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My first, and last, year at college

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Now that I’ve finished my first (and last) year of college, I thought I would do a blog post all about it. Ideally, I’d like to tell you all about my course and what it entailed; but I’d also like to talk about my actual college experience which consisted of a broken class and some pretty nasty bullying.

Don’t get me wrong, I met a wonderful bunch of people at college whom I’d love to meet up with again in the future and catch up with; but I also met some of the bitchiest and most hostile people that I sincerely hope I never have to see again – ever.

I think what I’ll do with this post is just talk about my overall college experience and I’ll do a separate post in a week or so and tell you all about the actual course, which was absolutely tremendous and a highly rewarding course to be on! I was studying Professional Writing Skills in the Creative Industries at City of Glasgow College in the new super-campus. But I’ll talk more about that at a later date…

So, let’s just dive straight in.

College was nothing like I thought it would be. Nothing like it at all. I expected to have a class wherein we would all help one another out, have nights out, chat to one another, mingle, have an overall nice atmosphere in the class etc… but it wasn’t to be! A couple of us had a few nights out but never more than 3/4 of us. Quite disappointing really but certainly not a problem.

The problem was with 3 specific individuals who weren’t interested in the course one little bit. They ruined my first college experience for me. And I’ll never forget it.

When I left school, I took a gap year. I suffered from severe mental health issues throughout this, and took years to build myself up to applying for college. Anyway, I was hoping to have a good mix of ages throughout my class however I found myself in a class with mostly 17/18 year olds. I’m not much older, 20 going on 21, but not just straight-out-of-school. I befriended many of these 17/18 year olds and they had great attitudes and were eager in learning and balancing a good friendship and social life – that kind of thing. Then there were 3 who just thought they were above everyone else and made sure everyone knew it…made sure I knew it!

I started getting picked on because I lend my I.D to one of the boys in my class who said it was for a friend… he then took it upon himself to give it to another girl in my class who I would never have lend it to. I didn’t even want to give it to him but I felt so pressured. Anyway, when I asked for my I.D back that’s when all the problems arose. This boy, and this girl, never showed up to class. Once in a blue moon they would show face and then leave early to get off their faces on drugs. Sometimes they would even come to class in that state, or come in drunk! Anyway, each to their own. I started getting abuse online from said girl who borrowed my I.D, then the boy who gave her it, THEN another girl in my class (who had been bitching about me getting accepted to University?) jumped on the bandwagon and began mouthing off too… I had 3 of these 17/18 year olds on my case and giving me a hard time so I blocked them. All of them. On everything I could.

I came in to class the next day, none of them were in. Or the next day. Usual from the usual, right? I thought it’d all blow over. I got my I.D back eventually (without even a thank you) and when said girl decided to show her face in class, she stormed in with a skirt half way up her backside and towered over me (I had no idea where to look because I was sitting down and could nearly see the whole shebang) and she began shouting – in front of the whole class AND the lecturer – about how I was this and that, and that I could block her on social media but I couldn’t avoid her in person, and she began making threats… at this point I was totally humiliated as this was happening in front of the whole class and finally the lecturer jumped in and told her to sit down. I don’t know if she was on drugs or what, I could never tell, but it was honestly one of the most hostile situations I’ve ever been in. For the rest of the class I was receiving bitchy comments and dirty looks which made me severely uncomfortable. She got up during class and left. I don’t know where. She never came back. But I was so on edge to leave class that day – to even go home or go to the toilet.  

Later I opened up to the lecturer. Told him what was going on. Showed him evidence of the abuse I was getting. They asked if I wanted to take it further and go to the head lecturer and I said yes. I took days off college. Missed assessments because I was too anxious to go in because I had escalated the bullying and decided to speak up about it. Eventually I plucked up the courage to go in and meet with the head of the department and take this further. I’ve been bullied LOADS in life and I really didn’t want this to happen to me again at my first year at college. So I was courageous and I decided to take it further.

I had a meeting, broke my heart out, told them everything I could. Nothing was ever done. I wasn’t kept in the loop or told what was going on. But luckily, one by one, they dropped like flies. I think one got kicked out – the boy. And the other two just didn’t make it. They were too interested in drinking, taking drugs, bitching, arguing and gossiping that they never made it. And I passed every part of the course with flying colours and even bagged myself an A in the Graded Unit. I’m honestly so damn proud of myself.

