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JulesName: Jules
Course: BA (Hons) Social Studies [2+2]

I was disgruntled at work and looking for a way out. I had been unsuccessful with a job application because I did not have a degree and a random internet search presented me with the Warwick University BA (Hons) Social Studies 2+2 pathway. This meant studying 2 years at a local college and then 2 years at Warwick campus. This was great for me as I lived close to the local college, so commuting was minimal. I must admit I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about studying Politics for the first two years, but it turned out to be a fascinating experience and broadened my understanding of how politics works in the real world. I went from being apolitical to being an activist and getting involved in various causes. The other subjects are also eye-opening; Health, Welfare and Social Policy, Sociology and Research. The final two years were definitely worth working towards, because you can choose optional modules of interest. I chose Food, Creativity, Mindfulness, Coaching and Counselling alongside the core research modules. They each challenged me and offered different opportunities for learning and developing new skills. I would say, don’t knock it till you have tried it. The written blurb about the modules cannot convey how interesting the modules actually are. But, I can only claim that for the modules I have actually taken.

I am biased about my view of the degree, because I love learning new things and this course has scratched the academic itch I have had for so long. In fact, I love studying so much that I will continue to a taught postgraduate degree at the University of East London. While I wanted to stay on at Warwick, because it is such a wonderful environment, sadly they did not offer the course I needed. Because I have lived off a student loan for four years, financial abundance is less important than the value I get from learning, that will benefit my future career as a Coach. The thought of student loan debt does not deter me. Some people have bigger debts with their mortgages.

I might seem light-hearted about the course, but being an adult learner is not light and breezy at all. Life happens and you have to juggle all your other commitments and responsibilities in addition to learning at university level. In fact, my dissertation was about experiences of mature students in higher education. There is copious reading and research involved and you need to be dedicated and organised to meet deadlines. Even when you are organised it can sometimes be a stressful experience. But, it is definitely possible to focus and achieve, enjoy a positive and transformative experience and meet new people from diverse backgrounds. Diversity is one thing I love about Warwick. One of my peers speaks English as her third language. I think that is amazing! Studying at Warwick university is a great confidence booster, though. The support is there if you ask for it. My lecturers were very supportive. Each student is allocated a personal tutor and has access to a lovely wellbeing advisor, so you have various people to approach when it all feels a bit too much. I honestly did not think I would make it through FOUR years of studying. But, here I am and I am still begging for more! I have learned about deferred gratification and working hard to achieve my goals rather than expecting everything to happen yesterday without me lifting a finger. I wanted change and I took action. I went to Warwick university, studied hard for four years and I am so grateful for the experience of being a mature student and for being a positive role model to my children.