Daisy Peskett, a law graduate tells us how her Dad, Alan helped her choose the right university.
Applying to university
Daisy: I didn’t know anything about applying to university, but we were lucky in college to have a dedicated careers adviser for an hour a week, who would help with UCAS forms and the personal statement.
Alan: I found that applying for student finance was a bit trickier. When you’re a single parent you are required to produce a lot of evidence and paperwork, so you really need to be on top of it all to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Daisy: I was looking forward to the independence it would give me, but I also knew I wanted to be a lawyer, so it was the most obvious choice of study for me.
Daisy: I looked at what A level grades I was predicted (two As and a B) and went on the Guardian website to see which university would be best suited to me. I had never been to Wales before, but asked my dad about it and discovered it was only about an hour away from home. There was an Open Day at USW the following day, so we just decided to go.
Alan: I was with Daisy for all the Open Days she wanted to go to, so I could check out the accommodation and speak to the lecturers. It’s really important that parents know their daughter or son is going to be comfortable and happy at their chosen university.
Daisy: Dad also thought of things which I wouldn’t have, so it was good to have him there to able to ask questions for me.
Daisy: I initially thought I wanted to be quite close to London to study, but then I realised I would be too far away from Dad. We’re really close so I would miss him terribly! I loved being based in Treforest as it doesn’t have all the distractions of a city, but is still very convenient for getting into Cardiff and Bristol for shopping and the nightlife.
Daisy: I lived about an hour away from university so it made sense to move into halls. But even if you live closer to campus, I would always suggest living in student accommodation as it has so benefits. You meet loads of people and it teaches you to fend for yourself.
Alan: It definitely helped Daisy to develop her responsibilities.
Daisy: I had friends that lived at home throughout university, but I think the student finance options are there for a reason, so you might as well make the most of the opportunities it offers. The most important thing you can do is educate yourself, and I think university is worth every penny.
Daisy: When I was about to enrol at university and still hadn’t had my loan through, I found out about the contingency fund that USW provides, which was brilliant. I was pretty good at budgeting. I never did the typical ‘student’ thing of spending my whole loan in the first month, I was quite sensible with my money. Dad helped me with some of the one-off costs like a deposit on rent for my shared student house, or buying things for my course.
Alan: We found that textbooks for Daisy’s course could be particularly pricey, so I would help with things like that.
Daisy: I found that living on my own really helped me to grow up and figure out things for myself, as you obviously have to do all your own shopping, cooking, washing, cleaning etc. It really made me appreciate how much Dad does for me at home! He’s always been really supportive of me, whatever I want to do.
Daisy: At first, I thought I might want to be a barrister, so it really helped me to study a general law degree and work out which area of law I definitely wanted to go into. It also gave me the confidence to go on a gap year after my degree.
I was lucky to have really good lecturers, who explained things to us in terms we could relate to, which is really important in law as you have to be able to put things into everyday context in order to understand them.
Alan: It’s remarkable how much I learnt about law when Daisy was at the university. When she was revising for exams she used to leave post-it notes all around the house, so I picked up quite a lot about the subject that way!