William's story

William, a mature LLB Law student, shares how Bristol welcomed and supported him with returning to education to pursue a new career path.

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'I was apprehensive about whether I would fit in'

After leaving school, I chose to fulfil my childhood dream and enrolled as a Royal Marines Commando, where I developed a passion for law and advocacy. I knew that in order to pursue that passion through to a legal career, I would need to go to university.

To get there, I had to retake my GCSEs, complete an Access to Higher Education Diploma, and apply to multiple universities. I almost didn’t apply to Bristol as I believed it wasn’t for people like me: a mature student – from a state school – returning to education. I was apprehensive about whether I would fit in or feel like a 'real student' because of my age.

'A sense of belonging'

However, when I reached out to Bristol, they were not just helpful with the application process - they were warm, friendly, welcoming, and made me feel part of the family from the outset. I soon realised it was where I wanted to be, and that the grade requirements for Bristol come as result of hard work and dedication: a set of skills that come naturally as a mature student.

When I started my course, any feelings of angst soon turned into a sense of belonging: I was welcomed into Bristol with open arms, not just through being treated equal by the lecturers who teach us, but also from my peers who I can now earnestly and happily call my friends.

If you’re thinking of returning to education, disregard any stereotype, quash any self-doubt, and reach the potential you’re capable of.

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