Graduation And How I Got There!


When I was in school, I was always the ‘middle of the road’ student. I wasn’t particularly clever or not, but looking back, I doubted myself so much. Actually, I was in top sets for most of my classes, I wasn’t getting A*’s but I was getting B’s. My problem was, my friends were all so clever and they were getting the top grades. I found myself clinging onto them and relying on them to tell me when our next test was, the answers to the homework and how to plan an essay. This only got me so far and by sixth form they’d become pretty fed up of me. My grades were falling from B’s to D’s in A Level and I gave up completely on the idea of university while my friends were still maintaining their straight A’s. My tutor and some of my friends were telling me to apply for uni, but I was just so convinced I wasn’t good enough. Okay, I thought, I might be able to get in, but I would no way be able to pass any of the work. 

Looking back, I wish I could tell myself how much better I was than I thought. I really underestimated myself and there is no way I ever imagined I would be standing up on stage one day being handed a university diploma with an upper second class honours degree in Creative Writing with English Literature.

Although I continued with my old habits in the first year; relying on friends to get me through. It wasn’t until I passed first year with a similar grade to my friends that I realised I could do it myself. Okay, so maybe I only just scraped a 2:1, but so what? who cares? The fact is I did it and 15 year old GCSE-fretting me cannot believe it.

The graduation ceremony was amazing. My parents cried, my grandparents came too, and my sister, and I was the first Hull to ever go to university and get a degree. I am so proud of what I’ve achieved in my time at university, as well as my friend too. I have made the best, life-long friends at uni who I know will always be there for me. If you can go through that together, you can definitely get through anything together, is what I say!

University was no easy feat for me. I had to work full time as a Teaching Assistant in order to fund my study, as well as attend lectures and undertake the course full time. Balancing a potential career and high level education took its toll and in early 2017 I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and panic attacks. My anxiety has really changed who I am as a person. Whilst I used to be travelling all over the country to see bands and camp out to meet them and go on day trips to London, I don’t do any of that anymore. Panic attacks have stopped me from doing the things I absolutely love and once considered a hobby. Whereas now I feel that all I do is go to work, sleep and repeat, I hope that one day I will be able to overcome this anxiety in the same way I overcame my self-doubt about university.

So really, what I’m saying is, if you ever feel like you can’t do something, just give it a try. And then, when you manage to do it you’ll look back on yourself and regret doubting yourself so much…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.



p.s. I’ll leave you with some pics from my grad!

12 Things No Teacher Has Ever Said in the Month of September

Blog, lifestyle

Okay, so I’m not a teacher, I’m a secondary Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant (SEN TA if you’re feeling savvy…). Even so, September is the worst month in the life of anyone who works in education. Not only is it another 10 months until another six week holiday, but we have to learn names of (in my school, anyway) about 350 new students AND get to know them AND be nice to them. AS WELL AS remember names and facts about 2,600 other students. I mean, my brain turned to mush over the summer, your’s didn’t?what_day_is_it_grande.png

Here are some statements that won’t be passing my lips, nor the lips of any of my colleagues in the next month (at least):


1.       “Wow, that holiday went so slowly, I can’t believe we had six weeks off.”

2.       “I really missed my students, especially year 9.”

3.       “Thank you, yes I have lost weight!”

4.       “This classroom is so tidy, I did such a good job cleaning up here in July.”

5.       “I’m so glad I didn’t come into school in the holiday to get a head start.”

6.       “I have literally no work to do.”

7.       “I hope October half term doesn’t come too quickly!”

8.       “I love starting and finishing work in the dark now that winter’s coming…”

9.       “I forgot how well behaved kids aged 11-18 are…”

10.   “I can’t wait to welcome the new teachers and tell them how great it is working      here.”

11.   “I feel so energised!”

12.   “I hope I don’t win the lottery because I’d hate to have to never come back here again.”summers-off

Happy new school year! Whether you are a student, a parent or a follow teacher, may the academic year 2017-2018 treat you right…