At 17 I had decided that I was going to university to study French & German. I’d convinced myself that I was done with boys and didn’t want a boyfriend. And I thought I had planned out exactly how the rest of my life was going to go. I was going to go to university, move to Germany and live happily ever after. Now I can’t really think of anything worse than the life I had planned out for myself (except the moving to Germany part because I wouldn’t say no to that!)
Dear 2009 Rachel,
You’ve just turned 17. You’ve just got rid of that whiny ex-boyfriend and you’re convinced that in just under 2 years you’re going to go to university. I know that you’re desperate to go to Durham right now and you don’t want to tell anyone that because you think it sounds bigheaded and you’re also pretty certain that you won’t get in. It turns out that your life will change quite a lot in about 7 months and you won’t even apply to Durham. You’re going to end up at Sheffield university though, and you’ll love it.
At the moment you want to be a languages teacher or an interpreter. The teacher phase will die out pretty quickly but you can’t wait to study languages at uni. French and German and maybe another that you might pick up along the way. Actually you’re going to hate French at Sheffield so you’ll switch to German & Dutch and a little bit of Luxemburgish in final year. Even though it’s really hard, you’ll really enjoy your degree and make some amazing friends from uni.
Speaking of friends you don’t really have many at the moment do you? You have a couple but last year your 2 best friends abandoned you in favour of ‘being cool’ and you didn’t like conforming when you couldn’t see that point. Turns out that you’re still like that. And that’s ‘cooler’ than being like everyone else anyway!
You’re not sure what’s going on in your head at the moment but you can’t wait to leave school. You hate school because those 2 friends I mentioned above made it hell for you last year. You think you’re fat and ugly because that’s what they suggested to you. You’re not but there’ll be moments where you still think that’s the case.
Now the boyfriend part. You’re only 17 and you’re already sick of stupid games that boys play. But in about 7 months you’re going to start going out with a technology nerd and you’re still with him 6 years later so that’s alright isn’t it?
Your hopes and dreams have changed a lot over the years but you’re doing really well now. It turns out that even though you enjoyed languages you start looking for something different about halfway through your course. And, you decide on mental health nursing. It feels like you’re going to be at uni forever but there is an end in sight and working in mental health just feels right.
You’re probably really worried right now that life won’t turn out how you’ve planned. And it hasn’t, not at all. But everything’s good and you should be proud of yourself.
Love 2016 Rachel x-x-x