As part of our series celebrating women in different industries we asked our social media intern to write a letter to her younger self. She might only be 21 but it looks like a year in industry, 3 years at University and moving away from home has already taught her a lot.
Dear 16-year-old Charlotte,
It might have only been 5 years but trust me, you have changed a lot! In the next five years, you will do some impressive things. Things that at the time you might underestimate (it was pretty big moving to a new country alone for over 4 months). You will also do some things you will be very smug about but do not live up to the hype (that interview you did for Good Morning Britain never got aired, so stop telling people about it).
A lot of people will say “regret nothing”, which is a nice idea, but these people have clearly never tried to use a razor blade to sort out their eyebrows or worn a skirt on a windy day. Personally, I think it is impossible not to have some regrets, even if they are small. Yes, if it wasn’t for some of the harder, bad and embarrassing times you wouldn’t be where you are now but how much did calling the headteacher "mum" in front of the school really help me grow as a person? So here is your run down of the Dos and Don’ts for your studying, working, and social future.
- Getting a C in a piece of coursework reallllyyyyy isn’t the end of the world. Yes, it was your first piece of work for your GCSE and yes, you were predicted an A, but your parents will not be disappointed, it accounts for 10% of your grade and you will still finish on an A* so don’t cry in the school toilets then pretend a family member has died so no one laughs at you, it really isn’t worth a tear or faking someone’s death.
- The girls that laughed at you for wanting to start a journalism club at school don’t matter. They never did. So keep pushing to start it, you love writing so don’t waste your time worrying about what anyone else thinks and do it anyway.
- DON’T DYE YOUR HAIR RED AND REALLY DON’T DYEYOUR EYEBROWS RED TO MATCH. PLEASE.
- Do keep searching and applying for part time jobs. No 16-year-old looks for a job quite like you do. You will spend days writing applications, hours handing out CVs and a ridiculous amount of your summer holidays volunteering in various places to get yourself experience, but it pays off… I promise! Your first job (forgetting the Avon you did with your mum) will be the envy of all your friends and set you up for University too
- You will make a complete fool of yourself on your first ever work-experience position. You will be laughed at by the entire of Newcastle city centre on your way to work for having your skirt tucked in your knickers and your dress not zipped up. You will have a cry in the toilets but, you will get even more laughs telling the story back to friends and family. More importantly the story will help calm the nerves of the work-experience girl you helped on her first day a few years later! So, don’t worry about it! Everyone needs a few Bridget Jones moments…
- Ignore the lecturer at Oxford University who told you not to bother applying because you didn’t look the part and didn’t have over 7 A*, he was a horrible man. But don’t let it change that gut feeling you have that Leeds University will be right for you, it really will be.
- And finally…
Very important this one…
DO NOT WRITE OFF YOUR PARENTS’ CAR TWO WEEKS AFTER PASSING YOUR TEST!