When did you leave Westside?
Where has life taken you since?
On a wild journey...
I studied English at Oxford Brookes, not really knowing what I wanted to do with it. 17 (when I chose my course) is no age at all, how should I know! But what I did know is that I wanted to get out of Gibraltar (scary as that was) and be independent. Those were some of the best years. I won't go into detail but many jagerbombs were consumed, and very few lectures attended. However, the ones I did attend only strengthened my love of the language.
After I completed my degree it felt like yet another pivotal moment I wasn't prepared for. I decided to stay in Oxford and complete my teacher training (PGCE) as well as my CELTA, so I could travel and teach English along the way. I backpacked round South America and South East Asia, lived in Australia, New Zealand, and Tokyo. I barely knew where these places WERE before leaving Westside (I didn't study Geography, it won't surprise you) so never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd end up on the other side of the globe.
In 2016 I moved back to Gibraltar (we Llanitos are like homing pigeons, we always come back eventually) I set up the Little English language school with my fiancé, Chris. It will have been running 8 years next month...!
Present a TV show on GBC, The Book Club: https://www.gbc.gi/tv/programmes/book-club-season-2-1311/episode/season-2-episode-2-12199 and some other things like Literature week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWpDHLqznrI, the Literary Festival, and random panel chairing & radio bits https://www.gbc.gi/news/dry-january-journalist-presenter-champions-sober-lifestyle?fbclid=IwAR3NZkEBaKGiGhFOk638RGqPGzkDK5FAYbHy7JUVp-58nkURKHJeDb4Z8Y0
I was the Editor of The Gibraltar Magazine for 4.5 years - www.thegibraltarmagazine.com and Gibraltar Business for 4 years - www.gibraltarbusiness.gi
Asides from that I work in business development/marketing for some local firms. I never studied in either of these fields, so I do want to say that your degree isn't the be-all and end-all. You can learn on the job, and life can take you down a million different avenues you had never previously considered or thought possible.
Leave room for the unknown, and have faith in yourself. (SO cheesy, and so true.)
Special memories from your time at Westside
So many! Though you don't realise how special they're going to be when you're in the moment; it's when you're older, looking back, that you realise how much fun/how important they were. I loved the rabbit-warren layout of the old school. Especially as it gave me an excuse as to why I was late so often. "Sorry miss, I went up the wrong stairs! Again!!!".
I especially loved drama, and being in the old drama hall. And getting ready to race out the classroom just before lunch break to buy one of the £1 torta patata rolls with ketchup before they sold out.
Christmas time was always the best, though. When people would put on performances and the teachers would let their hair down.
What advice would you give your former self?
Don't worry. You don't have to have it all figured out. In fact, it's better that you don't. Trust in your abilities, current and future ones, and BE EXCITED! The world is your oyster and your whole life is ahead of you.
Also, nothing is that serious. Stop worrying. Stay curious, be kind, and be brave.