FROM SHOPLIFTING TO SOCIAL STUDIES – How I got here
Grab a cuppa and put your feet up. This is an abridged version of how I came to study at Warwick Uni and how it has changed my life, so far.
One of the many things I love about life is that we are never entirely sure how things will turn out, or what curve balls life will launch our way. These days, I just take one step at a time; smile, breathe and trust that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.
Just one month before I started my degree in 2016, I thought all was hunky-dory in my world and I had no intention of revisiting the world of academia. I was married, working part-time in the health and well-being industry and home-educating my two daughters. Life was full. Then one evening, feeling despondent after giving evidence against a shoplifter and finding the whole court experience seriously stressful, and ultimately futile, I started ‘googling’ jobs and courses in my local area.
I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I wanted to be of ‘better’ service to my community. I wanted to give and get ‘more’ from life. The enthusiasm of the Witness Service volunteers during the court hearing inspired me to search for something new and different, as I realised many opportunities exist that I am not even aware of.
I stumbled across the BA (Hons) Social Studies 2+2 degree which offered modules in Politics, Research, Sociology and Social Policy. The first two years were at my local college (which allowed me to continue home educating) and the final two years of the degree will take place at Warwick Uni, with the option to take different modules to further expand my horizons. To be honest, the thought of studying Politics filled me with dread and as for the other modules, I did not have a clue what they would entail. The most amusing part is that I went from ‘apathetic to activist’, thoroughly enjoyed the Politics module and I am currently on the executive board of my local party and have met many compassionate, supportive people who care about the whole community.
My long-standing friends laugh when I get ‘political’ now, because they remember me as a naïve ‘happyfluffybunnyrainbow’ child. But, after two years of studying ‘global goings-on’ I have more of a ‘happyfluffybunnyrainbow-warrior goddess’ vibe! I have learned so much about myself as well, which challenged my beliefs and made me rethink lifestyle choices. I cannot go into detail here about the pros and cons of monogamous relationships, humanitarian intervention, feminism and eco-anarchism. But, as I become more aware of what is going on around me, I am delighted to indulge in the dying art of face-to-face conversation; engaging with others in deep, delicious discourse on delicate matters that I believe should be brought into the light of day, to demystify and dissolve any misconceptions. We have so much to learn from each other, if only we are willing to actively listen.
Not for the faint-hearted or those who want to keep their head buried in the sand (so all anyone else sees is an a*se!), this Social Studies course prises my eyes open to see the world in a different light. Now I am impassioned, I can turn my enthusiasm into action and I am so excited as I perch on the brink of my penultimate year at Warwick University.