“Where is your essay?!” “Have you done your homework?” “Deadline’s in two days!”

Imagine hearing, reading, dreaming these words almost every day, ceaselessly for two years. These words overload and override your brain, torment you daily and nightly, an attack on your conscience which threatens to crack under the strain and stress of everything SCHOOL.

I, for one, can relate. Beginning my A-levels made me feel so grown up, ready to take on the academic and personal challenge of sixth form life. The resolve with which I begun my A-levels slowly crumbled over time, and if it weren’t for my teachers, family, and social workers constantly encouraging and reminding me, I would not be where I am now.

As an English Literature student, I was expected to write multiple essays and complete coursework, which were integral to my overall grade. I began to procrastinate, pushing away all my responsibilities until it was too late. Or so it seemed to me as I became hopeless, ready to give in to the very real possibility of being kicked off my course.

But! Alas, my knight in shining armour (aka both of my English teachers AND my registration tutor) all came galloping to my rescue, upon their majestic white horses of unlimited wisdom and knowledge! You can empathise when I say that I absolutely did not want to comply with my teachers.

Despite this, they persisted, and somehow managed to convince me to stay after school every day for two weeks (!!!) and work on my coursework with them. Once I had finally completed this very important piece of work, you can imagine how optimistic I began to feel about the world again. It felt as though I’d been at the gym for too long and had finally put down the 80kg weights I was lifting, finally able to smile again in class, finally stopped avoiding my teachers, finally stopped bursting into tears at every silly situation. Finally I could move forward.

And so, I spent hours and hours working excessively in the art block (where I felt most comfortable) finishing off yet another important essay, and writing my personal statement for university. Yes! I wouldn’t be suspended from my course, I would achieve my highest potential and I would go to uni!

I became my happy, bubbly and loud self again and threw myself into my work, doing the thing I enjoyed most: painting. The nerve-wracking experience of revising and sitting my A Level exams, the positively turbulent organisation of my art show, which would be reviewed and graded by an invigilator. This was all worth the hassle for the attributes I acquired over the time.

I learnt responsibility, time management, amazing critical and analytical skills which will stay with me forever, and A Level results which exceeded my expectations.

I achieved an A* in art, a C in Psychology and a D in English. While these don’t sound like the best grade combination, it’s important to remember that I did the best I could considering everything which was going on in my personal life, and I did amazingly in the subject that mattered the most. I’m very proud of myself and really encourage every other child out there to aspire to be as great as they can be!

I am now at the University of Sunderland, doing a foundation Diploma in Art and Design, and loving every second of it. Besides that, the best part is I live with brilliant flatmates who make every moment of my life here on forward magical, and I couldn’t have done it all without the help of my teachers and foster family. Thank you for reading my article.