Being the youngest member of my family, my journey to university was especially difficult, since no one in my family had attended before, meaning that I struggled to understand the process and couldn’t learn from my siblings.
Because I came from a typical British Kashmiri background, many of my teachers didn’t believe in me or encourage the idea of pursuing a career in medicine. I remember odd meetings I had with the career advisor at college, who’d often tell me it was unrealistic for me to apply for medicine, since those who typically did so came from specific backgrounds and were of the elite.
Where they sought to discourage me, I was further motivated to prove to them that I had the passion and drive to succeed as a doctor.
I originally applied to study medicine, like most students did, at the beginning of Year 13 and was fortunate to have two offers. Unfortunately, when results day came, I hadn’t met my offers and was subsequently rejected by both universities.
I then took a gap year and decided to reapply after resitting my A levels, after which I received an offer from Bristol Medical School as well as one to study Biochemistry at the University of Nottingham as a backup. I was once again unfortunate not to meet the conditional offer for Bristol, but I took up the option to study Biochemistry instead. Once I had started my course, I began to search for Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) courses and what I needed to do to ensure that, this time, I would get into studying medicine.
It was at this point that I came across medicine at the University of Plymouth, where I realised I could apply to study. After contacting admissions about their widening participation, I found that I was eligible to apply under the GEM criteria and that this would be the best option for me.
After receiving an unconditional offer, I dropped out of Nottingham and moved to Plymouth to study medicine.