1. What was your school like?
I went to a mixed local school in Hampshire where I grew up, but I didn't find it easy turning up each day and would often hide under the covers and pretend to be ill so I didn't have to go!
2. What is your favourite memory of school?
I think lazy summer afternoons with my friends making daisy chains and rolling up our skirts so we could try and get a tan, they who always made me feel like I belonged somewhere even when other people were trying to prove that I didn't.
3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?
I started acting very young so was consequently in and out of school a lot which made it hard, but the teachers were really kind keeping me up to date with my work, so I got good grades even when the last thing I wanted to do was be at school. I think it can be very hard for kids who either know what they want to do, or are very passionate about a certain area of life or a hobby to be in a very structured situation.
4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?
Because I was in and out of school due to filming, I had quite a hard time. Id go away for a month or two and id come back and my friends would have moved on, formed new friend groups and I'd be completely left out and have to start back all over again, people would often say mean things or run away from me in the playground and I didn't really understand why. I wasn't one for speaking up or defending myself nor for telling any one else about my problems, so I just kept telling myself that one day none of it would matter anymore, I'd remember how much I loved acting and it'd get me through the really bad days. I know what it feels like to feel like you have no one to talk to, to feel completely alone, but time makes everything better and the feelings pass. I also felt sorry for the people who bullied me, you never know what's going on behind closed doors, maybe they were having a hard time too.
5. What was your favourite school subject?
English, I was and still am a total book worm, reading is a brilliant form of escaping the real world for a bit!
6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?
I looked forward to learning something new every day. If you try and set yourself a goal to learn one new thing a day, you can end up learning quite a lot! I really like the idea that knowledge Is power, so try to make yourself as knowledgeable as possible, find something that interests you and really go for it! Don't forget to praise your self for little things, like trying out a new hair style or getting good marks on a test. Please try to be kind to yourself.
7. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
I was always worried that maybe my friends would have changed and wouldn't like me anymore and I'd be on my own. But if you find the right sort of friends then they won't. Because no one that would leave you out or say things that make you feel bad is actually a friend. Find nice lovely people, girls have the pressure to be in the popular group, I say, leave them to it, go find people that make you feel happy, that don't make you feel judged.
8. If you had to go back to school again what would you change?
I'd be more confident, I wouldn't let the things people said or did upset me, but then hindsight is a wonderful thing. You should never deny yourself of your feelings, it's ok to be sad sometimes, or angry or upset as long as you know those feelings will go away eventually.
9. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
Hold that beautiful head of yours up high. Smile at them, be happy, people who want to bring you down or hurt you, hate it when your happy, when they can't affect you. Even if it's really hard, and you don't feel like smiling, give it a go. Don't let them win. People tell you to ignore bullies and I always found that really annoying advice, if you have someone you trust to talk to about it, then great, but if you don't feel like you can, writing things down in a notebook can really help get all your feelings and you can feel relieved after!But keep going, hold on, because I promise the pain goes away.
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