Midway through grade ten, something clicked. For one thing, my step-dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and didn’t have long to live. I saw how devastated my mum was. She had already lost one husband (my first step dad) to cancer. It was time for me to man-up and knuckle-down. Knowing that grade eleven would be a clean slate, a chance to start afresh, I vowed to make the most of my final two years of schooling. Two awesome teachers, Mrs Hume and Mr Birch, believed in me and never let me drop that ball again. I ended up with the equivalent of an OP1 (what they called TE Score 990) and those dodgy years, grades nine and ten, were long forgotten. From this I learned that if ever you make a mistake or go through a rough patch, you just have to get back on the horse and never look back. Better times are always ahead of you!