My Path to Oxford

By Munuse Savash

It has been commonly perceived that to accomplish your dreams and become a professional within your chosen field you must follow a straight single path from secondary school to university. Unfortunately, my journey was definitely not a straight single path.

During my time in secondary school, I severely suffered with exam anxiety which led to poor results in my first year of A-levels. After retaking the exams and receiving adequate grades I came to the realisation that I would not be able to obtain high enough grades in my second year to pursue my dreams. I therefore made the difficult decision of withdrawing and undertaking a level 3 extended diploma BTEC in Applied Science. I thrived on the course which consisted of written assignments and receiving D*DD in my final grades which also resulted in an offer from one of London’s top 5 university.

At that moment I finally thought that I was on a steady path however that was far from correct. My first year of university was not what I expected, and I was extremely disheartened. Yet again I decided on another difficult decision of taking a gap year to think of an alternative plan. However, during the gap year, I had realised that science was my true passion, and I could not do anything else. That was when I decided a fresh start was needed. I withdrew myself from the university and applied for a BSc in Biological Science at the University of Westminster.

Even though my decision to move to Westminster was undeniably a great decision, before starting I was overwhelmed with a sense of fear and anxiety of being deemed a failure. It was very clear that my journey was nothing like the one I assumed I would go down and I worried that my abilities were not enough. However, once I was given such opportunities at Westminster University my views on myself changed. I was no longer afraid. I had pure drive, ambition, and determination to achieve what I wanted. That I was enough! And I had the privilege to be offered a place at Oxford University to study an MSc in Clinical Embryology and am even more delighted to announce that I have also been offered a PhD at Oxford University within Embryonic Genetic Engineering.

There will be many times that you may feel like you are not enough or be saddened with your journey. But if no individual is alike then why should our journeys be alike. Pursuing a different path doesn’t mean you are a failure or incapable. In fact, it shows just how determined you are and that you will do anything to reach your goal.