Category Archives: Student Stories

My Go Higher Experience, by Kerry Furlong

If you’re reading this because you want to know if Go Higher is worth a try, or whether you should apply or not – perhaps you’re a little unsure if it’s for you – heed my advice: Do It! Apply now! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Need a little more persuading? Allow me to take you back – way, way, back – to summertime last. It was June 2018. I had been made redundant from my job of ten years, suffered a betrayal of shocking magnitude, and fell into a deep depression. I was lost, between jobs and feeling regretful of my lack of qualifications; I wanted more out of life, I wanted to get back into education, and I needed help getting there.

From Liverpool to Auchinleck, by Sandie Duffy

Today I handed in my notice, I am leaving the job I have done for 12 years, the job that pays the mortgage, the bills and keeps the teenage son in food.  In seven weeks, I will be starting as a first year undergraduate at the University of Liverpool studying Irish Studies.

My name is Sandie and I am 54. I left school 38 years ago with a couple of CSEs – that’s what we got before O levels.  I had no clue somebody from a Secondary Modern School could go to university, all I knew was I had to find a job.  The only thing my mum ever made me do was learn to type, and that was my ticket to the world of work.  Various jobs mostly clerical, solicitors, hospitals, insurance companies followed over the years. I had no clue what I wanted to do, never had a career goal, except to earn enough money to get through the week.  When I had my son and ended up a single mum, I had to find work that would fit in around him, so I got a job working for University of Liverpool as a cleaner, and that’s the job I have just handed my notice in on.

Go Higher – or Go Home? By Amy McDaid

My name is Amy, I am 27 and today is the day I got my overall grade for Go Higher and I got 70%! I could not be any more ecstatic with myself if I tried. However, I could not possibly take all the for credit for my final grade, the lecturers and the other students played a massive part in my studies and achievements and I do not think I could have got such a great grade without the support from them all! But enough about me boasting about how intelligent I think I am (or now know) It is the journey that I and so many others took to get to this point that really matters and in the words of Drake “We started from the bottom, now we here”

From ‘slightly terrified’ to about to be arts undergrad – by Mark Nuttall

So, we have reached the end of Go Higher 2017- 2018, and quite the journey it’s been! My names Mark and I’m 30. I did well at school to be honest, coming out with decent A Level Grades at 18, but then life and the prospect of earning some money seemed far more appealing to an 18-year-old me than the prospect of 3 more years of study, so I jumped at the first job that was willing to take me on and began the daily grind. After trying my hand at several different jobs over the last 12 years, and not really finding them all that satisfying (and hitting 30 without much to show for it probably played a part too!) I decided to explore the possibility of University.

Steps, by Marie Court, Go Higher 2017-18

After recently completing Go Higher at the University of Liverpool, I can honestly say it is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made and I am so pleased I decided to take up the offer of a place. I am a mum of two children (22 and 17, now grown up). I left school at 16 with a couple of qualifications O level/CSEs, yes that long ago! By the way I am 48. I went on to find myself in many different jobs that were very much without opportunities and once I had my children I suppose I was content to work part time to fit around bringing up the kids.

From Small Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow! By Gary Stevens, 3rd year psychology student

Before I began this journey, I was fortunate enough to get a job straight out of school. My exam grades were far from overwhelming and, at 18, I had no real work experience yet it seemed I had landed on my feet quite successfully. I remember people telling me how I could forge a great career in the civil service. As time went on I remained in my job but I was never truly satisfied. I always felt as if something was missing but could never put my finger on it. I would try and discuss this with my family and ask their advice which was simple… “You have a good job, don’t throw it away”. Or…  “It’s a safe job, so stay put and get a pension.” Stupidly, and against my gut feeling, I listened and stayed put.

SO? By ex-Go Higher student & current tutor, Barbara Milne

So, we’re on the middle day of Go Higher induction week, here at the University of Liverpool. ‘So’ seems an apt word for today. Any initial nervousness, on all sides, I think, has abated a little and our new students have settled down to some group work. So, why am I so hung up on this word “So”?    It’s nostalgia if I’m honest. I’m a former Go Higher student. One of the narratives I was lucky enough to study during my time on the course, was Seamus Heaney’s translation of the epic poem Beowulf.

Reflections on Go Higher by Lauren (class of 2017)

I was really lucky to get onto Go Higher because I only found out about its existence within a few days of the application closing date. I had applied for another Access to Higher Education course and was dreading the childcare implications (I’m a single mother) since it ran over three days. Go Higher, however, is one full day a week and much more manageable, and I’ve had time to organize childcare for when I start my degree full-time in September. To be honest, I couldn’t believe my luck at having discovered Go Higher for another reason –

A Go Higher Student’s Personal Story by Dominic Henry

I’ll start with some information about me. In school I made the same cocky mistakes a lot of teens do; i.e. I decided there was no point going to school because, well, what could they possibly teach me that I didn’t already know? So, I spent all of 3 hours a day there before deciding that that was enough. As you can imagine my exams didn’t go great, in fact I failed them all. But that was okay as I started working in a hairdresser’s a week after I finished school and was going to college to train as a stylist. I did this and qualified as planned – but that’s when life hit me full time.

A personal story by Graham Moran…

After leaving my degree studies at 18 years old, feeling like I never wanted to return to any form of higher education ever again, I felt wrung out, tired and wanted to explore the other side of the pavement. As the years passed, I felt a sense of disappointment at myself for not pursuing education further. I had always enjoyed it, at school and at A-Level, and aged 31, felt the time was right for me to take action and stop pondering ‘what if?’ After hitting the proverbial glass ceiling working within hospitality, I made the decision to apply for Go Higher at the University of Liverpool in the summer of 2015 with the aim of furthering myself academically.