School of Health and Community Studies

My Pakistani Identity

Having myself grown up in a community which was quite diverse, I tended to dismiss the fact that my ethnic background was in fact a genuinely important factor of my cultural identity. In terms of my Pakistani background, my connections with the Black, Asian and ethnic minority community became a lot more significant on stepping into university life. The Students’ Union’s Equality and Diversity Officer was highly influential in involving multi-cultural students like myself with events at the university.

I didn’t actually plan to set foot in higher education

Originally, my life goals did not involve studying at the level of higher education. What changed my mind was surprisingly an apprenticeship that I took up instead of doing a degree. My experience as an apprentice in training to become a Health Care Assistant in Palliative (end of life) care essentially brought about my desire for further study.

Why I chose the course

Although I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working at the hospice, I learned that I wanted to understand the inner workings behind the broader healthcare system. As a result, I began to research some courses that would potentially interest me. This is where I found my chosen degree - BSc Health and Society, which I am studying at Leeds Beckett University. The reason I chose this course was that it focuses on the many problems faced by society, in all areas of life and health. Broadening my horizons!

I most certainly had my worries...

For me, moving out of my hometown, three hours away to Leeds was a huge worry. My personal experience with mental health struggles made it a daunting step to take. I also felt that as a mature student, going into university aged 21, I would be alone. In fact, I was relieved to find that this was not the case at all and there were many mature students at the university generally and on my course. This certainly made me feel at ease; I even joined the newly formed LBU Mature Students Society which has been super fun!

I am thankful for my experience in higher education - it has definitely made me a more confident person. Additionally, my course enriches my mind with a different outlook on life itself.

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