Honestly, sitting my GCSE maths exam was getting boring, I’d already sat it 5 times by this point. Maths wasn’t my greatest subject, if I’m honest I wasn’t particularly good at anything. Throughout primary school I was delayed, messy handwriting and poor mathematical ability; for this I had extra one-to-one support. This support came in the form of tracing letters with my pencil, couting a variety of tokens and drawing various pictures of fish. 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.
Throughout Primary School I had one friend, who most times was playing football with the boys, leaving me sat on the benches alone. I quite liked having the time to myself, 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 tests, that high school would be a struggle; they were partly right. I sat the tests, achieving my predicted level, showing people I could, but going to high school was difficult.
High school was a nightmare for me, it was all new to me, new teachers, new classes and a whole new environment. 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, I had to rely on my parents. 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 deflating, upsetting and soul destroying, but it pushed me. It pushed me to try even harder. At age 15 I did it, I passed my exams, showing people that I wasn’t a failure, that with hard work I was able to achieve great things!
Fast forward to July 2018, my graudation day. Yep, I said it. Graudation day. I’d spent the past three years doing a degree in Psychology, and it was finally time for me to graduate. I loved every single minute of my degree, and it was hard at times but I persevered. I’m not one to give up something I love and something I’m passionate about. I even managed to graduate with a first class honours, which for me was quite an achievement. I’d had lots of support along the way in the form of mentors and lecturers and it really helped when things got tough. My dissertation supervisor who had been with me from the start pushed me, believed in me, and that made me see my worth, and that I was able. And of course using autism as a topic throughout was incredible and made everything much more rewarding. On graudation day I walked out onto the stage, nerves had taken over completely, I took my certificate, my face beaming, realising I had graduated.
Before my degree I studied on a HE Access course, this built me up and taught me all the necessary skills for heading to univeristy – and this is where I first studied psychology. It was studying on the access course which gave me the determination and belief to go to university. Without this experience I can say things would have turned out differently. Its courses like this which enable individuals to go on to the next step and provide the basic skills and support to go further.
So? After all this, where I am now? Right now I am studying on a masters degree in Psychology. I never thought I would achieve anything, and now I am achieving my dreams. My mantra is I can, nothing will stand in my way, I’m knocking down the barriers and doing what I love! Please believe me, this wasn’t easy, but its the best thing I have ever done!