My life had its first major pivot when I was 18. I'd just received my A-Level results in the post that morning and I had to choose the degree course and university where I was going to study.
I had a place to study Chemistry at Manchester University and I'd also been accepted at Sheffield University to study Architecture (a seven year course!).
I had the longest shower of my life that morning, deciding my future. Incidentally, I also had a place on a one year Art Foundation degree course at Manchester Metropolitan University, which I'd applied for as a backup. I had to follow my heart, so I opted for the backup.
Two things to tell you, younger self;
1) You'll do your best thinking in the shower so always make sure you've always got good water pressure at home.
2) Relax! You made the right decision, choosing your passion turned out to be the right choice!
When I first started writing this post, it jarred with me a little because I'm the co-founder of a successful digital studio and so I must have done something right, right?
Starting a digital agency 2 years after graduating from university, you can imagine I was quite green and made lots of mistakes. There should be loads of stuff I'd pre-warn my younger self about to make life easier. But after thinking about it, the best advice I can give you younger self is not to try and make things easier on yourself. Instead, get comfortable in dealing with the hard stuff, because there'll be lots of it to come.
So, next advice;
3) Recognise a difficult situation as a chance to better yourself and so don't shy away from it. Don't put off the difficult conversations and agonise over them. Don't leave the tricky things hoping they'll go away. You'll waste a lot of time in your life worrying about stuff you won't care about 6 months later so save yourself the stress!
Younger self, you won't know it yet, but you're incredibly lucky to be one of the first people working in the new digital age. You were there when it started, you will make some of the world's first websites. Advice:
4) It's alright to take five and appreciate how cool that is and pat yourself on the back for creating some amazing stuff
You're going to be relatively young when you start your company and you'll be paranoid about your business ability and the opinions of older, more experienced clients and peers.
5) Age doesn't matter at all. Be confident in your ideas and capabilities. You'll win people over with the passion you apply, the things you make and the way you work with people.
This is a new digital world for everyone and you're going to work with some amazing people who will become life long friends.
6) Insist on working with like-minded people and never stop pushing yourself to be better at what you do and don't be afraid to push the people you work with too.
Your digital world is going to change a lot, you'll take on multiple roles, try lots of new things, constantly experiment and re-invent the company.
7) Don't ever worry about change and don't second guess the decisions you'll make along the way. It'll all work out alright, just keep pushing.
Whilst you're at university, here's a closing thought for you, younger self. Wouldn't it be great if you could hook up with pretty girls by checking them out on your computer, knowing if they're single and then poking them, figuratively of course? Think beyond your pint glass, there's serious money to made...