Kara keel

Kara Keel

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I am a mature student (52), married, with a 23-year-old son. I have worked in sales all my life and decided I needed a change. I enjoy family time and walking my 2 dogs. I enjoy holidays abroad and also in the UK, and I enjoy watching football. When my son was growing up, myself and my husband spent most of our time travelling around the country with our son watching him play football. He was a promising young footballer and spent some time in America training and playing in their colleges. When he decided to go to university I thought I might also give university a go. He has grown up and it is now my time.

What motivated you to apply to study for a foundation course and why did you chose Leeds?

Ultimately I decided to change my life after my son had gone to university but also after I was given a new chance at life. I underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant 4 years ago, (2017) and after feeling fit and well again after being poorly for a few years, decided to push myself into learning something new. Leeds university is the best. It is a Russell group university and I am proud and honoured to tell people that this is where I go.

What do you think of your course, have there been any particular highlights for you?

The Sociology degree that I am working towards is amazing. You think you know such a lot when really you are only scratching the surface. There is so much to learn, and you only know the tiniest amount of anything. Sociology is amazing, I have learnt so much. Also, I have met so many people, student and tutors. The whole experience of university is one I would recommend to anyone, at any age.

How have you found the online learning so far?

I think online learning has and is very difficult for me personally. I struggle, I have dyslexic tendencies and I have missed the actual face to face contact. However, the way all the tutorials and seminars have been laid out is fantastic. They are all so well organised and mostly easy to access.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?

The staff are always there if you need help. Plus, they send regular emails of extra learning and up to date information.

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

Both on and off campus the facilities are all out there. There are lots of computer hubs, many libraries, access to online resources, lots of study areas to work and of course, lots of coffee shops and fooderies (and the pub!).

Since starting at the university have you been granted any scholarships?

Yes, I have been awarded the Fiona Williams scholarship.

Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities?

  • I am a student ambassador for the university (paid)
  • I am a student mentor for the plus programme (volunteer)
  • I am a peer mentor for the foundation year students (volunteer)
  • I am involved with a focus group for the school of sociology and social policy (volunteer)
  • I represented the school of sociology and social policy for the lifelong learning centre with the vice chancellor (volunteer)

Any other comments you would like to make?

I am really enjoying my time at university. This year and last have been difficult and I miss the vibe of being on campus. Hopefully by summer 2021 we can be back to some kind of new normality. Fingers crossed for my graduation ceremony.