Asking Adult Learners: Jennifer

Jennifer is an adult learner studying Physiotherapy, here at Bradford. In this blog, she chats to us about her journey back into education, the support she’s accessed and student life at Bradford. 

Jennifer Buck

Why did you decide to return to learn?

After already having an active 10-year career in a different field, I was ready for a change. During that time, I worked with a lot of physiotherapists and I’ve never met one that didn’t enjoy their job, which really appealed to me. I had to plan a few years in advance to get the place that I wanted and even spent 18 months doing an Access course part-time to be able to gain the points needed to meet the entry requirements.

I feel that if it’s something you really want to do, putting the extra time in to make sure you’re prepared definitely makes sense. When I applied for the BSc Physiotherapy course, I got my first choice and have enjoyed every moment since. It’s been challenging returning as an adult learner, but there is so much support available to make sure I’m keeping up with the younger students too!

A banner for the University's Disability Service.What support have you been given as an adult learner?

The support from UoB has been nothing but incredible! As an adult learner who commutes to Bradford and owns my own home, going back to study was quite a daunting prospect. I’ve used probably every onsite service going this year to help me along!

The money and finance advice team helped me to work out how to make the most of university whilst still being able to pay my mortgage and bills. The Disability Service has helped to ensure that I won’t be at a disadvantage when I am onsite and throughout my exams, and Academic Skills puts on such a range of optional courses where I’ve been able to fill in any learning gaps I’ve had after being away from studying for so long. The amount of support available to everyone is so vast that I can always find what I need in just a few clicks.

What’s your favourite thing about campus?

I commute to Bradford from home so I haven’t spent much time on campus this year due to COVID-19 and online/blended learning. However, whenever I do come on to the campus, it’s always nice how friendly and helpful everyone is. If I can’t find where I need to be or want to find a coffee shop locally, I know that I can ask anyone and they’re always happy to help. There’s a real friendly atmosphere around the site and everyone is very approachable.

Partial exterior of the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford city centre.

The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford city centre.

How do you manage your work-life balance?

I own my own home and so spend a lot of time commuting from home to Bradford and back. Instead of letting this eat into my personal time, I use it to relax and reflect on the day. I also like to put on some music, listen to podcasts or video blogs from others in my chosen field and make the most of the time whilst travelling.

Due to COVID-19, the social-side of university has been a bit sparce this year, but that hasn’t stopped me making friends and finding new hobbies. As much as it’s important to keep on top of studies, it’s important to look after your own wellbeing too. Bradford has a lot going on, from events, sports clubs, places to eat and the theatre. The transport links are great too. I’ve found that getting any work done as soon as it is given to me means that my weekends are my own for socialising and exploring.

What’s your advice for adult learners considering applying to Bradford?

Just go for it! The worst that can happen is that you’ll get a ‘no’, but you’re more likely to be offered an alternative which you may even find could be better suited to you. There are so many tools and support pathways available that no matter what else you have getting in the way, the University can help to ensure that you do the best you can. Don’t be scared to ask questions either, everyone’s journey and experience is unique, embrace it.

Want to know more about adult learner support at Bradford? Head to our dedicated webpage.

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