Wananga landing Wananga landing
Student story

Kat | Changing gears. Levelling up.

02 August 2023

Ngāti Porou - Ngāti Awa - Bachelor of Laws


What inspired you to embark on your law degree later in life?

I’d always wanted to study law, but I dropped out of high school when I was really young and lacked the confidence to enrol at university. When my babies started school I took the opportunity to level up and change my skillset. The idea scared me but it was better than being stuck in a job that I didn’t really love.

Has UC been a welcoming place for you?

I’ve found my home at Te Ao Mārama. They run a noho marae experience for people like myself who are trying to find their roots. It’s given me the chance to access and research my Māori heritage. The environment there is really friendly. You’re always invited to pull up a chair and join the conversation.

Is there academic support on hand if you need it?

Yes! I didn't even know how to structure an essay when I first started. I used the Academic Skills Centre and took an essay writing class in my first year, and I’ve since written several research essays, enjoying some unexpected A+ grades along the way.

How have you found the experience of being a mature student?

I’ve just turned 40 so even among the adult students I feel a little bit like everyone's aunty! I’ve noticed that the mature students tend to seek each other out, which is awesome because we understand how tricky it is to juggle all our commitments and we tend to work together to support each other through those challenges.

Is it tricky to balance study and parenthood?

In a word, yes. I’ve had to become much more organised in how I schedule my time. Sometimes after I put the kids to bed, the last thing I feel like doing is studying, but it is doable as long as you’re committed. If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen.

How has coming to UC changed you?

It’s added a richness and depth to my everyday conversations. I used to talk about what I’d seen on TV, now I talk about the impact of decisions made in parliament. It’s also made me aware of how much change one person can make. Anybody can have a valid idea - all they need is the opportunity to be heard.

What would you say to others who might be feeling nervous about enrolling?

I was so scared when I enrolled – my hands were literally shaking as I clicked the button. But every scary thing I’ve done has shown me how much I’m capable of. I can’t wait to see what I have in me next.

How do you feel for having taken the plunge?

I’m so glad I did it. Part of me wishes I’d had the confidence to do it sooner but I’m doing it now, and enjoying every bit of it.

More student stories
Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.