Thirteen years ago I dropped out of high school. I was failing, being bullied and to be honest, it wasn’t what I wanted in my life. So luckily my parents supported me as long as I had a job they didn’t mind.
So off to TAFE I went to get my Certificate III in Mechanics. But that didn’t work either. After a year in I had to get out. It too wasn’t what I wanted.
For the next 10 years, I had a bunch of dead-end jobs.
Mobile-phone technician. (5 years)
Cleaner. (2 years)
Kitchen Hand. (4 years)
It was during the last three years working as a kitchen hand in an aged care facility that I met this amazing girl who changed my life. She made me believe that I could do more with my life. She made me believe that I had the brains to go back to school and become a nurse.
I had to start with a bridging course which I then completed before I even told my parents that I had decided to go to University. I was terrified that I wouldn’t do well. That I’d fail at that like I had so many things over the years.
When I finally told my parents they were both speechless. They couldn’t believe that their only child to not graduate High School was now a University student studying to be a Nurse. I remember my mum getting very emotional when I told her. It was also the first time I have ever seen my dad speechless.
At the start of each semester I kept hearing in my head ‘you will never make it to the end of this semester. You will fail again‘. Each semester I proved the voice wrong. The thing that had me dumbstruck was the fact that I wasn’t just passing I was excelling. I may not be a High Distinction student but I was up there.
With each semester the voice got dimmer and dimmer. I started hearing a new voice. Telling me that all I had to do was ‘make it through to the end of the semester. Just 13 more weeks‘.
I’m in my final semester at USC and I can hear the negative voice no longer. I know I can do this. I have made it through the hardest parts of this degree. I know I can make it. Thirteen more weeks and an eight-week internship in a hospital and I will be qualified.
Not bad for a High School drop out.
I have had so many wonderful people who have supported me along the way and so many people who have inspired me to keep going. My wonderful partner has been my guiding light. When I have my semesterly break down (it happens between week 5 and 6) he has scooped me up off the bathroom floor and told me that I can do it. Not really told me but demanded it from me. He too is a student and knows the stress of University but he also knows me. He knew I could do it. He had faith in me when I had no faith.
I have these amazing people in my life but the person I must thank most is my amazing friend Samantha who once said to me ‘hey I’m thinking of going to uni come with me and let’s be better‘. She was right. We are better, Stronger for doing this. Being a mature aged student is hard but nowhere near as hard as it would be to have my future children grow up without the strong, educated woman I have now become. All due to a conversation held in a dining room three years ago.
I am strong.
I can do this.