Courteney Peterson profile
Courteney is featured in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
She graduated from the Class of 2020 with a BA (Hons) in English. In her interview, she reflects on her often turbulent and surprising journey through university, but that with determination, and the right support, you can overcome adversity and achieve great things. Courteney embodies how we are courageous here at LJMU.
“I finished with a first in my English degree and received the Derick Elders prize, named after the man that founded the course. My personal tutor Glenda put me forward for it after I got the top mark within the cohort I was graduating with. I’m really grateful for that, it was such a proud moment for me and it enabled me to go on and study for my master's.”
– Courteney Peterson
Courteney’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview
“At the beginning of university, I went through a long period of depression and anxiety. I would get ready, go to leave for my lectures and then have a panic attack and be unable to leave the house. In my second year, this got worse, and I developed anorexia. After taking a leave of absence to try and recover and take some time, I then returned for my third year, when I became pregnant, which was unexpected.
“Having Zack turned out to be beneficial for my mental health, as I had someone to keep me on track and to keep myself physically healthy for, with having to breastfeed him. I wasn't putting as much work as a could in before I became pregnant, but when I went back to uni, just before the course started I tried to get ahead on the modules and my dissertation, so I could make allowances around January when I was giving birth.
“I read all the books over the summer, and I attended until I was around 35 weeks pregnant. I'd get on the bus from Huyton to Lime Street and waddle up the hill to get to the uni and try and spend as much time in the library as possible. I put a lot more effort in and researched around topics more.
“When I had Zack, the uni staff were great with me, they let me store his milk in the staff fridges and let me use their facilities whenever I needed to. I completed all my assignments and my dissertation, and I finished with a first in my English degree and received the Derick Elders prize, named after the man that founded the course. My personal tutor Glenda put me forward for it after I got the top mark within the cohort I was graduating with. I'm really grateful for that, it was such a proud moment for me and it enabled me to go on and study for my master's.”