Pictures From Left; Aged 3 – Fashion Icon; Aged 12 – I cannot believe I’m putting this on the internet; Aged 16 – beach, pizza, loving life – not my beer; Aged 21; an adult?
Hi, I’m Hannah!
And I’m about to graduate from the University of Birmingham with a Music degree… into a global pandemic that has effectively killed off the industry I wanted to work in, and cancelled my plans of travelling the world!
Unexpectedly sitting in my childhood bedroom for the last three months has forced me to reflect on my quickly-dwindling adolescence, and how I have changed over my time at University.
I spent most of my school years inches taller than my friends, with size 8 feet and a run like ‘a lame giraffe’ (that’s a direct quote), wishing I could blend in just a little more, hating my body and its unusual-ness. Eventually, I gave up on the idea of fitting in, slapping on a smile and a confident persona to hide my cripplingly low self-esteem. Over time, the fragility of that persona faded, leaving an actually confident (!) twenty-something who no longer stresses over the size of her thighs, or cries in shoe shops (well, maybe just a little).
I can’t quite believe that my three years at University have ended just like that and…just like that (thank you, COVID). It’s not the end that I expected, but I still had a wonderful time and learnt lots about the world and myself along the way (oh, and about music… obviously). Unfortunately, no matter how many times I’ve played the Back to the Future theme in Wind Band, I cannot go back in time to share these lessons with my pre-University self, but if someone found me a flux capacitor and a DeLorean, here is what I would say:
The worst they can say is no.
Everybody needs help sometimes, even you! Don’t be afraid to ask for it when you need it. Struggling with an assignment? Ask your teacher for some extra guidance. Need a job for the Summer? Ask the local pub if they need an extra pair of hands (Okay, this one didn’t work out. But still). You see some of your friends having a weekly quarantine quiz night and want to be a part of it? Ask! You have literally nothing to lose.
Do what you love. It will be worth it.
Choosing a music degree is scary. But it is also one of the best things I (we?) have ever done. I loved (most of) the work and so I worked hard at it, and met some wonderful people along the way. And it’s paid off! (2:1 babyyy)
Uni may not be the fantastic experience you want it to be. And that’s okay!
Anyone who says that University was absolutely amazing all the time is lying. There will be times when you’re struggling with work, sick, or even just lonely. You are not alone. Everyone feels like that sometimes. Call your mom, text a friend, watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, or make a game plan. You’ll feel better soon.
There is actually a long list of these pearls of wisdom, but I don’t want to scare you all off before my blog has even started.
Speaking of, I haven’t actually addressed why I’m starting a blog. While I was at school and University, I would have loved a resource that I could turn to that was accessible, fun, and also dealt with some real issues: loneliness, body image, sex etc. And I wanted to create a platform for people wanting that too, hopefully with some help from experts, my friends, and the me that will become a wisened old owl. If no one reads it, hey ho. But if it can help just one too-tall, frizzy teenager with elephant feet and low self-esteem feel less alone, this blog will have done its job.
Lots of Love,
P.S. I promise not everything on this website will be soppy and so self-absorbed, we’ll do some fun stuff too!