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Thursday, 22 May 2014

End of an Educational Era

So today, Thursday 22nd May 2014 marks the end of my university chapter and the end of my educational chapter.

Looking back school itself wasn't at all my favourite place to be, especially as I was bullied from year 6 through to year 9. I can't even count the amount of times on my hands that I wouldn't go to school and spend my days in bed with horrible daytime TV and the internet for an escape. I guess things got progressively better when I got to year 10/11, I found that I was starting to go in a lot more and try to make friendships instead of hiding everything that I was. I also spent a lot of time kicking off, being a pain in the bottom with bad attitude and therefore totally just became unfocused. Everything changed for me in year 11 when my Grandad sadly passed away, really suddenly. People who know me will know the tsunami effect that had on me and my grades took the worse of it, I did really bad in my GCSE examinations and I really left with absolute no hope for a future, I thought that was it for me.

I just remember how low I became and therefore took a year out of education to decide what I wanted to do with my short life without throwing myself into something I wasn't ready for mentally or physically. I guess my Grandad's passing was a realisation that I had to live my life to it's fullest and do something I enjoy, not merely something for the sake of it. That's why I decided after 12 long months living off a job seekers allowance (which sucks by the way at the age of 16!) I enrolled onto a BTEC First Diploma Performing Arts course at Loughborough College

Now, Loughborough College was a different kettle of fish when it comes to experiences! I really struggled with adapting to being in education again after a long time out of sync and with no routine. I also felt that I had strong feelings of always having to 'prove myself' and working 110% harder than I thought everybody else was in that class for tutors to notice my potential, this did make my experience particularly difficult at the time and something which quite thankfully I am glad I have grown out of. 

However with a great teacher, Vicki Gooch and some wonderful friendships that formed over those 3 years I came through and earnt TRIPLE DISTINCTION at the end of my course. I even remember the course leader referring to it as a 'surprise I did so well', I guess this attitude from individuals was the reason why I wanted to go university as well as the beginnings of an interest in inclusive dance after watching a small Youtube clip of a dance artist named Claire Cunningham. 

So in September 2011 I packed up my life in boxes and arrived with my auntie and younger cousin at Block 5 Singer Hall Residences, Coventry to begin my new life as a university student. I hated it. I remember the sinking feeling I felt when my family left and with having my direct family abroad I really struggled to settle down and fit into student living. I gritted my teeth through the first week when I decided that it wasn't for me and I wanted to go home more than anything. By the 5th day I had signed forms to leave with immediate effect and went back home in Leicestershire. With a few conversations with Vicki Gooch from college, friends, family and the tutors at Coventry University they persuaded me to give it another go and my poor dad helped me move my stuff back to Singer Hall literally days after I left. I have never looked back since.

The past 3 years at Coventry University have been undoubtedly the most challenging but also the best of my life. I feel like so much has happened for me in these past 3 years but in a short space of time! I've lied on studio floors wondering what I'm doing with my life, dancing outside in torrential rain to performing topless with a film piece I created projected on my back. I've had such a variety of experiences more good than bad, but I am so glad I got to experience university. It has been an incredible chapter in my life that I will never forget.  This year in particular has been the most difficult; being diagnosed with anxiety disorder, losing a friend to Cystic Fibrosis and a break up in such a short space of time whilst writing a 7000 word dissertation and getting through these final months where very difficult, but i've made it and i'm so glad!

Obviously I would not have got through this chapter with some people I've met along the way, in particular Katie Mansell aka my Chummy! She's kept me going from the start as much as I have for her and i'm so glad i've come out of university with a best friend and somebody who knows when I need a kick up the ass!

It feels weird knowing that I won't be having the student loan challenges or the fun of looking for a new house for the next academic year but I am so ready for my career and life to happen now! It's really nice to be told that your confidence growth is amazing compared to the start of university, this makes me feel great inside and the world is literally my oyster right now!

I am very excited to learn what journey's I will go on next and there is so much I have to look ahead to already, this is only just the beginning for me. Of course there's dreams of a Masters degree but right now I want to have a break to experience new things, work hard and build new relationships in the dance sector.

thanks Coventry University for being so great.

thanks for reading,



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