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  • Writer's pictureEmilia Hargreaves

To My Younger Self

also, to my little sister Bea, who I will never stop dressing up with.

If I could go back in time, the most important thing I would tell my younger self is: Don’t Be an Actor. Study hard. Get good grades and then go to university and get a proper degree. Come on girl! Think strategically here.

Having said this, a woman on the train I’m on right now is fully just singing. Out loud. During rush hour. This girl is standing closer to me than some of my family are. Like Please. Shush. I just want to go home in peace. I mean I’m all for a shameless plug once in a while. I guess that is one way to get noticed.

Despite having a decent office job, which I am incredibly grateful for. Day after day I am constantly looking for acting jobs, performing jobs, writing, teaching, anything that will creatively stimulate me.

So I would go back in time, and tell myself, nay, insist that I find another hobby. A passion. Something else to enjoy. So that when I reach the grand old age of nineteen, I’m not spending half my days sitting around thinking “what the hell am I doing with my life”.

But I think that’s the case with a lot of us Generation Z’s. None of us have a bloody clue what we’re going. We’re just conditioned into the seemingly never ending process of school, GCSEs, school, A levels, University and then a job that will eventually drive you mad until the final end of your days.

This isn’t how I plan on spending my life. But that’s how it’s looking at this point.

I was blessed with mildly average A Level results which basically mean I’m above average for the shitty unis but not good enough for the top ones.

Seriously though, I genuinely don’t think any of us know what the hell we’re doing with our lives. Some are lucky enough to have an industry sector that they’re interested in, but for me, I don’t know where the hell I’m supposed to find a job in that sector. Performing wise, I’m constantly stuck in the endless loop that I don’t have an agent so I won’t get any work. But I’m not in any work that I can invite an agent to see, so I won’t get one.

No work because no agent. No agent because no work.

Writing wise, where on earth am I supposed to find someone who happens to be hiring a storyteller who just might be having a quarter life crisis and creating a blog page to deal with it.

But it’s not just me!

So many people my age are just going through with all the pointless exams, going and getting a pointless degree that they don’t really give a flying monkeys arse about and then they’re stuck. No job. No passion. And no clue what to do with themselves.

This is what I’m scared of. I am so desperately searching for things that get my artistic juices flowing. If I can’t find something to devote myself to, then I end up falling into another deep dark hole. And quite frankly, I’ve had enough of the deep dark holes for a while. So that is part of the reason that I’m writing this. A nice little project. Something for me to focus on and help me forget all the silly things I spend so long worrying about.

So yeah, I would simply go back in time to tell myself to work harder. Mini Me would probably roll her eyes, yell “I know! I will!” And then go home and play Moshi Monsters or some crappy computer game from ‘back in the day’.

If I had worked a little harder during GCSE’s and been able to leave school and do my A Levels elsewhere, I might have been more inspired. If I’d thought things through and taken some decent subjects, I could have gone straight to university. But then I would have ended up like all the sad people who hate their swanky job in a Central London office and, even though they’re paid pretty decently, they can’t bare to get out of bed every day.

So maybe not, maybe I would say “Stay passionate. Stay positive. As much as you can. But work a little more on your singing, and for the love of god do not give up dance. Because it bloody shows now!”

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