At first, I was adamant I wasn’t going to university. I think this was mainly down to not believing in myself enough to be able to achieve a degree! My brother had graduated and I was so proud of him, and I could see how proud my parents were. My parents are so supportive - they wouldn’t mind whether I had gone to university or not.
Although I was worried of failing them, I didn’t want to go to university just because I was worried about letting them down. I wanted to go for me. I started thinking seriously about what I wanted to do and applied to Suffolk. I only applied for the one course, Criminology and Sociology…which was a bit risky!
I had a month to make sure my grades would meet the requirements, and that’s when my Grandad fell ill. I took a week off college because I needed to be by his side. I was so worried as everyone else was studying and I kept thinking about my grades, but my Grandad was more important and I needed to be with him.
Unfortunately, he passed away. It was so unexpected. He’d been ill before but had always got better. Just before he passed, I had told him I would make him proud. I was going to get my grades and study for my degree. He was always so supportive of everything, so I wish he had seen me get in to university.
Now I’m in my last year, I’ve realised how much I’ve grown as a person. I believe in myself more and have a lot more confidence – I’ve recently started volunteering and giving back to the community which is an amazing feeling. I have a completely different outlook on life and I’m much more open to things.
Getting in to university and knowing I fulfilled the promise I made to my Grandad just makes it even more of an achievement to me. Even though he’s not here, I know he would be proud and he would’ve been asking me ‘how are you getting on ’and ‘what are you up to’. Whenever I get stressed or when times get tough, I just think of him. He keeps me going.