Determination played a big part in my success

7 June 2016

Growing up as a young person with caring responsibilities I found over time that many of my plans had to be delayed or cancelled, and increasingly my social life in particular had to come second to the needs of the person I cared for. Though I never minded helping out, whether it be taking them to hospital/doctors’ appointments or simply helping them out of bed in the morning, over time I began to feel increasingly isolated.

In the early stages of my college career my attendance was affected by their condition and although I always notified the college in advance, I undoubtedly missed out on key aspects of the student experience as well as important teaching.  Due to financial necessity I also worked part time throughout my college career which in addition added to the strains of being a carer and at times impacted upon my attitude and ability to concentrate on my studies.  Looking back I now recognise that at this stage, determination played a big part in my success!

Without financial support, college was simply unaffordable and I am eternally grateful for the help and support I received from the finance team at York College who not only assisted with meal tickets, but also provided me with a bus pass to travel to and from college, and helped with travel costs to university interviews.  I also received emotional and pastoral support from York Carers Centre in the form of 1:1 sessions with a dedicated worker, who was patient, understanding and empathetic of my personal situation.  In addition the Carers Centre also gave me the opportunity to participate in group sessions with my peers, which enabled me to spend time with others in a similar situation and reduced some of my feelings of isolation.  I feel incredibly fortunate that I was able to draw upon the support of both York College and York Carers Centre as without the complimentary support packages they were able to provide I would not be where I am today.

Having attained the highest grades possible I plan to continue my education by pursuing a university career in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.  Although it was always my desire to continue my studies in higher education, without the support I have received I’m not sure that I would have received so many offers, all from Russell Group universities.  At the end of my academic journey I intend to establish a career in the field of Electrical and Electronic Engineering ideally with international opportunities and plenty of new challenges!