A New Start for a New Year

Our blog is from the inspirational Nelly Khawaja.  If you’re thinking about a fresh start for 2020 here’s a story that will give you heart that, regardless of the obstacles along the way, you too can achieve.

On the 26th November 2019, I was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn. During the ceremony, I gazed in space and embraced my surrounding. I took a moment to myself and thought about my journey.

I emigrated from Norway aged 9 without any prior knowledge of the English language. To avoid the extensive details, I was mistreated and I experienced a distressing upbringing by the hands of my father. As a witness, I felt lost in a system where the legal professionals were unrelatable and at times, condescending. I really thought there was no escape, I convinced myself ‘this is my life now, and it will never end’.

I turned to education and started finding peace in studying. I told myself I will study until I can be that voice for the most vulnerable members of our society! Just reading alone made me feel stronger. It’s true what they say ‘knowledge is power’.

I had many obstacles along the way, and one of the main ones was being questionable of my own abilities. I didn’t achieve the required grades to get into college. I had to do BTEC’s and NVQ’s. My journey to become a barrister started to feel impossible. I started to self-pity and blaming everything around me. That didn’t get me far. As much as I wanted someone to feel sorry for me and help me escape, no one was able to do that except me!

Despite the adversity, I did a year’s access course to get into University. I then completed my three years Law with Criminology degree and graduated in 2018.

Things were starting to look up and life started feeling meaningful. I was getting more independent and I had a better understanding of my rights. Being able to discover that in itself made me feel so much happier! I felt like no one could touch me now!

So, here I am today, having been called to the Bar. It truly is my biggest achievement to date.

I feel the importance to encourage people to stop thinking you can’t do something because of your past. Coming from a broken family or a deprived background doesn’t make you any less capable! Find your determination in the negative things that happen in your life, never allow yourself to relive it!

 

2 thoughts on “A New Start for a New Year

  1. Zahrah mahmood

    Very inspirational story I have to say. Something I needed to read myself for motivation in my career! You have clearly come a long way and done so well! Good on you! And good luck for the future.

  2. Philippa

    Nelly what an inspiration to overcome all your obstacles and still achieve your dreams. Shows what a dedicated and hard working woman you are. Perfect for the role of a barrister!

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