As you all know, we are now in mid-September and it is definitely getting a bit chilly outside here in Scotland, I have a hoody on, my thickest t-shirt and wooly bed socks on my feet to keep the snug. Now, mid-September means a lot of things to people; the cold weather returns, back to school, back to work, but for me, it means starting a new chapter in my life.
I officially start University on the 25th this month, which was scarily two weeks yesterday, but my Freshers starts this Saturday. If you don't know what Freshers is, it's basically a week of parties, meeting new people who might or might not be in your classes and enjoying your last scrap of freedom you have before a hellish year. Therefore, really, my Summer ends this Saturday, and really my childhood too.
I would just like to say, I am terrified. I am truly so nervous for it all it's unreal. Excited, but nervous. I have always been a nervous person, ever since the day I started Secondary School (basically since I was 11 or 12.) Tests, exams, talks in front of teachers, meeting new people, making friends.. They all do not come naturally to me. I have to study really hard to get the grades I want, I have to force myself to be sociable and not to shy away in a corner like my natural instincts tell me to do. I am also quite an unsociable person, I am extremely shy and do not like new things, like meeting new people. I feel like I'm quite a quirky, or to put it simply, a weird person. I'm afraid people judge me on things that aren't true, and that people find me weird and then don't like me. I try really hard to fit in and be normal but it makes me sad, I'm so scared of what other people think that it restricts me on what I want to do. I'm scared. It's going to be difficult I know, but it has been my dream for so long, to go to University, to further my education in things that fascinate me.
You see, I was picked on a lot throughout the years, I was always called slow or stupid or blonde. Now, to most people those comments might have just been a joke, but it always hit me hard. I don't have a lot of common sense, I am clumsy yes, but I am clever. I am smart, I know my stuff, it's just people never see that. Even some of my best friends called me stupid. I struggled so long in school, especially in Maths. I would come home crying every night, I would cry in class during tests and I would cry in exams in front of a hundred people because my mind just went blank, the pressure was too much and I couldn't cope. My parents started getting worried about my mental state because I would torture myself over it, I eventually began to believe I was stupid and I started to give up on myself.
But I couldn't let this stop me, it would destroy me in the end. I got a tutor, I made myself do extra Maths every night and revise every night and eventually, my confidence picked up. When I say it picked up, I mean I didn't cry every night, but through my hard work and determination over 6 years of Maths in Secondary School, I got a B. That's been my biggest achievement yet. I don't care if it wasn't an A, I passed, I passed Maths. I still got extremely nervous before every class test and before every exam, but I worked so hard for them all and I passed, with a higher grade than I could have ever imagined. The look on my parents faces when I said I passed, was pure happiness. They knew I struggled. I never told anyone, because I didn't want them to take it as a weakness against me and use it to make me feel worse.
The same happened for English, although this time I reacted a lot quicker. I got a tutor almost straight away, and worked ridiculously hard. I did past papers and essays almost every night, and I got an A. My teacher didn't even have hope for me, she said to one of the other students in my class that I tried hard, but never got anywhere.
So this is to all the people that didn't have faith in me, that didn't believe I was smart enough, clever enough, intelligent enough to get into University and do the thing I wanted to do. I did it. I got in without even needing anymore grades, but I sat an extra 4 exams so I could get more grades to fall back on. I got 5 A's and 4 B's. Let me just tell you that that sentence is my biggest success and achievement yet. That sentence gives me hope when I will feel down at University, when I'm struggling in lectures, when I have essays due in, when I have class tests and when I have my final exams, that sentence will show me that I can do whatever I want to do, and even through the tears, the nerves and the hard work and dedication, I will get to where I want to be in life, no matter what people do to try and hold me back.
I am saying goodbye to the girl that was pushed around, called stupid, called slow, called blonde. I am saying goodbye to the girl that was too afraid to go out of her comfort zone. I am saying goodbye to the girl that used to want to give up.
I am saying hello to the young woman who is dedicated, who will work as hard as she possibly can to achieve what she wants, who will go out and meet new people and will try her best to not care what other people say, and who will be the person she wants to be.
Hello Hannah Burrows.