Kayleigh is 29 years old and graduated from the University of Suffolk this year, having studied Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) studies. Kayleigh decided to get involved with Student Life to share her experience of how she navigated university, whilst living with cancer and having learning difficulties.
I went to university to help me to develop in my career. Starting later in life was scary but I just knew it was something I wanted to do. The first year was very difficult due to having learning difficulties, I also have a diagnosis of Angiosarcoma, a rare type of cancer, so making sure I was eating healthy and exercising was a must.
I graduated with a 2:1 degree, which just shows that with the right support and determination you can aim high and achieve. Two of my main highlights of my time at Uni were being voted the course rep and I had the great honour of delivering the Vote of Thanks speech at graduation.
Since leaving university I started working for a private company helping people break down barriers and gaining employment. I have worked with individuals who have needed housing support, help with addictions, employability skills and more. I am also currently undergoing training to become a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, which is an incredible course and I am so lucky my company are investing in me. I am working on a few projects within this to help change the stigma that surrounds mental health disorders. I work for a very inspiring company and this would not have been possible without my degree.
University also gave me the confidence to start my personal health & wellbeing blog and built my confidence to let others read my writing. This has also led to me writing my first book that should be published early next year.
I thank the UoS for helping me grow and thrive during my time, it really instilled the confidence in myself and the belief that I can create the life and career that I want. I wake up every morning feeling very lucky that I get to go and work somewhere that I love.