Emily Bielby

What do you do now?Emily Bielby.jpg

 I'm studying for my BSc in Sexual Health and hope to follow that with a Masters in Women's Studies and Psychosexual Therapy. Alongside this, I am working as a supervisor and barista at an independent café bar in Otley. 

After leaving South Craven I went to Leeds Beckett University to study Communications, Culture and Media and I ended up dropping out after just one term. I worked for a few years, trying to find my place in the world and my passion. I began to consider my options for higher education, which resulted in finding a course I never knew existed while I was at school! At school, I loved anything to do with culture and the way our world works, and have always loved people-focused roles and been passionate about social issues such as feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, culture, sex education and religion. I started the course in September and I'm so happy that I was able to find a course that I enjoy... even if it did take me a little longer than everyone else! 

What advice would you give to your 17-year-old self?

Always follow your gut. Life is all about experiences, good and bad. Stop worrying about being behind - you are where you're meant to be. Your life is your own and no one else's, so never worry about letting anyone down. 

You're young, and there are so many amazing things yet to happen and be experienced. Take joy in the small things, and all the things that make you happy. Your worth isn't measured by your productivity, job or how much money you make. But most importantly, stay true to yourself and don't believe you can't... because you can!

What are you most proud of?

Following my instincts and dropping out of university. It took a lot of courage but the 'university life' wasn't for me. Deep down I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do and I wasn't enjoying my course.

I spent the next few years working in all sorts of roles - from selling wine to sales assistant in a cosmetics company to restaurant manager. I tried different hobbies, activities and opened myself up to different opportunities. I took every experience and learnt something from each one. It wasn't always a walk in the park however, and I’m so grateful for the life skills and experiences I gained from working and being open to different opportunities, as it's given me the confidence to pursue a career in something I feel truly passionate about.