Fall Down Seven Stand Up Eight

by - 01:42:00

Hi friends,

It's been a pretty chill week for me and I've had the time to do a lot of thinking, reflecting and feeling way too blessed and thankful for what I have and who I have now. I thought I'd share my journey that led me to pursue a degree 6,814 miles away from where I called home for 21 years of my life which basically is made up of a great sob story.

I don't exactly know when to start but at 15 which was when I was in Secondary three, I've decided to pursue Mass Communication for my tertiary studies. It was my goal and fun fact I had no idea what Mass Communication was, I guess back then I thought it'd be some cool DJ speaking on the radio and all that and yet, that was my ultimate aim.

Being in the Normal Academic stream was not easy, I don't know the nice way to say this but most teachers didn't have high hopes for us or rather, they didn't see that we'd have a future. Perhaps it's because I came from a neighbourhood school but days weren't the easiest to past when the people you look up to didn't believe in you.

Thankfully, there were four teachers who were willing to give me a go and put in their 101% to teach me and help me out and I couldn't be anymore grateful for them. Of course I had amazing friends who were so crazy patient and helpful!

So surprise surprise, I had many downfalls back in Secondary school but the one traumatic incident (which follows and still affects me until today) I had was when I was months away from taking my O level paper. So a teacher (Mrs T - my sec school mates would be able to guess who) decided to single out SOMEONE in class under the context of that person being too over confident and thinking that their English is perfect and all that. At that time I was sitting beside my best friend and both of us were guessing who the hell she was pin pointing, saying that person was a show-off and in actual fact wasn't at all that good with writing skills and all that nonsense.

So Mrs T just went on talking and chiding that unnamed person for ages and making the whole class stand for that before continuing with class. And oh yes, I was seated right in front of the teacher's desk, not because I was the worst student and all that but I just liked being close to the teacher okay.

And then it happened - Mrs T just looked me in the eye and said "the person I was talking about is you" and damn I was shocked af. Yes, AF. She went on saying and repeating whatever she said in front of the whole class except this time, it was to my face and making it very clear to me saying that I was showing off that I'm doing well in English class and I can write the most amazing shit but in reality I can't do nuts and I should buck up.

To be honest, even though I wasn't acing every damn subject in school but English and Humanities were my better subjects (because I scored a 1 for the two subjects for N levels.) And I was pretty proud of my results because I worked crazy hard for them. So you could say that I was devastated, hurt, broken, depressed, shattered and everything disgustingly horrible under the sun.

I remembered bawling my eyes out that night and returning back to school the following day and talked to my form teacher about it because I was THAT depressed. And mind you, I am not someone that would talk to teachers about anything emotional or whatever that is bothering me because come on, at the age of 17, it was pretty uncool to run to your teachers for help right?

But I did because I needed someone who knew who I was and how I work to justify that I wasn't what Mrs T said I was. I'm pretty sure I have my form teacher a heart attack because I think I cried for a bit and being in the class committee for three years, I'd like to think that I left a pretty neat impression with my mates and my teachers but damn Mrs T.

Anyway, I can't remember what happened next but lets fast forward to tertiary. I made it into Mass Communication (even though my course wasn't initially named that) and yes I hated school the first two weeks but overtime, I grew to love it. I found amazing friends, amazing teachers who believed in me and never, never talked me down and of course, had a ton of opportunities to learn with some of the best industry people ever.

But here's what, since that day, I was never able to write... properly ever? I don't know how to put this but yes I know my English isn't the best and I make mistakes but I can't do shit. I'm not going to blame Mrs T entirely but:

  • Before the O level exams or before that fateful day, my grades were pretty neat, like I'd hit the 70% mark and all but damn my O levels, I did pretty badly for it. I still got a B but usually I'd get an A so...
  • Being in Mass Communication, I had to do a lot of writing and even though I love and enjoy writing, I find it so so so difficult to start, to continue and I always felt that my story or my writing was not good enough. 
  • Even when I was working, I would always turn away writing jobs because I've convinced myself that I can't write and I suck at writing that I shouldn't try at all but I still occasionally did anyway(yes it was very recent, in 2015 actually.)


Yes by right I'm suppose to believe in myself and tell myself that I can do it and all that positive nonsense but we all know it's always easier said than done, isn't it?

--

Moving forward to how I discovered that going in PR & Marketing is what I want to do in the future (for now) was mainly in poly. I guess Poly was not only my best years yet, it is also the time where I discovered what I love, what I hate and what I want to find out more. 

Despite my fear of writing, there were times where I had no choice such as graded assignments or even assignments outside of class. I'm not going to lie, even though it was more stressful than what I would usually do for school, I had to do it and I secretly enjoyed it (giving credit to a friend who helped me tirelessly.) 

I enjoyed writing, doing assignments and my favourite pieces to write are usually narrative and very descriptive - basically using words to express a feeling or paint a picture so that the readers can fully immerse themselves in my piece. (you can read one of my piece here)

And on top of that, I was part of this really cool thing in school where it's like a mini newsroom/agency where we students get to do real work with industry partners and all that fun stuff. Through that, I found passion in PR and even though it was crazy, crazy stressful, the hours were long and the work load never seem to end - I loved it. I loved every second of it probably because I had amazing teachers and a team. I basically had a dream team back in school for the projects and yes, it was a great, great time.

What I'd like you to take away from my sob story is that, even though people may put you down and you'll develop this irrational fear of something, it's okay. It's okay to not believe in yourself and it's okay to be scared but what is not okay is robbing yourself of opportunities. 

Like what I said above, I love writing but because Mrs T told me I wasn't good enough when I was 17, I brought that all the way till I was 21. Goodness, it's scary isn't it. And even though I was shitting myself whenever I was given a writing task, I'd take it even though I didn't really want to and I'd do it especially when I know the person who handed to me is not Mrs T. They do not want me to feel like my writing is shit and in actual fact, they want me to learn and be a better writer than I was before writing that sentence. 

And yes, even until today in Uni, I don't do the most writing but I still take writing jobs up because I want to try and more than just that, I want to be able to openly enjoy what I enjoy doing. Like look, I'm blogging/writing so much because I love it. I love being able to express myself through words and all that and I'm slowly learning. 

Through Poly and all the projects I did back there, I learned that I LOVE being part of the PR industry and that's what I want to do when I graduate from Uni as of now. And why did I come all the way to the UK? It's because I love the UK, unlike what Mrs T said, I'm actually very fond of the whole English culture, not going to bore you with all that nonsense but the bottom-line is, I'm VERY English Oriented and there's no better place to learn and get a new experience from than the UK right? (Kindly ignore my friends when they tell you it's because of the boys)

With all the verbal vomit above, I'd just like to share that it hasn't been the easiest thing finding out what I want to pursue in the future and I wouldn't be able to do that if not for the great teachers and my friends and of course my ex-colleagues who believed in me and gave me ample chances to perform well and pushing my limits all the time just so I can be the best version of me.

So my friends who're reading now, be brave and grab any opportunity that come your way. You'll find that you'll actually love it more than you'd hate it! 

And P/S: to any Mrs Ts out there, kindly STOP putting people down. Especially if you know what you say will have an influence over other people like if you're a teacher, a boss, a team leader, a sibling or just having someone who looks up to you - be nice. There are a million ways to put things across to someone and you'll have no idea how much or how long it'll affect them. Always believe in people because remember, you're only who you are today because someone believed in you enough to give you the courage to fight for what you want. Always be mindful of what you say to others and it doesn't hurt to give an encouragement/compliment every once in awhile, come on! 


Till next time,
Cheryl.

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