College was a very strange experience for me. I studied English Language, Psychology and Media studies in the first year then dropped Media studies for History and Philosophy AS levels (when AS levels were brand new) in my second year.
I fully embraced college life. I was editor of the college magazine, I played five a side football, I was part of the debating society and got to meet our local MP in Westminster and I was doing volunteer work for a community newsletter in my spare time too. Life was very busy and for the first time in my life I felt accepted for who and what I was, but that brought a strange paradox.
My friends and lecturers may have believed in me but I was still struggling with self esteem and self worth. On the way into college, I’d pass by a couple of homeless people on the cold unforgiving Bury streets and I’d notice how little they had and how people just ignored them. It was cold and I’d go into the local Greggs, buy them a soup, give it to them then carry on. I felt this strange sense of confliction. Why was it that I had a nice home and nice things but didn’t deserve them yet there were people out there that deserved support that were just being ignored as if they weren’t even there.
It got to the point where I just had to leave college and sort myself out. It wasn’t that my grades were poor, I was doing very well but my head wasn’t right and something had to give. I remember the college offering to home tutor me, they were desperate for me to stay but it was too late by that point, I was withdrawn and lost and it took a long time to recover from that point.
I realise it’s probably very risky to admit to these things but the way I see things, this colourful history is what makes me who I am and it stands as evidence of my tenacity and determination to come back from bad situations and turn them around. Everyone goes through difficult spells at some point, what’s important is how you come out of it, and I’ve been very fortunate! I wear my metaphorical battle scars with pride.