Dealing With the Worst In My Most Important Year
So, this is my final year here at Cadbury, as you probably already know if you have been reading this blog page. I’m due to leave in June, and to be fair I just expected it to run smoothly, for me to revise hard, do my exams, go on the end of college trip to Spain and come back to get good grades on results day and get my University place.
I never thought I’d be one of those students who had to deal with something traumatic during important times like this. I thought those things simply didn’t happen, and would only happen in an episode of Waterloo Road or something (Who remembers that show?! It was amazing!). Apparently it does happen, and it happened to me.
For me to completely explain to you how much support I have been given at college, I’ll have to go into the full story of what happened this year. I apologise if it seems a bit much, but this has been my life since January this year. Let’s just say… 2016 hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts.
In January, my Uncle got rushed to hospital after collapsing, and got diagnosed with a brain tumour. Since I haven’t seen my Father since I was 6 years old, the only two father-like figures in my life were my Mother’s brothers – my two Uncles. It was like my worst nightmare was slowly coming true, and my world was slowly collapsing in on itself… And on top of that I had A-level work to do. I was in two different states, and sometimes I feel like I still am right now. Half of me was like “I have to do work, I need to pass my exams!” and the other half was “But what about Uncle Jamal? I can’t think about A-levels when he’s seriously ill.”
It drove me up the wall! So much that I did end up breaking down multiple times, both at home and at college.
And in February, it got so much worse when he was diagnosed with cancer. I hadn’t ever dealt with anything even remotely close to something as horrendous as cancer before… And here I was. In my final year of A-levels – arguably one of the most important times of my life so far.
Both my Uncles moved into our house, so all 5 of us are now living under the same roof as we don’t want to be away from one another. I just spent the past 6 weeks witnessing him going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in pure terror that something else was going to go wrong.
It was a miracle how I managed to pass my mocks as I found out he had cancer during mock week (how I got an A* in psychology, I have no clue).
I asked questions like “why our family?” and cried during the nights. Stayed at hospitals until 11PM to see my Uncle every night, and tried to get as much revision done whilst in the hospital waiting room to try and keep up, my revision timetable going straight out of the window because of this.
And I kept it a secret for the first few days after he was diagnosed with the brain tumour, and didn’t tell anyone at college what I was going through. I was distant in class, lost concentration on many times and forgot to do homework sometimes (which is a massive thing for me, I always have to do homework!). I forgot information, I forgot important dates, and all I wanted to do is basically crawl up in a dark space and just stay there, out of sight of everyone.
Telling my personal tutor was a big deal for me. I didn’t want to cry in front of yet another person at college, I had cried enough by then. Without me even having to give any of the full details over, my tutor understood straight away, explained everything to me, and said in terms of college, there is nothing to worry about. To be fair, I was slightly nervous about how college was going to react to the situation. Would I be allowed to go early if an emergency happened and I had to rush back to the hospital for my Uncle? What if I have to miss an assessment in class? What if I miss important key notes in class? Would my teachers understand?
I’m slightly embarrassed that I thought that college wouldn’t understand, but that’s just me.
And apparently I was MISERABLE in class, and I only found this out when I started seeing that my Uncle was fine, and he was reacting to the medications well, all my teachers commented how much happier and more engaged I seemed. I had so many comments that I really do wonder how miserable I looked those few weeks!
Really this is a blog post to anyone out there who is thinking about coming to Cadbury College, that whatever you are going through in life, academic or not, there are people here to support you. I now have the confidence to know I can go up to any of my teachers, or my tutor and tell them anything that is troubling me, and have the confidence knowing that they will help me, whatever it is.
I may do another blog post on the full details about the Learning Support area and staff available here at Cadbury College, but for now, all I can say again is thank you.
Ah, blog post over! Time to think positively now. And no more crying.
Talk soon :-)
Posted by Rebecca Harbot on 15 April 2016