A letter to my younger self

Heyyou,

Believe it or not, it’s me. I’m you. Okay, well that’s confusing.

You’ll be sad to know I’m not famous yet. There’s still a big part of me that just wants to get up on stage every day and sing my heart out, but no, unfortunately that is not what I’m doing. Good news is, I’ve graduated now! Yep, that’s right. To say I found university hard would be an understatement, but I made it out the other side and I’m still standing. I looked great in the funny hat and robe, I did some travelling and now I’m looking for work – proper adult style.

So you’ve finished Year 11 and you’re going into Sixth Form College.¬†Everyone’s telling you that you just have to go to uni. No-one’s telling you about the options you can take that don’t involve moving miles away from home and taking a really big loan from the government, go to them and ask them about them! Make sure you know you have a choice.

University did us an awful lot of good, but we would have been fine without it too. There’s some amazing people in my life right now that might want to kill you if you decide never to meet them though, just saying.

All I want you to know is that I still don’t have it all figured out. I still don’t have an answer to the question ‘What do you want to do for the rest of your life?’ and I’m beginning to finally realise that that is okay. Honestly, you don’t need to have all the answers, have fun, follow your heart and you’ll be fine.

Don’t let people tell you that you need a plan. Take it as it comes.

I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t rush. If you need a year out, take one. Listen to your own heart and don’t let what anyone else is doing sway you. You can make all the big decisions you like, but when you’re 22 you’ll just be sat wondering why you worried so much. You’ll still have changed your mind a million times. Plans change, things change, life happens, but it’ll all be alright in the end.

Lastly, if you do go to uni, don’t take that bottle of apple sours and don’t let your flatmates give you tequila either. Try Sambuka instead, you’ll thank me for it.

Yours-self,

Bronwen

There’s no place like home

It felt like the entirety of my weekend at home had been nothing more than a dream when I woke up this morning; the horribly stressful journey back to Cardiff being the disastrous ending that finally woke me up. It feels like I went to sleep after the Halloween party last Thursday and I’ve been asleep ever since. A big part of me wants to curl up and go back to dreaming of home so I don’t have to face today. Today is my first day at work and the day of my first rehearsal for my first concert of the semester. Today is terrifying.

Friday morning I wasn’t anywhere near as excited as I expected to be. I woke up with the biggest smile on my face, but only because the night before had been such great fun. I was happy because Halloween had been amazing and it hadn’t quite clicked that a megabus was going to take me home that afternoon. I got up, got ready and headed out to hand in my first music assignment of the year. I daydreamed my way through the entirety of my history lecture and then when I realised the time, half walked half ran home to pack. Time went by ridiculously quickly and before I knew it, I was sat on my bed eating my lunch as quickly as Bronwenly possible, because I knew I needed to get to the bus stop. In true Bronwen fashion I got half way up the road before realising I’d forgotten my purse and had to turn around to grab it. I caught the bus just as it was about to leave. The driver thankfully got down from his seat, smiled at me and let me chuck my bag in the hold. It took me six hours to get home, but when I did I was beyond happy. Home looked amazing and smelled amazing and my mum had left me a portion of chille con carne to reheat and eat when I got in.

Saturday morning my mum woke me up with a cup of tea and asked if I fancied a drive out of Chelmsford to pick my sister up from a family friend’s house. At first it felt ridiculous to even consider leaving my warm and comfortable bed, especially now I had a cup of tea in hand. As it dawned on me that this was day 1 of 2 at home I began to change my mind. I didn’t want to waste anymore time in bed. I jumped in the shower, my mum made us the most amazing breakfast and then we jumped in the car. I think I had forgotten just how much I love being behind the steering wheel. The drive left me on cloud nine. I spent the whole journey head bobbing and steering wheel tapping without shame. We joined our friends for a coffee in Costa before heading back. Sat with my mum and our family friends, drinking a Costa Caramel Latte I was ridiculously happy. I spent the afternoon being the laziest I’ve been in weeks and my dad ordered pizza in for dinner. We went to see the Fireworks display in Danbury (a Maggs family tradition at this time of year) and as usual it was incredible. Stood linking arms with my mum and brother, my dad with his arm around my sister just in front of us, I felt like I had the leading role in the very happy ending to a film. I was really ill when I got home, my guess is the cold got to me and the tiredness hit too. I missed out on joining some of my friends at the pub and had to head to bed at eleven before it felt like I had quite made the most of my day.

I got up fairly early again on Sunday, feeling much better after sleeping. It felt like I’d never left: I helped myself to cereal and joined my mum in the lounge. She was watching a Christmas film. Normally I would have objected considering November has only just begun but I was drawn in when one of the characters announced he was banning Christmas and the sale of toys. My mum made an amazing lamb roast dinner, I went shopping for work trousers and before I knew it I was packing up and heading back to Cardiff again. Saying a temporary goodbye to my family once again made me feel just as sad as usual. The journey home was horrible: Trains were late, I was late, buses were late, it rained loads, I did the walk home in a complete daze thinking only of bed and of putting my heavy bag down.

And then I woke up, back in Cardiff, curled up in bed as if I’d never been away.