It’s 2016 and I’m sat in a café in Dubai planning the press launch for the Dubai office of a company called Sledge, which I have been proud to call my work family for the last eight years. I’m pretty sure you haven’t even heard of Dubai and I know the idea of setting up an office will seem ridiculously scary and far-fetched. It’s ok though, you don’t need to be scared because there are going to be hundreds of little steps to get you here and you’re going to have an unbelievable amount of support around you and fun on the way.
I know you’re debating whether you should take a year out before uni in order to create a fashion portfolio so you can do a Fashion Management degree, but not choosing fashion doesn’t mean you won’t get to be creative. Creativity is part of you, it’ll find its way out.
Doing Business Management instead isn’t the easy way out. Don’t think of what is easy and hard because when you put the effort you always do into anything, it never is easy as you won’t let it be. That thing Dad used to say about how you can "always find the time" will be something that keeps pushing you. Listen to it, follow it, but be careful, you’re not invincible and you can break.
The friends you make at school, that group of people you play drinking games with in Croydon, are your true friends. They are going to be with you every step of your journey and you need to be there as much as you can for them too. Weekends not working, and holidays, should be treated as super precious - be careful not to over-plan them, sometimes spontaneity is just what the doctor orders.
When you’re in the middle of a fight with Hannah and Rachel, and grandad tells you that "you love your sisters really" and "you’ll miss them when they’re gone", he is right. They may be incredibly annoying but they are the best and oldest friends you’ll ever have. And just to stop years of frustration, that Romeo + Juliet soundtrack you loved and lost... Rachel has it.
You’ll end up in events, or marketing, or management, call it what you want. But what you’ll actually end up with is an ability to understand people, to listen and to know what makes people tick. These skills are so important and will give you so many opportunities.
Some people will ask you what your plan is in life - you don’t have one so don’t give into the pressure to come up with milestones, just put the goal to be happy. Your life is going to go pretty well and you are going to have fun. Just remember to enjoy every event you go to for the experience, not just the work. You will go to some amazing places around the world, will try some incredible things and go to some crazy festivals. You will probably never go to them again so enjoy them in that moment. Take photos, take hundreds of photos.
When your English teacher tells you that you shouldn’t study anything at uni that requires long passages of text to be written, as you’re not good enough, ignore her. You can write and other people will know you can write; write about things you love.
You’re going to make mistakes, accidents will happen (and hurt) but don’t have any what ifs or regrets, just do what your gut tells you, you’ve got pretty good instincts.
And by the way, that friend that you know likes you and won’t stop hanging around...don’t ignore it, he will be the person you want to keep around forever.
Look after yourself and look after as many people as you can,
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