Edge Hill student Safiyyah Mahmood chose to study Medicine to follow in the footsteps of the healthcare workers in her family who she had admired growing up.
“My mum is a pharmacist and I have aunties and uncles who are pharmacists and doctors too. They were big inspirations to me when I was young and I was aware of how hard they had worked to get there, so I knew that if I wanted to be a doctor I was going to have to focus and give it my all.”
Hailing from Great Harwood, near Blackburn, Safiyyah explained how she navigated her way through her school and studies to reach university.
“I’m from a really small town and it still doesn’t feel real that I’m at university because it’s not something that a lot of people where I’m from really do, especially in my high school. Out of the 80 students in my school year, only around a quarter of us progressed to higher education.
“At first I did struggle when applying to university. I received some help from my school with my personal statement but there was limited support and I found that hard. There were points when I really struggled and lacked confidence. I remember once being told that medicine was too competitive and I’d never be able to make it, which was really disheartening to hear.”
In those moments when she doubted herself, it was a conversation with her mother that inspired Safiyyah to continue in her dream to study medicine.
“I remember my mum saying, ‘you’ve worked so hard to get to where you are, what’s the point in giving up now?’”
“From that moment on, I was adamant that I was going to achieve this, and nothing was going to hold me back. There was never a back-up plan for me, I was determined to go into medicine and my family were committed to helping me achieve it and that support meant everything.”
Since joining Edge Hill’s Medical School, Safiyyah has immersed herself in the student community. As well as being a Course Rep, she is also part of the Medical School’s research group where she has been involved with interviewing and research proposals.
Reflecting on her journey so far at Edge Hill, she said:
“I’m from a small town and because of that, I don’t think I would have enjoyed learning in really large cohorts. I’ve found the smaller class sizes at Edge Hill very beneficial and I’m really enjoying my time here. I’m a strong believer that if something is meant to be then it will happen, and I wouldn’t change anything.”