I hated school; I skived off as much as possible. The teachers bored me and I never felt like I learnt anything, so I left as soon as I could. I was 15, headstrong and foolish. I decided to leave without sitting my GCSE exams. Years later, I wasn’t very happy drifting through life and the challenge of change through education stirred my soul again and again.
In a messy bed-sit on a run-down council estate a friend told me about Ruskin College. They are a small College making big changes and they take people on without any qualifications, she said. I decided enough was enough and went for it. So, years and years after leaving education, I went back, but this time I was determined to work hard and succeed.
I started by doing as many short courses as possible at Ruskin College and other places, I then moved onto Ruskin’s Access Course. I had never written an essay before and to start with I struggled to even write a coherent paragraph. Punctuation and grammar were not in my vocabulary and yet now, I was learning how to write academically as well as learning about politics, sociology and other bizarre stuff.
I enjoyed the academic challenge and moreover, I realised that I actually really enjoyed learning about politics! This surprised me as beforehand I found it annoying and so far removed from my day to day life I took little interest. The teachers at Ruskin inspired me to want to learn more. After reading more, I understood the connection between the politics I saw on the TV and my day to day life. My previous frustration towards politics was funneled into impassioned education.
I applied for, and got a place, studying for a BA in Social and Political Studies at Ruskin College. I wanted to learn more, and still do about this world and more about myself. My journey at Ruskin has been as much about learning who I am, as about learning what the world is. After graduation and if I continue to put in the hard work, which I will, I would like to work for a charity or a service that is making a difference in people’s lives. I know we all need help sometimes; I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a lot of help, now I would like to give something back.
Written by Luke Webb, 2nd year student in BA Social and Political studies at Ruskin College