loved pictures, but I found out that I also really like taking my own. There’s something about being able to capture a moment or to create one. To start with I didn’t even have my own camera – I used to borrow my brother’s or Molly’s. When I did finally get my own, it would be the first of many.
Overcame my fear of talking in front of a crowd – At 13, the thought of talking in front of a class was enough to make me cry, and boy did I cry. I’ve always been quiet and shy, afraid of saying the wrong thing and embarrassing myself, so it was quite a surprise to everyone when I took drama at GCSE. Truth is I love acting. Performing still makes my heart race, but the feeling afterwards is more than enough to make me want to do it again. Also, since leaving school, I became more comfortable in myself and actually confident enough to talk in front of groups of people and speak at a conference. Maybe its age or that this time I was more passionate about what I was talking about, either way if you’d of told 13 year old me that someday I’d even be dancing in front of a crowd, I would have look at you like you were mental.
Fell in and out of love – Over the past 7 years, I’ve had two serious relationships (and some not so serious ones). They both came with both amazing and amazingly awful experiences that I’ll take with me through the rest of my life. My first love passed away but the memories we made together are ones I’ll treasure forever. As for the other one? Well, he’s very much still a part of my life (although, we’re way overdue a catch up). I’m glad that after everything we went through, we were able to come out the other side as friends because I don’t know what I’d do without him.
GCSEs and A-levels –For each set of exams that I took, I was told “these will be the most important exams you’ll take” which undoubtedly adds to the already enormous pressure. If I could say anything to people taking exams now it would be something more along the lines of “yes, these exams are important, but it’s not the end of the world. Work hard, but don’t stress too much – tests can be re-sat, but your mental health is with you always.”
Kept the same two BFFs – BFFs stands for best friends forever; do people still use that or am I overly lame right now? Either way, the two people that felt like the missing parts of my soul when I was 13 are still those missing pieces now. We’ve all made other friends, gone through awkward phases, and not spoken for ages, but I’ve never doubted our friendship and I can’t wait to make more memories. Girls, if you’re reading this, thank you for always putting up with me no matter how silly I’m being or who I talk about non-stop. You mean more to me than I could ever put into words.
Took the path less travelled by – I’m not sure if I’ve ever explained my post a-level decisions on here, and even if I have, some of you are new, so here we go: I left sixth form without a real “plan” for what I would do next. Most people that I went to school with were going off to university, but I knew that it wasn’t for me. Instead, I took a few short courses (photography and then art history) which actually led to one of the most amazing opportunities I could have wished for: The Jeff Koons Collective. It was a chance for 14 – 21 year olds to be involved in a project working behind the scenes of an exhibition in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. I got to know things that I didn’t even know there were to learn about putting on exhibition like the challenges faced when the art works are heavy and the doors small. I got to be creative in new ways by making gummy bear art sculptures and designing a card game. I even got to be part of a video in the actual exhibition. I don’t know what my life an 18 year old uni student would have been like, but I do know that I’m so glad I decided to do what was right for me.
Survived my teenage years! It sounds silly in hindsight, but there were points throughout my teenage life when I almost gave up completely. Things got pretty dark more than once, and for ages I couldn’t see how things would get better, but they did. Look at everything I would have missed out on.
Congratulations if you’ve made it to the end of this post! It sure wasn’t meant to be thing long when I started writing it. What are your best achievements and memories for your teens? Or if you haven’t finished them yet, what are you most proud of so far and what can’t you wait for?
I can’t wait to see what happens next.