While working numerous shifts at ASDA, I have come across a lot of students doing their university shop, all of which have expressed to me how stressed they are. This confused me at first, because I haven’t felt stressed for even a second, but I think I’ve figured out why.

My entire life something has felt not wrong, but not quite right. It was as if someone had painted a portrait of myself, of my life, and I didn’t recognise it. When I was born, I had a blank canvas to fill, and people tried to brush on pinks, swirls, patterns. It took me 16 years to realise that this canvas was not my own. Although I have been transitioning mentally for 2 years and physically for 18 months, shopping for university felt like I was given another blank canvas, and I was finally the artist to control what colours would make me up. I began to shape myself in the form of blues, geometrical lines, neat, untouched by anyone but me. Although I don’t believe colours are gendered, these made me feel more comfortable, like I was finally recognising myself in the mirror.

University is the perfect opportunity for me, it feels as if, all this hard work, both during my transition and in school, through tough times, has finally paid off. It feels like karma, but in a good way.

Who knows what else I will splash on my canvas in the future, I just can’t wait to find out.

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