Hi, my name is Harry. I’m a 35-year old third-year undergraduate from Hackney, London, reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Where I’m from, studying at Oxford is not considered a realistic proposition, and I left school at 16. However, I always felt like I wanted to learn more about the world, so I applied and took my A-Levels while continuing to work. Receiving my offer to study here was one of the greatest moments of my life, although coming to Oxford has been an incredible and challenging experience.
Fortunately, as a die-hard Arsenal fan, I am well accustomed to dealing with difficult periods between October and June. I’ve worked in a shoe shop, filled skips in South London, done painting jobs and carpentry and a spell in the fashion industry. Working as a stagehand at the National Theatre left the biggest impression on me, giving me a love of drama. I took up acting myself, and here at College I’ve set up the HMC Play Society where, once a term, would-be thespians (and those up for a laugh) get together, dress up in costume, mess around and wreak havoc upon unsuspecting pieces of literature.
Now, spending my days contemplating what it means to exist, discussing political obligations and attempting to understand national economies is, for me, a realisation of an ambition that once seemed out of reach. While sometimes questioning my ability to cope with the academic rigours of PPE as a mature student, the faith shown in me by my fantastic tutors, Bill, Isabel and Lesley, as well as the encouragement from my friends, and the HMC community at large, helped me to persevere.
Now, much like Arsenal this season, things have begun to click and I am thoroughly enjoying my studies (even the logic!) and look forward to where it may take me. I am especially interested in Political Economy and will look to pursue this further when my degree ends. But, regardless of what I do, I will now always be a philosopher! Working as a vacation porter has also allowed me to get to know the wonderful College staff very well. Together with the great friends I have made from all across the world, they and my tutors have made my experience at Oxford much more than I could have hoped for. HMC has given me the chance to follow a dream I always had and is somewhere I will forever call home.