Logan Tyler
Access to Nursing
At the time I discovered SWAP and returned to education I had been working in customer service for over twelve years, before that I had been labouring on building sites and been unemployed. I had hit what felt like a glass ceiling in the place I worked as an Assistant Manager, promotion was nowhere in sight for various reasons, my son had just been born and I had been considering a change of direction for what felt like a long time already.

I was told that to get to university as a mature student I would need to complete an access course, firstly to improve my grades and secondly to get a feel for the classroom again. It had been over 20 years since I had written an essay or done any sort of meaningful study. I decided that I would have nothing to lose by going to college for a year, even if it turned out not to be for me, I would still have been learning, increased my skills and made some new friends along the way.

I had all but given up for that year’s intake though, my local college told me their programme was full. It was whilst reading a newspaper on my break at work one day that I happened to find an advert for a college that was an hour away that still had available spaces. I went for it - timetabling wasn’t too bad, three full days and I could either catch up on reading or sleep on the bus. I was accepted on the Access to Nursing course at Fife College with a week to prepare myself. I needn’t have worried.

At College I found a supportive group of classmates, the majority of which were in my age bracket from various walks of life, a real mix of people. The people are what made the course, everyone in the same boat and the support from the tutors was endless. Yes, there appeared to be a lot of work and at times it was difficult, then I remembered why I was there and what I was doing it for. I won some recognition at College for my attitude and performance which came in the form of a cash award and certificate from NHS Fife Scholarship Fund, an extra little bonus to an already great programme and another sign to me that I was on the right path.

I completed the course and received good grades, and was accepted by Dundee University and so in Sept 2017 I started my degree course and now in my second year I am not looking back. Without SWAP I would not have been able to enter university and would not be looking forward to job security, improving the future prospects for myself and family and having a rewarding career that will challenge me at every turn. I wasn’t ready for all that when I left high school, now that I am, I aim to embrace all that entails through hard work and focusing on my inspiration, my family.

I used to tell myself that at whatever stage I found myself at I would change direction, those were just words. When I finally took the first nerve-wracking step into a classroom again it was to prove to myself that I could do better, inspired by my months old son and wanting him to have someone to look up to, it was time to act on my words. Anyone considering a SWAP programme should jump in with both feet, there can only be positive outcomes for people who are ready to return to the classroom.
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