Creative Writing & English

May 2012

Where did you Study?

De Montfort University

What did you Study?

Creative Writing and English

What year did you Graduate?

2011

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Thoughtful, depressed, loving

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

I started looking and applying for jobs after a couple of weeks and I volunteered in my son’s primary school to do real work, such as finger painting and dot to dots! For the first two weeks I made the most of having my life back ie. I read trashy magazines, instead of ye boring old textbooks the size of yellow pages, cooked proper food that didn’t go from oven to freezer to plate and stayed in bed until afternoons.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I am a teaching assistant, working with 12 – 16 year olds. It is a stepping stone on the way to my dream job (primary school teacher) but it has made me think that I am unsure whether I would prefer to work in primary or secondary, so I’m going to stick with this until I am sure of what I want to do.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

I think that Uni has helped me because I would struggle to become a teacher without having my degree. However, I also think having a degree is overrated because whilst you are there it’s hard to build up work experience, so other people have worked their way up in companies, and when you leave Uni, you’re only just getting started!

However, if I didn’t go to Uni then I probably would have got forced into a job that I hated with no opportunities. I also wouldn’t have met the amazing people that I did and learnt the valuable things it taught me.

A vocational degree would probably be better to enter straight into a high paid career, as with an English degree there’s no specific job area that is crying out for it. With the fees having gone up to £9000 per year, I wouldn’t even consider going at this price because I don’t think that my earnings after Uni would be worth that amount and I don’t think the whole experience is worth that much!

Describe your Uni experience? Did you face any obstacles? The positives, the negatives, reveal all. Terrible lecturers can be anonymous!

Throughout Uni I felt like a bit of a loner, an outsider and like I didn’t fit in. My son was only two and a half when I started so whilst everyone else was living in halls, enjoying life away from their families for the first time (I had already been living away from my parents since 16) and going to the pub after lectures, I had a house to look after and was bringing up a child as a single, young mum. I did make a few select and special friends, but I feel like I never had the ‘full’ Uni experience of living in halls, getting drunk and being pushed home in a trolley etc. The first two years I managed to keep up with deadlines; the third year, I slipped behind in a lot of things, struggled to cope, and nearly gave up three months before the course finished. However, all of the teaching staff on my course were amazingly supportive and went out of their way to support me.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

My working week ahead includes working intensively with pupils who need to meet deadlines for their GCSE assessments and a non-uniform day on Friday!

That’s it Sarah*, you have been wonderful.

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