1. What was your month of birth in 1994?
2. Where were you born?
3. Who were your idols or role models when you were a child?
The one I remember most significantly was Hilary Duff. Didn’t everybody want to be Hilary Duff at some point or another?!
4. Name your favourite singer/band from your childhood?
Westlife. Westlife. Westlife. I had posters all over my room, I knew each of them in detail, and of course Westlife were my first concert. Ahh.
5. What did you want to be when you were younger?
A vet, a singer, a writer, an actress, a waitress, a photographer, a teacher, a musician… I always wanted to do everything! I always admired those who could tell great stories about all the different experiences they have gone through, good and bad.
6. Do you still want to go into that profession?
With the exception of obvious qualifications needed to be a vet or a teacher, I honestly don’t believe I’ve become more focused now on a ‘profession'. This, to some, is seen as a bad thing or me evading my inevitable ‘job’. I have so many passions and interests, and I've always strived to be like the people in my life who had found their THING that they could talk about for hours with such passion that it made you interested as well. I just graduated university with a degree in Theatre & English Literature so perhaps mine is purely to create stories.. I wouldn’t want to shut off any of my interests and passions because there is just so much time to try all of them!
7. What were you like as a teenager?
I'm not sure whether my perception of myself as a teenager was the same as those who knew me, but I remember being always quite serious and mature, which often was detrimental to a teenage life! But at the same time I was still far too concerned with boys, friends, school, TV, homework etc. of course.
8. What was high school like for you?
I remember very little from high school, apart from my final years. I enjoyed school as anyone enjoys school, I am grateful for what it gave me socially and educationally but I don’t particularly look at it as a happy time.
9. How have your dreams and goals changed through your life?
I haven’t had a lot of life yet, especially life independent of the goals that education enforces. I think my dreams changed as any do with the appreciation of reality and the world we live in! My goal now is just to try and be as happy as is possible and not take any days for granted, cheesy as that is. If I had that goal when I was younger, instead of constantly looking ahead to the weekend, and holidays and the independence of being an ‘adult’ I think maybe I would have enjoyed myself a little more. 'Growing up' has taught me the hard way to appreciate what you have, because there is no guarantee for any of it!
10. How do/did you feel about turning 21 this year?
I didn’t have much of a chance to comprehend it happening until after because I had a crucial part of my dissertation to present the day before and I was heading into exam season, it was just another birthday but I was overwhelmed by the kindness I was shown this year from new friends and old.
11. Is turning 21 a big deal in your opinion?
I think any birthday should be a big deal to anybody, it is a day to enjoy, give and celebrate being able to enjoy another year. There are so many normal days in the year that birthdays and holidays should always be a big deal! I believe that specifically turning 21 isn’t as big of a deal as before especially in other countries, but in England we tend to hold onto it as the beginning of ‘adulthood’. It isn’t really anymore, I think 18 is more of a milestone.
12. What's one thing you are looking forward to doing in the next few years?
I look forward to everything, I've spent most of my life in education knowing exactly what is coming next, knowing that september brings school, spring brings exams, and july/august are the only time for travel. Now I can do whatever I want when I want, obviously within monetary reason! It's easy to be terrified now, wondering what on earth to do next but I'm an educated, able individual and in our world that is too much of a privilege to waste on worrying! I look forward to learning, travelling, growing, making new friends and seeing those I know and love do the same.
13. Has anything shocked/surprised you about adulthood so far?
Probably that it is not really ‘adulthood', many of those older than me still look at me as a girl and they probably always will! Often I feel younger now than I did when I was a teenager! When I was a teenager everyone always thought I was older than I actually was (I have vivid memories of being charged an adult price in Pizza Hut, aged 12), but since I've turned 21 suddenly everyone thinks I’m younger for the first time...
14. Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
Yoga, reading, travelling, exploring, writing, drawing, photography. As part of my dissertation I ‘vlogged’ everyday of my life for 6 months and it stuck, so I make videos of my life and small stories and post them on YouTube. Now I'm living in Rome for 3 months working and I make weekly videos, I do it purely because I enjoy creating video ideas, finding interesting shots, seeing myself grow through the videos and being able to show my family and friends my life abroad in a way they could never see otherwise. Social media has given us so many ways to share creatively, I like being able to ‘meet’ people through Instagram or YouTube with the same interests on the other side of the world. I don’t want to loose my creativity, it's easy to stop writing when we stop preparing for exams, and stop being creative when we have a work week to stick too.
15. What would you say to a teenager who is worried about adult life?
Don’t worry! You will regret every minute spent worrying about something when you could have just been enjoying every moment of where you are now, you can’t postpone adult life its going to happen so just be happy about it! Work hard, read more, find what you enjoy, cherish the people around you, don’t be afraid of what people think and enjoy being privileged enough to worry about small things.
16. If you could give your 13 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t worry so much, if only you could see what you will face soon you’ll know it will all get worse, but it also gets so much better.
Friends and boys will come and go, but your education won’t.
17. Whats the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘future’?
Im excited, really truly excited.
18. Who are your idols or role models now?
I don’t think it's healthy to try and model yourself on another person completely when, though you might not see, they have their faults like anyone else. I admire many individuals for things they have said or done but that doesn’t mean I would model my life on them, as I once did with Hilary Duff!
Amongst many others I admire Mimi Ikonn (entrepreneur & YouTuber),
Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York)
MANY of my friends,
and Casey Neistat is a huuge inspiration!
It's good to surround yourself with people who spur you on to be better in whatever way, even if they’re just friends or strangers you meet.
As I mentioned before, I admire those that have inspired me to find something that I can wake up everyday and look forward to doing. I watched people look down on my parents for doing what are seen stereotypically as ‘simple’ or ‘common’ jobs, but I've seen the difference they have made to the lives of various individuals and I see them come home after 30 years everyday with a new story to tell or a new technique they’ve learnt. If it makes you happy, if it motivates you to move forward then it doesn’t matter what it is.
All those who have found their THING and made a living out of it, whatever it may be.
19. What steps are you going to take to make your twenties a smoother ride?
I don’t think anything I can do will make it smoother but I can choose how to react to it! Im trying to see the best in every dark moment, say yes to every opportunity possible and not stress over the things I can’t control. If one year ago you told me what was going to happen in the next year I would never have believed it, let alone that I would be sat here in Rome typing this now, graduated, single and still videoing everyday! There is no knowing so there is no point stressing over it, I just look forward to where I'll be next year!
20. In 2015, do you think that life for young adults is optimistic or full of pressures?
50/50. Its all in the perception, you can choose to allow the pressure to freak you out, or you can choose to be optimistic and use the fear to drive you forward. I think life is full of pressures for a 21 year old in 2015, but if you’d asked a 21 year old in 1970 they would have said the same, the world changes regardless making it easier in some ways and harder in some ways.
21. What sets your generation apart from everyone else?
I think the most obvious answer is of course - technology. If you’re considering how our generation is different to any other then it has to be technology because we grew up in the moment that computers and mobiles were about to boom. I remember buying our first computer, and how completely different it was to the laptop I am writing on now. Technology has advanced so dramatically in my lifetime which I think is negative in so many ways for the education and well being of the next generations who have grown up only knowing a world of technology. It has created so many negatives for the way in which individuals now rely on it to support their everyday lives, which was never an option for previous generations. However it also has so many positive aspects and has given our generation possibilities to grow and explore and create through outlets that never existed before. Technology is there for us to use and adapt to our lives, and I always find it interesting to see how individuals use it to broadening aspects of everyday life now.
Thank you, Sarah for sharing your thoughts with me.
If you'd like to take part in my final few interviews, please send me a blank email email@example.com with '21/94' in the subject line, and I'll get back to you :).