How I went from academic failure to helping thousands of students become confident learners and achieve their study goals.
Before I achieved a top degree while working full time.
Before I built a business teaching students all over the world how to learn effectively.
Before I was asked to write THE study skills book for non-traditional learners
…I saw myself as a studying failure.
I believed I wasn’t smart enough to go to university.
I thought that you were either academic or not, smart or not, and that I should just accept learning wasn’t for me.
Thankfully, I now know the truth – that everyone is a good learner and that anyone can achieve academic success with the right mindset, support and strategies.
You don’t need to study like Hermione Granger or have a Mensa-level IQ to achieve academic success.
You don’t need to spend every waking moment studying. You don’t have to come from money or have parents who went to university. And you definitely don’t have to have a track record of perfect academic achievement. I’m here to democratise educational attainment.
All you need is perseverance, a confident mindset, smart strategies...and some support along the way.
And I can help you with all of these. I’m going to show you step-by-step exactly how to achieve epic academic success. Exactly how to structure your studying, integrate your course into your life, learn your course materials, ace your assessments…and so much more. I’ll help you work out the learning skills you already have (because you’ll have loads) and the areas that are ripe for improvement.
I share advice and tips on the weekly Chloe Made Me Study podcast and I have created a series of online trainings to help you learn key study skills in essay writing, note taking, exam preparation and productivity.
I also run a virtual membership, the Kickbutt Students Club that will help you build the habits, routines and confidence you need to achieve *your* academic success.
Anddd I’m the author of The Return to Study Handbook – the ultimate study skills guide for distance learners, mature students and those who are studying while working.
You’ve done the hard part.
You’ve been brave enough to decide to return to education. You’ve spoken back to your doubts and fears and said, “I’m going to do this for me. I’m going to go after the knowledge, skills and results I really want.”
Now I’m going to help you take this powerful motivation and turn it into some solid, lifelong study skills and epic academic results.
Let me take you back to where it all started…
My school experienced ended in tears.
You know how adults often label kids? The athletic one or the funny one? Well, I was the clever one. I was constantly told how smart and bright I was, which sounds great in theory, but being ‘smart’ really came back to bite me in the butt.
In my final two years of school everything changed. The workload increased, we were expected to study independently…and my ability to coast through my classes vanished.
Being told I was clever meant I had never bothered learning HOW to learn. How to persevere through challenges… how to be productive… how to stay motivated… how to structure my writing… how to take effective notes… how to prepare for exams.
I was clueless.
I fell behind immediately while all my peers stepped up and did the work. I failed my first exams which shocked me so much I impulsively dropped a subject.
I felt like an imposter who’d been found out. Like I’d tricked people into believing I was smart and now they knew the truth: that I just wasn’t very academic.
The teachers that had spent the previous five years cheering me on now spoke of my lack of potential and talent.
I continued to fall behind and I felt too guilty to ask for help.
No one told me learning is a skill in itself – that I would be OK if I just learned some new strategies. No one explained that yes, it IS pretty hard to study effectively when you’re a teenager experiencing friendship issues, your first serious boyfriend, and the illness and death of a grandparent. Add to this I had no role models as no one in my family had been to university or even studied after age 16.
I came eye-wateringly close to being kicked out of school just before my final exams as my maths teacher didn’t think I could pass her subject.
**FYI, if you’re ever in this situation, cry A LOT to your teacher in the middle of a corridor of eleven-year-olds until she agrees to let you stay.**
I finally left school aged 18 with low grades and an even lower opinion of myself as a learner. I’d decided that I was never going to go to university…
So I ran away to the other side of the world.
Before my results were even out, I moved to Barbados as my then boyfriend had just moved there for work.
I was a bit jealous of my friends who’d gone to university (mainly because of the parties), but my own Caribbean adventure distracted me pretttty well.
A few years later I was back in the UK in a corporate job. I was enjoying working but I felt stuck. I reflected that the friends and colleagues I deemed successful all had something in common – they’d all furthered their education – through a degree, completing an apprenticeship, or by studying for a workplace qualification.
Almost overnight I made the decision to go back to school. I thought a business degree would suit me and I knew I wanted to continue working full-time so I chose to enrol in The Open University because of its flexibility.
I felt nervous that I might repeat the same mistakes from school. But I wasn’t that same scared teenager.
I’d gained life skills while working and I’d learned that success comes from effort rather than talent.
And so, while I still wasn’t confident that I knew HOW to study, I felt confident that I had enough gumption to work it out.
I started my business degree just a few months later.
I knew I had to learn how to learn so alongside completing the reading and assignments for my course, I started researching ways to improve my productivity, note taking, essay writing and exam prep. I experimented with different study methods and created my own too.
And oh my did it work. My grades climbed and climbed until they couldn’t climb much higher and soon other students were asking for my help.
In 2016, I graduated with First-class Honours, despite working full-time and despite being deemed an academic failure at school.
Graduating proved my hypothesis that ANYONE can achieve academic success…no matter their current or past levels of success or failure.
Later that same year, I started my business to help other non-traditional learners achieve their dream qualifications.
In the past seven years I’ve worked with thousands of adult learners like you from all over the world studying all different subjects.
I’m not here to teach you more subject knowledge. I’m here to teach you HOW to learn effectively, so that you can apply these skills in your course to achieve your dream grades, but also apply them to any learning in future, whether that’s in your studies, your career or in your personal life.
Then my childhood dream to become an author came true!
In 2018, I was approached by a publishing house to write a study skills book specifically for non-traditional students.
To focus on making this the best study skills book out there I quit my job to go full-time on my business. And in 2019, The Return to Study Handbook was published globally!
I live and breathe this stuff.
If I’m not reading about learning I’m talking to people about their learning or I’m reflecting on my own learning challenges so I can create better strategies to help you develop more learning confidence.
- Confidence that you’ll be able to fit your studying into your already busy life.
- Confidence that you will be able to get through your course: that you ARE much more capable than you think.
- Confidence that you’ll achieve the result you really want or need to progress in your career (even if you think it’s impossible).
I truly believe that becoming a resilient, confident, effective learner is one of the most important sets of life skills you can develop. The way the workplace is evolving, it’s quick, adaptive, reflective learners that will be indispensable.
It’s a complete myth that you’re either born a smart, great learner or you’re not. This is nonsense that the traditional education system has made you believe.
And a final few fun bits about me
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