Mother of two Lee-Anne Jameson had a very special reason for applying to the part-time BA in English Literature and Community Engagement at the University of Bristol six years ago.
“I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April 2008. Suddenly time was much more precious and I realised that if I continued delaying things I may never have a chance to do them at all.”
Now six years later, Lee-Anne is preparing to graduate and will be among but a handful of people in the UK qualified with this degree.
“The course has been one of the richest experiences of my life,” she says. “Meeting the other students was great and I particularly enjoyed being introduced to new authors and rich literary texts.”
"The community engagement part of the course also taught me how to be tolerant of others and how to facilitate a discussion with multiple opinions,” she added.
Currently working as a library assistant for South Gloucestershire libraries, Lee-Anne is keen to continue her community engagement work by advocating the benefits of higher education to marginalised local groups. And now that she’s finished, will the donning of her graduation garb mark the end of Lee-Anne’s studies?
“No way!” she emphasises. “I’m considering doing an MA in writing for young people at Bath Spa University, after a little break first,” she says.
“If anyone asked me about whether they should apply for the course, I’d just say ‘Do it! Do it! Do it!’. Seriously though, and particularly if you have children, family support and tolerance is very important. Many an evening my husband has come home after a twelve-hour day to find the kids unfed, breakfast dishes still on the side and he's had to do absolutely everything! It's tough for everyone but he knew how important this was to me and is very proud of my achievement. He’s probably a little relieved it’s all over too,” she smiles… and then adds,
“…just wait til I break the MA news to him!”