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Zalanda Shinwarie

Year 1

26 April 2022

Zalanda Shinwarie

“You go to a state school, it’s unlikely that you’ll get into medical school”

For someone who’s had a deep desire to pursue medicine as a career for a long time, this was probably the most discouraging thing I heard during the application process. A sentence that may not mean much to others has definitely had a negative impact on my journey, nevertheless pushing me to work harder and aim higher. People tend to associate medical school with individuals who’ve attended Grammar and Private schools however, I soon realised this wasn’t the case.

Moving to the UK from Afghanistan at the age of 11 with little to no English; having to adapt to a completely different environment, education system and culture in general, it was incredibly tough to settle in at first. Phrases like that being the only form of advice I got from my teachers, alongside being the first person to ever apply to medicine from my school, definitely made it a lot more difficult. However, from this I’ve learnt that although we can easily point fingers at others around us for things not going well, by working hard, staying determined and focussed on our goal and taking each day as it comes are all that will allow us to thrive no matter the stereotype.

Don’t ever let where you were, determine where you could be. As long as you put in the time and effort, you will get there. You determine your future.

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