When I first visited Hertford as an applicant someone told me that the college was “so poor it could easily be swapped for a packet of mixed biscuits”.
When I first joined as a Fresher, I soon realised that that “perceived poverty” was in fact Hertford’s true wealth. I found myself among people from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures and religions. The people I met in those intense three years are my closest friends – and continue to be the foundations of what keeps me inspired, happy and stimulated.
They say that youth is wasted on the young. If I had my university career to live again, I would work harder, take my studies more seriously and make the most of the privileges Oxford has to offer. But even with the distractions of student life, Hertford gave me something more valuable than any individual qualification. It gave me a way of thinking, a way of seeing the world – and a way of working under pressure, that I dare say has served me well.
I am honoured to be counted in such esteemed company as the other women in this temporary exhibition. If ever the college decides to make this a more permanent tribute to women at Hertford, I would happily give up my place to someone who deserves it more.