I ain’t usually one to blow my own trumpet but they put me through hell, and I was so close to giving up, and I thought back to a year ago and how low I was and it made me push myself to prove that my mental health wasn’t holding me back anymore. And it didn’t. It almost did. But I didn’t let it win. I didn’t let them win.

This post has turned in to me just telling you about the bullies and not about my actual college experience so I promise the next post will be all positive vibes and I’ll tell you all about the good things that happened to me throughout my first year at college!

But take it from me – college ain’t like what you see in films! I wasn’t expecting High School Musical but I certainly wasn’t expecting to be bullied from three 17/18 year olds – that’s for sure! I stood my ground and I kept my head down and I achieved what I was there to do.

And they didn’t.

In the end, I had the last laugh.

 

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Email: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com

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16 thoughts on “My first, and last, year at college

  1. You are so strong and brave especially for writing this and sharing your story on your blog. You got through all the bullying and college itself too, that’s a huge achievement and you should be so proud of yourself. 🙂

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  2. You are so strong for writing this, bullying is truly awful! But you get what you dish out so they will get what they deserve, you focussed on yourself and it paid off!
    Hope you have a better experience at uni!
    X

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  3. Wow I’m really sorry you had this kind of experience! I really hate to see you stop doing something because of a few people! If school really isn’t your thing, then that’s okay, but if you really want to go to school, then let this experience make you stronger! Let it push you to work harder and show them who’s the bigger better person! I hope it all works out in the end! 🙂

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  4. Oh babe, I 100% relate. First of all, I applaud you for being brave enough to write this post. You’re definitely not alone. I’m so sorry that your year at college was ruined, and I also feel guilty for not knowing this was happening to you. However, I hope your university experience will be absolutely amazing. You deserve it.
    Lots of love,
    Hayley X
    Lifethroughtsg.com

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  5. I really applaud you for writing this and sharing with us, Charlene. I really admire how you’ve dealt with this and I am so, so sorry that you’ve had these experiences. How dreadful, bullying absolutely appalls me. Stay strong lovely ❤

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  6. Wow, Charlene, you really have been through the ringer this year!! I think it’s absolutely incredible that despite facing all of this hardship, you have come out the other side with amazing grades and a place at your first choice university! I find it so hard to understand why anyone would want to pick on you, you’re a really kind and lovely person, and obviously not out there to cause trouble! It shows the immaturity of those people, I suppose! Very disappointing to hear that the College didn’t really do much about the bullies either, and didn’t keep you in the loop, you’d expect better really! You should be very proud of yourself for all you’ve overcome!

    Abbey 😘 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

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  7. I can’t explain how proud I am of you for writing this post. There will always be bullies in life and that’s truly horrible.

    Having said that, the way you dealt with the situation was incredible. You were mature, honest and brave. It goes to show that people as genuine and hard-working as yourself will always be way above any stupid, petty children. You will always come out with the best grades, because you have worked damn well hard for it, even when you felt anxious and low because of them!

    Keep up the amazing work, Charlene. You’re becoming so successful, and one day, you won’t ever remember their names anymore xxxx

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  8. Ughhh, there’s nothing worse than a horrible bully (or a group of them in this case). I was always surrounded by them in school because I was shy and nerdy (like the rest of my friend group) and we were the kind of kids the teachers loved, but my god did we get bullied by morons. I’m so glad you managed to stay strong and not back down, and pass your course as well as you did while it was all happening! Good on you girl! 💛

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  9. I had a really similar experience at alevel, honestly it was absolutely awful, my ex boyfriend had a friend who was in the same year as us and she was so jealous and bitter and would literally talk shit about me and say the worst things to everyone. One time I lost my shit and was rude to her back, and her parents called up the school and had me pulled in for bullying after chatting with them they saw she was the bully. But once I got to uni it really didn’t matter as I’ve not seen her since! I’m so sorry you had to go through such a horrible experience, especially when you were effectively doing a nice thing for them to begin with! You should be so so proud of how well you did and getting an A on your graded unit is more than amazining. I hope you have the best experience at uni x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

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