30 Nov Adulting with Emmi Garside
Adulting is a unique experience for everyone and that plethora of experiences is something that played on my mind as I decided to interview Emmi Garside. Hanging in front of me are two sets of multicolored flags* and as I look through them a face emerges full of verve. “I’m here for the interview”, says Emmi Garside gaily, “although I’m not really sure I’m going to say anything worth reading.” The energy about her makes me consider discarding tiredness on my list of questions about adulting. “Well you’re a young adult so that’s a good start”, I reply, “let’s talk about that and I’m sure something worth reading will come up.”
Damilola Ayo-Vaughan: Tiredness, responsibility, and pressure, what do they mean to you in terms of becoming a young adult?
Emmi Garside: I guess there’s always a lot of pressure to get your work done, be the best at what you do, unrealistic standards of what you should look like or what your personality should be like, or what your social media should be like. But I’m not sure if people notice this, but I think that the pressure you notice most is probably from other students especially when they are doing better at something and you are struggling to keep up. For me, personally, I’m dyslexic so I find it harder to keep up, and I’ve always felt like people can do stuff better than I can. It literally downgrades you so much. And for people to be like, “oh yeah, you should look like this, or you need to have a body like this, you need to aspire to be like this person when you’re older,” it literally downgrades you even more until you get to the point where you’re tired physically, as well as emotionally. I guess when you hit that point you just need one big push to get you back up, to be like no, it doesn’t matter what people think, after all, it’s my life. At the end of the day, if I want to look like this, then that’s what I want to look like. If I don’t want to have these ‘perfect’ aspirations, obviously my idea of perfect is going to be different from someone else’s, so you shouldn’t base mine on someone else’s. In terms of responsibility, I guess it has a lot to do with work again but also links with how you take care of how you’re feeling; if you don’t take care of yourself and focus only on your work, your work suffers because you’re not feeling great anyway. So I guess responsibility is not just focusing on work but also taking care of yourself. If you take care of yourself, you’ll start to notice you take care of other people around you. You notice how people give you back so much more when you take care of them and are always there for them, so when something bad happens, you’ve got so much love around you to help you get through it.
So for you, then, a key part of becoming a young adult is being in check with your emotions
EG: Yeah, definitely. Especially now with social media where there’s so much more pressure than the older times. 100 years ago the pressures they faced were different. Things change so much so quickly and you can never really foresee what’s going to happen. Sometimes you can’t imagine yourself in a situation and then it happens. I guess if you take care of how you’re feeling then all the other things will get better because; it all links to how you feel deep down. So if you feel better, you sleep better, have better work which means there’s less pressure, and you’ll be more on top of what you’re responsible for. You’ll be confident and won’t care what other people think.
What do you enjoy the most about becoming a young adult.
EG: I think I enjoy learning new things. Things that you wouldn’t have seen yourself liking when you were younger but now are so interested in. Also the independence, it’s quite nice when your parents trust you to go off to a country by yourself. (She laughs) You just feel more and more like your life is in your hands, and you don’t have to aspire things just cause your parents say so anymore.
What do you aspire to?
EG: (She laughs) I want to be an actress. I’m not sure of everything, but I definitely plan on going on a gap year. I want to travel to France. I really like traveling, and I really want to be a chalet girl.
I guess the freedom that comes with adulthood is something you plan to enjoy then? The freedom to control how you feel, what you do and all that.
EG: Yeah, definitely. It’s all to do with control. No matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s up to you if you want to make your life miserable and have the pity of others, or to have others look up to you and be like “they’re so great, not matter how many times they get knocked down, they still get back up and carry on doing what they love. It’s up to you to choose what your life is going to be like. No matter how many mistakes you make, it doesn’t matter cause you learn from them. I guess if you’re in control of that, you’ll do more in your life than you think is possible.
Thank you so much.
EG: No worries.
*The multicolored flags are an art piece by Juliet Cutforth-Pegg