Tabitha Garnsworthy

I am a single parent to my 4 year old son, Rhodes. When returning to work as a Bid Coordinator after Maternity Leave, I decided to make the leap of returning back to full time education in perseverance of my dream job; a Family Lawyer. It was a tough decision to make, but one I have never regretted. 

During my time as a mature student at the University of Exeter, I have encountered many struggles and difficulties from guilt in not spending enough time with my son, or not being able to drop him off and pick him up from school each day, to finance concerns, and child care issues, to time management. All of which the University were very forthcoming in helping me with; from allowing mitigation against my absences due to his sickness, and the tutors and lecturers being understanding and accommodating in helping me catch up with missed work, to providing bursaries for help with child care and maintenance costs. 

The journey has by no means, been easy; academically the demands of a Law Degree at a Russel Group University speak for itself - it requires hard work and dedication. Alongside raising a child, I found that time management was crucial to ensure a healthy balance of work, home life and a social life.

To anyone whom is in a similar situation to myself, my main piece of advice would be; manage time effectively - be realistic about what you have to do, and the time you have to do it in. Don't try to be Superwoman; invest in a diary to schedule lectures, seminars and study time - and stick to it! Write notes, use highlighters and colour code as you go to make it easier when it comes to revision.  And ultimately - have fun! Remember why you're doing it. Don't let the pressures of a degree take away the opportunity of learning, and enjoying it. Take everything in moderation, and see the light at the end of the tunnel... 

I am now due to sit my final 3rd year exams (in May) and have a training contract as a Divorce Lawyer commencing in June 2018. The light at the end of my tunnel is shining - and I’m on the path to winning my dream career - Something I never thought would happen! 

The last three years have flown by, my motto when considering application, going through the application process, and throughout my time completing the LLB is; "Never give up on the dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it... The time will pass anyway".