Posted on Friday, 04 December 2015 at 2pm
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
The following blog is a guest post by Jodie Kilner, a mature student currently studying on the LLC’s Interdisciplinary Studies (with PHE) course.
When I started university in September I knew I would be exposed to a wide range of experiences outside of my comfort zone. I expected these opportunities to spill over into my home life as I grew and changed, and that I would encourage my family to do the same. What I wasn’t expecting was how directly this could happen.
Each of us on the PHE course was invited to bring someone along to one of the Thursday evening Academic and Personal Development sessions – either someone who may be interested in higher education themselves or someone who was simply curious about where we were two evenings a week. I fell into the latter camp and brought along my six year-old daughter Alba.
Alba suffers with anxiety, especially in new and unusual situations. In order to help her through this my partner and I expose her gently to as many new environments as possible. Being able to bring her into university last week fed her curiosity in what mummy got up to when I left the house with my back pack on, but far more than that it was a wonderful session based around building confidence and assertiveness. Alba had her pad and pens with her and as the class were asked to draw a confident person Alba drew her own.
As the lesson continued Alba drew several pictures and when I flicked through them later on in the evening I noticed they were all university-related. She joined us as we stood at the front feeding back our understanding of confidence and assertiveness. She also drew people sat at desks and had copied some of the drawings and mind maps the students has done! My favourite by far was her own confident person – firstly, it was a girl which showed me that Alba knew she was capable and entitled to be confident, and secondly her girl had multi-coloured hair, which I loved. This showed that Alba was able to see and accept people who appeared different from herself.
The following morning Alba was chatting over breakfast to her younger sister Zoey. I listened at the door for a moment and enjoyed Alba explaining to Zoey what a confident person was and how to become one. Thank you Lynne for the chance to expose Alba to a room filled with mature students who are becoming more and more confident with each passing day.