The ten year challenge is the fad/craze/hype doing the rounds on the internet at the moment. It encourages everyone, including myself delve into the 2009 archives and see how much we have changed.

Back in 2009 I was in my final year at school and to everyone I probably looked like a normal girl, fairly bright, a fair few friends, revising hard for those all important GCSE grades (that I have not used or shown anyone for ten years but whatever), the point is I looked fairly normal.

The truth however is a much different story. In 2009 I lived with my mum, and my dog spot in a house a few miles away from my school meaning that I had to get the bus, which was absolutely fine. I used to like sitting and listening to music and just having a bit of time to relax before school.

I also really loved drama and performing, and would concentrate a tremendous amount of time learning my lines for plays and monologues to ensure I got a good grade.

But I also seemed to attract a lot of drama as well and there was always something kicking off and I always felt like I was at the centre of it.
I got called a liar for the most of year 11 for a couple of reasons, both of which were not lies, but on the off-chance they find this blog I won’t mention.

Also at the time as a family we were struggling with finances, nothing to be ashamed of but it was hard watching my mum feel like she was letting me down when in actual fact she was shaping my future and showing me how to be strong and independent and that there was always a way out of difficult situations.

But I was sad, and I felt as though there wasn’t many people I could depend on to truly be there for me, and I started to build up my defences.

After school finished, on my first day of college,  my step mum died and that hit me hard too. I kept it all inside and later in my first year of college my other grandad died.

It was some time in this year that my mum found a series of notes that I’d stuffed in a hot water bottle cover that I wrote to her in case anything happened to me.

I don’t think I ever planned to do anything but I thought if one day, if it all got too much and something took over me,  I didn’t want her to be left with no explanations.

She was devastated that I felt so bad, but it was such a turning point in my life because I felt as though a weight had been lifted and I wasn’t storing those sad thoughts in my bedroom anymore. They were in the open and they didn’t seem so world consuming.
People give teenagers such a hard time saying that they haven’t had any life experience, or that they don’t know what feeling bad is because how could they possibly feel bad when all they do is go to school, but what adults fail to remember, what even I fail to remember is that at that age you are just piecing your life together.

You are trying to work out how to deal with rejection, criticism, your body changing, outgrowing friends, breaking up with boyfriends, breaking up with girlfriends, getting crappy grades, revising and having a social life. It’s really hard and unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

Roll on ten years and I am twenty-five, moved out of my home town to live with my absolutely amazing boyfriend and working as a full-time journalist.

Things that are the same as when I was 15:

  • Still get spots… don’t know how that’s fair.
  • Still enjoy All Time Low/ YouMeAtSix/ Kids In Glass Houses.
  • Still get sad when I fall out with a friend (although it happens a lot more infrequently now),
  • Still have dark days but not that dark, I’d call 15-year-old me’s dark days black, and mine are more of the colour when you go to the toilet but you haven’t drunk enough water. (Yum).


Things that seem alien to me now:

  • Couldn’t give a stuff if someone thinks I’m a liar, people write fake news on my stories everyday… do not care, still get paid thanks.
  • Getting upset over MSN.
  • Not talking to my friends about my feelings.
  • Having more than ten close friends, it’s just not plausible with a full-time job.


Anyway here is my way overdue ten year challenge photo, it’s so great that it got put on my 16th birthday cake.




Published by OhRochelle

Rochelle, 27

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