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“Every day is ordinary until it isn’t. You will face obstacles along the way but you’ve got to work around them and find ways to get around that problem.”
That is the inspiring message Clare Smith has for young people collecting their A-level results today.
The 17-year-old has battled painful arthritis since she was just 18 months old. It caused her joints to swell and damaged her eyesight, meaning years of painful operations and many months of studies missed.
Clare, from North Somerset, was one of hundreds of students opening their results at City of Bristol College today but her journey to this point has been tougher than most.
But adversity has not stopped Clare, instead she has developed a tough mental attitude and a wisdom beyond her years as she’s coped with the effects of the arthritis and visual impairment.
Claire has just found out her results for her AS levels, she’s been studying English Literature, History and Psychology. So how did she do?
“I think they went OK,” says Clara.
“I got enough to progress next year and I learned what I need to improve.”
Clare’s medical situation means she has had to take time off from her studies for operations, but that has only made her more determined to succeed, despite her arthritis and visual impairment.
“It means I’ve had to take a lot of time out of college, I lose that studying time I would have had in college because of hospital appointments or procedures.
“But its just about managing time, to try and catch up outside of college hours I make sure I organise my time properly so I can study.
“I do a lot of work at home or during the holidays – it does have an impact on my social life, while my friends are out doing stuff I have to stay at home studying.”