Published: June 7, 2018
University is difficult at any age. For me, there have been highs, and there have been lows that at times, have left me wondering whether or not I should have accepted the huge challenge.
This year I was self-funding. It's been challenging finding the finances to pay my fees, keep a roof over my head and generally survive but I’m happy to say that I have overcome that. There have been times my health has suffered as I live with a long-term condition however, I feel that the need to keep going and focusing on the end product is what saw me through. As I sit here now in the penultimate year of my degree, I find it hard to believe all of the things I have accomplished, not just academically – but personally too.
University has made me a much more resilient person, and it is a person who is a far cry from the one who enrolled last minute. When I decided to come back into education, 10 years after my diagnosis, I was adamant that I was not going to be beaten and I would be able to say to other students who suffered from long-term illnesses and disabilities – anything is possible. I truly believe anything is possible if you have the heart to pursue your ambitions. I don’t believe we can be slaves to ill health, nor should we be defined by it. We must rather use it as a platform to be the best possible version of ourselves that we can be, and I am glad I chose University of Sunderland to help me with that.
I have gained excellent communication and interpersonal skills that have enabled me to engage with others without the awkwardness of not knowing them. I have learned that I am a tenacious character who wants to attain the best possible results both academically and personally. Beginning my course in Biomedical Sciences has re-established what I lost when I was forced to give up my nursing career, a sense of self and a sense of purpose. From being a child, I always knew that healthcare was my calling because I live for making sure other people are well, and happy – when you lose that focus you sort of lose your identity but since starting the course I know what I want and how best to achieve it. I have also learned to think critically and look at other answers or solutions before finally arriving at my own conclusion, which I think university prepares you for. I will take all of these acquired skills and move forward in my chosen career, hopefully in the medical field – which is where I want to spend the rest of my days as a graduate of University of Sunderland - helping others!