Folu began her Human Social and Political Science degree in 2018. She was encouraged to apply due to the work of other students from ethnic minority backgrounds, and now supports others in breaking down stereotypes as a current student through the African-Caribbean Society’s Access Scheme.
As a black student, my existence at Cambridge challenges a major stereotype that often puts off other capable prospective black students from even applying to Cambridge. I too once thought that Cambridge was not a place for people from my background, believing that you had to be of a certain culture and financial level to be able to get accepted and do well here both academically and socially. However, with the help of Cambridge student Youtubers from ethnic minorities such as Ibz Mo, Courtney Daniella, Imani Shola and Nissy Tee, my preconceptions were broken down and I found the courage and self-confidence to apply. As a current student, I continue to challenge these stereotypes through contributing to access efforts as a college student helper and by mentoring prospective black applicants through the African-Caribbean Society’s (ACS) Access Scheme.
Fitz has played a significant role as a college with a unique history of widening access to the University. When I first visited Fitz at the College open day, I was drawn to the non-traditional architecture and laid-back atmosphere, which challenged the view that I held of Cambridge as an old-fashioned and extremely academic institution. This history is reflected in how Fitz addresses college issues such as rent and financial support, which affect disadvantaged students but vary from college to college. For these reasons, I think that it is no coincidence that Fitz has a growing ethnic minority community. I found this very beneficial as it made settling in to Cambridge life a lot more enjoyable and welcoming than expected. It reassured me that I was not alone in navigating an unfamiliar environment and I was not at Cambridge by accident.