To anyone who left school early
I wanted to address this post to anyone who had to leave school early. Whether it was due to illness, bullying or anything else beyond your control, I know it leaves you feeling empty and confused.
I was one of you. I don't really know how it happened — how on earth the perfectionist who wanted to achieve everything the world had on offer for her and more besides ended up watching "MADE" on the sofa. The fact is that it did happen, and it sucked.
You might be living in it right now, unable to see a way out. I know that feeling well. Guilt and shame eat away at you — it's a privilege to have an education, so why on earth did I have to give it up? Why couldn't I just stick it through, for all of the kids who aren't as lucky as me, or for my parents?
And then there's the sense of loss. At least when you were at school, despite everything, you felt as though you were a part of your generation. Leaving school before your GCSES, like I did, and spending majority of your time at home doesn't just affect your academic education. It also affects your social education. I still suffer from that now.
I've had to learn the hard way how to behave in social situations, and grew up knowing all of the things I shouldn't — like the best shortcuts at the hospital — whilst sitting awkwardly at the side in clubs, afraid to order a drink. It sorts itself out eventually. You grow up like everyone else, just in different ways and at different times. You lose a lot of friends and relationships, but you gain the most random and beautiful of which stay by your side forever.
You see, we're special, us lot. We weren't cut out for the education system. Maybe if we had been, life would have turned out differently. We might have, god forbid, become another face in the crowd. But we didn't. Instead, we were given a golden opportunity to experience a different life. One that was never destined to be normal. We had to be our own teachers, our own friends and our own belief.
If there's one thing you gain by leaving school early, it's determination. There will always be bumps in the road, and there most certainly have been for me, but we pick ourselves back up and we keep going. We always find a way to achieve our goals or to improve as individuals.
I suppose what I wanted to say really, is that if you're in that situation right now, or if you have been for many years and haven't found your way yet — don't give up. You have so much to offer the world and anything is possible.
That girl who sat on the sofa watching MADE and gave up on singing now sings all the time. On stage. If that girl looked in the mirror at 14 and saw herself at 22, she wouldn't believe her eyes. That school drop-out turned into a badass laydee.
And most importantly, it wasn't the end of the world.