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Celebrating 10 years of Pembroke Access: My story by Neetu Singh
11th June 2019
Welcome to the fifth article in our series of student Access stories. This week, we’ve caught up with Neetu Singh, to hear her experiences on the Humanities Programme, which she took part in with Pembroke London, Hackney in 2017.
'I remember being in Year 12, incredibly keen to learn as much as possible and the Pembroke Humanities programme spoke volumes to me.
I covered John Donne’s metaphysical poetry at the Pembroke Summer School. Receiving the reading list for the first time was perhaps most memorable, but writing up the John Donne essay for my tutorial and then doing the tutorial was what I found most engaging. I honestly loved it. Being able to have an academic conversation with an expert in the field felt so enlightening, a privilege that I had never experienced before.
Winning the award for the best essay in my group was a highlight (we won a £50 Blackwell’s voucher which was my absolute dream – it gave me cultural capital that was never before available). Meeting women, young women of colour, like me, from across the UK was incredibly empowering; it left me feeling like I belong somewhere like Oxford. Living in Pembroke prepared me for the lifestyle of Oxford and it also helped prepare me for the independence and reading expected of university students.
I was subsequently ahead of my peers when studying metaphysical poetry at school (having had the privilege of discussing it with an Oxford tutor). This enabled me to share the material I had learnt on the programme with my classmates.
The Access Programme made me feel equipped for University, and to apply to Pembroke.'
Neetu subsequently applied to Oxford and successfully secured a place at Pembroke to study English Language and Literature, and is about to finish her first year. She has recently been elected as the JCR Publications rep for 2019-2020. After University, she is interested in either continuing her studies to postgraduate level or pursuing a career in journalism or politics.