I came to the UK from Afghanistan when I was 13 years old. I’d never been to school before and arrived here straight into year nine, not being able to speak any English.
So I learnt English in school. My local community in Peterborough also arranged for me to learn Persian, so that I could settle as quickly as possible, and learn to read and write in both my new and my own language. Suffice it to say, it was a lot of work.
Ever since I was a child I’d wanted to study law, but coming to the UK unable to speak, read or write English – I didn’t believe it was possible for me. I thought I'd better choose something easier... and just do that.
But when you’ve dreamt of doing something for so long, even if it seems impossible, the thought has a habit of revisiting you again and again. Coincidentally, a friend of mine had similar hopes of studying law and encouraged me to find a course that would not only suit my background, but my ambitions too. After visiting a Law School Open Day at ARU, it was obvious that this was the place where I could follow my dream.
When I first started the course, I was only expecting to get minimum grades (and basically scrape by). I would have accepted that. My dream was to study law and just being there was an achievement for me, given my background. But things don’t always go the way you’d expect.
With the support and encouragement of my tutors and peers, my dream soon became to not only study law, but practice it. The more confident I became, the more determined I was to succeed and show people that I could achieve whatever I wanted. To my surprise, and maybe to everybody’s surprise, I’m now on course to graduate with a first. I’ve had incredible work experience offers and – to cap it off – I’ve advanced to winning stages of national law competitions.
Not only have I learnt so much about law, but I’ve learnt a lot about myself and why it’s so important to challenge yourself and believe in your potential. No matter what situation you’re in or what your background is, you have to follow your own path. I now truly believe that I’ll be able to achieve whatever I want - because now, more than ever, I have the confidence, determination and support I need to succeed in my future.