I attended a comprehensive school in Leicester where we weren’t pushed very hard. My friends who went to private schools were expected to do well. In comprehensive schools, children are expected to pass.
My father ran his own business and my parents always encouraged me to do well but I wasn’t pushed academically.
At school, I did well and was advised to apply to ‘Oxbridge’ but I didn’t know what it was! Attending the Sutton Trust summer school at the University of Oxford was an important experience for me. Meeting students who were ‘normal’ was demystifying. I realised I could do it too if I wanted.
My most memorable moment was trying out medical equipment including the blood pressure machine and stethoscope. I also enjoyed participating in the ethical debate.
It was nice to be with people who were like-minded and to bounce ideas round with them. At the summer school, I met people who were smart and hard-working, driven to get to wherever they wanted to. It was an inspiring environment.
The summer school widened my horizons as it gave me a step into medicine and something to talk about on my personal statement. It also gave me a taste of the university life and explained the medicine application process.
I went on to study medicine at the University of Bristol and added an extra year onto my degree by intercalating in bioethics. I left medical school with two degrees. I am now a doctor and am training to specialise in radiology.