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Life update: I’ve been accepted to University College London (UCL)’s Law school!



Well, I’ve survived 5 weeks of classes, so I guess it's time to make this official now.

Life update: I’ve been accepted to University College London (UCL)’s Law school. Yay!


How? Why?


I was getting really bored some time back with COVID-19 bringing life to a grinding halt, so I decided to apply to the top law school in London for the heck of it. I was interested in studying law back in my Raffles JC days, but seniors in National University of Singapore (NUS) Law told me that if I wanted to do well in sports, NUS Law probably wasn’t a good fit (lots of work and little sleep, apparently).


I was more than 5 years removed from my last class and approaching 30 years old. Frankly, I didn’t think UCL, ranked 6th in the world by Times Higher Education, would give me the time of day. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2022/subject-ranking/law#!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats


I submitted my ‘A’ Level certificate from 2009 (AAB/A for anyone wondering) which seemingly didn’t meet UCL Laws’ minimum requirements (their website states AAA/A), my University of Oregon business degree certificate (magna cum laude), and an impassioned personal statement about how law can and should be a pillar of justice in society, but is sometimes abused by the rich and powerful to bend the less privileged to their will. Yes, call me idealistic. Then I paid the application fee and carried on with my life.


A few months later, I received this letter.

It was a pleasant surprise, but I didn’t really know what to do. Was I really going to go back to school, at the age of 30? Did I really think I could keep up with those 19 year olds fresh out of high school? This is a top course of study at a top university and is never going to be easy. Did I really want this?


I thought about it for a long time over many miles of running. At the end of the day, I decided to chase the dream. It will mean adding more to my already full plate - I work in sales for TheSmartLocal.com in the day and go for marathon training in the evenings. But that vision of being a lawyer and defending the underprivileged, oppressed, and unrepresented in the future when I do retire from running excited me enough to begin this journey. On that note, I drew a lot of inspiration from lawyers such as Eugene Thuraisingam and his team.


I took up the option of taking term 1 online partly because of the COVID-19 situation in the UK at the moment, and partly because I was busy with some races here like the Pocari Sweat 2.4km Challenge. Over the last few weeks, I have attended lectures and tutorials in Contract Law, Property Law, Public Law and Criminal Law.


I never thought I’d say this but I do feel that studying is a great distraction from training. I attend recorded lectures when lying in bed recovering from hard track sessions, and when I can’t sleep, I read the Public Law textbook! Haha.


I like that I’m developing knowledge and skills while developing as an athlete, and with that comes overall fulfillment.


Not sure why I’m sharing all this but I guess if it made you laugh, that’s great. If it made you smile, even better.


If it reminds you that it’s never too late to chase your dreams, put down your phone right now and start working on it. I wish you all the very best.


I put aside law for running when I was 18. Funnily enough, the money I make as a professional athlete will now help pay for law school fees. Perhaps this is a journey that’s come full circle.


I’m excited for the future.


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