April 15, 2019

Overcoming life’s challenges

Growing up had its challenges, my dad left home when I was 4 and my mum raised me and my two younger sisters alone. She worked as a receptionist at a bank during the day and often also took night shifts at a local supermarket to earn enough money to support us. Whenever my sisters had any issues with friends or at school it would come down to me to protect them. My mum told me when I was twelve that I was now the “man of the house”. This made me feel strong and gave me a lot of confidence at the time, but I think in many ways it meant I lost a part of my childhood I can never quite get back. Luckily, up until college, my school was always very close to home, this meant I could work a paper round from a young age to help my mum with money, whilst also being able to take my sisters to and from school every day. College is a 45-minute bus ride away; this means I can’t do the work I did before. I began working in my uncle’s corner shop in the evenings to earn a little money and help my mum.  

Many of my friends don’t take education seriously, some have ended up involved with the wrong people. I didn’t want to end up like that. I try my best at school, but it is something I have always found hard. I have persisted with college because I know that without it, I won’t be able to get a job with enough money to support my family. I want to own my own business one day; I feel that learning about business and economics at college will help me achieve it. Although life has been hard for me in many ways, it has always been important for me to be resilient to overcome the challenges I face. This is important to me as a person, I have friends in a similar position to me who know what life is like for people like us and who are also doing all they can to overcome life’s challenges. We play music and football to relax and use each other as motivation and support to help us achieve what we have set out to do. Without them helping me realise I wasn’t alone I wouldn’t have made the progress I have so far. I still have a long way to go but I know that by developing my resilience, despite the ups and downs, I will get there.