A letter to my young self

Stephen McHugh
This post was last updated on
August 17, 2022
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Dear Young Stephen, 

There are a number of things I want to say to you about your difficulties with learning and schooling.  

I will start off by saying that things will be difficult for you in your education now as a result of your language difficulties. You are one of those who just happens to think and view the world differently. You are one who has their own way of communicating with other people. You are one of those who processes language differently. 

There will be subject areas where you won’t be one of the high achievers, like sporting activities for example, but don’t despair. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Having said all that, there will be subjects you’ll be good at. They’ll include music(piano playing) and maths. Other interests will include science, especially nature, along with the moon, stars and planets. One day your musical ability will prove useful in contributing to school life. And you’ll get good at doing difficult sums without a calculator too.

You’ll have a very supportive family network and primary school, all of whom will be sensitive to your learning needs. Ways will be found to help you. Your language ability, including reading and writing and understanding, will improve over time. You’re at a good school where you’ll be well liked by the other children. 

You’ll make progress in school to the satisfaction of your parents and teachers, even though you may never be top of the class. Amongst all the low marks you’ll score, you’ll achieve some high marks. You’ll do good pieces of work too.  You’ll just have to accept that it’ll take you a bit longer than your classmates to progress, encountering difficult times in the process.  So you’ll need to be patient, however hard it may be. And one day, you’ll look and think back to this period in your life, and see it as a great sense of achievement.

I understand you’re keen to learn to drive cars one day. You’ll master that too. Learn to trust your ability and have confidence in yourself. You’ll make mistakes, and that’s fine. It’s alright to make mistakes sometimes. We all do. They are a fact of life and always will be. Mistakes help us to learn and gain knowledge, provided we are willing to learn from them. 

In the meantime, don’t worry. Just remember, you’ll get there. I’ll write to you again in the future.

Goodbye for now.

Older Stephen

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