I always had a feeling that I would study at Royal Holloway — one of the largest multi-faculty colleges of the University of London which has a well-known history and reputation. I had visited the campus a few times to see my brother and I decided to follow in his footsteps! Going to university was never a subject for debate in our house as I come from an educated family. I think my parents would have gone mad if I’d suggested not going, but fortunately I wanted to go!
One of the top universities in the UK, Royal Holloway, is quite expensive. However, I did manage financially without support from my parents as I received considerable support from the government. The third year was the most difficult financially, and I spent very little time going out with my friends. I think I spent too much on food; I did not want to eat only beans and noodles – usual food for a student. I had a proper oven and stove to cook good meals. I also needed to buy more books, though fortunately as my brother had been at Royal Holloway and had studied similar subjects, I was able to use his books.
To be admitted to Royal Holloway I needed high marks. I worked hard to get them and I succeeded. At first, I thought that university seems like a big challenge. I was not really sure how to write university essays, but soon got used to it. I think the most important thing in the first year is to develop the skills needed for the second and third years. I did not find it hard moving away from home. I was looking forward to being independent. After finishing university I moved back home and that was difficult to get used to! I was fortunate enough to have many friends in my first year, and, though I met new people in both my second and third years, a number of those from the first year are still my closest friends today.
I believe I made the right choice when I chose History. On the one hand, History was one of my favourite subjects. On the other hand, after finishing the Faculty of History, the doors are open to many different careers. History is generally well-respected in the employment world. I was offered a job as a reporter for the House of Commons in Parliament. For me it was a relatively simple process, and I’m sure the reference letters from two of my professors at Royal Holloway must have helped a lot!