Jasneth Richards is studying for a Sociology and Social Policy BA degree at London Met. Here she explains exactly what led her to London Met's door.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I came back to university at the age of 30 – I’ve always wanted to get a degree from when I was at secondary school onwards, but life didn’t go according to plan. I had my first daughter at 15 and I now have five children. I have spent most of my life working and doing short courses.
What made you consider doing a degree?
It was a few years ago – I was a teaching assistant and had been doing that for about three years and I just felt really stuck in a box. I thought, this is not for me; there is something more and I don’t want to work for anybody any more. In order to do that I have to go into education.
I applied for universities but my educational background wasn’t great in terms of qualifications and achievements. I had a Level 3 in Education and Training, but not a full module, which is why I applied for an extended degree. I did a test for Media and Communications and I got in – I was really chuffed about it. I just felt it was all orchestrated for me because English is something I am quite good at.
When I started, I fell in love with the Sociology module in Media and Communications and in my first year I changed to Sociology, and in the second year I added Social Policy – so I now study Sociology and Social Policy.
Why London Met in particular?
It’s a funny story and some people might think it sounds quite clichéd but I’ve always wanted to come to this University. I used to go to a church down the road and I always used to drive past on my way home and thought if I ever went to university I would go here. I knew it was meant to be. It just felt right – I felt happy being here. The vibe was great and it was diverse and you could see from the way the teachers spoke, especially at the open day, that I'd just feel at home.
How are you contributing to life at London Met?
I found out during my foundation year that I could become a Student Ambassador. It's great because it works around University study and you get to do a whole load of different jobs and that is my thing in life – I don’t like to be stagnant or just be in one place.
I like the fact that I can go to different schools and you’re doing a variety of different jobs, not the same nine-to-five thing every day continuously.
Do you have a career path once you graduate?
I've found with my degree that I'll need to be in a role that I love: to do different things, to go to meetings or maybe go to different offices and different cities – and do something that keeps me moving and creative.
I have a slight idea that I want to get into local government; I really want to look into social policies and ways to examine them strategically. Creating social policies and the work that goes into them – that's definitely something I would be interested in.
Do you have any advice for other mature applicants considering university?
I just think that if somebody is reading this and was considering going to university being a mature student I would definitely say go for it.
Sometimes in life we use age or the fact that we have children and all these other kinds of excuses as reasons why we can’t do something. Until we actually do it and realise they were only excuses.
If you want to really go to university, just do it – because it will help you get where you want to be.