Jess Tout

Social Work - BA (Hons)

Jess realised that she no longer wanted to be a beauty therapist and that she was now ready to start university. She had always wanted to go, but she when she left school at 16 she didn't think university would be in her future.  Starting university as a mature student and worrying whether she would fit in with her flatmates was a worry at first, but BCU made her feel a part of a university that is inclusive and supports every student. 

"After a few years out, at 21 I felt I was in the right place to commit to uni. To get into BCU though, I had to complete an Access to Higher Education course as I didn’t have the qualifications that I needed for my Social Work course.

I’ve fitted in well at BCU. I’ve made a range of different friends from different courses. I found it hard to fit in with my flatmates to start with because I don’t drink or go clubbing very much, but I’ve met lots of other people on my course and societies that I have joined.

I joined the BCU Equine Society which I go to every week along with socials which take place each term. I’ve also taken part in different activities which have been organized by my course. I also found that becoming a student ambassador helped me to fit in much quicker too. It gave me the opportunity to meet other students who could give me their own experiences as well as learning about the different courses which are available to students. This made me feel much more at ease knowing that halls weren’t the only place to meet people.

My personal tutors are great too. They meet with me every term to check I’m getting on well and to make sure I’m happy and don’t need any extra support. My course has enabled me to feel more confident in voicing my own opinions and having the courage to stand up and present in front of my class. BCU has also allowed me to be more confident when meeting people outside of the course.

Since becoming a student, I’ve definitely grown as a person. I have become more confident and feel that because of this I’ve been able to take part in societies and university activities that I would not normally do. My course has also changed my personal values and changed the way I act especially because I am going into a professional career now and need to act accordingly. Not that I ever acted out before!

Starting university as a mature student and worrying whether I would fit in with my flatmates was a worry at first, but BCU has made me feel a part of something. To me, ‘I AM BCU’ means that I’m part of a university that is inclusive and supports every student. BCU makes me feel that I have a voice and I’m not just another student but I am counted for and my opinions matter."

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