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Best friends graduate after 17 years as classmates

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Two lifelong friends have graduated from Edge Hill University today after spending 17 years in the same class, through primary and secondary school and now University.

Leona Woodward and Caitlin Nicholas, both 22 and from St Helens, discovered a mutual interest in working with children during their school years which led to them both applying to study BA (Hons) Children and Young People’s Learning and Development at Edge Hill.

Leona said:

“We first met in primary school on our first day in reception class. I was very quiet and shy and was very nervous about making friends, and my mum saw Caitlin and asked her to be my friend – we have been good friends ever since.”

The two met at St Helens’ St Thomas of Canterbury primary school and then attended De La Salle High School followed by Carmel College.

The friends have supported each other throughout the course and today are excited to graduate together.

Caitlin said:

“We gave each other advice on assignments, recommended different resources to one another, motivated each other to go to the library more often and most importantly, been there for one another when times got hard and stressful.

“Although we’re now separating after going through 17 years of education together, we will still stay in touch, and only live five minutes apart so we still see each other regularly.”

Leona added:

“We have enjoyed our time at Edge Hill, and have made a strong group of friends, formed great relationships with the lecturers and grown as individuals. We will miss Edge Hill and everything that comes with it.”

After graduation, Leona plans carry on her education for one final year to complete a PGCE course, before embarking on a teaching career, while Caitlin is applying for jobs working with children, either in an early years setting or through social work.

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