My mum and I have always been big talkers (to each other and everyone else) so naturally we have covered and discussed almost everything from school, love and mental health. I particularly have struggled with self acceptance, as I can imagine a lot of young girls have!

I regularly felt that my intelligence was sub-par and I was inadequate and that somehow reduced my value in the world. I know people have similar problems with relation to how they look, feel, sound, express themselves and it can be impossible to get people to understand, let alone empathise.

My mum said to me, there’s no point in feeling bad because intelligence, just like looks, isn’t earned. It is just as superficial to judge someone by their intelligence as it is to judge them by their looks. This left me a bit shell shocked because for years I had been doing just that, to myself. I understood that maybe there were some limitations in terms of how much I could do with my intelligence and I struggled to understand why with the same amount of effort I wasn’t as good at school even if I was passionate. Along with the obvious claim that the foundations of the schooling system are set up for a certain type of person (not everyone), I decided to change my thinking. I realised that maybe I had talents that nothing in life would measure and that also I shouldn’t place so much emphasis on what kind of person a B grade defined me as.

My mum also said that one should strive to be compassionate and kind because those are things we can always do more of. On top of that, something I’ve always told myself is, you shouldn’t judge yourself so harshly, after all you are your best friend and you would never treat a friend that badly.