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Young mum celebrates degree success

15 July 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

Nichole is inspired by son to follow university dream

A young Burnley mum feels she has done her son proud after securing a sociology degree from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Local student Nichole Watson celebrated her degree success this week with her three-year-old son Jack who was only nine-months-old when she began her studies in 2012.

During the last three years 22 year-old Nichole has juggled being a single mum with full-time study and says not wanting to let Jack down was what spurred her when it became challenging.

The former Townley High School and Nelson and Colne College pupil said: “There were many times when I thought I wouldn’t finish my degree but I don’t think I could’ve looked Jack in the eye if I’d have dropped out. I just had to remind myself of the reasons why I was doing my degree and the time I had already sacrificed away from my son, giving up when things get tough would not be setting a good example to him. I’ve spent a lot of time studying in the library during the last three years but thankfully Jack’s dad and his grandma have been a great support network."

“I want to be a role model for Jack as he grows up and in years to come when it comes to his own academic exams I hope my hard work will motivate him.”

“I want to be a role model for Jack as he grows up and in years to come when it comes to his own academic exams I hope my hard work will motivate him.”

Nichole decided to study sociology at University after she completed an A Level in the subject in only three months after having Jack and walked away with an A*.

“It’s a subject that makes me think outside of the box and gives me a fresh perspective on things so I wanted to take it further,” she said.

Nichole has now secured an administrative job working for the NHS and is looking forward to building up her CV before she decides her next career step. She’s already considering returning to UCLan to complete a master's or applying to study for a PGCE in primary education.

She added: “I feel like I need a break from education for a bit and am looking forward to starting my new job. My studies have really increased my confidence and I would always advise anyone in the same position to go for it and think about the long-term picture and what it could lead to.”