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By Michelle Lillywhite

1st year BU Student, BA (Hons) Social Work

So when I decided at 35 that my career was going nowhere and that without a Social Work degree I wouldn’t be able to progress any further I took a good hard look at myself and knew what the answer was – get  a degree!

Some friends looked at me as if I was heading for an early mid-life crisis and others were so supportive that I knew it was the right thing to do. I just knew that I needed to be inspired to learn because my job in local authority had inspired me to be doing more than I was qualified to do. Luckily for me when I met my now Head of Year at an Open Day in September 2011 – I found the inspiration I needed – it was Bournemouth University for me!

I am now six months into my course and can genuinely say I have not woken up once and thought ‘I don’t want to do lectures today’ – how many of us can say that about our jobs for the last six months?

Is it hard though? Oh yes! I am challenged every day to understand not only myself but the world in a different way. Previously held stereotypes that I had have had to be diminished to the distant past and I have had to find the right elements of my values and beliefs to take forward and find confidence in some new ways of thinking – but that is Social Work – complex and difficult and challenging every day!

I have never thought of myself as academic – my previous grades prove that – but here at BU you are supported to believe in yourself, using the knowledge you have been chosen to be on the course.  Plus,  there is so much support available – all you have do is ask for it.

I am due to head out onto my first placement in two weeks’ time and I feel like a child going to Disney Land – I cannot wait!!

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