It can feel daunting going back into education as a mature learner, but it could be a turning point in your life which could completely change your future prospects.
47-year-old Sarah Gotheridge took the brave decision to return to College to study a university-level course, and she told us that coming back to college is the best thing she’s ever done.
After graduating with a first-class BA (Hons) Art and Design (Fashion) degree with us in 2019, Sarah is now busy completing a Masters Degree at Nottingham Trent University, alongside running her own online business.
She explains what it was like when she joined, and her experience studying towards a degree at College:
“I loved the place from the first time I entered the Adams Building for an interview. There’s a real sense of history and creativity that comes from the location, which is placed right in the heart of the lace industry.
“There was a feeling of community that was really important to me as a returning mature student. I felt very anxious at the prospect of returning to education and on the day I came for my interview, I hadn’t made my mind up if I was going to or not. But I left feeling excited and reassured that it was the right decision.
“The Lecturers are knowledgeable, passionate about the course and teaching, and they clearly care about the students as individuals.
“When I first visited the studios, the place was a hive of activity, with a very diverse student population, and it just felt like a lovely environment to be in. I didn’t even consider applying elsewhere, I just knew Nottingham College was the right place for me.”
Alongside studying towards her Masters, Sarah’s busy running her online business selling vintage-inspired bags and accessories, as well as producing handmade lavender bags for Kew Gardens’ gift-wear range.
“I love the freedom of running my own business and the satisfaction it brings. Designing gifts for people to enjoy is a wonderful feeling.
“I’ve always known that I didn’t want to work in high street or fast fashion because I’m more interested in bespoke design. The course confirmed that for me by giving real insight into the fashion industry, enabling me to make more informed decisions about my future.
“During the course, we covered a wide area of subjects within fashion design, which really enhanced my skill set. For me, the course struck a really good balance between developing creativity and the practical skills needed to work within the fashion industry, whatever sector that may be.
“My tutors came from such a wide range of backgrounds and were always happy to share their experiences of the reality of working within the fashion industry, which they reflected with the tasks given for each project.
Returning to education was daunting, but I’m so glad I did – I can honestly say that coming back to college is the best thing I’ve ever done.— Sarah