I never had it easy in school. I know that’s a pretty common thing but it’s definitely true. And I couldn’t cope with it. I was bullied all throughout high school and I was so embarrassed by it that I never reached out to anyone and truly told them the extent of it. And whilst in the final years of school the bullies moved on to different places or different classes, the memories still remained, continuing to affect me until my last day. On top of this I suffered with severe stress and anxiety issues (which are now more under control, due to both leaving school and having the guts to open up to the people who care about me). This all got the best of me and mid way through my A Levels, I dropped out.
In a way I was lucky. I knew the right people at the right time. An out of school club I had been volunteering at had just that day lost a member of staff and offered ME their job. They also put me on a fully paid apprenticeship (£6.19 an hour, way more than minimum wage for my age!) and a year and a half later I had my qualification in Playwork, along with full first aid training and a bunch of money saved up.
In the back of my mind I knew I would one day try to return to college and get the qualifications to go to university but at this point I still wasn’t ready. So I did something I never thought I’d be able to do; I quit my job and moved to Italy! I found a family on GreatAuPair.com that seemed perfect for me and within a matter of DAYS they had me flown out there and moving in with them! This decision helped me to gain so much childcare experience along with experience teaching English as a foreign language. And I loved every second of it.
Before I knew it my contract was up and I was flying back home. But that wasn’t it. I wasn’t going to go back to an average job in my quiet hometown. I travelled to France and South Korea and opened up lines of communication with dozens of families all over the world. I had offers in Seoul, Shanghai, Paris, Istanbul, you name it! I grew closer with a family in Barcelona and decided they’re who I’ll be going to in September until Christmas! On top of this I’ve recently had the opportunity to do a TEFL course which I snapped up quickly.
This time travelling as well as meeting my wonderful girlfriend towards the end of 2014 really helped me to find myself, my passions and my abilities. I’m capable of more than I ever would have thought. This summer I’ve been hired as a project co-ordinator for a summer play group which I never thought I’d be doing at age 20! I’ve also finally gotten to a point in my life where I’m ready to return to college whenever I want and hopefully work towards a Psychology degree.
When I was in school we were made to think that if you didn’t finish and go to university, you weren’t really going to go anywhere in life. I like to think I’m living proof that this isn’t true at all. I want to go to university now because of a love and passion for Psychology, not because I think I need to or I should and DEFINITELY not just for the sake of getting a degree. I know now I could get through life successfully and happily either way. Of course I would suggest you try and get a full education but if you can’t, please remember you’re NOT a failure and you can still go places. There’s always options. You have to find your own way in the world, what works for you and what doesn’t. Always do things for YOU, not for anyone else.