Go Higher for me was a re-awakening. It was my first foray back into academia after 4 years off due to illness. I began in September 2009 and took modules in English Language, Philosophy and History. I had originally – as an 18 year old – completed A-levels, but my grades were sub-standard and I had little options. At 23 I realised I had not finished with education and my intention was to use Go Higher to earn myself a place on an undergraduate History course at a prestigious university. Fortunately I achieved my aim and studied History at the University of Liverpool, graduating in Summer 2013 during a lavish ceremony at the Liverpool Philharmonic.
During my 3 years at Liverpool I developed a keen interest in Politics and International Relations, and so applied for – and secured – a place at Durham University to read for a Masters in European International Relations. I am enjoying it immensely and my academic experience – its foundations in Go Higher – will hopefully grow next year; I am currently in the process of developing PhD proposals with several potential supervisors.
My life changed dramatically when I embarked on my Go Higher degree.
From the outset I was treated with respect and my ambitions (which originally seemed ludicrous even to me) were taken seriously and fostered by the staff. It gave me opportunity and ability, and instilled in me an ethic of ‘work hard and you can achieve anything’. My classes were always enjoyable and the modules I took challenged me and built-up both my general and subject-specific skill-set. As well as this, a huge factor in my success was the friendliness, approachability and selflessness of the staff.
The people I met on Go Higher – my peers – will be friends for life, and I am in regular contact with many of them, all of which have now graduated – or will be graduating – with honours degrees (I even met my girlfriend in 126 Mount Pleasant where Go Higher sessions took place – 4 years and still going strong!!!!). The people that I studied with wanted to be there, and wanted to learn; to better themselves. This created a positive and motivational atmosphere which allowed us all to excel and realise our potential. For all of these things I will forever be indebted to Go Higher, the University of Liverpool, its staff and supporters.
Without Go Higher, and all that came with it, I would not be in the position I am in today. It is the integral element of which my subsequent academic career has been built upon. It is a route into university – and qualifications – which can change every facet of your life, and allow you to be anything you want to be.