• Question: if you could go back in time and visit your younger self, what advice would you give yourself concerning your work-to steer yourself away from an experience or to steer yourself towards one.

    Asked by Aidan~18 to Keith, Pete, Natalie, Abbey, Aaron on 9 Nov 2015.
    • Photo: Aaron Boardley

      Aaron Boardley answered on 9 Nov 2015:

      I would encourage myself to keep trying things and ‘having a go’. At university there were so many clubs and societies and opportunities to get involved in – not only are they great fun and help you develop skills, friends, and confidence – but employers really like them too, so they can help you get a job.

      I quite a few things like this – I was in some plays at school, I did a radio show at university, and tried my hand at ballroom dancing, so if I met my younger self I would definitely encourage myself to do these, and try even more things. I find the more I write, the better I get at writing, so I would encourage myself to start this earlier…even by starting a blog or a Tumblr or something – or even a YouTube channel, to have a go at these things while I had a bit more spare time.

    • Photo: Peter Burgess

      Peter Burgess answered on 10 Nov 2015:

      Short answer: Go for it. Take the chance. Failure isn’t the opposite of success, it’s what happens when you’re trying to do things you can’t do yet.

      Long answer:
      I’d like to tell myself to be more ambitious.
      I think it took me a long time to realise how passionate I am about science and about the environment.
      I think when I was a school I developed a couple of defence mechanisms. I tried not to act too keen because I wanted a quiet life. Also, I hate rejection and take it far too personally so I held back from putting myself into competition unless I thought I had a good shot of winning.
      The first one has fallen away as I’ve grown up, and begun to work in different environments to secondary school. The people I work with value my skills, and my friends share my interests.
      The second one has been really hard to overcome. My brain kind of wants to go straight to “Why would they pick me? I’m not that special” and I have to consciously spot when I’m thinking that way and re-work the question to “Why wouldn’t they pick me? And even if they don’t, so what?”

    • Photo: Keith Franklin

      Keith Franklin answered on 11 Nov 2015:

      I would say “Don’t make a decision about yourself – explore all opportunities”. If you ever find yourself saying to yourself “I’m not the sort of person who can do that”, then don’t listen to yourself!

    • Photo: Natalie Garrett

      Natalie Garrett answered on 12 Nov 2015:

      I would say: trust in your instincts. Also, maybe do a full A-level in maths rather than just an AS level! It turns out that maths is SO useful in science.