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Name: Leigh
Course: BA (Hons) Social Studies [2+2]Leigh

"Speeding towards forty I looked at my job and realised I hated it! Not the people, or the environment, but the job itself. I was a recruitment consultant working over an hour away from home doing a job that I did not care about and that I would potentially be stuck in for another 20 to 30 years. I would not call what I had, a midlife crisis, but it was certainly a midlife realisation and evaluation.

Once I had decided I needed to leave, things got worse before they got better. I was not sure what to do. I knew I had to keep working because I had a family to support but the longer time went on the more my mental health suffered as a result of the endless drudgery of work. My wife was the one who suggested a degree at the University of Warwick. She had previously studied at Warwick and suggested the 2+2. After a lot of deliberation and some fairly extensive maths to make sure I could afford to quit work, I put in an application and I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made.

Once I knew I had been accepted, the sense of relief was amazing. I knew I was changing my future. The degree itself has been brilliant, I have made lots of friends and got involved with a number of opportunities offered by CLL. It was not without issue however. As with any change of career there comes certain adjustments that have to be made at home. I had to do a lot more cooking, cleaning and childcare, which to be honest was a pleasant change and meant I got to spend more time with the kids. If they got too much, I could always escape to the library under the pretence of needing to do assignments.

My degree from Warwick has meant I am able to move on to the next stage in changing my career. Over the next two years, I will be taking part in the Frontline Social Work programme, a graduate programme which trains social workers via direct on the job training whilst studying for a masters degree. It is charity funded so no more student loans! It would not have been possible without my degree and the study skill I learned at CLL.

I think the best part of my degree in conjunction with the social elements was the sense of confidence and achievement that you get. With the wide range of modules available on the Social Studies 2+2, it also helped me decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life which was great because if I am honest when I started I was not sure!

I cannot recommend CLL and the 2+2 highly enough. It has genuinely changed my life in a multitude of ways and will continue to do so going forward. I have new friends, a new career and an intellectual curiosity that I would have never developed without CLL. The only downside is that you have to leave eventually. I am really going to miss it!"