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A reminder for Trainers & Teachers alike…


This week's blog has been written by my guest blogger (and good friend) Jasleen. I'm thrilled to introduce a slightly longer blog than usual and one that's definitely worth reading to the end

Jasleen shares her true story, only previously shared with family and close friends...

School SUCKS...

I remember being 7 years old and lining up in my school classroom to get my sums checked. I can still smell the wood of the old-fashioned desks with the hole in the top for ink! I was at the back of the line because I was the last to finish my sums and it soon became a place where I was comfortable, and a place where I was destined to stay: at the back. As I approached the front to hand in my book to the teacher, she stared at me with her disapproving eyes and a small frown on her face. Her face said a million things, but not the one thing that I wanted to hear which was; “Don’t worry about being last, as long as you did it in the end”. Instead my sums book was marked with a line of red crosses and handed back to me.

From that point on I had predicted my entire school life and summed it up with one thought: “I should not be here because I can’t do this”. At 7 years old I didn't believe I was good enough to be in school. Especially with lots of other students who, in my small childlike and undeveloped opinion, were clearly brighter than me. This belief was to stay with me throughout my academic life.

As the years went on from one academic class to the next, I nurtured my negative thought and developed it to something that was soon big enough to take over my whole thinking. Despite being told that my developing judgements were misplaced and untrue, they were mine. I had created them and they were my beliefs. Ultimately, my negative thoughts became all-consuming. They soon resulted in a cocktail of: a lack of self-belief, defiance, procrastination, suppression, fear, and rejection. Failure followed every exam that I took my beliefs into. By the time I was required to make future lifelong choices about where I wanted to be, I had overdosed on my cocktail of negativity and had no antidote to help me escape.

In an effort to stimulate and motivate me, I remember being shown pictures of friends and distant family relatives proudly dressed in gowns whilst clutching onto graduation scrolls. These people (who I did not know or care about) became my idols. I wanted to be someone like them: someone who could. There was only one thing stopping me becoming one of them – my own self-belief.

By the time I was 16 I had failed the essential GCSE’s -  Maths and English. With no choice but to re-sit them, I told myself there was no room in society for someone who couldn’t even add up or write properly. It took me an extra year to finally pass them. I battled my way through 2 more years of overly ambitious A-Levels and finally reached my nadir. I failed, again.  But why wouldn’t I?  Nothing had changed. I wasn't armed with the right attitude or self-belief that you need to help you succeed. Instead I lay defeated, overcome with shame and embarrassment and I felt alone. I was 19 and had to make one of the hardest decisions that I had ever been faced with – go back to school or give up...?

They say you should never look back, but how do ‘they’ know?

I did. I looked back and stared long and hard at what I had been doing and thinking for the last 12 years. To this day I don’t know what made me change my thinking. Maybe it was the deepest, profound and unfathomable desire to be one of those far and distant scholars that I had seen pictures of as a child. The pictures that made me want to put myself through those disparaging years all over again. Or maybe it was the sheer embarrassment of seeing friends that I had known since the age of 7, go on ahead of me to reputable universities. Whatever it was, I picked myself up and found another way. I found self-belief and encouragement. I found happiness and solace. Most importantly, I found pride.

As I share this now, I have 4 A Levels, a degree in Biological Sciences and no more failures to my name!

My greatest success came from those 12 years at school where I continued to fail. Those are the years that turned my life into a success. Without them I couldn't have made it my life’s purpose to help other students. Students who also felt like that 7-year-old girl in the wood-smelling classroom who believed she couldn’t do anything.

I know that if I hadn’t looked back, re-evaluated and re-framed my thinking, I wouldn't be doing what I do today…writing my wrongs.

Jasleen Bijral currently runs her own Company called Scholar Coaching.

If you would like to find out more about Jasleen and the work she has been doing with Schools and students, take a look at her website at

Many thanks to Jasleen for sharing her own story. Please do add your comments as always.

The blog is now being read by over 200 people each week which is absolutely fantastic - thanks to you, the readers.



To read more of my blogs go to

or alternatively visit my website at

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