When I became a single parent at 24, to a 2-year-old and my unborn daughter, the first thing I had to do was quit my job. My first visit to the job centre left me in tears, I was treated like a criminal. I felt stupid and worthless for many years. I stayed at home with my children until my daughter received childcare vouchers and could attend playgroup part-time.
I enrolled at the local college to do a Diploma in Access to Higher Education. It was incredibly hard, I almost dropped out because of finances after my car broke down and eventually had to get financial help with travel costs, so I could continue to attend. As work started to be marked and I gained distinctions, sometimes with the best marks in our group, my confidence and self-esteem raised.
Trying to focus on what I was going to use my qualification for was difficult, did I look at a job I could go straight into or aim as high as I could? With some grit and determination, I focused on becoming a scientist! My applications went in for University, I was offered a place at Exeter medical school to study a degree in clinical science, it was perfect and a massive boost considering Exeter was in the top 10 universities at the time. I studied at Exeter, there were tears, frustration and trauma but I did it! I left with a 1st class degree! It took grit, determination, resilience and sheer bloody-mindedness but I did it!!
It is possible and University Studies at West Suffolk College will help you all the way.
Life as a Student Mum
Benefits and tax credits while you’re studying