So yesterday I was talking to a friend about how much I’ve changed over the years and about how my school life affected me. School isn’t something I’ve ever really blogged about, which is strange because learning and education is and always has been a huge part of my life.
When I attended primary school, I absolutely adored learning. I loved going to school and there was more of a challenge involved in making me take a sick day instead of in making me go to school. To this day, I’m still friends with people I met almost fourteen years ago. Something that’s even more of an important factor in my life is the effect some of the teachers from my primary school had on me as a person; Even at such a young age they taught me to believe in myself. I’ll never forget the words that were said at almost every parents evening. “If Chrisselle keeps learning and believing in herself, she’ll go far. But one thing she needs to learn how to do is to ask for help when she needs it.”
At the age of just six or seven years old I had decided that I wanted to be a teacher or a writer, at the age of eight I had my teacher telling my parents that if I made the effort that dream would be possible.
Everything took a turn for the worse when I started high school, though. After a mere few weeks I began to hate the concept of school, not because of the subjects or the work load, no I quite enjoyed that part. It was more the constant bullying and remarks about so many pointless things; how I was a geek for actually wanting to do something with my life, how frizzy or curly my hair was, how much I weighed or even how old my father was.
So after a year and a bit of constant bullying and my mother being taken into hospital, I had had enough. I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was literally draining me of life and making me into a shell of the girl I used to be. All of this at the age of thirteen. I no longer wanted to learn, instead I wanted to get a part time job just for something to do. But, of course there are laws against that kind of thing and there was also a law that states I must attend school until at least the age of sixteen.
A month or so before my fourteenth birthday I was appointed a home tutor and a therapist, when I look back I can’t believe that I let my life get to that point instead of just asking for help when I first needed it. Almost a year past and in that time Karen, my tutor and Linda, my therapist had helped me so much that I was almost back to the girl I was before, the girl I had been for the majority of my life.
In the time that I had been absent from mainstream schooling my best friend, Danielle, had moved school. Thankfully it was one even closer to where I lived, and not having the confidence to return to the place that had gotten me to the lowest point of my life, I decided to move schools too. Now you’re probably thinking “Isn’t being the new kid worse than being the kid that had the mental breakdown?” Well, I can safely say that no, it’s not. I was getting the chance to go somewhere where no-one knew the girl that had let everything get to her.
On my first day at my new school I wasn’t nervous at all, I was excited! I was so happy to be given the chance to learn among people my own age again and to connect with people on an intellectual level again. In fact, Danielle was more nervous than me! It was on that very day that I met some lovely strangers, that would one day unbeknown to me become some of the best friends I would ever have.
I celebrated my fifteenth birthday with the friends I have celebrated ever birthday since with. I stuck in at school and even had a part-time placement at a local nursery to fill my interest for childcare, and although I only studied six subjects, I was proud to be on almost the highest level in each of them.
In time exam time rolled around; something I had been dreading. I mean, I had misses a year of schooling and had already gotten into the habit of my social life being just as important, if not more so than my education. But six exams later and I passed each one with an extremely respectable mark. I don’t know if many people count exam result day as one of their proudest moments, but I can safely say that it was definitely one of mine.
After my Standard Grade exams I left high school, I could have stayed on for a further two years of education. But for me it just felt like it was time for me to enter the real world. I quickly got a part-time job and ended up earning almost as much as my mother at the age of sixteen.
A few months passed, and I got seriously ill. I lost half of my body weight, quite a bit of my social circle and a hell of a lot of confidence. But y’see, I’ve been blessed with an incredible family and some absolutely fantastic friends. I can honestly say that had it not been for them, I probably wouldn’t even be here right now; they got me through it and for that I will be forever thankful to them.
I turned 17, and done the whole partying teenager thing that carried on until I was eighteen and a half. Although they were probably someone my most irresponsible and unhealthy years, I still managed to hold down a job and a hectic social life. They were certainly the years that I will never forget. My friends and I created some lifelong memories those years, none of which I would change for the world.
So here I am; nineteen, I have a loving family, the same incredible friends I’ve had for so many years now and a boyfriend that I’m completely in love with. Not to mention that I’m pursuing my dreams as a writer along with the dreams of being a photographer, lyricist and the very important dream of saving some people’s lives.
It’s funny, because although I’m nowhere near the most confident person you’ll ever meet. I think it’s time I took a moment to realise just how proud of myself I should be.
I know this post must seem like just a simple conceited post, but that’s the complete opposite of my intentions. I just hope that someone will read this and realise that it does get better, and that believing in yourself really does make a difference. Never let anyone make you feel like you aren’t worthy of being the best version of yourself that you can be.
The last few years of my life have been the best ones this far, and I really hope that all of yours have been too.
Here’s to life only getting better!
Much love and many thanks for reading,