It’s the time of month again to go back to school and starting third level education, even going to Training Centres.

I remember leaving. My school was great and all, but you’re pretty much leaving a home you’ve known all your life growing up. It was sad for me to leave but still we’ve all to move on.

It can bring a fair bit of stress and anxiety starting back in school. I’d get nervous myself when going back, because you don’t have a clue what class you’re in or what teacher you’ll be having. I was in a Special School all my time in education and I remember the feeling I’d get when finding out which class I was in. I was anxious because I didn’t know who my classmates were. I was bullied a fair bit because I was different than everyone else. I didn’t know what to do. I was hurt by others who I thought were my friends and some never did care how I felt. But I did get help along the way through my years, and I thought to myself maybe, just maybe, school wasn’t too bad at all.

Some people, students and staff, never did understand about my having autism. I tried to explain it to other classmates and they pretty much laughed at me. So, you could say I was a bit of an outcast among my peers at school. But I felt open towards the teachers and some of my friends about me having autism and they respected that. In my experience, I think it’s just trying to figure out just who you can talk to about how to get by in school, to fit in and really, just be yourself.

After I finished, I initially attended a Training Centre in Swords in July 2013. Due to the environment however, I dropped out not too long after I began in October. Lucky enough though, I’d gotten into a service in Gheel. They pretty much helped me to try and figure out who I am as a person. I didn’t know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and it’s difficult to figure these things out for yourself when you’re young or at any age, whether you’re autistic or you aren’t. But it’s also good because you always have the option to attend college when you’re older or go to a local Training Centre or community college.

I’m going back to college in Trinity to figure out what I actually want to do, but it’s a bit of a stressful time, especially when it comes to getting the right equipment and the fee-paying process. Notebooks, pens, and pencils I wouldn’t mind getting because I know what I need to get. It’s just when you’re reaching out to others to get help and when it’s like they’re speaking in a other language, I panic.

That all being said, I do know that I have support from my family and key staff to help me to get through it. If you are going through what am going through just know you have support and people will help you. It’s a new beginning for everyone but most of all, it’s about enjoying it. At least, that’s how it is, in my opinion.

Remember, you have support and help you need to succeed, whether you’re in school or college. It’s just a matter of reaching out and knowing who to ask for it.


By Joanne Weller