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I was always asleep in class.

As in, head-down-on-the-desk-asleep.

I could not keep my eyes open.

My IT Teacher was over it – I wasn’t getting my work done, and I had already had detentions from other teachers – I could see he was getting more and more impatient with me.

It kind of all came to a head when I didn’t hand in an assignment on time.

He asked me to see him at lunchtime, and he really let fly. I copped a tirade about how disappointed he was, how I was better than that, and that he felt let down.

He was saying he was going to fail me on the assignment too. I asked for more time, but he just said no.

I didn’t know what to say and he must have seen something change on my face because he settled down from his rant and asked me what the heck was going on.

So I just ended up telling him.

I was working night shift five nights a week cleaning, and I just didn’t know what to do because I couldn’t stay awake at school.

I was so tired!

I only got a few hours after school to sleep and eat; then I had to work 8 pm till 4 am. I was worried because I couldn’t get my work done.

My Dad left school at 15 and has worked ever since. Dad said I had to do the same, because I had turned 15. He said I was old enough to contribute money to the family. I was allowed to go to school, but only if I worked as well.

My teacher looked kind of relieved when I told him, which is weird, but I guess that’s what made him really start helping me.

He gave me an extension on the assignment and also spent time with me during lunch hours helping me with study tips and how to focus on what needed to be done to get back on track.

Also, he was good at giving real-life examples because he loved his subject, and that made it interesting.

My marks got so much better, so thank goodness we had that ‘chat’!

There are lots of ways to get to the same place, right? But can YOU make schoolwork for your own crazy life?

Heck yeah.

If I can do it anyone can.

Levi’s story might not be the same as yours.

But every story counts.

If you are spiralling out of control, feeling overwhelmed, or just not getting your schoolwork done for any reason at all, tell someone. You may be surprised at how quickly you can turn things around.

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If you are feeling overwhelmed