1. What was your school like?
Mixed school in Hampshire,
2. What was your favourite memory of school?
Doing Drama, I had the most amazing teacher and it was a lesson I could truly express myself and know no fear, it was a place I could be funny and have people laugh at me, thus I felt accepted and loved.
3. Have you experienced bullying? If so how did you overcome this?
Yes, at school I was the school punch bag. A school disco or school week did not go by without being punched or beaten up and was sometimes hit by the teachers too.
4. What was your favourite school subject?
5. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?
Look for what you love, not every lesson is going to be great and not every day fabulous, Teachers would tell me school life will be the best days of your life ever, this is not true, but if you can manage the boring lesson and work hard at them all then the rest of your life can be way more rewarding and thus the best days of your lives will be way more enjoyable and rewarding. I always looked forward to getting back to drama and that years school play, its what kept me going,,,,
6. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
Yes, getting beaten up again, being bullied and not being liked…..I overcame it by throwing myself into comedy, to make people laugh, that way I thought they liked me and I didn’t get hit….It was the only way I knew how and the only way I could cope.
7. What is your favourite school meal?
Hot bread rolls with chips, Jamie Oliver didn’t exsist in my day!
8. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
Talk about it, find a teacher you like and reach out…..do not ever sit in silence, it feeds the bullies.,.,..Make public your fears….And know you are not ever alone. Schools take bullying very seriously today and you must not ever think you are not going to be taken seriously, Write about it, post it on manmy social outlets, draw your feelings and help others. If you see others being bullied reach out to them, power comes in numbers and others will be feeling the same as you. Others will have that knot in their stomachs and fear and anxiety (Feelings I remember from 30 years a go) you can share your thoughts and feelings and share you worries, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Remember school is not only about learning to pass an exam, it is a place of growth and development and a place you can find yourself, Try and find what makes you truly happy and defend that place of happiness with all your might, its what makes you who you are. Again, never sit alone with your fear…reach out….and help WILL be there and remember, you are not alone, I for one am stood with you as I know your pain, know your fear and know your hurt, I have been where you have been and change WILL and DOES happen. Be special, be different, Remember the bully bullies because they are in fear, they are jealous of what you have and they are as scared as you….Be amazing….