By Mason Wakley
*Warning but this contains spoilers to the TV programme, Ackley Bridge*
I’ve recently discovered the popular TV show Ackley Bridge, a triumph in discussing issues of race, inequality and class in a Yorkshire school that is opened in order to combine the British and Pakistani communities of the area. In one particular episode, Nas, the main character, receives an interview to Oxford to study medicine. As the days pass by, she sits in front of her mirror, practicing her stereotypical British accent, trying to suppress as much of herself as possible. In Oxford, she becomes overwhelmed by how much the other people interviewing seem to know, feeling lost and inadequate in comparison.
I remember feeling exactly like Nas in this episode, coming from a background where Oxford wasn’t really spoken about.
In the episode, the interviewer notices how stressed and uncomfortable Nas seems, ensuring her in the interview that she knows about her background, and how the criteria for studying at Oxford is simply intelligence. For any of you who have just received an offer and are feeling confused about to why they actually gave you an offer after you thought the interviews had gone horrendously or you never thought that Oxford was a place for you, just think of this episode and how the tutors looked at the entire application.
If you have been lucky enough to have received an offer, the tutors recognised that spark of passion within you and believe that you can do well, no matter your background.