33-year-old, Stacey Waugh from Paisley took the life changing decision to return to College following a personal bereavement. She decided life was too short to do something she didn’t love and decided to go after her dream career.

Stacey studied HNC Social Sciences at our Waterfront campus and is currently about to finish my 3rd year at the University of Glasgow studying History and Sociology. Speaking of her life changing decision to return to education Stacey said,

“I wanted to do something with my life that mattered, I wanted a career. I was working a call centre, and I decided that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life. I originally wanted to do something in the Criminal Justice system and I was offered a place on the NC Police Studies course so I decided to take the chance.”

Aged 27 at the time Stacey was exceptionally nervous about going back into Education, she said “I doubted if I would be able to cope or if I had the academic ability to succeed. Little did I know, I would fall in love with learning. I started to achieve things I never thought id be able to.”  

Before progressing to her HNC Social Science, Stacey undertook the Access to Humanities course. Although academically she had achieved what she need to progress to university she didn’t feel ready personally,

“My close friends I had met at college, who are now my best friends went on to Uni and I decided to stay behind and do HNC which was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, but I also believe one of the bravest. The support I received at college was outstanding, my lecturers are some of the most incredible and inspirational people I have ever met, I would not be where I am today without their support and encouragement.”

Whilst she found the experience challenging Stacey would recommend the course to anyone saying,

“My experience confirmed to me that I was capable of anything I put my mind to. It helped me build my self-confidence. I even did readings at the Holocaust Memorial Day events at college, prior to this I would never have got up in front of a room of people and spoke. This course especially helped me understand the importance of taking ownership of my own learning with regards to managing my workloads and time management skills.”

Stacey found studying for her Graded unit to be her favourite part of the HNC and after working extremely hard she passed with a B overall. She felt studying the experience gave her the skills she needed to be able to successfully study for and pass exams at university. With dreams of becoming a lecturer herself one day Stacey said,  

“The skills I learned in HNC I use everyday inside and outside of Uni. I want to do for others what my lecturers done for me, helped me grow, evolve and succeed. I would recommend the college as coming here was one the best decisions I ever made in my life. College is the reason I am who I am today. The lecturing and support staff are outstanding and give the support and encouragement you need to succeed - not all superheros wear capes! They believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself! A wise woman, (my lecturer!) once taught me that power posing really works! I used to stand outside the classroom before every assessment and power pose, I still do it before exams and before presentations or essay writing until this day, it’s never failed me yet!”

Having received offers from all 5 University courses that she applied for including 3 unconditional offers to study at the University of Glasgow, Stacey said this is the proudest moment of her life,

“I had to pinch myself when the offers came through, I thought they had made a mistake but here I am about to finish my 3rd year and I am doing excellent, I have even managed a few A’s!

When asked what she advice would be to someone in a similar situation Stacey said, “Take that leap and go for it. Especially as a mature student there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding to go back into education but there is so much support available financially and personally. I also suffer fibromyalgia and I sought support from the Enabling Services team and they were fantastic, I could not have done it without them! My advice is that growth does not come from comfort. I’m so glad I pushed myself out with my comfort zone and just went for it! I will never ever regret my decision to go back to college and study.”

Check out our Social Science courses, giving you access to an exciting range of career paths or further study: