My story - Laura

Laura, who has had spent her whole life on Islay, left school aged 17 and headed off to college in Edinburgh to start an HNC in Childhood Practice.

She only lasted a few weeks before coming back home.

“I thought I wanted to go away and experience life off the island, but the reality of it was a big shock to the system,” Laura said.

“I didn’t enjoy any part of it.  All I wanted to do was come home, but I thought that by doing that I would have to give up on further education.  I was preparing to look for a job, but I thought I’d just drop into the Argyll College centre in Bowmore to see what was on offer.”

Laura was amazed to discover she could do exactly the same course she had started in Edinburgh right there on Islay.

“I was so lucky – the course had only just become available and they were only a couple of lessons into it, so I started almost straight away,” she explained.

“It’s been brilliant for me.  I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ve now been offered a place to do the BA Child and Youth Studies degree, all while still living on Islay.”

Laura has met up with the other students on her course – who are spread across Argyll – several times, and keeps in touch with them socially as well as during class time.

“The video conferencing was strange to start with, but you get used to it very quickly and now it seems normal to me,” she said.

“Being able to stay at home has made a massive difference to me, and I think it’ll make a big difference to my achievement too.  I’m happy here and can concentrate on my studies without worrying about being away from home.

“I don’t think people realise the variety of courses Argyll College offers to people in its island centres.  I didn’t realise myself!  I’m so glad I decided to find out about it.”