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Access to HE - Lisa Wolfe 

My name is Lisa Wolfe and I'm 41 and I have just completed an undergraduate social work degree at the University of York.

I think I was 15 when I left school, didn't particularly have a good experience of education really. My Mum and Step-Father managed pubs so every year or two years we'd move to another town, and it's quite difficult I guess to go from one school to another and keep up to the same level.

I always thought that there was something more that I wanted to do, you know, I was working in these jobs which I didn't particularly enjoy, and I used to think - oh you know I'd like to do something else, and obviously I knew the path to take would be education. And it was only further on when I had a child, was more financially secure, that I investigated you know what other options were out there to go back into education. I decided to just have a look on the internet, and that's where I came across the Access course at York. I went and met the tutor of the course and he was lovely - straight away he put me at ease, you know - we can help you, and he was so positive.

I enrolled on the Access course. Initially it was quite scary because I didn't know the people, I didn't know what we were going to be learning, I didn't know the tutors - the unknown I guess. And straight away I loved it. The teaching style was completely different to school, because you're an adult, you're spoke to like you're an adult. I think I learnt a lot about time management. We did English, we did academic writing as well, which the tutor basically taught us how to craft an essay together, the technical side of things as well as, you know, knowing the content to put in.

We were encouraged to go to university, it was always talked about. I applied to the University of York. It was fantastic when I got the interview, and they told me at the end of the interview that I was in as well which was even better. I think coming to university was a little bit of a culture shock, and it was a little bit scary like anything is, but I soon settled in. It was fun, I did really enjoy the course - it was hard work at times, but you know if you pick the right course for yourself it is fun and very interesting and you are with like-minded people as well which all helps.

The Access course had a positive impact on me because I realised that I've got the skills within me to be able to do education, I just needed to, I needed a little bit of guidance to find those skills. I do feel that I have as much chance as anyone else, you know when applying for jobs, somebody that with experience, because I've now got the degree, I feel like you know that I've got a fair chance to hopefully pursue, you know, a career in social work.