Then, during my twenties, I had several conversations where I felt my ignorance - one time, I got something wrong when chatting to a new acquaintance at a party and felt really embarrassed when someone pointed out my mistake. It was just a silly slip-up, but over time I realised I had missed out by leaving school. In January 2005, I decided to do something about it. I looked into online courses and chose to study for an AS, the first half of an A Level course in English. I set myself the challenge and wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I paid a bit extra for a company offering personal tuition as well as online material. When I told my friends and colleagues about my decision, they were really impressed.
It wasn’t easy juggling study with my work as an air hostess; there are factors like jet lag and fatigue involved when flying that you can’t really plan for. I took my books and my laptop with me when I was flying long haul. Studying in hotel rooms during stopovers wasn’t much fun, and I felt boring to have to decline invitations from friends to go out. I did have moments when I felt like dropping the books and going out with my friends, and at times I wondered whether I would ever finish the course, but I just kept on focusing on my goal telling myself it was for my own personal development and that got me through. My friends were also a fantastic support all through my studies.
I've finished my AS now and did a lot better than I expected. When the results came through, I really felt like I had achieved something. Now I’ve moved on to the second part of the A Level course which I am due to complete in June, and I have so much more interest in studying than when I was a teenager - I even read books that aren’t on the syllabus!
The course with Bright Futures has completely changed my life. It has boosted my confidence, developed my vocabulary and made me realise I can do whatever I set my mind to. Learning for me isn’t about a career; it’s for my personal development. I used to feel like I was barred from an elite educated club, but now I can hold my own in conversations and I have something new to talk about. It has awakened my curiosity for life and now I absolutely love studying I am even considering doing a degree after my A Level. I'd recommend it to anyone at any age - it's never too late!"