Young adult carers like Emily are often more used to giving encouragement and support than they are to receiving it themselves.
University offers them an opportunity to fulfil ambitions they hold for themselves and develop their own talents, but moving away from home and meeting new people can be a nerve-wracking experience, just as it can for any student. Unlike other students, however, young adult carers often feel guilty about the family member they have moved away from and might have to miss out on certain experiences to travel home more frequently. As they have taken on adult responsibilities from a young age, we often find they don't have a network of adults from whom to seek advice.
That's where you come in.
We now have more young adult carers at Kingston than ever before, and we'd love to be able to let them know that they have a community of alumni standing behind them and cheering them on. Please send in your advice at the link below, and we'll display it online here and also on plasma screens around all of our four campuses. We'll also send all the advice to our KU Cares team who will pass it on to Emily and our young adult carer students directly. Students are just starting lectures for the new term, and we think it will be a huge encouragement to see words of support from alumni on display around all our buildings.
You can see advice and encouragement from your fellow alumni below.
"You have the opportunity to study at a leading institution with some great fellow students and in one of the best locations in the world. Take full advantage of student life and everything the university has to offer. Academically, socially and in your leisure time. Make the most of it – and not just the nightlife!
Above all, be yourself – on a good day!"
Conor Boden, BA(Hons) Law, 1983
"In the face of adversity, family and friends keep me going – and finding time to reflect. Tomorrow is another day and a new start. Don't be afraid to share as talking is always good. If I was to give my 18 year old self advice, I'd say always challenge yourself and don't sit back, and never underestimate what you can do."
Richard Stiff, BA(Hons) Social Science, 1979
"You will be used to caring for others, and generosity and compassion are wonderful, valuable traits. To make the most of your time at university and beyond, you will likely need to focus more on yourself and accept more support than you are perhaps used to. That doesn't mean you love your family any less, and you deserve to succeed too. You can't pour from an empty cup!"
Sarah Duncan, MSW Social Work, 2016
Radhika Raichura, MA Human Rights, 2014
University taught me that a good story needs a force driving it – a ticking clock, a journey, a cause or reason for doing something. Use every birthday as a deadline, a new chapter, an opportunity to level up. Keep the bigger picture in mind, remember the plot, your driving force this will help you through the hard times. In summary: Have a goal – achieve it one step at a time. Yes sometimes the journey may not be the most comfortable, but it's all about the destination.
Megan Blythin, BA(Hons) Creative Writing and Drama, 2017
Emily, BSc(Hons) Learning Disability Nursing student