18 August 2022

Student ‘overwhelmed’ after becoming first in her family to attend university

18 August 2022

A student from Leicester said she was “overwhelmed with happiness” after getting the A-level results that confirmed she will be the first in her family to go to university.

Sanjeeda Patel, 18, said her parents are from India and did not get the chance to have a “good education”.

After securing a spot at the University of Manchester to study education, Sanjeeda said her family is “so proud” to see her hard work pay off – after a small prank from her brother.

“They believe I’ll get far in life, which makes me feel so appreciated,” she told the PA news agency.

Sanjeeda Patel said she is ‘blessed’ to have a great education (Sanjeeda Patel/PA)

“My brother was the first one to see my results and had initially lied about my grades, sending me halfway into a cardiac arrest.

“But once he told me my actual grades, I was overwhelmed with happiness with the prospect of finally going to the university I sought for.”

Sanjeeda posted a tweet with a picture of her confirmed place at Manchester, writing: “First one in my entire family tree to go to university.”

She said: “Something my mum always used to tell me was she wished she got a proper education and always thinks about all the careers she could’ve taken on.

“Since I was born in England, I was blessed to have a great opportunity for an education and I enjoyed learning.”

Sanjeeda said getting the opportunity to tutor a child while studying was a “catalyst” in her passion for education.

“It was very satisfying to witness a child understand a concept you taught them… I slowly then fell in love with teaching others.

“I wanted to then pursue my career involving teaching whilst upholding the process of learning as well.”

While her parents are proud, Sanjeeda admitted they are “a little reluctant” to see their daughter move away to study.

“But my brother really encouraged me to go for it,” she said.

“They recognised how I will be the first one to go to university in our family and being a female achieving that made my mum that much more proud.”

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