Evelyn Dines is a mature Environmental Management student and you can read her story below.
My name is Evelyn Dines, I’m 46 years old. I’m originally from the Philippines, moved to NI after meeting my husband and we now have two sons. I worked in care homes for six years prior to entering back into education.
I am studying Environmental Management and going to focus on Waste Management after finishing my degree and hopefully will go on to a Master's degree in the future.
Originally, I was thinking about doing nursing, and as a carer I thought it would be a good chance to ‘upgrade’ to a nurse but was too difficult with travel/placement commitments and being away from home, it was too intense. However, I always wanted to study and earn a degree since I was young. It will also result in a higher income for me from which I can support my family in NI and the Philippines.
I stopped education for a year after my ‘Restart’ course due to injury so was difficult to get used to full time education again. Essay skills and getting organised for assignments has been difficult but having a good support network from fellow students and lecturer helps.
Before the course, I found it difficult to enrol as I had been out of full-time education for over 20 years. Had to do ‘Restart’ course then Access Course at SERC in which I completed my GCSE Maths and English.
Both my sons and my husband are diagnosed with autism, so I am a carer for them at home, this is a major commitment alongside my education. It’s a challenging course and I’m learning a lot, studying is my ‘escape’. I have some stress with Writing/Essay work, however, my lecturer is very supportive and responds quickly to my queries
If I could give advice to other students, I would say just don't give up, no matter what is in your way. If you really want it just go for it, don't let those obstacles stop you. Those challenges will always be there, but I won’t let those things stop me. There may not always be a positive outcome, but at least you would not have any regrets.