Kerry studied BSc Hons Mental Health and Wellbeing at Wrexham from 2017 - 2021.

I have never seen myself as bright or clever, never enjoyed school and could not last longer than the first term in college! So at the age of 32, after having my children and working numerous jobs, I did something completely out of character and applied to university. The last time I'd done any type of studying had been for my GCSE's and an NVQ in health and social care! After scouring the university website, I came across the BSc mental health and wellbeing degree and knew if I were to study anything, this had to be the degree for me. For personal reasons, I wanted to gain a better insight around the subject.

Welcome week in 2017, I sat mid class with a bunch of strange faces about to start the foundation year. I sat nervously listening to others talking about their lives, their previous roles and experiences and thought 'wow, I must be here to just make the numbers up!'

That year flew by and with every pass I received, my confidence grew a little more. By level 4, I was loving my new found life, finally doing something for me! I was meeting new friends, learning new information and engaging in university life as much as possible. I became peer mentor, helped to create the mental health society and enrolled on short courses to boost my CV. But I always ensured my assignments came first. It's not easy studying while life continues around you but it's possible.

I'd attend the library on days when I had no lectures because I found being in the university environment helped me to concentrate better. I'd print off my assignment briefs, have them to hand and mark off each part as I completed it. Becoming familiar with the learning outcomes also helped me to keep on track and ensure I included all the information required to pass. I'd make appointments with tutors if I felt a little overwhelmed with the task in hand and would always be given helpful advice on how to approach the assignment more positively.

Level 6 was my hardest year personally by far. Having lost my Nan within hours of my first lecture, yet another lockdown meaning all three children were to be home schooled and my husband losing his job, I sat and contemplated finishing my degree altogether. But, having sat and spoken with my personal tutor who reminded me of all my hard work so far I decided to take each week as they came and continue the best I could. And, through tears and many meltdowns, I persevered!

When that long awaited email came through from the examination board awarding me with a first class honours degree, I sat and cried. I thought of every teacher I'd had at school who'd told me I'd amount to nothing, the numerous unrewarding jobs I'd done just to put food in my children's mouths and worst of all, my own demons who'd remained in my head for such a long time telling me I'd missed my opportunity to better myself. But I'd done it! I'd proved them all wrong, I'd made my family proud and most importantly, I was proud of myself.

It may sound very cliché for me to say if I can do it then anyone can, but it's true. Hard work, a little bit of selfishness at times and determination pays off. Enrolling onto a degree is the first step to making that change and from level 3, right through to level 6, your place in that classroom is deserved. I truly had 4 of the best years at Wrexham University and will forever appreciate the opportunity I was given to study.