Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
3:12 PM 26th January 2018

Going Back To My Old Secondary School

Last night I headed back to my old secondary school for their annual presentation and awards evening.

I was asked along as a former student to give a motivational speech to the teachers, students and parents and hand out the awards!

I loved every minute of it, not only was it lovely to be back at my old secondary school – Wensleydale School, but it was great to see the students who currently attend and listen to their amazing achievements over the past year. It’s always nice to hear success stories and I felt very blessed to be handing over their awards.

I must admit it felt a little bit odd being back and standing up on the stage. The last time I was on that stage I would have been performing ‘Titanic’ with my fellow friends, as I loved drama at school. But to be up there giving a speech was a little bit surreal; it’s something I would never have imagined doing one day.

It has been 5 years since I left Wensleydale School which is incredibly scary, and what a crazy 5 years it’s been!

I think now on looking back that Wensleydale School was one of the best times of my life. It’s where I formed lifelong friendships, had a few tears and tantrums, learnt new skills, which I didn’t even realise until I left. It’s the place where I probably discovered my love for what I’m doing now and not only that I think the school helped shape me into the person I am today.

I think when you attend school as a student you think you don’t enjoy it and some mornings you wake up and don’t want to go, but now when I look back I can’t encourage students enough to enjoy their experience and have fun because school flies by!

I think now being a full time author people often find it funny when I talk about my experience at school because I hated English; in fact it was maths I always loved! I wasn’t particularly good at spelling and it was a subject I didn’t gel with very well.

But looking back now, I remember being in year 8 (14 years old) and we had to write about something we loved using adjectives, verbs..etc. The whole class was writing about football, horse riding or their favourite hobbies, but I decided to write about ‘making broccoli and stilton soup’ – weird I know. I got an A* for that piece of work and it’s something I can remember so vividly. I think back to then when I knew I wanted to be a writer and luckily now I am being able to live my dream.

Handing out the awards to students was lovely. It was a night full of celebrations and achievements, and it just showed that everyone faces challenges no matter how big or small and you face them throughout your life, but overcoming those challenges is what makes them meaningful.