Arista, Law

“Oxford is what we each make of it. All students receive ample opportunities and equal exposure, and I am still trying to wrap my head around them!”

When I was around seven or eight years old, my parents took me on a trip to London for the first time. We travelled to Cambridge and Oxford too. Being from Hong Kong, there is such high respect for the importance of education—I had barely been through three years of primary school when my parents asked me to choose my future university. At first glance, based on a vague recollection of the grandeur of the front lawns, I remember choosing Trinity.

Fast-forward to a couple of years ago, around Year 11: Oxbridge seemed always a pipe dream to me. My school was quite good at sending students to top universities, but I never allowed myself to believe that I had the same chance. In approaching this choice I considered the application process, what I had heard about the culture, and how courses were structured. Obsessive research into Law at Oxford turned into single-minded determination.
I chose Law because I had relevant skills that could give me an advantage; because I had always questioned (albeit rarely broken) the rules of authority; because it is a rigorous academic subject that would constantly intrigue me while also opening doors to careers in various industries. On writing, I am currently a first-year in my fourth week of Michaelmas term. Every day as I churn through hundreds of pages of textbooks and judgments, I remind myself why I chose this subject and this university. As an international who had never studied abroad prior to Oxford, I had difficulties settling in and putting one foot in front of the other along this constantly unpredictable, seemingly endless road to an uncertain future. Oxford is a springboard, but it is not a guarantee. There is no easy way in, no easy way out – there is only me, my motivation, and my passion for my subject.

What keeps me going? What pushes me? In many ways university is a lonely, independent experience, however Trinity’s community has gone above and beyond in helping me adapt. I’ve formed close friendships with my fellow first-year lawyers and found camaraderie in unlikely places through simply sitting next to unfamiliar faces in Hall. There is not a single Trinity student or staff member I have met who has not been welcoming and open-minded, witty and intelligent, full of character. (Although, one of the main reasons I chose this college was definitely for the free printing.)

Oxford is what we each make of it. All students receive ample opportunities and equal exposure, and I am still trying to wrap my head around them! Juggling my timetable is a whole job in itself, yet I thrive off having exciting activities planned, whether they be society-related, career-oriented or entirely new escapades such as air-pistol shooting. There is still a long way to go before I fully feel at home, but Oxford is a beautiful city and Trinity is at its centre, perfectly located for access to all a student’s needs (read: close to Tesco). This is a city, a college, a community where academia flourishes and where excellence is cultivated; I could not feel more blessed to have the chance to grow in such an environment, nor could I recommend it enough for prospective applicants!