When going through full time education, the expectations are to be fully focused and to achieve the best grades possible, and whilst I have managed to find a balance between education and my caring role it has not always been easy.
Throughout my first few secondary school years, school work seemed easier to handle. But when it came to my last three years in secondary education the role of being a young carer manifested, and made my life a constant juggle. And even to this current day I still find it difficult to juggle around my family, friends, my part-time work and my education.
My journey has been difficult, even though I am forever grateful for this role, it’s been a bunch of winding paths which I have had to navigate my way through.
But when looking at my roles in which I have taken on over the last few years, I have always managed to find ways in which i have dealt with the stress, anxiety and worry of my life. I have always been someone who goes to themselves for support, so when I needed support i found my family were there for me.
I've discovered that sharing your emotions and struggles, even though it might be difficult, is a method which has really helped me, and made me realise I don’t need to do everything by myself. Another way has been reaching out to others in my situation. The group that helped me during my education are the Suffolk Young Adult Carers UK. There group, for me has really helped with not only getting out, but health ways of dealing with my struggles. There are so many ways to achieve help, or to help yourself. First is finding out via school methods. Most schools will have the people you need for support, but in the case that they don’t there are always other professionals. When I first started, reaching out for help wasn’t easy. I hated the fact I could not do my role independently. But the fact I had to rely on someone doesn’t mean it is in any way bad, and finding someone you could rely on meant that you have a safety net. I needed a safety net, and once I had found it, I felt much better. My role as a young carer makes day-to-day life challenging, but I’m grateful for the challenge. It means I can develop myself and grow with dealing with difficult situations. As a young carer you feel you take on a lot of responsibility, because in theory you do. But the way you manage this is important. I find for myself that I need to take breather space for a few evenings in the week to focus on myself. I enjoy reading or drawing. It helps me relax and give myself time to breath. Sometimes I think I can do things myself, when in reality I need the support from others to get by. I always find ways to help others, so I’m writing this to reach out. Many people in my position, at my age, would not want to reach out and would probably want to keep things to themselves, but the best thing you can do is reach out, so you can get the valued help, and be heard.