My experience of adult learning courses at Coventry College
Jenny made the decision to return to college after being in lockdown, during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The time allowed her to re-think some of her goals. Jenny shares her experience of adult learning with us.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, like a lot of other people, I was working from home. For me, that alone was a struggle, because it made me realise that the only thing that I enjoyed about my job was the people that I worked with, and now that I was at home away from them all, my job felt very demotivating. I was stuck in a customer service role with no drive and not really sure what to do about it.
Already overstretched in my workload, and with the presence of Covid that was surely eventually going to have financial implications. And here I was desperately unhappy and needing a change. It wasn’t exactly the time to abruptly quit my job, with all of the uncertainties that we were experiencing, and I also didn’t want to hastily go into another job that in time would make me feel exactly the same.
The pandemic gave me the opportunity to step back and think about what I actually wanted to do, what I enjoyed doing, and what I wanted to achieve. I love working with and helping people and given all of the problems that the pandemic brought, I knew that a job in mental health support would be perfect for me.
However, the more that I thought about it the more it seemed so unrealistic. I had no qualifications in mental health so obviously couldn’t just apply for a job in that sector, and to get the qualifications I would need to go back to college, which I assumed was going to be impossible. I thought that I wouldn’t meet any entry requirements to get onto a course and even if I could, I couldn’t possibly afford to do that.
Adult Learning Courses at Coventry College
After a few conversations with friends and family, and searching for answers online, I decided to get in touch with the college, who pointed me in the direction of all of the information that I needed, including all of the Adult Learning Courses at Coventry College.
Straight away I found the Level 3 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health which sounded perfect for me. I didn’t need any prior qualifications, I was eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to help me through my studies, and it was part-time, so that I could carry on working throughout.
18 months later, I can confidently say that not only has going back to college been one of the best and most rewarding decisions of my life, but I enjoyed education so much more as an adult learner; far more than I did during my childhood school days.
Unlike my school days where 90% of what I learnt has had 0% application in my adult life – this time I really wanted to be there and felt enthusiastic about every aspect of college, because I actually wanted to be there!
Having zero knowledge of mental health care, I found one of the best ways to build my confidence was to dive in headfirst. My first lesson on day one moved at 100mph and was definitely a shock to the system – I was sat there thinking “why on earth have I done this?”
I instantly felt out of my depth as every other student shared all of their existing knowledge, whilst I sat there searching online for the terminology that they were using. But, within a few weeks I found myself growing in confidence to speak up, to challenge ideas, and trust in my own process.
My mental health course covered wellbeing, ill-health and even legislation. I never once thought I would find the legislation as fascinating as I did, and yet now it’s finished, I’m as excited as I’ve ever been about anything to use what I’ve learned to help others.
From College to University
The support that Coventry College provided throughout my studies was incredible. The tutors were always on hand to help and suggested texts that I could read in my spare time to improve my knowledge even further. And have now helped me to fill in my university application – in September I will be studying Mental Health Nursing BSc (Hons) at Coventry University.