Remember that carefree student life sipping lattes and cramming for exams? Yeah, toss that out the window! This is the story of MA Social Work student Abimbola Oliyide a: banking pro turned social work warrior, armed with a newborn and a whole lot of determination, conquering her Masters in the UK. Buckle up, it’s a wild ride.

Fourteen years since I traded lab coats for spreadsheets (first degree in Microbiology), I found myself pregnant and jet-lagged in Birmingham, ready to trade finance for foster families. Talk about a curveball! My brain felt like pulp, my body like a ticking time bomb, and deadlines loomed like dragons guarding the library.

But giving up? Not an option. I had a tiny human depending on me, a passion for social justice blazing in my heart, and a Masters degree begging to be devoured. Sure, sleepless nights fuelled by instant noodles and juggling a crying baby with case studies was my new normal, but hey, at least the commute was short (from the living room to the laptop, that is).

Being a mature student wasn’t all onesies and tantrums, though. Juggling work, studies, and a new family was like spinning plates on a unicycle in a hurricane. But here’s the secret sauce: finding your tribe. Birmingham, with its warm Brummie hugs and family support system, became my haven. And my classmates? Not just study buddies, but a motley crew of adventurers sharing the same crazy dream.

Then came the magic. My years in banking weren’t just dusty memories. They were weapons in my social work arsenal. I saw theory come alive in real-world problems, bridging the gap between bean counters and care providers. My classmates, fresh-faced and eager, learned from my experience, and I, in turn, was humbled by their youthful energy and idealism.

This journey hasn’t been easy, but it’s been epic. From late-night study sessions with a sleeping baby on my chest to celebrating milestones with my newfound family, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, growth, and maybe a little bit of spilled coffee.

So, to all the dreamers out there, the ones with fire in their bellies and babies on their hips, listen up: It’s possible. It’s messy, it’s loud, it’s utterly life-changing. But with a little grit, a lot of love, and a whole lot of instant noodles, you too can conquer your postgraduate dreams. And who knows, you might just find your tribe and write your own wild, wonderful story along the way.

P.S. Birmingham rocks! Don’t even think about studying Social Work anywhere else. Just trust me on this one.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a dissertation to finish and a tiny human who needs a lullaby. Wish me luck!