Aleesha Stocks

I would like to share my experience of going into higher education at the University Centre Wakefield.  

Before accepting a place at the University Centre, I studied Level 3 at Wakefield College. 

Unfortunately, in my second year, I was placed into supported accommodation. This was due to my mother passing away, as well as being estranged from my father. My mental health was not good either. I was taking part in therapy and taking medication. Wakefield College was very supportive of me during this time. My tutor gave me the option of taking days off or exiting my lesson for five or ten minutes if I felt overwhelmed. I felt comfortable in confiding in my tutor. 

Wakefield College offered me counselling sessions, as well as any additional help with studying or writing assignments. They would often keep in touch with my care workers and support workers, making sure I felt supported and safe.  

I was still in supported accommodation during the Coronavirus outbreak and lockdown. My tutor helped me tremendously. We would have tutorials together and she would give me tips and advice on what to do. She taught me how to achieve my goals by overcoming one small problem at a time. She taught me so many skills that I still use today. Any worries that I had, I knew that my tutor would happily listen to me and she would take any action needed in order to help me overcome my problems.   

I had a lot of worries about entering higher education. I was very depressed, and I would procrastinate so much. Because of all this, I spoke to my tutor about it. Over a year, I have learned so much from her. She has taught me how to break big problems down. I now know that I should concentrate on small individual problems. This made things so much easier for me. She showed me not to try and do my assignments or my study all in one go. She explained that I can do one or two paragraphs at a time whilst travelling home from university. She also taught me to add the word “yet” to my sentences. I used to say, “I’m not that good at drumming.” Now I say, “I’m not that good at drumming yet.”

I was worried about passing my assignments as I would often struggle to study. I voiced my worries and concerns to my tutor when I started my first year of University. She emailed a lovely man named Andrew. He worked with students who may struggle to write assignments and how to set them out, amongst other things.  University Centre Wakefield also made sure I had access to any equipment that I may need to study such as a laptop and stationery.   

Halfway through my first year of university I found a flat to move into. I was 18 therefore I could no longer be in supported accommodation. Upon moving into my flat, my tutor informed me that if I needed to take any days off from University then I was welcome to do so. She would check up on me and make sure that everything was going smoothly. It was very over-whelming but my tutor helped me so much.  

I don’t feel like a student at University Centre Wakefield.  I feel like Wakefield University is my family. They have been there for me through thick and thin. They have supported me even when I didn’t feel like continuing the course due to my mental health. I feel that University Centre Wakefield has an exceptional support system in place. As a student who was in care, I felt that Wakefield University supported me in not only studying, but in making sure I was happy and healthy. Wakefield University has helped me during my darkest times. I feel like I can talk to them about anything. They made sure that I knew exactly who to go to if I had any problems or worries.