My name is Charlotte and I am 18...

“A couple of weeks ago in the course, I had this realisation that I am stronger than I am. I just felt so weak before.”

...And here is my story

“The course has made me realise that I am not as useless as I think I am. I felt utterly worthless and didn’t believe in myself. This course has helped me see myself as someone completely different. Now, I realise I have a purpose in life instead of just being sad and staying in my room all day and doing nothing. The course has helped me see what I really want to do in life.”

There is continual support at this course, even if you struggle and get a bit stressed, there is always someone there to talk to you and calm you down. I used to feel that someone was building a brick wall and no matter how hard I tried to get over it, they keep building it up. I felt like I was going to be stuck forever and then I realised I could break out of it and not be trapped. A couple of weeks ago in the course, I had this realisation that I am stronger than I am. I just felt so weak before. Then I said I am going to rip down this wall and I broke it apart with all these individual issues. if you are breaking down a brick wall it is painful and it was hard having to open myself up a bit more but it was worth it.

The best thing is that it has made me realise that I am not as useless as I think I am.
I came on the course because I felt a bit lost and a bit stuck. I was just applying for jobs and looking at traineeships but I felt utterly worthless and didn’t believe in myself. This course has helped me see myself as someone completely different. Now, I realise I have a purpose in life instead of just being sad and staying in my room all day and doing nothing.

The course has helped me see what I really want to do in life. I was teetering between all these different things and now I have realised that I am good at writing and it is something I would really like to do as a job. I would like to go into the mental health profession also because I have experience of mental health issues and I can be more sensitive and proactive because I understand a lot.

The part of the course I had struggles with was when my group had to present. I have always struggled with going in front of the class and have always scared of embarrassing myself. Now I now would try because I know the group better and it wouldn’t be as awkward.

My manager at the Wildlife Park where I work has said how much I have improved to my mum. I am more willing to serve at the till - it used to terrify me. At MacDonald’s, I was always having anxiety attacks. I am more willing to ask customers how their day is now instead of just saying here’s your food. I am more talkative and they appreciate it. I am not grumpy but actually happy now when I am serving them. I still ask lots of questions as I am scared of getting things wrong but I am now trying to follow my own initiative more. I used to be scared of answering the phone at work too but now I don’t just stand there – I will try to answer it. I am a lot more sociable with my co-workers and I talk to them a lot more and I don’t just hide in the corner.

Mum and Dad are both really pleased. They used to get so frustrated because they see potential in me but I am the one standing in the way. They get upset and angry because they want the best. I do still struggle to make friends and I am not one that can just talk to anyone but although meeting new people is hard, I am getting better now and trying to push myself.

I applied to go to Brockenhurst to do psychology, sociology and history but if I hadn’t done the course I wouldn’t have gone into the taster day yesterday and would have just gone home and had to give up. Even though it is so uncomfortable I have to move on and I had to force myself through the doors and at least I got there to try out the course.

I would recommend the Choices course to anyone feels like they are stuck and doesn’t know what to do with their lives. I have been in that boat multiple times – this has helped me realise that there’s land out there and you are not just in a boat in the middle of the sea.

Although everyone is different – you realise that you are not alone. It is OK to struggle and be emotional and have feelings and hurt and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t feel ashamed. I felt the Choices course was a safe place because no-one is going to judge, and no one is looking at you funny and people cared.

June 2017