Life begins at 50
Good Morning and welcome to a new week. This being my first blog I am likely to ramble somewhat but do bear with me.
I’m Lisa, a very young at heart 51 years old currently studying an Undergraduate Social Studies degree here at Warwick University. I can never say that enough. Me. Aged 50 and fulfilling my life’s ambition to study and obtain a degree. I first visited Warwick Uni when I was 10 years old. My junior school performed “The Jackdaw of Rheims” in the Arts Centre and I have never forgotten it, even the closing scene whereby we all had to sing VERY loudly “The RING, in the nest, of the little, jack, daw”. so strange the things that stay in your mind !
I left school in 1987 with CSE’s and O’Levels, my dream was to be a teacher. I was a bookworm, spending my every waking hour reading and writing, but alas it was not to be and I was marched off to the local Youth Training Centre whereupon I began what was the norm in the 1980’s, a YTS. On placement four days per week and then a day of study which paid me the grand total of £23 every week. I thought I was rich !
I didn’t settle very well and moved around from one job to the next, finally moving into IT Services and began what was to become a 30 year career in Service Management working for many major companies, Severn Trent, Capita, Atos, TUI and telent to name but a few. Fast forward to 2017 and illness kicked in forcing me to ensure 4 years of various ailments until I was diagnosed with Paget’s disease of the skull in December 2020 and was medically dismissed from work. For the first time in my life I had nothing to do. Nothing. Both my lovely girls are grown up and studying/working, my husband is working full time and then there was me.
I looked to see if there were any courses available, knowing that my brain was still working even though my body had let me down somewhat. I enrolled on a counselling level 2 course through the Centre for Lifelong Learning and completed this on line last February – April. A couple of the participants of the course were talking about “gateway”, and me being the inquisitive sort that I am delved deeper to find out what this mysterious “gateway” was. And so began my journey.
Warwick University offers a free part time course called “Gateway to HE: Social Studies”. I enrolled last April and for the next 12 weeks learned so many new skills, all on line via video call, and met the most amazing bunch of people. Passing the course would ordinarily give you a guaranteed part time place on the BA(Hons)Social Studies degree, unless you passed with a high grade, then you have the chance to study full time !! And here I am, at last fulfilling my lifelong dream of studying, and at Warwick, full time !! My blog will hopefully give you a sense of my journey, being a mature student with a disability at Warwick, and a journey that so far has been truly amazing.
An inspiring story and one which could well encourage others to “ bite the bullet” Enjoy every minute of your adventure, can’t wait to read the next chapter!