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Profile: Sahar Rajabali

Woman with ginger wavy hair smiling in front of Radcliffe Camera

Sahar Rajabali (2021, English)

Sahar is in her second year studying English at Univ. Alongside her studies, she writes for Cherwell and is the co-president of the 1979 Society, Univ’s feminist society.

Why did you choose to apply to Univ/for English?
I applied to Univ because I loved how beautiful it was. The buildings and the gardens really stood out to me and when I came to visit the atmosphere was just so fantastic and everyone seemed so friendly.

I applied for English because it was a subject that I’ve loved since GCSEs. When it came to picking subjects in sixth form, I picked English for fun and realised later that I couldn’t imagine studying anything else. Reading English meant I could talk about a plethora of diverse issues and draw connections between texts from all different time periods, whilst also seeing how attitudes developed as society progressed. There was no way that I could give that up and so I knew I had to apply for English.

How do you think you have changed since walking through Univ’s doors for the first time?
I’d like to think that I’ve come out of myself since coming to Univ. I love to try new things and meet new people and I was so lucky to have made such lovely friends who are so kind and supportive. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

What’s your favourite part of Univ?
The people. I’ve made such close friends since joining and they’ve been some of the loveliest and most brilliant people I could have ever met. Although we might all have a streak of the chaotic, I feel so lucky to have found them.

Has anything surprised you about Oxford/Univ/your course?
I actually enjoyed Old and Middle English which I never thought I would say. I’d only ever imagined poems about battles and swordfights, but you actually get such beautiful love poems and even texts about mental health which are so fantastic to read and research.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?
If you’re ever worried or scared about uni, whether you’re here or before you get here, please reach out. There are loads of students here who will understand what you’re going through and would love to help you if you’re not feeling great.

What do you do outside your studies?  
I have done a lot of performance and drama. I was in the Oxford Belles and have taken part few other musicals and plays such as Spring Awakening and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I also write and edit for the student newspaper, Cherwell and am the co-president of the 1979 Society – Univ’s feminist society. I’ve also done work with the Global Women’s Narrative project and written for BizGees, a company that encourages students to write about refugee issues and refugee artists.

Describe Univ in three words.
Historic, Unexpected, Bustling

Published: 15 May 2023

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