Teachers never understood me, maybe because I never understood me. The endless days of struggling and striving at school to be just as clever as everyone else, and not even to be just ‘as’ clever, but just to understand what the flip the teacher was talking about was the biggest craving I longed for. The constant asking friends for help in lessons and the constant “stop talking Ruth” from teachers. (But, don’t play the victim Ruth, you did also enjoy a chat.)
"One thing I knew, never a degree, never ever further education, I wasn’t good enough for that."
School life was coming to an end, uni or work? OH MY DAYS WHAT SHOULD I BE, I SHOULD KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO BE ... at the age of 17. One thing I knew, never a degree, never ever further education, I wasn’t good enough for that, gosh, if I struggle with school then a degree is out of the question, and remember what the teachers said “you’ll never amount to anything” I’ll just work and figure it out, it’ll be fine.
Six years later, I apply for a Theology degree... what on earth am I doing? Remember I’m not good enough for this, I’ll fail the first assignment let alone the whole three years, don’t waste your time. Nah mate I’m not listening to these lies, I'm gonna boss it, I’ve got this and trust who Jesus says I am.
"I’ve got this and trust who Jesus says I am."
Being diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia in the first year of my degree made so much sense. Initially I hated the label, allowing it to squash me, and hated the thought of being ‘different’, but I get it now, I am wired differently, and it’s safe to say there’s not many like me and there’s not many like each of us. We’re all a bit weird and wonderful.
"The lecturers helped and cared massively about me."
Three years later, guess what, I passed, I PASSED, with a great grade. I gained some amazing friends who helped me along the way and never judged my questions, who encouraged and cheered me on, but the best part was the lecturers helped and cared massively about me. “Ruth, I can’t wait to see you on your graduation day, showing those teachers back at school that you proved to them you could do it and you proved to yourself you could do it!!” - this lecturer was an absolute legend and what he spoke over me in my first year, was exactly what I did last night (12 March 2021), four years later.
All glory to Jesus. He’s my help, support and biggest cheerleader above them all.
Ruth Hincks is one of our alumni from the class of 2019. Here she reflects on her time at St Mellitus College and the journey from her teenage years to her graduation.