Hannah Woods, 28, is about to enter the second year of a degree in maths and computing at Wolverhampton University.
She left school aged 18 and worked as an au pair before deciding that she wanted to become a teacher. Her father is a businessman and her mother studied pharmacy at Manchester University.
She said: "I definitely wanted to do maths. I have already done a teaching qualification - a diploma from the Montessori Foundation - and I wanted to take teaching further. I always enjoyed maths at school, so I chose maths.
"Coming into Wolverhampton University as a mature student, I didn't have the support from school. I called the university two weeks before the start of the year and did an interview over the phone. I put the ball in their court and got great support from the maths department.
"When I left school, it wasn't the right thing for me to go to university. I didn't want to be in education: I wanted a break and to do my own thing. I had the feeling that if I went to university, I would not have lasted. I'm glad I waited: I think I have done the right thing."