Why going to college was right for my daughter

Words by Sherry Shaw:

As a parent you are always worrying about your child’s future and hoping that they will grow up to do something that they both love and are successful in.

When my daughter Charlotte was faced with making her first big decision in education that would start shaping her future career we realised that the usual route through school may not be the way.

The academic route isn’t always the right way for a student, even if they still want to go to university later in life. Choosing City College Plymouth has been better for Charlotte and she’s been able to work on a qualification that would still offer the opportunity to go to university after taking the course.

To see Charlotte now coming up to the final months of finishing her course, I’m thrilled! She’s got into university and I can see that she made a great decision going to the College.

A Levels weren’t for her. What we need to realise as parents is each child is an individual and the way they learn is unique. Where one child might excel in a classroom to study A Levels, others may do better in a practical environment by studying hands-on.

You just have to take that opportunity to consider a different path. You can’t be tunnel focused thinking that you must follow an exact path – GCSE’s, A Levels, university – but really look at your child and consider what route may be best for them.

Don’t feel you have to conform and follow what everyone else is doing. It’s about your child, not anyone else’s.

For me, Charlotte made that decision to go to City College on her own accord. I had to trust her in making that decision and now she’s shown me that this was the right choice for her. The College has given her tremendous support and now she’s blossomed, completed her course and is going to university.

That wasn’t down to me or anyone else, but it was down to her and her hard work. I couldn’t be more proud.

As a person and an individual she’s taken on responsibility and started taking the lead in her life. She’s grown as a person. It’s not just learning and receiving a qualification; it’s about the student as a whole.

It’s about having faith and courage. You hope that your child will make the best choices, and you need to listen and not be afraid if your child says they want to take a vocational course. It’s all about what’s right for them.

If you want to find out more about Sherry’s story and how college could be an opportunity for your child, register to attend the City College Plymouth open day:

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