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Aberdeen University Graduations: Passionate politics graduate inspired to go into teaching after volunteering at Childline

Politics and international relations graduate Erin Rapson. Picture by Chris Sumner.
Politics and international relations graduate Erin Rapson. Picture by Chris Sumner.

An Aberdeenshire woman has been inspired to become a secondary school teacher after volunteering at Childline.

With modern studies being a firm favourite at school, Erin Rapson said studying politics and international relations at Aberdeen University has been her “ideal scenario”.

Graduating today, she said it was a big achievement, especially considering she had to drop out in her last year.

During her fourth year, Miss Rapson’s mum had a heart attack and the 23-year-old was struggling with her mental health.

Studies became ‘kind of impossible’

The Westhill resident said: “I think graduating for me was a really big highlight because there were points when I didn’t think I would.

“There was just a lot going on. I was working in a supermarket during Covid and then my mum had a heart attack and then I had mental health issues.

“So it was just this combination of things that meant university was kind of impossible. But I took some time out and now I’m here.

“My family were incredible and then the university their student support was incredible as well. I think without the combination of these two, I definitely wouldn’t have come back.”

‘I just wanted to to something worthwhile’

In her third year, Miss Rapson started giving up some of her free time to volunteer with Childline. It was this experience that helped her to realise she wanted to be a teacher.

“I felt like I still had time to spare and I just wanted to do something worthwhile with it,” she said.

“I always thought that I wanted to work with kids once I graduated so I thought that that would be a good way to fill up my time.

“Working and volunteering at Childline has made me realise that I think my strength is working with kids and engaging kids in conversations and moving that to the classroom.”

She has since been working in a paid position for seven months and described it as “the best job I’ve ever had”.

In August, Miss Rapson will be going back to Aberdeen University to study a postgraduate in secondary teaching.

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