Disability, My Life

The Final Countdown

As I had already completed one year of the university experience, people may think that I would be less nervous, less anxious, but they are wrong.

Though I knew partly what to expect about the move in and the academic side of it, there was still the fact it is still a new university with new people and challenges to overcome.

When I decided to go back to university I promised myself that this time would be different and I would have a better experience, become more sociable with others and get involved with events, clubs and societies in the university. I was determined that this time would be different.

During the gap year, Kate and a family friend came add hung out with me. I got really close with both and enjoyed my time with both of them.

Then we were struck by the inspiration that Kate might be willing to take up the PA/carer role while I was at university. Asking her, she said yes and agreed to fill the role and we were delighted!

With Kate on side, we set out to find the other member of the team, the morning carer who would assist with getting up, washed and dressed and ready for university.

After constructing a job description on what was required, placing an advert with Ask Jules and waited for people to apply.

Glancing through each one’s CV and application several times and narrowed it down to four applicants, who we thought I would get along with most, suiting my personality and who would suit the role best.

Arranging interviews with suitable applicants, my parents and I compiled an action plan, to get a feel for each their personalities. We invented scenarios, which may happen on the job to see how they would react and respond to them to see if they answered coincided to what we needed.

Narrowing it down to a chosen few applicants, we arranged four interviews in happen in one day at a venue in Leicester.

Conducting the interviews, I found the first applicant really nice and eager to do the job, she fitted the criteria we expressed in the job description, ticking all the right boxes.

However, we found her very timid and I would worry that I would do something to upset her without realising, she would be a bit too careful and nervous about the things she was doing.

I felt I would be treading very carefully around her all the time and be unwilling to tell her if something wasn’t quite done the way I needed it, so sadly I had to rule her out.

The second applicant was slightly older than all of the other applicants I chose to interview for the role.

This was a mother with two girls who coincidently had attended or were attending De Montfort University.

This caught my attention as I could find out their experiences of De Montfort University and this would help me in my own experiences. I would also have someone to advise me on De Montfort University and what to do if I was struggling.

I would also know someone which would make the nerves slightly easier to manage. Also, being a mother I felt she would find the right balance between being gentle but also telling me to “get out my flipping bed.”

Talking more, we admired her level of experience she had in being a carer. As she worked with a couple with similar care needs we felt she had relative understanding towards my situation.

In all I got a great vibe from her and made a mental note to shortlist her for the role.

The third applicant was great, she caught our interest straight away as she was a similar age to myself and we had similar interests and we got on really well.

She also kept making me laugh which is always a good sign. Something that I especially liked about this applicant was the fact that she wanted to see me as a friend and see it as helping a friend out rather than seeing it as a job.

I felt vey comforted and reassured by this. At the same time she understood what she was committing too and understood everything we were asking of her.

I admired how much she thought about the job and the preparations she had made for the job, given that she is offered it. I got a strong positive vibe from her and mentally shortlisted her for the role.

Upon the arrival of the fourth applicant, I felt I’d already selected the applicants suited for the job but I wanted to give this applicant a chance.

During our interview with this applicant we thought she was a nice woman but didn’t feel she understood what was expected of her and the role properly.

Towards the end of the interview the applicant informed us she would be unavailable to work for two weeks of starting the academic year.

This would put us at a disadvantage and cause me any unnecessary stress for me when I’m supposed to be concentrating at university. Ruling out this applicant, we were left with applicants two and three.

Travelling home, I was thinking everything through again and again, going through pros and cons of each of the two applicants, weighing it all up, trying to make a decision.

It was a very close race. After changing my mind several times over, we chose to offer applicant three the role, but ask ‘Ask Jules’ to keep the other applicant on record for future reference, it’s always good to have a back-up.

Shortly after informing Ask Jules of our decision, I had one more conversation with my parents confirming all of the details.

Ringing the applicant of our choice, she seemed very shocked, but pleased to hear from us and to be offered the role. To our delight, she accepted.




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