When I first had this question posed to me I immediately began to think of all of the more superficial things I have achieved in my life; exam results, getting into university, West-End performances, appearing on Casualty and The Bastard Executioner etc. All of these things are achievements that I am extremely proud of and experiences that I am very grateful for, however I don’t feel like any of these are THAT extraordinary, they’re things that anyone can do by joining the right companies., having the right contacts and working hard.
After a little more thought I decided that the personal achievement that makes me the most proud is the person I have grown to be. As a young teenager I was insecure, overly emotional, and could be very selfish. I wasn’t understanding of other people’s circumstances and situations and I found that I judged people a lot more harshly than I do today.
One major thing I’ve learned is that you never know what is going on in someone’s life. Maybe the reason that person didn’t smile at you this morning isn’t because they’re rude, ignorant or nasty; maybe it’s because something awful has just happened in their life, or maybe the reason they didn’t talk to you is because they have social anxiety and being the one to start a conversation is literally the scariest thing they could imagine at that point. I have learned to remind myself every day that you never know everything about someone else’s life and you should never judge them too harshly because there could be any number of reasons for people doing the things that they do.
Looking back I can tell that I did an extreme amount of growing up between the ages of 14 and 19, and although I am well aware I still have a lot of learning and growing up to do I think there is a very sharp difference between the young, naïve teenager I was at 14 and who I am now, and that is the personal achievement I am most proud of.