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  • Emily Lee

Tough Times Ahead

Updated: Oct 3

Let's rewind back to the year of 2010 when I was secondary school. I dived into the world of drama. I had no clue what drama was, but the school all made us choose an extra GCSE after choosing our options. The list was short and all the options I was already studying for except drama.


All my GCSEs were very academic, but drama was very different. It involved me becoming a different character and telling a story to an audience. I got sucked into this world of being someone else and I loved it.

This idea of being someone else appealed to me, like no sport or any other hobby did. I can hide my emotions through the words of another character. I can pretend to be a different character in reality. I didn't have to be me.


During secondary school, I was quite popular with a group of friends but I would be the one in class who didn't really contribute much. I was more of a listener than a speaker. With my culture, being Chinese, we don't tend to speak out, it's listen and obey your elders. I was bullied and on top of this, through the 5 years of secondary school, my mum was facing a divorce.

Juggling studying, my mum's divorce and trying to be a normal teenager, I slowly shut myself from the world, losing the friends I had and going to college getting medioarce grades. Something had changed. Or was it that I had changed? I was more quiet than before, I had low self esteem in myself and what I could achieve. But I ploughed on, not knowing how to fix or change it.


I set out to be an actor, even though my mother opposed. Instead of going to drama school, a special training school for actors, I went down the traditional route going to university. I didn't even apply to drama school as I knew I wasn't good enough. I had a chance to move out of home and go to Bath Spa University to study BA Acting. New place, new me, new friends or so I thought.

However, it wasn't nothing like I expected. I was crying everyday, not knowing why. There were many promises by the school and we were constantly let down over and over again. The grades I got wasn't meeting other people's expectations. Everything was different, no one understood me, I felt lost. So in the first year of uni, I had dark thoughts and wanted to commit suicide. I didn't tell my family how I felt, I didn't go to the doctors, I didn't want to trouble anyone. I didn't know what to do.

Speaking out my emotions is something that wasn't encouraged in my daily life or throughout the education system. I was so caught up on revising, to get the grades I needed to get into the next institution, that I forgot how I felt. I was living in a ball of lies, pretending to be a different version of myself, trying to fit in at university, trying to keep people happy.


I hated myself. My mental health was at its worst. There were days where I was seriously thinking and acting upon committing suicide. I wanted to change. I vowed to myself to never think or feel like this again. I set myself the BIGGEST mission, just be my authentic self. And it doesn't matter if it takes me one year or ten years, I will change.


From this point forward, I had a goal, I had something to strive for. It's never too late to start becoming a better version of yourself.


To be continued... Read Part 2 here. If you are worried about your mental health here are a list of places you can go to for help. Or alternatively book a discovery call with me and see how I can help you. Check out my Speak Confidence course!