Honestly, sitting my GCSE maths exam was getting boring. I’d already sat it five times by this point. Maths wasn’t my greatest subject, if I’m honest I was particularly good at anything when I was younger.
Throughout primary school I had one friend, who most times was playing football with the boys, leaving me sat on the benches alone. To be honest, I quite liked having the time to myself as I wasn’t one for socialising. Throughout my primary experience people always thought I couldn’t achieve anything, that I wouldn’t manage the big test and that high school would be a struggle. They were partly right. At that age I was developmentally delayed, my handwriting was illegible and I had poor academic ability, but that was me, I thought nothing of it. The school however gave me the greatest support I could have hoped for; one to one sessions, and this is where I began to thrive. The support came in the form of tracing letters with my finger, counting a variety of tokens and drawing various pictures of my pet fish. In the end I sat the ‘really big tests’, achieving my predicted level, showing people at an early age I could. On reflection I can say that this extra help pushed me in the right direction, showing me that I can do anything if I try, a mantra I carry with me everyday.
The next hurdle was high school, probably something most people dread, and I’ll be honest, it was a nightmare for me. It was all new to me: new teachers, new classes and a whole new environment. Throughout my teen years I stuck to a strict routine, and this got me through each day. I still found classes hard, but I had to deal with it on my own. At the time I didn’t have any sort of official label so I wasn’t entitled to support, instead I had to rely on my parents. I spent most of my time feeling defeated, yet my parents would continue to support me and push me through, showing me that if I try I can do anything! At one point during this educational journey I was told I was going to fail, that I wasn’t up to the standard I should be – this was soul destroying, but it pushed me to try even harder, which I did. At age 15 (the youngest in my class) I did it, I passed my exams, provin
that I wasn’t a failure, that with hard work I was able to achieve great things, carrying the mantra ‘I can’ with me everywhere I went.
After high school a lot happened, I attended sixth form, then university, to which i dropped out of after the first semester. It wasn’t my time and I knew it. I then went into the world of work, telling myself anything was possible, which it was. I’ve been through so much, and had support from so many amazing people and I wouldn’t be the same person without them, I would have given up by now. I’ve lived my life pretty carefree, how I want to live it, not listening to the negatives and pushing for the positives.
The moral of this blog is don’t give up. When things seem tough and you feel like stopping, just keep going, keep plodding on. I’ve always been told I can’t do things or I won’t ever achieve, but I’m living proof that anything is possible if you try, if you have faith in your own abilities. Years later I’ve graduated with a first class honours in psychology, I’m preparing for further study and I’m still achieving my goals. Regardless of who you are, you can do anything. So, you might need the odd push, or extra support, this is all part of your incredible journey. And guess what? I passed my maths exam! 7th time lucky!
A big thank you to Girl On The Spectrum for your Guest Blog https://thegirlonthespectrum.wordpress.com/