Sophie Austin's #Back2School Blog

Sophie Austin



1. What school did you go to?

I actually went to two different secondary schools , leaving the first one after the first year due to bullying! My second school I loved it was a lot bigger and very old and had real history to it , parts was said to be haunted so it was always lots of ghost stories that made us giggle .I also felt I had learnt a lot from my experience from the first that I made sure I would make the most out of school and not shy away and through myself into lots of after school clubs to meet lots of people rather than stay to one group of friends.

2. What is you favourite memory of school?

My favourite memory of school was probably my music lessons as we didn't have drama at school so it was a place I could be creative! The teacher would always buy ice Lollys around summer time so that was always a plus too :)

3. What was your favourite school meal?

My favourite school meal is a tough one as I would mostly have pack lunch ( I'm a sucker for peanut butter sandwiches ) but they would do amazing Christmas dinners so would never miss that !! Also home made iced buns with the icing dripping off yum.

4. How did your school experience help/influence your career?

I think my time at school and my experience at my first helped me in pursuing my career as it made me so determined to never let anything stop me from being who I am . I found comfort and strength in acting and music and it was amazing outlet for me ! I never had drama lessons at school so I would look outside for clubs which meant I met new people and made lots of other friends . I remember feeling empowered to have something else other than popular groups at school to focus on and to be a part of .

5. Were you bullied at school?

I was badly bullied at my first school and in the end I left to go to a new school. I remember feeling very alone and sense of hopelessness. Bully's pick up on anything which ends up being bigger than it is and can make you question everything about yourself which is horrible aswhat makes the world so great is the difference in us.

I come from a very loving family, my mum who is remarried and my father who is in a same sex relationship and this was the reason why a group of boys and girls bullied me to the point I would shy away.

6. What was the lowest part of the bullying?

The worst part of bullying for me was feeling so excluded from the school and such little help was given then from teachers ( I was told by the teachers I was not good with people and had friendship problems) and I felt so lonely ! There were times I had things thrown at me, hair pulled ,humiliated , lies made up ,name calling,threatened and the list goes on . It can make you feel you are totally on your own and makes you question everything about yourself .

7. What is your #Back2School advice?

My advise for going back to school is to talk about your fears to your close ones so they are aware and can, if you want, speak to the school. If not they can be there for you and monitor anything that goes on. Try to be yourself and find enjoyment in parts of school weather that be a club, or music or sport . Join after school clubs and meet new people, and remember school is not for ever so try and take from it what you can.

8. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?

I used to worry a lot about going back to school and seeing everyone again, but going in with your own self confidence and make a list of what you what to achieve from the year ahead. I really believe in mood boards and putting images together whether on a board in your bedroom or on your phone of goals you what to set for yourself. Seeing that everyday keeps your mind focused. Talk to everyone and make friends with all different people, learn different things about them. And be kind, this is your time at school so don't let anyone take that away from you .

9. If you had to go back to school again what would you change?

If I had to go back to school again I would probably make sure to not stay in one group of friends and make time for different people in the class and get to know them so I didn't exclude myself. I would also speak more openly to my family and teachers any concerns I had so I didn't feel alone.

10. What difference would an Anti-Bullying Ambassador have made to your experience at school?

I think to have someone to listen to like an antibullying ambassador would of been amazing, just to be able to talk to and to listen to their advise and stories and to know you are not alone and that so many people go through, or are going through this, and to never deal with it on your own!

11. What is you advice for young people worried about making friends?

It is always scary making friends even as an adult , but one thing I will say is make sure you believe in yourself and get to know your qualities and what you love about yourself and that will show through to people ! Love your uniqueness xx