AVD: So what do you enjoy about becoming an adult?
BM: I think I enjoy more freedom, and the ability to kind of take charge of what you are doing in your life, it’s definitely good. I think being able to have more authority in the decisions you make, like your parents might not be able to be able to make them for you, they can say to you ‘that’s not a good idea’ but actually if you think it is that’s where it stops, and this week that has been something that been quite relevant for me, if everybody thinks something is a bad idea it doesn’t matter because it’s you and if you think it is what you need to do then that’s what’s important. I think when you’re 10 or even 15 you have to listen to your parents and the people around you, teachers and all, but you have more freedom to negotiate when you’re a young adult. So if you’re sure you know what you want then you’re able to actually do that and to take steps to achieve what it is that you want to do without people being able to tell you what to do.
AVD: You said that especially within this past week that’s been prevalent for you, what’s happen in this past week for you?
BM: This past week has been really stressful cause I had a job interview and I also had an interview at Sheffield University for Bio-Chemistry, I was also waiting to see if I had an interview with Cambridge as well, so a lot was going on. But I think that it’s important to do all these things and it is exciting in a way, because like with the job and with the university things it’s like looking towards the future. It all came at once which was very stressful for me but I did get the job, and I got an offer from Sheffield University and I got an interview at Cambridge! So it was quite a positive week, the only thing I would say went wrong was I did fail my driving test for the second time. (She laughs) But maybe at the moment that’s not the most important thing in my life. Yeah so it was successful and it’s nice to know that all the handwork I put in, not in a cocky way, but it did pay off with the offer and with the interview. Even with getting the job, like it’s not as scary and there’s definitely bigger things to worry about but it’s still intimidating to go and speak to someone you don’t know about what credentials you have, to make yourself sound like somebody they would like to have work for them.
AVD: In that sense, I guess you could say that learning to sell yourself is something that comes with becoming a young adult?
BM: Yeah, it does. It’s tricky that, I had a mock interview and I am going to have more and it it’s difficult to not come across as insincere and false, everyone says be yourself, and relax but that’s really difficult because you want people to see you for the best that you can be, but also to believe what you’re saying. So it’s really hard to strike that balance, especially when it’s something that you really want, you know that you’re enthusiastic about. I think that’s difficult, and it’s something you don’t ever have to do as a child, but you always have to do as an adult.
AVD: So in terms of the tiredness, the responsibility, and the pressure, I guess you could you say that in the past week they all came in together for you.
BM: Oh yeah, definitely. Not knowing that I had an interview made me really struggle. It was a big struggle for me because usually there’s something I can do to make myself feel less stressed so I think with the pressure and the responsibility, and the tiredness, those are 3 things that really played a big part in my week last week. Being tired is not necessarily not enjoyable, I do quite like being tired and having a lot to do and feeling stressed to an extent, I think it’s exciting more than anything, and this week as well, something that I realised when I had my mock interview and I started talking about Bio-Chemistry and what I wanted to do is that I really do like it and I really do want to do it, like I’m so grateful to have that opportunity to get offers and to study it. As soon as I started talking about that with the woman I felt like well it’s all worth it because this is actually a subject that I really like. But it’s easy to forget that kind of thing, like when you have all the stress and obviously with the Cambridge application, there’s so much you have to do to apply and even before that you have to do stuff outside of your subject and school, but it’s easy to do that if its something you enjoy and it’s easy to forget that you enjoy it, but now that I have an interview and I’ve started researching the topics again, going over my work, it’s so much more enjoyable because it’s me being able to explore something that I find genuinely really interesting, and if being tired and stressed is a byproduct of that then it’s definitely worth it I would say.
AVD: So for you then, when it comes to adulting you like to take things as they come, focus on each thing as it comes?
BM: Well I used to get really stressed about the things that would happen weeks and months in the future, but then it got to the point where I had so much stress and so much to think about that I just wouldn’t cope if I actually did think about stuff that far in the future, so at the moment my timespan that I allow myself think about is up until Christmas, like the last day of term. So I’ve got to see out the cabaret, my interview and they’re the two things I’m thinking about the most at the moment. At the beginning of this term I had loads of stuff to do, I had my EPQ( Extended Project Qualification) , my report to finish for my project and all my lessons and things like that and so I just kind of thought what am I going to do today and I did it, and I think if you just sit down and do it and don’t let the stress overwhelm you, it’s much much easier to get things done and you do feel less stressed in the end. So I would say take everything as it comes, although it’s weird me saying that because I can’t imagine myself saying that even last year, I think to a point you can’t think too far ahead because you’ll just be overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you have to do and the amount of uncertainty about the future, especially now because you don’t know where you’re going to go to university, what degree you’re going to do, don’t know what you’re going to be, are you going to have a family, are you going to have a nice life, and so you just need to kind of think when I get home what am I going to have for supper (she laughs), and it helps you to stay a bit more grounded and get stuff done. I think it’s better for one’s mental health as well to just think about the tasks you have in front of you and not too much about the grand scheme of things.
AVD: In terms of becoming a young adult how do you think it affects your relationship with your friends?
BM: I think Bootham is a really brilliant place and I have so many really supportive friends in Bootham and out of Bootham, in my year, in other years and even the children who are in Year 7 & 8, life if they are always trying to help me in council, even if all they can do is re-arrange the chairs or do the tea and coffee, it’s so nice that everybody is willing to help take some of the burdens off your shoulders and do a bit as well. I think with my group of friends everybody is feeling equally as stressed, some people have more to do than others, but everybody is in it together and I think people recognize that everybody is stressed, and it’s nice to have that kind of support, there’s always somebody you can talk to. I really am grateful for my friends. Even the teachers are helpful, a lot of them are really approachable and you can talk to them if you are stressed and they’ll understand. I think that if you didn’t have a secure group of friends it’ll be so much harder growing up especially at this stage when you know you’re probably going to leave all your friends behind when you go to university. So it’s really important to have strong, supportive friends as well, and to support them. I’m really lucky to have that. In my year everyone is quite close to each other, I don’t think there’s anyone I couldn’t have a good rant to on a Monday morning and I think that’s really nice. Even people just knowing you’re first and last name and acknowledging you’re there is quite comforting, asking ‘have you had a nice weekend’ and you can complain about how much you had to do and it’s nice.