Education is the key to success. The first years of our lives we are programmed to learn things that mostly don’t have anything to do with our “real” lives, such as Pythagoras theorem or algebra. Education is in fact bitter sweet, and it does not have a say on who you are as a person. My education background has been quite a mess from moving to different schools, different exam boards, cultures, countries and environments.
In 2011, I moved to Jamaica with my mother due to family issues and ended up being there for three years. At the age of ten I was placed in grade six, and struggled with language barriers and very different attitudes from the UK. I chose to repeat a year and my final grades at the end of in primary were 78%. I was so proud of myself for achieving that score after all the challenges. Now in secondary school my mother was struggling to keep up with my school fees and our bills and food. She had no other choice but to send me back to the UK, she did not want me to suffer.
So in the Summer of 2015, I left Jamaica to travel to my father in Nuneaton. It was a whole new start for me of being in a new environment and out of London. The year of education I spent at this new school was my worst. My grades were awesome but the people around me hated my hair, my nose, my skin they hated my race. I was racially abused every day. This school was at least 97% white. I became depressed and these things really impacted on my grades and ability to focus.
I moved to my aunties house in London and I was placed in a mainstream school in east London. They had a different exam board and needed all my coursework and grades from my previous school but the school wouldn’t send it. This then led me to being placed in the bottom sets for all of my classes and it also had an affect on my GCSE grades. During the first few months I felt a bit awkward joining a school in year 11. This is the year where everybody knew each other and being a new person was daunting. It took me time to adjust and make friends and when it came to my GCSE’s I had problems with focusing and studying. I was just too stressed to do any of that. So at the end of the year I received my grades and to be honest with you they weren’t that great, but I had another chance to fix them at college.
Then everything went downhill again. Family issues meant I was again homeless and had to go back to Jamaica with my mother struggling to cope. I got accepted into a public school Sixth form where students had to learn independently, I hated it, I was bullied for being too soft and for coming from “foreign”. The only thing I had were my dogs, music and mother to keep me distracted.
In 2017 my grandma passed and we came back to the UK for her burial with no place to stay. We approached the MP David Lammy, who fought our case with the council. We moved to three different accommodations in a short period and I managed somehow to enrol in college to study music. I would wake up 5:30 every morning and catch the train with a 1 hour 45-minute journey to get to the college. I felt to give up at that time because everything always ended so badly. Shelter, a group that helps with housing issues, found an agent that gave us a tiny room in a shared house. I didn’t care about the size nor having to share a bed with my mother I was just happy that it was very local to my college once again.
After a long battle we finally settled down in a little garden house and I started a new course in the college and things were going great. Until last but not least Coronavirus, the global pandemic that brought everything to a halt. This was the worst time for anything to happen as I was in the middle of course work and was working towards the final major project. Most of my work was on the computer at the college and I had to adjust and restart some of my work over again. We had teams to communicate but I kept having technical issues, but thankfully all of that got resolved. I finished all of my course work on time and all I’m waiting now to see if I have passed. Even though my education history is all over the place I’m proud of what I achieved after everything I’ve been through. You don’t only learn from school; you learn from experiences too and I can say I’ve learnt a lot!
Tags: Education, Isolation, Discrimination