“If you’re 100% focused on what you want to be or achieve in life, then nothing in the world can stop you” – former Meath School pupil, Nimrita.
Before I came to Meath School, I was a very lonely child. I had been attending a mainstream primary school nearby but I didn’t stay there long, it was for about a term or two. During that time, I went to school and had my lessons but I never felt like I belonged there I used to get bullied about the way I was and because I couldn’t talk properly. I did know some words but I didn’t use them in the right way and was often talking gibberish. I remember clearly, running inside the classroom, crawling into a child-sized dollhouse and crying in there for a while. I didn’t understand most things my family said and neither did I make sense to them. Mother told me once that my head was so full of music that she would never worry about losing me in the supermarket. I always wandered off when I went shopping with my mother. She would just need to listen and she could, nine times out of ten, hear a toddler singing to herself. Follow the trail of music and she would find me toddling down the aisle, my head in the clouds unaware of anything else in my surroundings.
When I went to Meath School on a visit with my parents, I was initially scared. I didn’t know that time that I would be going to school with children like me. But when I started attending I was used to it and eventually made friends. Meath was and still is one of the best periods of my life. This was a time when I appreciated myself as an individual – because before Meath I used to wish I was a normal person who could be accepted. But I realised I didn’t need to wish to be normal to be accepted. I had friends who liked me the way I was, my teachers understood my needs and at seven years old I managed to talk normally in a perfect sentence.
I liked the way my teachers at Meath gave me feedback because they knew I didn’t like criticism but they told me in such a way that it made me more determined to work harder at my lessons and get one step closer to my dream of being a singer/song-writer and being a better person. They were kind and compassionate to me as a student. It was because of I CAN’s specialised education that I improved my social skills and communication. My music classes were the best because no-one ever told me I needed to stop singing. I was encouraged to. It made so much of a difference because after I left Meath I went on to another special needs school and I was often told to be quiet in school corridors by my friends. I used to think back to my days at Meath and even today when I look through my photos of me and the school, I get a tear in my eye, often wishing to revisit the school that helped me – it made a huge difference because I always had considered Meath School and (I CAN too) my second family.
After Meath, I went to another special needs school and completed eight years there (sixth form was for three years) and then eventually went to Uxbridge College where I am now. Since last year I’ve been a student at the Hayes campus of Uxbridge College and I love what I’m doing very much. I am in Level 3, Year 1 of Music Performance. My tutors who know about my special needs background, give me feedback regularly and one of my tutors mentioned once that my special needs was almost unrecognisable the first time he met me. I write songs and also sing, play piano, guitar and sitar (an Indian instrument). I often write songs on a lot of my personal experiences and I write songs about having the confidence in doing what you want to do, to be thankful and to keep going for what you want.
Since a young age, I’ve wanted to inspire other people and say that it’s okay and it doesn’t matter if you have a disability or a disorder. If you’re 100% focused on what you want to be or achieve in life, then nothing in the world can stop you. My high school teachers said that being a singer/songwriter was unrealistic and advised me to get a stable job. But I didn’t want an ordinary life of working 9-5 in an office. I wanted to be on stage, performing, singing, and keeping the crowds entertained. Being in Meath helped me express myself in so many ways and I can’t thank my teachers and my friends enough for accepting me and helping me to improve. Also my tutors at Uxbridge College have been very helpful and very supportive of me as a person and as a musician in the making. Throughout last year, I’ve been taught how to be business savvy for the music industry and improving myself as a musician. I’ve been nominated for an Adult Learners Award, have been presented in Uxbridge College’s Prospectus 2015-16, and am currently doing a few music videos which are on my YouTube Channel and I am currently recording and working on my upcoming album, “Beautiful World” so keep your eyes peeled!