My name is Isabel Melendez, I am on my third year of the Health and Social care degree at Cardiff Met. I have 3 children and I am a mature student. The term “mature student” can have the effect of making you feel a little bit old and at 33 I used to feel a lot older than my peers!
However, university is the most rejuvenating place anyone can go to. I felt nervous about being an older student at first – I thought I’d never fit in, but in reality, your age doesn’t matter, and everyone is feeling anxious and nervous at the start just as you may be.
I initially enrolled onto the HND program of the Health and Social care course. I did not believe I had the abilities or the time (with 3 children!) to successfully complete the degree, so I decided this was the best option for me. However, during my first year I changed my mind – I was really enjoying the course and wanted to keep on learning, so I swapped to the degree!
One of the things that attracted me to the course was the variety of modules available. When you enter the second and third year of study, students can tailor their learning to their preferred subjects. I always knew my passion was social sciences, therefore, I concentrated more on the social side of the course. However, some of my friends want to be midwives, nurses, social workers etc. The course is very flexible and is great at allowing you to discover your real passion by exploring different areas of health and social care.
During my second year I started working at a homeless hostel in Cardiff. This was the opportunity I needed to put in practice all the theoretical knowledge I gained throughout the course. University has broadened my mind in a way in a way no other experience could have done. In addition, the exploration of theories, social policies, essay and report construction, have all been key to my personal and professional growth. I gained skills that cannot be taught – organisational skills, problem solving, proactivity, leadership, time management and even public speaking!
I’ve really enjoyed my time in Cardiff Met! The tutors are amazing, they are always willing to help you and encourage you along the way. The supporting staff, the facilities and the people I’ve met have all made my journey a great experience. I’d recommend university to anyone, especially Cardiff Met!
At the start of this journey I never thought I could of successfully completing a degree. Now, as I look forward to graduation, I have plans to enrol into a master’s degree. I’ve developed a passion for research which I plan to combine with social science. This is an example of how versatile the course can be to anyone!
Don’t be afraid of moving forward like I was at first – this could be the best decision of your life. Good luck!
Thinking of taking the plunge and going back to uni? Read more from mature students at Cardiff Met.