I’ve always wanted to help people. As a kid I remember taking care of my younger siblings whenever anyone was sick at home. I’ve been a community healthcare assistant for 4, nearly 5 years. I knew I wanted to stay in health and social care and I wanted to progress my career further. Nursing seemed like an ideal path for me to take. I wasn’t always sure that I wanted to do children’s nursing. I’ve done a few placements in hospital, I worked in the radiology department. It gave me a chance to observe other nurses as well as see if radiology was for me. I’ve also done a work experience place with the nurses which made me certain that I wanted to do nursing. It was only a couple of months before my actual UCAS application that I was certain that this was for me. I wouldn’t be happy just working behind a machine and sat down in front of a computer, so I wanted something more, something with the human in it. I feel like I get a lot from it and I feel like I make a difference in people’s lives. I feel comfortable around the operating room, around the surgeons and anaesthetists and then I saw the chance to progress further and to make a difference. I was working as a healthcare assistant. I learnt loads of different skills. I was in loads of different situations, I was in people’s homes, by myself or with other healthcare professionals. I enjoyed it and it was invaluable. It definitely made me realise midwifery was for me. I have the first-hand experience of witnessing a very competent social worker dealing with a mental health client. She was amazing, she went that extra mile, and I thought to myself – if I should ever change profession that’s what I want to do. I want to be able to make a difference like she was able to do. I am always learning and I am always willing to learn. I think that’s the main thing with it comes to healthcare. Because you can’t be sure that you know everything. You have to be open. I chose occupational therapy because of my own personal experience of having a mental health illness and it was something that I felt was really important for me to do. From experiencing occupational therapy I realised the impact that having things in your everyday life can help you improve your recovery and get better. During my voluntary work, I worked with homeless people and as I was talking to them and getting to know them some of them told me about their life stories and that had a really big impact in me. When I was at school I did struggle, but it wasn’t picked up for the fact that I was dyslexic which was really a defining moment for me because I thought I wasn’t academic enough, I would never be good enough for university so I worked in care work for 30-odd years and I started to see bad practice and I thought actually I’m not happy with this. So I went to college and did the access course which prepared me for university and when I got to university they talked about additional learning needs which they paid for 75% of the costs and then when I realised I had dyslexia it just made me realise I think differently and that actually I am good enough to do university. My first mark I got 35% which was a resubmission but my last mark was 80% because the uni puts all the extra input in to help you overcome your needs. If you really want to do it, if it is your dream, go for it. Do your research, take all the necessary steps that you need to take and believe in yourself. And don’t be afraid to ask for help because asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. university is like a tool and the more effort you put in the more enthusiasm you have to accomplish your goals, the more you will enjoy university.