Husnain is in his 3rd year of studying law at the university of Cambridge.
Knowledge is empowerment and you learn as much about yourself as about the world around you.
With the intention of embarking on this great journey, I arrived at NewVIc in 2009. NewVIc was a vital stepping-stone laying down the foundations I needed to fully reach my potential. I remember reading about the relationship between law and morals in A-level law classes and this triggered my interest in the question “how can law be used as an instrument of social change?” It was also the interplay of the subjects I was studying, including History and Politics, which allowed me to appreciate how civil disobedience in the form of non-violent and peaceful protest in America and India led to legal protection of vital civil and political rights as well as the principles of equality of opportunity and freedom. Moreover, historically assessing how Britain evolved from a monarchical state to a fully-fledged democratic system answered many questions I had about how the present is linked to what has happened in the past. One recurring theme in my studies at NewVIc was the desire to further my understanding of politics and morality.
My teachers were also a major influence on me. They were passionate about their subjects and had in-depth knowledge about their respective fields. I particularly appreciated the essay feedback I received from them, as this allowed me to see where I could improve my written work and my writing style. It was this process of putting in the hard-work, receiving feedback as to how I could get better and then acting on that advice which allowed me to gradually sharpen my writing and analytical skills. I also learnt much about how to balance work and play by participating in a range of activities available at NewVIc, including the debating club, cricket academy and capoeira training! This is something that I appreciated when I progressed to university.
When I arrived at Cambridge University, I was looking forward to meeting new people and participating in the range of societies. I was in for a bit of a shock when I received my first reading list. I had to read around 100 pages for my criminal law supervision as well as dozens of cases and statutory provisions! The workload seemed to have tripled if not quadrupled from my college days. Nevertheless, I managed to get started and make a decent contribution in my supervision.
One key lesson that I have learnt at university is how to manage time and to get the most out of it. Planning is key. Apart from spending hours in front of books, I have also become a member of the Cambridge Union Society, which hosts famous speakers like the Dalai Lama, Boris Johnson and Lord Alan Sugar. I have also taken an interest in the Cambridge University Pro Bono Society and presented to homeless people on landlord and tenants’ rights and responsibilities. I am now in my third year of university and plan to start my masters in Law this year. I want to deepen my understanding of human rights and justice.
My advice for students is to remember that there is no substitute for hard-work and perseverance. This is how you achieve your goals and is the key to success.
Husnain Nasim – NewVIc class of 2011