Camilla Thurlow’s guide to coping with fame after Love Island (and how Jamie’s ‘brutal honesty’ strengthened their romance)

In truth, I can remember being ready for the show to be over – it is a very intense experience – and after seven weeks there is a part of you craving a duvet day.

That dream was perhaps a little naïve, because in truth, you are really in the deep end as soon as you leave.

However, the impact of how much the show was going to change my life didn’t actually hit home for me for a while.

My phone was returned to me just after the final and, after ringing my parents, I was able to spend some time checking my messages and Instagram.

My followers had gone a few hundred to a few hundred thousand in the space of two months but I didn’t initially feel overwhelmed.

The numbers were just incomprehensible.

It was like my brain couldn’t process it so instead I focused on my excitement to get back and see my friends and family – I still didn’t really understand that things just simply weren’t going to be the same.

When I first returned I felt like my every move was being watched (the irony!).

The constant attention at points was daunting.

I’m a people pleaser, and so I found that very stressful as you can never make everyone happy.

So I made joint decision with Jamie to take a trip to Greece to volunteer in the refugee camp.

This truly did put things in perspective.

But still now, a year on, when I post on Instagram, for example, I try and think whether I would have done so before.

No matter how many likes a photo gets, there are still a certain few people whose approval I’m looking out for.

These are the people who have told me a few of the cold, hard truths in the last year, the people who love me enough to confront me when they know it’s the best thing for me.

For a long time after the show, I stayed with two of my best friends, in their flat in London.

I was sleeping on their sofa and there were occasions they would come home and find me upset about negative comments – they would give me a proper kick up the backside about it – and then put on Bake Off and feed me chocolate (it’s all about balance!).

I was lucky enough to meet someone in the villa who has similarly become a great source of support.

Jamie is always sympathetic but will never allow me to turn the negative opinions of others into me having negative thoughts about myself – learning the difference between the constructive and the destructive certainly doesn’t happen overnight so you need these people who you can trust to give you an objective view point.

That is perhaps my main piece of advice, not just to those leaving the Love Island villa, but for anyone really – when you find people who are brutally honest with you because they care about you, hang on to them!

They will be your strongest critics at the same time as being your greatest supporter.

In terms of making a relationship work when leaving the villa, I actually think it’s just luck with who you meet.

Jamie and I haven't done anything special.

My goal is to try and always make him laugh.

Jamie has this certain smile that you only see when he’s laughing at something he finds seriously funny.

Whether we are out playing pool and having drinks, or just at home on the sofa watching TV – it’s always my aim to make him laugh like that.

Enjoying time together keeps you in the here and now, it makes life much easier and it’s where the magic happens.

Despite meeting Jamie on Love Island and it changing my life, I’ve never watched the show back.

For me it was like hearing my own voice on a voicemail, deeply uncomfortable!

I’ve only ever seen clips at the beginning of interviews, and for the time being that’s I how I like it.

I have great memories of the show, my parents have watched it, I loved the team and have faith in their editing.

It’s always going to be difficult to show 24 hours in one hour, so I suppose there will always be bits that you wish had or hadn’t been shown, but what went out is out there now and so I’d rather not spend too much time worrying about it.

People always ask me if I would ever go back and do anything differently and I have to say there is one thing… the false eyelashes!

Recently, I have seen a series of disparaging comments about young people aspiring to be on shows such as Love Island.

With young people facing a mental health epidemic, I personally think it is very dangerous to tell people there is a correct way to live their lives.

It leads to people making decisions for others, and that often results in a great deal of unhappiness.

When you come out of a show like Love Island you invariably have some kind of platform, and it puts a whole new level of pressure on making decisions.

I believe we should take that responsibility to others seriously, and part of that is not discrediting other people’s dreams and aspirations, and embracing the fact that we are all different.

With that in mind I’m excited to see all the things the people leaving this year’s show choose to do now their summer in sun is over!

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