Volunteer, Tom Short, shares his journey to reaching his greatest achievement.

2011. Caerleon Comprehensive School Parents Evening. My parents go to the twelfth and final appointment of my teachers. I can tell when I get home, I’m already in a heap of trouble and I won’t be seeing my friends for a while.

I left my English teacher to last as I genuinely thought it would be my best appointment or one of them at least. I couldn’t have been any further from the truth. I was absolutely torn apart by my English teacher, Miss Roberts, who stated that I wouldn’t even get one GCSE.

This was extreme, but I still to this day believe that her comments were SO unjust. Sure, I loved chatting with my mates and I would probably make a few too many jokes, but that was harsh from her. I remember going home that day and my parents sat me down with one of the sternest conversations of my life, my Dad telling me I was ‘at a crossroads.’

From that day, I aimed to prove Miss Roberts wrong, and proving people wrong is now something which I aim to do every single day in my life.

Around eighteen months later, when I received my GCSE results, I got 11 GCSE’s and I was happy that I had been able to prove her wrong, but I was determined to not let it stop at that.

I was lucky in the sense that my school had a sixth form as well so all of my mates managed to stay in the same school as all my mates (Unfortunately though, two of them followed me to Loughborough and I still live with them to this day!) Sixth form in South Wales was a wicked experience, our year as a whole was pretty close, and every weekend we’d have at least one house party, and everyone would always love the company there.

They were great times and I will always treasure them, but ultimately, the goal was to get into university. I was unsure for ages what I wanted to do in university, but when I went to open days it was clear that Loughborough was the place I wanted to be when finishing school.

It was between Loughborough or Leicester, and my dad said to choose Leicester because the entry grades were lower. This for me was another point to be proven wrong.

I worked my absolute socks off, and the morning when I got confirmed to have been accepted into Loughborough, was indeed my greatest achievement.

Take that, Miss Roberts.


Featured image by Omeiza Haruna


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