It’s officially been 2 years since I first flew off to the UK! What a time it’s been. Studying in the UK has been a journey of ups and downs but definitely a valuable experience nonetheless.
I’ve been quite silent about my next phase of life. I’ve been posting a lot of “Bye Newcastle / Bye England” sentiment, making many people assume I’m going back to Malaysia. I usually just play along with it without explicitly saying I’m coming home. I haven’t gone back to Malaysia in exactly one year… aaaand I probably won’t be back anytime soon!
Today, I’m revealing the truth.
I’m going to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Can’t wait to play Quidditch!
Okay, okay. I’m inshaAllah pursuing an MSc in Marketing at the University of Edinburgh! Close enough, I guess – after all, Hogwarts IS in Scotland, and Edinburgh is a city with MAJOR Harry Potter vibes. On top of that, Sumrah gave me a Hogwarts letter for my birthday. AND I’m travelling there by train, too!
It’s quite a bomb to drop when I’ve been posting a lot about jobhunting and making it seem like I’m flying back to my home country. Truth is, I wasn’t 100% sure I was actually going until early September.
I started applying for universities and funding even before I submitted my dissertation (around mid-May). I applied to two universities: the University X and the University of Edinburgh. University X was honestly my first choice even though it had a lower overall ranking (but still in the QS top 30), Edinburgh was just backup. But Edinburgh got back to me first and offered me a conditional place on the 10th of July – the day I officially graduated. I then sent them my final results and received an unconditional offer on the 21st of July, right before I did a graduation photoshoot on campus!
University X was silent for a long time. They promised an answer by the 31st of July (which I paid £60 for…) but then extended it to 31st of August. Their management was horrible. And in the end, they rejected me anyway. Then news articles came out about how students had been receiving offers (imagine the excitement!!!) but were then followed up with apologies for “incorrect” e-mails. Wow. Glad I wasn’t given that sort of false hope. Wouldn’t want to go there anyway – you just missed out on another brilliant alumnus, University X! Edinburgh it was.
But then of course, there’s no point getting a university offer if you can’t afford the fees. Just like my Bachelor’s degree, I was relying 100% on external funding. I spent a LOT of time on applications. I had to undergo assessments, I got rejected and had to appeal, I had to sign a boatload of legal documents and post them to Malaysia, I created Telegram groups with scholarship candidates, I spent an insane amount of time doing research, and I was very fortunate to have my parents thoroughly invested in the process. By the end of August it started to look like I was confirmed to receive funding but I didn’t dare to believe 100% until the money had been deposited into my bank account in early September.
Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. Several times a day I feel like I don’t deserve it and that I have been way too privileged. I feel like a lot of my achievements are mediocre and a lot it was just luck. But I’m trying my best to battle the impostor syndrome. As my Mum says, “Whatever Allah has promised and planned for you, is really meant for you. There is no doubt about it”. And I hope and pray that this opportunity will benefit me and help me contribute to society. Throughout my university years I studied media but had most interested in marketing-related subjects – and also did two marketing-related internships. Can’t wait to be a Business School student and dive deeper into the world of marketing!
It was so unexpected and I feel like I’m living on borrowed time. I was getting fully prepared to be chucked out from the UK and student life in general but suddenly was given another chance.
One thing I regret not doing is blogging enough, so I will do my best to blog more during grad school.