Nikita Joharchi, 19, from Mansfield, is currently studying English literature, film studies and psychology, with the ambition of studying a degree in English literature at one of Cambridge’s prestigious and historic colleges.
She has just returned from a three-day residential visit of Peterhouse College – the oldest of the Cambridge colleges, founded by the Bishop of Ely in 1284.
The visit follows her successful application to The Access Project, an organisation which works with students who have the ability to get into top universities and come from backgrounds which are under-represented at top universities.
The project works with 28 schools and college, supporting students from Ashfield, Mansfield and Shirebrook amongst others.
Nikita said: “Part of the application process asked you to express your future study goals as well as writing about a particular challenge you’d overcome.
“I described a health issue which I live with, but I still manage this as well as being a successful and hard-working student.
“I didn’t expect to get picked, so I was very shocked when I got an email inviting me to Peterhouse College.”
Nikita spent her first day in Cambridge with fellow visiting students touring the college and its accommodation, seeing the grounds and the library facilities. She enjoyed the ice breaker sessions designed to allow the group of 40 to get to know each other.
On day two, Nikita and fellow students were split into tailored sessions – Nikita’s being an English literature-based one – focussing on the Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
Nikita continued: “On our last day we put our ideas together about some work we had been set prior to the residential, where we interpreted a poem by John Donne called the Triple Fool as well as analysing two famous letters by William Blake and Oscar Wilde.
“I really enjoyed hearing other students’ interpretations and input.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and it’s given me another inspirational look at life at Cambridge.
“I’d like to study at Newham College, as I fell in love with it on a visit earlier this year.
“It’s great that my tutors feel that I can achieve the grades I’d need to access Newnham College.
“If I didn’t get into Cambridge, as I also like the sound of Leeds or York for cities to study in and I’d eventually like to do a masters in English, followed by a PhD.”