That smile was a result of me being heckled by my lovely husband as I went up on stage during my graduation. I’m not sure who was more excited by it, me or him. Me finally getting my degree was very much a joint effort and I really can not thank him enough for the constant support and encouragement when I thought I couldn’t do it.
When I decided to become a mature student at 29 with 2 children I really didn’t have a game plan for how it would work out. I would love to be able to say that I sat down and worked out every little detail before hand. In truth I was so surprised to be offered a place at UEL that it’s all a bit of a blur. Childcare was my main priority and thankfully due to the support of my baby brother I was able to cover bases in that department and the rest I just sort of floated through it all.
Being a mature student meant that I sort of stuck out among the majority 18 year olds in my class. but after the first semester I realised that my age was actually an advantage. I realised that I had a lot to offer in terms of experience and wisdom as well as realising I could learn a lot from these ‘youngsters’. I envied their ability to party hard and still manage to produce amazing work and make it look a breeze. One all nighter for me and I looked like a train wreck.
Saying all that, I actually miss it now. The deadlines, the reason to be up and out in the morning and making new friends. Some of them only just starting out on their exciting new paths and others fulfilling the dream of finally completing their degree against the odds. Where we will all end up is a mystery, but I am thankful to have been a tiny part of their story, as I am glad they were a part of mine.