An important lesson learned from Love Island (Yes, really)…
My friend’s views on what is useless versus useful vary bizarrely and often seem hypocritical.
A bar of milk chocolate that’s half price? “No good, I don’t like milk chocolate, I only like dark.”
A bar of milk chocolate with whole roasted almonds that’s half price?: *Grabs 10*.
In summer on a walk: *Swerves back and forth multiple times trying to walk exclusively in the sun* “I love the sun!”
Increase in temperature by five degrees the next day: “Keep out the sun! Let’s only walk up and down this one road where there’s shade.”
However, there is one topic on which his views have never changed: reality TV, and in particular Love Island. His view is firmly that it is absolutely useless. While I admit that the show is primarily for entertainment rather than education, there is one aspect, or rather one person, on this year’s show who I think taught everyone watching a very important lesson. That person is Danica, and she taught me the importance of backing yourself.
For anyone who didn’t spend their summer glued to ITV2 at 9pm, or for those for whom the summer is now a fond and faraway memory, here’s a quick recap. Danica, the 21 year old dancer from Leicester, bombshelled into the villa and made an instantaneous impact. A talented dancer with an amazing physique, intelligent, bubbly, it was not difficult to find reasons for why the audience loved her. However, the one reason why I particularly admire her is for her confidence and for how she never gave up on herself.
Throughout the show, Danica went on a record number of dates in the villa, and sadly missed the boat an equal record number of times by getting rejected in favour of someone else. The way she treated each of the dates was joked about as being like a job interview on social media, but I was more impressed by how she dealt with the rejections following the dates. She never created the equivalent of Storm Ekin, had a spitting Davide outburst or got in a jealous Luca sulk. She simply moved on maturely, stood up for herself when she was badly treated (*cough* Billy) and always backed herself.
The truth is, we’ve all got challenges ahead that we think we can’t overcome, and it’s difficult to ignore self doubt; but I’ve realised that if you don’t back yourself, you’ll never know how far you can go. We may not all be competing for £50000, but we can all extend the opportunities and paths we take through believing in ourselves. Despite being apprehensive about juggling three languages, I chose to take on board a new language as part of my degree, and it’s now become my favourite. Despite not knowing whether I could get a job with limited teaching experience, I backed myself to apply to be an Academic Support Mentor as part of Warwick’s Widening Participation Team. Not only did I somehow get this job but it helped open up many more related job opportunities than I could have ever imagined (I subsequently became a Modern Languages Ambassador, a UniversityGo Mentor, a volunteer leader for Peppo’s English Conversation Club, and received a place on TeachFirst’s Taster Programme).
Of course, It doesn’t matter if you back yourself and then things don’t go to plan: in fact that’s precisely what is going to happen a lot of times and that’s okay! Danica is definitely a good example of how giving things a shot and it not working out doesn’t need to signify an end to your journey. She boldly went after what she wanted and chose to go on a date with a man who’d closed himself off as openly as one could (Luca); while he did, predictably, make it clear there could be no romantic spark between them, she still left the date having started a solid friendship, and made it all the way to the final week of Love Island. Personally, I backed myself to apply for a Multilingual Transcriber job, despite knowing that I’d be competing against linguists much more advanced than myself; while I didn’t get the job, the experience of selecting appropriate strengths to talk about in the interview and coping with unexpected questions was very useful, and I even received some tips about good apps and websites to use for any future transcription work I carry out.
In conclusion, whatever you’re worried about doing, whether this is coping with the first term at university, applying for a job, becoming part of the exec of a society, sitting an interview or anything else: feel the self doubt and do it anyway. You’re capable of more than you expect, but even if it doesn’t work you’ve probably not lost anything and I bet you’ll have gained something too. Back yourself, because no one else can give you more confidence than you. It’s time for us all to #BeMoreDanica.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below or you can message me.😊