It literally seems about one minute ago that I was blogging about my first year at University and my plans for the summer. I vividly remember typing that I was going 'to blog every week' as I was 'going to have so much spare time' - well, that totally went out of the window! What I thought was going to be 4 months of twiddling my thumbs turned out to be the busiest, most exciting 4 months ever, creating memories that will last for a life time.
Your University experience is one that you're meant to remember for the rest of your life. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed my first year at University, but I will remember it for totally different reasons to your 'average' student. I remember it for being pushed into the media during Semester 1, with my appearances on BBC Radio Sheffield and BBC Look North for CP Teens UK, my sport and the fact that I had just started University. I will remember it for pushing my confidence right up as I had to do lots of things that were out of my 'comfort zone' - although I obviously wasn't a happy bunny at the time, it did me the world of good. I will also remember it for things going badly wrong on the disability support side of things. As I said in a previous blog post, I unfortunately cannot go into what happened on here, although I really wish I could. Looking back, although it was a bad situation, in some ways, it was good for me - I wasn't relying on anyone because there was no one to rely on. For probably the first time in my life, it was down to me. I obviously had support at home, but whenever I was on campus, it was pretty much me, myself & I! We have sorted out my Uni support for this upcoming academic year - I have my own personal home PA's coming onto the campus with me. All I need to do now is ensure that I don't slip back into being 'carried around' and almost becoming 'helpless' again.
Unlike the other students, I don't remember my first year of Uni for getting 'mortal', i.e. drunk. This of course does not mean I didn't get drunk, because let me assure you, I did. I just didn't flock onto the streets of Sheffield with other 'Freshers'. I always came home (I lived at home, which is about 20 minutes out of Sheffield) and went out with friends I've known my entire life. At first, I thought 'how 'uncool' am I?!', but as I grew more in confidence and therefore started to care less that I wasn't necessarily 'following the crowd', it really didn't bother me. Whether you're able-bodied or not, you always want to be going out with friends who watch your back and make sure you get home safely because they genuinely care about you - at least I could put my hand on my heart and say that I was going out with a group of friends who did just that, rather than trying to navigate through student nightclubs (with very little balance!) with people I hardly knew.
In one of our favourite bars!
So, summer 2015. As you know I went to the World Games, which you know all about from my previous blog post, so I won't go on about it anymore! It is really funny as whatever someone says to me, I'll somehow relate it to the World Games - people are literally like "Ellie, you're obsessed!". Somene started talking about Nottingham the other day, and that was it, I was off! To make matters worst, I am actually competing back at the World Games stadium tomorrow, so I'll literally be like "this is where such and such happened...!" - by the end of tomorrow, I think my Mum and my coach, Adam, will literally be like "Shut up Ellie!".
I also went on holiday with 2 of my best friends. We went to a spa and had a massive suite with a seaview balcony, which was heaven! We went swimming and I can't swim - my type of Cerebral Palsy and swimming do not go well together! But, we had such a laugh - the way my friends were gripping onto me to keep me upright was hilarious! My friend was like "I feel like I've just took a baby into the pool!". So, it is thanks to Laura & Sophie that I'm sat here blogging and they didn't leave me to drown - cheers guys!
My summer then ended on an extreme high, but I am not allowed to utter a single word, so my lips are sealed ... for now!
I am returning to University as the 2015-16 Disabled Students' Rep, which is really cool if not a little daunting. Time isn't on my side as it is, so it's going to be interesting, especially in the upcoming 4 weeks with the CP Teens UK Ball just around the corner. I have also increased my training following my success at the World Games - I think I will be returning to Uni more tired than I was when I broke up for the summer! I like to try and remember the saying that 'sleep is over rated', but then I remember that I have Cerebral Palsy, which kind of flaws that saying!
I went to University last week to discuss the modules that I will be doing this year. As I have a Learning Contract (essentially the equivalent of a statement at school), some bits & bobs need adapting. I was told that we'd be doing an Event Management module, and I was literally sat there thinking 'Hang on, hang on! You need to walk into my bedroom, it is like an Event Management palace at the moment for the Ball. Can I just automatically get a 1st?!', haha.
I will round this blog post off with something to make you all chuckle. About an hour ago, I was sat at my bedroom desk, and as it is a Friday night, my sister, her friend & I are ordering pizza. My sister has a really heavy cold at the moment (man flu!), and I shouted her to come through to my room so we could order our food. Her reply was, "No, you come here, I'm 'suffering' from illness", to which from nowhere my Mum shouted back to my sister, "Well, she's 'suffering' from Cerebral Palsy, sooo ... you move!", hahahaha!
Also, I was on Facebook last night (as per!), and one of my friends who I met at the World Games (sorry, I mentioned it again!), posted the following image/quote with the caption 'Story of my life, #CPproblems!". I actually could not stop laughing!