Posted on Thursday, 26 October 2017 at 4pm
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
The following is a guest post by Amanda Richardson, a mature student who graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in Professional Studies in July 2017.
In 2011 I was pregnant, and had started to become dissatisfied with my job. I decided that I wanted to return to higher education and was inspired by several friends who had already done so.
After doing some research online I decided that the University of Leeds offered the course I wanted to do. Getting in touch with the Lifelong Learning Centre was one of the best decisions I ever made. My appointment for pre-entry information, advice and guidance really broadened my awareness of the courses that were available to me. I decided to apply for the BA Professional Studies degree. Over the three years of this full-time course the modules often pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I found these were the ones I enjoyed the most. I was also able to pick modules from across the University as part of the ‘Broadening’ strand. The prospect of being sat in lectures with traditional students was daunting, but I came to realise that actually most students have the same experiences at university regardless of age. The degree was not what I had initially expected it to be, but ultimately I was glad of this – it was much more challenging, and satisfying when I achieved a 2:1 classification.
I experienced personal challenges during my learning journey: anxiety and PTSD resulting from domestic violence, glandular fever, as well as being a single parent to child under four with everything that goes along with that! The help and support of the staff in the LLC was invaluable; in fact there were many times that I would have just given up on my degree if it hadn’t been for them. They provide familiar faces, and a place to go on campus – I am not the most social able of people, but they gave me confidence to join in with more activities and help other students make progress with their own learning journeys.