THE ROAD TO SUCCESS My time at Handsworth Grammar feels like a lifetime ago, and yet my first year of university feels like yesterday. Having finished my degree four days ago, I have had my first proper week off from University work since September, and it has been lovely. However, a dominant theme has followed me throughout both Secondary School, Sixth Form and University – using education as a means to prepare for the future. Think of education as a massive line of dominos – your GCSEs affect which A Levels you pick, A Levels which degree, and modules within your degree affect which area of industry you want to initially specialise in. My third year of university has been driven by this ethereal domino chain: module choices, job applications, assignment topics and dissertation subject all driven by a desire to gain relevant skills for a future career in a role I love. In fact, my final year in Aberystwyth has contained some of the most academically challenging and rewarding work I’ve ever attempted. The first semester of my final year was unrelenting; assignment followed assignment, beginning from the initial week all the way to the final week of term. Needless to say, there were countless late nights working on various programming assignments and reports. Whilst the second semester focused on my dissertation, it was not as jam packed as the first. Third year has not only been exciting academically, but also a great reminder that Aberystwyth University is in the middle of nowhere, balanced delicately on the coast. Over the past academic year, I’ve experienced snow storms, boiling hot weather and numerous thunderstorms, with huge waves crashing against the town’s seafront! Living in Aberystwyth has been one of the best parts of my degree – having the freedom to simply walk to the sea (instead of driving for three hours) has been absolutely incredible. I wish that by the end of my degree I had some incredible wisdom to pass down to students of HGS: maybe a profound statement whispered throughout the ancient mountains of China, or a secret formula known only to those who have escaped education on how to pass everything and be successful at life. Sadly, I am not a wizened old sage, limping out of university, speaking only in rhyming couplets and proverbs. However, what I can tell you is this: the most rewarding and enjoyable moments of my time in Aberystwyth were when I was pushed out of my comfort zone. Whether this was academically being pushed in my dissertation, or climbing to the top of a mountain to see sunrise in sub-zero temperatures, or going on a 50km cycle ride, these experiences are the ones which will stick with me the longest. So, in summary, strange ethereal dominoes, wizened sages, rhyming couplets and ancient mountains are the way forward...? Either that, or pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, pushing forward to study and work in an area you love and foreseeing the consequences of your actions. Maybe the message of this is a mixture of the two – go study philosophical dominoes? Hmm... Pip Turner CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY SUCCESS We are delighted that two of our pupils have been offered places at Cambridge University this September. Rahul Patel has been offered a place to study Natural Sciences at Selwyn College, Cambridge University and Amritpal Kullar has been offered a place to read History at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University. These are wonderful achievements and we wish Rahul and Amritpal all the best. 48