What would you tell your 2020 self?
The Multi Story Edinburgh podcast has been telling the stories of our 2020 graduates and what it's been like for them to graduate during a pandemic. But if they could go back and meet the June 2020 version of themselves, what would they say to them?
As things open up once again and we all start to think about the future, we decided to reconnect with our podcast guests and ask them to reflect on that question and what they've learned over the past year. Have they had time to take stock? Have the experiences of the past year changed their perspectives and their outlook?
It's not going to be plain sailing, but you are so much tougher than you think. Don't forget to chill out sometimes, you don't always have to go at 100mph. And all the connections, all the friendships you made in Edinburgh are going to stay strong, no matter where in the world you all are.
I would tell myself not to berate yourself for not being where you want to be right now. Things are going to work out, don’t panic about not having enough structure in your life. Everything will fall into place if you just keep trying. As a young queer person you have to navigate the world of work and self-worth with a slightly different angle than some, but you are loved and your journey will inspire others if you keep being open and an example to your peers. Love yourself, don’t be so hard on yourself, and you will find a greater sense of purpose in life that will propel you forward. Ground yourself in friendships and family, lean on those who love you and keep disrupting the status quo!
I would tell me to go easy on myself and not get too attached to any plans.
Don't scatter, focus on your purpose and go for it! You will be surprised to see that you are not the only one in this. But - don't overload yourself with challenges. One obstacle at a time. You will probably never get to the end of this journey, but you can spread seeds of change that will help your surroundings flourish with you.
The pandemic won't be gone for a while, so try and do your best to enjoy the activities you can do. It's okay to not be productive, you need to rest and have fun just now.
Be gentle with yourself – be slow, be kind, remember that what you're doing is enough. You're working so hard, and although it might feel like you could always do more, you're doing so well... You are enough! And getting a good mark isn't the only important thing. Enjoy the process of writing your dissertation! It's a real gift to have this opportunity to be supported to immerse yourself in the topic that makes you most excited, makes you feel most alive. You'll miss having access to all these incredible journals; you'll miss meeting with your supervisor who gives you all these exciting new perspectives to explore; you'll miss the energetic conversations with course mates, those conversations that delve right to the core of things. And oh gosh, you'll miss this gorgeous city! Be really present in this precious time. Don't ever for a moment wish it away.
If I met myself in June 2020, I would say “Don’t be afraid of the time spent determining where you want to be in life. Explore opportunities widely until you find something that genuinely excites you.”
Remember to slow down every now and then and just enjoy some time for yourself. Being in lockdown last year really slowed the pace of life down and it was quite a drastic change from the usual hectic university schedule. In a strange kind of way, it was nice to do things at my own pace and take things a little easier. I would also tell myself to to continue working hard and pursuing your ambitions (no matter how cheesy this sounds!) and to keep nurturing the relationships I have around me.
Keep up with the good loop of thinking, feeling, acting and reflecting - less on doubting and waiting. There will be obstacles ahead of you, but you are more capable than you think you are. Tap into the fountain of creativity and focus on solving your problems and desires. Major transformation awaits you. In the midst of doing, don’t forget to keep loving yourself - make health your number one priority. Receive coaching, there will be breakthroughs. Let go of the need to control, instead trust and surrender to the flow of the Universe. Easy action steps, read The Surrender Experiment, buy Bitcoin, and keep connecting within.
There are so many things I’d say, primarily that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! June 2020 me definitely struggled with the oppressiveness of 24/7 news updates and government briefings and that sense that the world was changed forever. While it’s true that the world has changed, as have we all, and it’s imperative that we don’t glaze over how hard things have been and continue to be for so many people, I think we owe it to ourselves to look to a brighter future ahead in which we all try to be kinder to ourselves and each other and in which we make the most of every moment where we can. Things do and will get better! And never hesitate to reach out for help or a chat where you need it, you’ll find people are more than willing to listen and help where they can.
I would tell myself to not be worried about working out exactly which path I want to be on as soon as possible, and enjoy learning through further work experience and skills development. I would also take more time to catch up with friends, even though things can get hectically busy.
To quote Joe Biden, “keep the faith”. But seriously, be confident (but not so much that it stops you improving yourself), go for every opportunity, and persevere. Your lucky break can come from places you least expect.
To my June 2020 self I’d avoid saying too much, as I’m happy where he got me without my future advice to alter the future. That said, as I started my channel that month I’d encourage him to keep making YouTube videos. The key thing I’ve learnt is to avoid perfectionism: it doesn’t matter if you think it’s good, just go for it and see what happens!
Find all epsiodes of the Multi Story Edinburgh podcast and look out for our next season on the website: