My motivation for wanting to go to university was mainly due to wanting to change the stereotype around children in care and care leavers not accessing higher education and progressing further in employment. University and higher education was never an option that was offered to me and I spent a long time feeling like I wasn't good enough.

I struggled a lot academically but I knew I wanted to be more than my care leaver title and that was when I made the first step to applying to university. I completed my Law degree at the University of Liverpool and have just recently finished my Masters in Social Work at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

My biggest message to other young people wanting to go to university is to take the plunge and not allow fear to be the deciding factor of what you want to achieve.  Competing university is my proudest achievement to date!!

I’ve written a little piece that in so many words sums up how I overcame my hardest days. It is titled "You will surprise yourself".

You will surprise yourself

You will surprise yourself with how much strength you have even when all the odds are against you.

You will surprise yourself with how you still manage to smile even on your darkest days.

You will surprise yourself with just how much you have achieved and will still achieve. 

Even the achievements others deem as small, only you will know how big they are to you.

I for sure have surprised myself.  If you would have told me I would be in university studying Law and graduating in July and working towards doing my masters in September, I would have probably laughed or maybe cried with disbelief. Who would have thought someone who was so broken and abused would be standing here in front of you all because I sure did not?  So many times I could feel myself ready to give up, my whole body shutting down, constantly asking myself ‘why me ‘ when will things get better. But during those times I still managed to get out of bed and try again. Why?

The answer is in the title “You will surprise yourself“.

You will use everything you’ve been through to become the best version of yourself.

On your darkest days you will push through and remind yourself although you’re not where you want to be, you're sure as hell not where you used to be.

You will surprise yourself with how much fight you have in you, till fighting is the only choice you have to change things.

If there’s one thing I would love you all to take away from this piece - it would be to always believe in yourself because I am telling you now, you will surprise yourself. We have all been in situations we never thought we would overcome, but we did. That’s the
beauty of life - no situation is permanent.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

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