Wednesday, 17 October 2018

7 Week College Update | Access to Higher Education

You may or may not be aware that I actually went back to college at the beginning of September to study an Access to Higher Education Course in Science for Health Practitioners. Education has been quite a tough aspect of life for me since about Year 8 and it has been something that I have struggled to attend, keep up with and stay motivated to do my work. I went into this course extremely anxious but I also knew that it was really my last shot at getting my education after dropping out of Sixth Form nearly two years ago.

Two years ago, I was writing my Personal Statement for a Fashion degree, Textiles has been something that I have adored since I first started it in Year 7 and I absolutely loved it at GCSE, I was so positive that I was going to go into fashion and be successful within it because I loved it so much but I always felt that something was missing and that I had more potential and that I needed to do more with my life and give something back after all of the help from the NHS that I have received over the years.

I found out about Access courses last year when a work friend started one and looked into it straight away, I was so thrilled to see that there was a course suitable for individuals who want to go into nursing but I was a bit annoyed with how little course options there were, as there is only one college in my area that offers Access courses, and there are only five course options. Before finding this course, I really wanted to study Media Make-Up but I am too old to do the course near me and I thought that if I get my degree over and done with, I could possibly do a make-up course later on, when I am earning more money and can afford to do so.

It is now half term for me, which I am so pleased about as this last week has been tough, I go to college on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and have fifteen hours worth of lesson time per week, which I am expected to match at home. I went into Access knowing that it was going to be tough and a crazy work load, but I feel like it has been easier than Sixth Form just because I am now confident in what I want to study at University. Saying that, I have mentioned this before but the course is completely Science based and Science was one of the subjects that I hated the most at school. I have found the Science quite challenging at times, but now that I have settled into college, I feel a lot more confident than I did before and I actually love Chemistry. However, Biology is what I need more than anything to become a nurse and Biology is what I will be constantly studying through the year and I do find is ridiculously difficult as there are so many key terms that we have to memories.

Another positive thing is that I finally understand the structure of my course in regards to Credits and how things are marked. Most of my course will be exams but there are some written assignments too, which is much more up my street. I have had my mocks; I had Chemistry last week which I surprisingly got a Distinction in which I was obviously over the moon about and then I had a Biology exam this week which I stressed and stressed over but also ended up with a Distinction which I couldn't quite believe as I thought I'd be lucky to get a Merit. I just need to make sure that I revise over the next two weeks to ensure that I get good grades in my real exams at the end of the month. I also have my first assignment due in in a couple of weeks, which I am a little nervous for, as I don't really know what things I am meant to write and include but I am sure I will get there.

My attendance for the first half term is somehow 96% which is a miracle and shock to everyone around me considering how low my attendance was whilst at Sixth Form and my only absence was because I unfortunately had to attend a funeral, which can't be helped. I have gotten through seven weeks without any professional support, within college or outside of college for my Mental Health and I can't quite believe it, I feel like a 'normal' student for the first time since I was in Year 8 and it is absolutely mad to know that I have managed to do so well.

One thing that I am struggling well is splitting my time effectively as I go to college Monday to Wednesday and then work Thursday to Sunday and a lot of the free time I do have is spent seeing my family and friends. I think that I currently have five pieces of marked work that I am currently working on, two of which are exams, plus my Personal Statement which I am still working on my first draft. I'm not going to deny that it is a lot of work because it really is, and it is tough but it is so achievable and I am so proud of how I am doing so far. By the beginning of November, I will have three units completed and twelve out of sixty credits done and I can't believe how quick it is going as well as how quick paced the learning is, it feels like it is all so crammed in and I often find that I have to look things up once I am home, but hopefully, it'll all be worth it in the end. 

I think that I have covered everything for the first half term, other than the fact that if you are going to do an access course then just be aware, that you're going to need a hell of a lot of paper, I have already gone through around 300 pages but that is all for now.

Thank-you for reading, Tay x
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