1. What your school like?
My secondary school was pretty mixed in terms of boys and girls, and predominantly British-Asian population. It was located about 20 minutes from home and I caught a bus to get there everyday. It meant I couldn't go home at lunch which created anxiety about how to spend lunchtimes in the beginning when I hadn't really made friends.
2. What is your favourite memory from school?
Definitely doing drama, it was one of the best things that ever happened during that time. It made me grow up and realise a few things about myself, not to mention how much I LOVED playing different characters. It changed my life really-I know that sounds so ott but it did!
3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?
My school experience did two things for me really. Firstly, it was where my fascination with drama and playing characters began, it was where it was nurtured and encouraged so i'm extremely grateful for that. Socially, I went from being the outcast in the first year, to being so desperate to fit in that I fell in with some people with whom my 'way of fitting in' was to make a lot of jokes-about EVERYTHING! Sadly, that included people and to this day it's something I regret. We thought it was all in good fun, but obviously that is not the case. I realized it was not the kind of person I wanted to be and tore myself away, and kind of started again-even if that meant being alone again.
4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?
My experience wasn't as severe as some, it was more isolation that I faced. Made to feel I'm weird or not worthy at times. So I threw myself into homework, which was my way of feeling like I didn't need anyone I guess. One way that it did effect me was that i'm fine to be by myself, and in fact quite like it sometimes. I think I'm an introvert at heart-and that's ok.
5. What was your favourite school subject?
Art and Drama! I also kinda liked maths, good teachers make the world of difference.
6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people going back to school after the holidays?
I genuinely did look forward to new lessons and projects. It was a way of throwing myself into something productive and helping myself not worry as much about fitting in. I would say, look forward to what you are going to be able to do each day that will be new. Each day, something will happen that didn't happen the day before, you've got to be open and awake to it though. Also, try and help someone in some way each day, just once a day, see how that effects you
7.Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
I always got really anxious going back to school, where would I fit in? Who would I sit with? What would happen? If I could go back and tell myself one thing, it'd be to embrace the unknown-its exciting not to know what will happen, it means many possibilities lay before you.
8. What was your favourite school meal?
Cheese and onion flan!!!!
9. If you had to do school again what would you change?
Not worry about fitting in or making friends, it'll happen and don't change yourself to make it happen. I'll say it again-DON'T CHANGE YOURSELF TO FIT IN!
10. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
Please please please don't be quiet about it. Talk to someone, if there isn't anyone in your life personally, try the school counselor, or bullying helplines. And know this, this is temporary-YOU will come out on top. I promise you. Just take a look at this article.
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