How my experience in Further Education transformed my life

Prior to studying English, Writing & Media on an Access to Higher Education course, I had been out of the education system for four years. In the meantime, I had attempted several jobs, some of which didn’t suit me, some of which did. However I always relished the pay day at the end of the month.

Due to the uncertainty of my future, I went to stay in USA with my father for several months where I took some time away from home to collect myself and think through my ambitions.

Upon my return, I decided to study a subject I love: English. I assumed that the process of getting onto a course at the age of 20 would be an incredibly difficult process. However, before I knew it, I was sat down in a classroom full of strangers who would one day become people I will cherish for the remainder of my life.

Being in education brought me out of my shell again. I was around people who found themselves in very similar situations to myself. Before the course started, I found myself feeling very low at times due to the lack of direction I felt in my life. I think my fellow students would agree that this immensely dissipated throughout the year as every day I went through was a day closer to the next step of my life: University, a destination I thought I would never arrive at after leaving college originally at 17 years old.

Coming into education once again after 3 to 4 years away from it was quite difficult, as there is a specific ‘student mindset’ that I struggled to train my brain to get into. In school I was very studious and was regarded as an intelligent child. Insecurities set in when I began and realised how clueless I felt. However it took a matter of days before I made friends and found out that they felt a similar way.

Throughout the year my confidence and self-esteem grew massively as I learned not to compare myself, but instead sought tactics and information from those who were achieving more than myself. I feel as though I matured a noticeable amount through the duration of the course. Furthermore, my knowledge of English, Writing and Media doesn’t compare to what it was prior to the course. The increased confidence in my writing personally astounds me. I always considered myself a good writer due to the creative ideas I had to put onto paper, but this course truly showed me how to turn my ideas into masterpieces with a pen and paper.

Getting into a studious routine, learning how to network with other students as well as the major increase to my writing abilities have made me totally confident that I would succeed in University, a place I never thought I’d be a year ago.

How do college teachers differ to school teachers?
I have always had great respect for teachers, both in school and college. However, I have never felt faith from anyone like my Access to Higher Education teachers, despite me sometimes believing it was undeserved. I am absolutely certain that without the faith, trust and passion of my college teachers, I would either have failed to make it to University or I would be completely lacking in skills, ability and confidence to succeed there.

To me, that little classroom full of adults trying to change their paths will always hold a special place in my heart. Before the course I felt lost and alone, and after the course I feel ready to take on the world. I will miss every single person who accompanied me on the journey whether we saw eye-to-eye or not.

The impact my college had on me is difficult to translate into words, as I feel like a completely new person with a completely new outlook after finding a path to venture on with a specific goal my sights are set on. It is definitely never to late receive quality educations and meet your goals whilst colleges like my own are still around.