I’m a recent Communications, Advertising and Marketing graduate from University of Ulster in
Ireland. I currently work in digital advertising and have my own blog which won PR Academy’s UK’s
Best PR Student Blog of the Year 2020.
Dear younger Niamh,
I’m here to give you some pretty decent advice; lucky you. You’re freaking out about the future and what you’re going to do and where you’re going to be when you grow up, and I’m here to tell you to shh. Take a deep breath, and read.
Growing up and becoming a proper adult is a terrifying prospect, but you stop growing when you’re sixteen so let go of your dream of being 5 foot 5; it won’t happen. As for becoming a proper adult, there is no such thing. Literally no one has any idea what they’re doing in life, everyone’s pretty
much pretending, trust me. Those people who have “figured it out”? They’re con artists.
Now that I’ve broken that down for you and hopefully put you at ease a bit, here are some more pearls of wisdom:
Please focus on yourself. Look after yourself, physically and mentally. You’ll have bad days, you’ll have bad weeks and you’ll have bad moods to end all moods. That’s fine. But, what’s not fine is doing nothing about it. If you’re unhappy, please say. Don’t brush off your bad moods with sarcasm and jokes, because even though that makes it seem like it’s not a “big deal” – it doesn’t help. I know you mightn’t want to talk about it in case it brings people down and “kills the vibe”, but sitting feeling miserable isn’t much of a vibe either, is it?
“Stop worrying about what other people think about you; what you do think about you?”
Instead of caring about who all likes you; care about if you like you. You will waste so much time and energy worrying about who fancies you and who thinks you’re nice and whose birthday party you’re invited to, and spoiler alert: it doesn’t matter. You’ll come to a point in time (like now) when you realise how trivial that all is. Answer: very.
You’ll drift from some of your school friends, and that’s okay. You’re not the same person you were when you were eleven; you’ve changed (thank God). Don’t worry about clinging on to friendships and people you’re not that similar to anymore, just because you’re afraid of “wasting” years of bring
friends. You’ll meet more people and make more friends that you can’t imagine not having in your life. You’ll still get on with your school friends, like, but you’ll new ones who are more similar to who you are now. Or who you will be, I keep forgetting it hasn’t happened for you yet, sorry.
Well, you’re right; school days aren’t the best days of your life. It really is just a lie older people say to make you do your homework. Uni days are the best days of your life. All of your school friends moving to England for uni? (Sorry, spoiler alert). It’s not a bad thing. You get a fresh start. You get to make new friends, who will honestly be some of the best people in the world. The work is tough, don’t get me wrong, like, but it’s so worth it because you’ll make some amazing friends, have so many gegs AND get to avoid full-time work for three years (trust me, you’ll want to).
We both know what you’re like, you wee try-hard. Even though first year isn’t worth anything towards your degree (I KNOW – I was outraged for you), you’ll still work away as if your degree depended it. Good. It doesn’t matter that a lot of people in your class leave everything until the last minute, skip half their lectures and never do the seminar homework – spoiler alert: no one EVER does the seminar homework. Don’t feel like you’ve to “dumb down” so you look ‘breezy’ and ‘laid-back’ like a couple of headers in your class. They’re not so laid back when it comes to finals, let me tell ye.
It’s not “cool” to do nothing and it’s not “nerdy” to do the work. You’d think people would drop that immature mentality after the age of 18, but uni is sometimes a “who submitted their assignment closest to the close time” competition. Don’t compete. Believe it or not (believe it), you can actually
work hard in the background, have a part-time job and have a social life – who’d have thought? Yes, uni’s all about having fun and not being a proper adult yet, but honey, you’re paying £4,000 a year for this, so get you your degree as well as a good time. Spoiler alert: you do.
Best of luck in all your adventures; and thanks for making me who I am today. All those questionable decisions you made? Don’t sweat it. They got me here and they’ll get you here. And here is a pretty damn fine place to be.
PS. There will be a pandemic in 2020 – good luck.