Jasmine Ashraff from High Wycombe has just finished her Health and Social Care Extended Diploma here, with an expected grade of DMM. She is hoping to go on to study mental health nursing at Bucks New University from September. Hear our interview with her to find out about her time at the college and how the Student Services department has helped her.
"My first impression of The Henley College is it is a big campus, however everyone was really welcoming and it just seemed like the happiest place ever.
I chose to come to the College, as I previously attended a grammar school which by the end of my 5 years there, I had realised I was not comfortable and I wanted to change my educational environment.
I was really interested in studying a BTEC as I struggle with exam anxiety, so was looking for something coursework based. In my interview, I opened up about my mental health issues and met with the Head of Safeguarding, Kathryn Caulfield. She told me all about the support offered at the college for students with mental health issues, which sealed the deal for me. I have no regrets about choosing The Henley College!
My struggles with anxiety and depression, and the battle I have faced for my education as a result of my illnesses, have definitely influenced my desire to be a mental health nurse. It is my belief that if my symptoms had been picked up on sooner, I would have had an easier ride on my journey at college. Hopefully by becoming a mental health nurse, I will prevent other teenagers being in the position I have been. I’ve always wanted to help people since I was a young age, as I’ve been through a lot with my mental health and want to help individuals that are going through the same struggles.
I would like to work with adolescents in inpatient psychiatric units, following time in general hospital wards. I’ve spent enough time in hospital to know that if a nurse cares for you, it makes the world of difference. I want to be that nurse that helps a young person realise that recovery is worth it.
I owe everything to the student services staff: Kathryn Caulfield, Zoe Jelfs, Jo Norris and Julia Donovan. From day one, they have had my back and have supported me through every step of my journey. I have laughed, cried and bonded with these ladies and they never failed to be there for me when I needed them the most. The Student Services team at the college has been the best part of my recovery and I honestly hope another student gets the support from them that I have, because they are four incredibly patient, caring and utterly hilarious women and without them I would not be who I am today.
My best piece of advice for a 15-16 year old thinking about their options it to consider BTECs. It isn’t “a cop out” or an “easy option”. It’s challenging, but comes with a practical element you don’t find with A-Levels. BTECs give you so many life skills such as time management, organisation (the biggest one I learnt), and independent learning. There are more options than A-Levels."
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