The bullying was always part of my life for most of upper school, either because of what had happened previously or because of me just being me. I wasn’t really one of the “cool kids” I was quite quirky and probably before quirky was properly cool like it seems to be now, being a “sheep” was probably cooler some now. I worked hard at school and did what I could to get the exam results I needed. I managed go to get the GCSE results that I needed to get into Sixth Form but without the careers guidance I really needed I ended up doing all Performing Arts based subjects. In Year 12, I did AS Italian, Drama and Theatre Studies and Music Technology. I was due to take History as well but I really didn’t like the teachers and walking out with an F at GCSE wasn’t going to help me. By the end of Year 12 I dropped Italian (I’d gone from a B at GCSE to an E at AS Level clearly it wasn’t for me!) and picked up Music AS while carrying on Music Technology and Drama and Theatre Studies.
I carried on with Sixth Form but it was by the skin of my teeth. On the first day of term all the Year 13 Drama and Theatre Studies groups sat in the drama hall and one by one we had to go up and discuss how we were doing with the teachers and would then find out whether we could stay on etc. well I’d already resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be able to stay. I’d got Es and Us and there was no chance I was going to be allowed to stay. Now before you’re like “you should have worked harder, you should have done extra” I was I spent multiple lunch breaks painting set and attending rehearsals and extra revision sessions when the time came.
Outside of school I moved church. I’d been going to Yoof at Woodside and decided that I’d “outgrown” my current church and it was time to move on. I started taking myself to church – I’d either get dropped off part way up Church Lane as Mum and Dad then went onto their church or I’d cycle or walk to church. I’d sit in what was the youth block and try to stay out of trouble (the number of times we got told off for making too much noise was quite funny!)
By the time I left Woodside in 2006, I’d been part of the worship team and two kids work team (one for Kids Work on a Sunday and one for the midweek team). I loved being part of the worship team but often felt like I wasn’t good enough. I found my place when the Kids work had an overhaul. I was invited to be part of what would be the Kids Worship band and I loved it. I was genuinely sad when I left the band to move church. I made good friends and had a good time.
Anyway so back to the point, accepting my quirky was something that I didn’t really get to doing until sixth form I think. By which point most of the bullies had either left or weren’t on my courses so I could avoid them.