School was way More Than just Education and Exam Results for me, They Deserve My Unexplainable Thanks…

I can almost 99.9% bet that the children and young adults, sat in their classes today were counting down the hours until the ‘saved by the bell’ moment happened for the last time of the day. We all did it, because the thought of solving another algebra equation, or reading the next page of ‘Of Mice and Men’ five minutes before the end of a lesson seems like hell on earth, right? But, trust me make the most of it, especially the ones who are at my old school, because you will miss it more than you’ll ever know!

For me, the best years of my school life was years 9-11, they were the years I started to realise who I really was. Year 9 was carefree, lifestyle wise and I felt like I could conquer the word. Year 10 was when I started slipping, but I chose to ignore that fact and put it down to the stress and work of starting the first of my GCSE years. Year 11 however, I knew something was going wrong, badly wrong and I tried to hide it from everyone, including myself! I used the “I’m tired” and the “I’m fine” card, to get myself out of talking about it.

The cracks started to show though, I noticed it more and more daily and tried my best to deal with it, and keep it to myself. Shortly after that, my friends started noticing I wasn’t me, I eventually broke and let them in to help me! The thing I was doing (but still do now) was the biggest factor back then. I explained to my. friends what was going on and hoped it’d stay away from school altogether. None of my family knew back then either, apart from my cousin/best friend. However, it quickly spiralled out of control, my ex best friend knew that for my own safety, school needed to know. (She’s not my ex best friend for that reason don’t worry!). My main 1:1 and second 1:1 had started noticing the signs, without me even realising they were. I will never forget the morning that I had to clear up the suspicions and admit that what everyone was noticing and were saying was true. From this one aspect of things, it got better, whilst I was at school at least!

One thing lead to the other, sitting in a canteen full of people, or ‘The Hub” as we call it, became an impossible task. I’d sit in a room of 2/3 of my friends instead, I started only eating one piece of food out of the five things in my lunch box, and it took me the whole of my lunch break to do that… this was more than likely just some grapes as well! My 1:1 came in and asked me why I hadn’t taken my lunchtime tablets, apart from my stubbornness, my answer would most likely be “I haven’t eaten enough for them to work, because I am not hungry”. But I even thought that all of this was down to year 11 stress and thought nothing else of it. My anxiety was getting pretty unbearable then too, but I was going through a lot at home and again, I thought it was exam and home life stress.

Anyway, my point of all this is, is that school saved my life at the times when I thought was nothing apart from feeling low. Looking back I can say they have saved my life and been my lifeline on many occasions, I wouldn’t be me without them.

Schools these days aren’t just based around getting the A* grades, although GCSE and A Level results are still as important. They’ve added something since years ago though, meaning way before I was at school, and that is the emotional wellbeing they provide the students! In this day and age, emotional and mental health support is a crucial point of changing lives for the better.

I’ve written this based on my old school, which is such an incredible place. Although, things have gone so wrong in my life for me since leaving, my school saved me back then. They gave me the strength, confidence, determination and resilience to get through day to day life. If words could express how thankful I am to everyone there then I’d write a whole book, but they never will! In my heart I always think on my lowest days, of everyone there and it brings me back to the happier me, that place is a safe bubble and one in a million!

So, to anyone who reads this and go to my school, went with me, was there when I was there or is there now, take one note from this. Tomorrow, when you’re sat in class think of what I have written and please be thankful. Despite the Algebra Equations, Of Mice and Men or exam papers, trust me when I say you will miss it, when it’s no longer in front of you, in that safe bubble. You will get the best support you ever will there, it’ll shape you into you!

Good luck to all this years year 11’s especially, you will get through this, just take all the advice you get and use it. Finally, thank you to everyone at my school for everything you did for me and I will always appreciate it!

Love and pink and sparkly positivity to everyone reading this,

Iesha💖

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