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I was born in Zimbabwe, but grew up in Luton and went to school and college there. Both my parents are nurses, my mum in surgical pre-assessment and my dad in mental health. They have both been an example to me about what hard work looks like, and the importance of being committed and loving what you do.

Both of them did their nursing degrees while I and my siblings were still in school and it’s amazing what they were able to achieve while looking after us.

Originally, I wanted to become a maths teacher. I loved to teach and maths was my favourite subject. I didn’t even like science until like Year 9/10 which was when I decided I wanted to study medicine. 

Going into college I had already given up on the idea of getting any work experience in a hospital. I had been rejected from every nursing/care home that I had applied to, but an amazing opportunity was arranged by my college.

It was a medical mentoring scheme where we would be partnered with a consultant for 18 months, have meetings with them and shadow them. I also got to spend some time on the wards and had a really supportive careers advisor at my college who did some mock interviews with me. 

This is my 5th year at George’s - I’m in my final year of medicine. Five years goes way faster than you think! I’d say to those starting now, don’t be afraid of getting things wrong – it’s how you learn. University is going to be challenging, more challenging than you think, but nothing good ever came easy. You’ll meet some amazing people and build some really good friendships along the way. Value them and stand with each other.  

I’m passionate about medicine (of course) but also extremely passionate about music. I sing, play the guitar and the piano. I also love sport. I played for the ladies basketball team in first and second year and I’ve recently got into running during lockdown (although I feel like everybody did). It’s getting cold now so I might have to replace that with something else.  

I’m also passionate about my faith, I’m a Christian and above everything else that it’s taken to get to where I am now, I wouldn’t have got here without God!! It hasn’t at all been an easy journey, but God has been so faithful. 

St George’s is an amazing community. I love how connected students are across year groups. I know so many students in the years above (now graduated!) that I can get advice from and ask year specific questions because they’ve been there and done it.

In the same way, I’ve gotten to know so many students in the years below who I can advise and encourage too. I really value all those relationships. 

Sibongile Gara is a final year Medicine (MBBS) student.

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