Belkiz Akman, My Story
Well, this is my story. When I was younger, after college, I had dropped out of education. I had always enjoyed studying and learning, and was good at it, but I was so young and so bursting with overactive energy, that I couldn’t sit still and concentrate. My life ended up going into a completely different direction. Once becoming a bit older, I looked back on my time of study, and realised how good I was at it, and really wished that I had followed it through, and knew just how successful I would have been if I had done.
I decided to start from scratch and go and get my education starting at the very bottom with my GCSE’s and working my way up. I wondered whether this would be bad, as I wouldn’t be working during this time so it was a case of money versus my education and I thought that my education was more important and that I could try and make money afterwards.
I did a GCSE maths course, and I had always looked at maths as my worst subject, but then I found that I loved it and enjoyed it. English had always been my strong point, but I found returning back and being in a classroom with people was so difficult, and the work felt so hard. Every bone in my body just wanted to get up and run out of the classroom, but I stuck to my guns and followed it through. On the day of the final exam, I was convinced that I would fail, but at the end of it managed to get an A for my coursework and a B for the exam. This made all of the hard work worth it, and it was such a good feeling.
After this, I did my English A levels, and once again wanted to quit so badly, as it was so scary to be sitting in a room full of strangers, who were all younger than me, with the teacher constantly putting you on the spot with questions or asking you to read aloud, and I didn’t understand much of what we read, but yet again, I refused to give up, and saw it through to the end. I didn’t get a very high grade, but at least I managed to pass, which was another achievement.
Next, was my Foundation Diploma in Art and design. Art had always been my biggest passion out of all the subjects at school, so I was excited. Once again, I questioned whether I could even do it, I knew that there was going to be a lot of work and I had fears and doubts, but I was determined to try. Yet again, it was difficult being around people, and things got tough, as I had feelings of doubt, that I wasn’t good enough and that everyone around me was better than me, and I felt like quitting, but I soldiered through, and also enjoyed doing a subject that I loved so much. I jumped through all the hoops, and regardless of how hard it was I didn’t give in and I reached the end and passed.
Next, was university. This is where I began to get major doubts of whether I could do this, and really thought that I couldn’t. The fact that I had got accepted was amazing though and just the thought of going to university and that I was actually doing it was so exciting. It was really difficult at first, but once I got the gist of how everything worked and got used to it, it began to feel great. I constantly had doubts though that my work was no good, and that everyone around me was much better than me, but every time I passed my project, it proved to me that these doubts weren’t right about me and I began to believe in myself much more, and began to enjoy the process of doing my work and remembered that this was something that I liked and enjoyed doing.
When the pandemic hit, and I found out that we were going to switch to studying online, I thought to myself that this is now game over for me and that there is no way that I would be able to manage to study in this way and that I was going to fail my course. When we began however, I found that this was not the case, and that I got along just fine with studying online, if not better. I was able to do things in my own little space at home, where I have a big desk, a printer, some drawers to store all of my work- basically my little office. It was really cool to be able to meet with my tutors in the comfort of my own room at home. I didn’t have to commute to university everyday which took ages. I didn’t have to sit on a smelly tube at the crack of dawn every morning, and the time which I saved, gave me more time to spend on my work and even exercise, which I could never find time to do but now can.
I am however really gutted about the DPS year, as this was going to be my opportunity to find out exactly what it really feels like to work in an actual design studio. I had always tried to picture and imagine it but now I was actually going to find out. Also, I was hoping that the studio people who I would work with, would then get to know me, and maybe like me and offer to take me on after I finish my course, which now cannot happen. Also, the DPS year was going to be a way to get over the fear of working in “actual” employment, as I feel that I would never have the confidence to approach a work place and ask for a job, even if I pass this course, so this was going to be my “ice breaker”. I feel less confident about employment now that this has happened.
It kind of feels like this is all happening on purpose and that it’s just my bad luck, and that I’m finally taking that chance to just go for it and just as I am, something’s going wrong again which feels like the story of my life. But then I am thinking that maybe it may be a blessing in disguise, as life sometimes sends you something which may at first feel like something bad but then turns out to be better in the end which I am hoping is the case. I am however very proud of myself for how I have handled the pandemic and lockdown, and my resilience, as even though it has felt tremendously hard- more than usual, I haven’t given up or quit, but soldiered on and managed to hang in there. I don’t know what’ll happen or how things will turn out, but I’m going to make the most of things and enjoy doing the work which I love so much.
My mini office where the art takes place! Not so bad working remotely!
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