Graduation Day

Today is a big day as I’ll be having my graduation after finishing my Certificate III in Retail Baking course at TAFE last year in June. I am very excited yet nervous at the same time as I don’t know what to expect tonight, you know the fear of the unknown?

As you guys know from my last post, this was my favourite course out of all the courses I have done at TAFE as cooking is one of my passions in life. It will be strange going back to TAFE again because I haven’t been there since last year. Looking back to where I was in 2016 when I was doing a cooking course for people with disability through a community college and then my last day when I completed my last TAFE course, it’s hard to believe that I have come a long way on this journey.

When I was doing the cooking course at a community college, my teacher said I was far too advanced for the course because I wasn’t at that level with people with intellectual disabilities. It’s a similar story when I went to a high school for people with disabilities as I wasn’t being challenged with the work. The course was very basic like how to prep food and cook it which I already know how to do so my teacher suggested doing a cooking course at TAFE.

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We made Spaghetti Bolognese that was very easy to make

I haven’t done TAFE since 2011 and to be honest, I was a bit scared going back. When I was at TAFE in 2011, I did a Certificate IV in Multimedia where I was able to just finish my course which was one of my biggest milestones because during that time, I was going through a difficult time as I was recovering from my major life-changing jaw surgery to fix my Class III Malocclusion (or in other words, an underbite) and wisdom teeth that affected my whole life. You can check here my story here-> Life Changing Experience & Three Years Gone By (Jaw Surgery)

Also during that year, I was admitted into hospital on three occasions as I was struggling with my depression and unfortunately, I had to missed TAFE which meant I had to catch up but because I was way behind with the work, the TAFE counsellor, disability teacher and my teachers suggested I should do part-time instead of full-time which was a bit disappointing at first as I felt like I was a failure as I wanted to finish my course that year.

However, though, it did make sense to finish the next year because I wasn’t coping with my studies at all and I didn’t want to make the same mistake I did with my Web Design course at TAFE that year after I finished high school. As most of you guys know, that year (or 2008) was the hardest year for me because of my last suicide attempt and unfortunately, I had to drop out of my course which was probably the best choice as I had to focus on my recovery and see my support network each week.

After finishing my Multimedia course in 2012, it was one of the best feelings because it was my first major TAFE course that I was able to finish despite the struggles I went through but for some reason, I didn’t even go to my last graduation and I don’t even remember why I didn’t go.

Anyway, so going back to my story, that’s why I was scared to go back to do a new course like am I going to cope with the work? Will it be too hard for me? What happens if I need to go back into hospital like last time and I’ll miss TAFE again? But after talking to my parents and support network, they also agreed it was a good idea to go back to TAFE and they said they will support me in any way they can and that’s when I decided to make the decision to enrol in the retail baking course and it was one of the best decision I ever made in my life.

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We had to make Danish Pastry in our last practical exam which wasn’t easy!

If I didn’t make that decision to go back to TAFE, I wonder where I would have ended up by now. Even though last year was an incredibly tough year for me, I’m glad I was able to get through it including finishing my baking course despite the struggles I had to go through like the practical exams and the high pressure in the kitchen.

To be honest, if it weren’t for the support I was able to get through at TAFE like with having my own helper (several helpers actually) thanks to the disability headteacher, I don’t think I would have passed my course. Also, even all my class teachers and my awesome classmates who were able to help me when I was falling behind (because of my disability) or was struggling, they were there for me when I needed help and I’m so grateful for them. It’ll be great to see them all again.

There are other people I have to say thanks like I have to say a huge thanks to my parents for always believing in me because they have been with me every step of the journey and they were able to find the course for me.

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This was one of the first things we made Fruit Flans in lesson three. Never made this before in my entire life!

Another person that has helped a lot was my case worker because she’s done the course before and her experience taught me a lot and despite the lack of confidence I had inside myself, she always believed in me which I’m really grateful for. Another thing I have to be thankful for is my current service provider being able to find a caseworker for me and I’m glad they were able to find the right one for me. Also my whole support network and of course the rest of my family and friends, I’m thankful for their support as well.

Thank you guys for your support as well and sorry this post was a short one as at the moment, I’m sick with a viral infection which totally sucks. The last month I have been very busy and not getting a lot of rest and I think that’s how I got sick and not only it’s been affecting me physically in the last two weeks, but it’s also been affecting me mentally.

My GP told me to rest at home and take it easy so I’ve been doing that a lot which is actually a bit difficult because I love to keep being busy as it helps with my depression but then at the same time, I’ve been able to relax and watch my favourite TV shows on Foxtel. That’s why there hasn’t been any blogging lately. I’m slowly getting better and getting back to my normal routine but I’m still struggling which I’ll blog about next time.

Tonight’s graduation will be a very special day for me and also an emotional one for me. Even though I have struggled with mental illness, it never stopped me from achieving my dreams including passing my retail baking course and achieving my Certificate III. I know there have been times where I wanted to give up so badly but I didn’t and I kept going right until the end of the finish line. If I can do it, you can as well!

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My childhood favourite Finger Buns – we also again had to make in our last practical exam and it turned out to be pretty good!

Be random but stay safe! ^_^

RD ^^

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