Kate Southam

English Literature BA
Talking about
The Plus Programme

“I went through sixth form and went straight to university, I didn’t have a year out. I was accepted onto the Access to Leeds programme which was helpful as it gave me a middle ground between A-Level lessons and degree expectations. I got the email saying “congratulations you’ve got a place” and I got excited but I was still really nervous. I think that was because no one in my family has been to university before, so they couldn’t tell me what to expect and it did feel like I was going off into this world of academia a little blind.

When I got here, I was like, “100%, this is where I want to be” and in the first couple of weeks the Plus Programme really helped me feel like I belonged at Leeds. Initially I wasn’t too sure how many people were in the same situation as me, as all the friends I’d made in my accommodation weren’t in the Plus Programme. However, being part of the programme made me feel like I wasn’t the only one in this situation and it helped me feel like I was meant to be here. Knowing that people are in the same boat has also given me a bit more academic confidence. Whenever I do an essay and think, “well that’s rubbish, how did I even get here?”, I know that people got here the same way or are in the same group as me, and that gives me a bit more confidence. Like, if they can do it then I can do it too.    

Being part of the Plus Programme has been a really encouraging experience for me as I know that there’s support in place even if I don’t necessarily need it. If anything were to go wrong, if I did need any extra support, then there are people to talk to.”