Dear sweet little 18 year old Chloe,
How’s things? You’ll have just started your first year at uni, living your dream of studying Musical Theatre. You’re also living out your childhood dream of getting to live in Blackpool, although you’re probably starting to realise that little you always envisioned living in Blackpool to be a little more glamorous than it actually is.
Your uni experience might not be all that you dreamed it would be, but it will completely change your life and if I, future Chloe, could go back and do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’ve wrote you some handy words of advice that I wish I had known four years ago:
1.) You are absolutely going to pack more things than you are ever going to need and nothing I can say will change that but past Chloe listen up, you will absolutely NOT need a rolling pin and you will take that iron out of its box ONCE before realising that only fools iron and that’s why God invented coat hangers.
2.) When you go to London for Graduate Showcase in 3rd year, go easy on the Dough Balls in Pizza Express because they will make you feel queasy and you will end up low-key projectile vomiting into your hands while stood next to actual Marvel star Hayley Atwell.
3.) In a last minute panic before an audition, don’t buy the sheet music for Amigas Cheetahs from the cinematic masterpiece The Cheetah Girls. You won’t need it. Ever. I’m 2 years down the line from this and I’ve still not taken it out of my singing folder.
4.) Go out and do more things with your friends. I’ve never been a big fan of going on a night out and so I didn’t ever go out whilst in Blackpool, and I don't have any regrets about that. I do regret not going to more places for fun days out. Like seriously, I lived in Blackpool for three years and I didn't go to the Pleasure Beach once.
5.) Don’t worry about being shy and feeling like you’ll never find your niche. It took me until third year before I felt that I had finally found myself and knew what I was good at. Everything just finally fell into place for me then. I had figured out what my strengths were and most of what we did in third year played to those strengths. I really struggled in second year, and I seriously considered dropping out, but I’m so glad that I didn’t because I would’ve missed out on so many things that made me who I am today - like performing at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, being on TV, low-key projectile vomiting into my hands next to actual Marvel star Hayley Atwell.
6.) You’re not going to end up an Olivier award winning West End Star, and you probably never will. You’ll have some good chances and you’ll come very very close to living that dream at one point, but sadly it won’t happen. And it probably never will. And you know what, that’s ok. Where I am in my life now, with the job that I do and the friends that I have, I am the happiest I have ever been. If you told 18 year old me that I wouldn’t end up doing my dream job I would have cried for days, but in the words of Rock of Ages, “Sometimes the dreams you come with aren’t always the dreams you leave with, but they still rock”
(Ok, yeah, I’m pretty disgusted with myself for using that quote but it’s an article about me doing a Musical Theatre degree, there had to be a quote from a musical in there somewhere.)