Truth is one of the main elements at the centre of Young People Insight, with young people being encouraged to tell their truths in their own words. That is tell their truth without distortion from the media or pressure to say the right thing from others; just raw, unadulterated truth.
As the founder of Young People Insight, I thought it was important to share a little more of my truth with all of you. I’ve previously shared my experience with self harm and explained why leaving university was one of the best decisions I ever made, but I haven’t shared any recent part of my story with you.
Trying to get Young People Insight off the ground has been a struggle, which I am still battling now. I didn’t know where to start with the forums, I wondered how I was going to reach people, I found myself worrying about funds and the list goes on. Countless questions, doubts and worries have been plaguing my mind.
All the while, I’ve had people congratulate me on what I’m doing and encourage me to keep pushing forward, but I found myself feeling like a failure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of the brave step I’ve taken to even start something like this, but I feel like I’ve failed in the number of people I’ve reached and the time that it’s taken for me to actually start my forums.
You may be saying don’t be so hard on yourself, but that is a difficult feat for me. I may come across as confident to a lot of individuals and seem like I have it all together, but that is so far from being the truth.
As I strive on in my quest to build Young People Insight, I continue to battle the voices inside that tell me that I’m not good enough, not capable enough and not liked enough. I fight against the fear of taking the next steps, but most of all, I fight against the desire to simply give up.
Over the past month, I found myself in a depressive state, dealing with grief and doubting who I was, what I was doing and what my purpose was in life. I couldn’t write, I didn’t want to be around people and I even considered giving up on Young People Insight. What made it harder was that during this time, my sessions with my counsellor came to an end, when I most needed to speak to her and have that safe presence in my life.
It was the second time in the last year that wanted to isolate myself from everyone, give up entirely and just be taken from this world — the first time was actually the reason why I found myself in counselling. Nevertheless, I made the decision to battle on, because what I intend to do through Young People Insight is simply too important to simply give up on.
There are young people who need to be heard and feel like they matter. There are networks that need to be formed and creativity that needs to be tapped into. There is also a borough that needs to do all it can to reach as many young people as possible, and I intend to be a part of that.
I know that this journey will continue to get tougher, but I just need to take time to remember why I’m doing this. It’s not about me, but it’s about all of the amazing young people who need to be seen and feel empowered to use their voices.
I want them to know that I genuinely care and that I’m not above them, or any better than them, because I haven’t got it all together myself. I’m still figuring everything out, just like them, which is why I want us to go on this journey together.
To all my young people, just know that you can take the step to drop out of university and overcome struggles with mental health to pave your own way towards greatness. I believe we all have special potential within us.