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The University of Southampton

Humanities student writes in The Guardian about his experiences at the University

Published: 18 November 2010Origin: History
Toby Bakare and his brother Ayo

Southampton History graduate Toby Bakare has been explaining his passion for the subject in the pages of The Guardian.

He wrote an article for the newspaper’s Education section while on work experience there, centring on his major dilemma; what should he study at university?

Toby had been encouraged to take a law degree as it was almost guaranteed to lead to a successful, financially-secure career, but he eventually followed his heart and chose his favourite subject - history. He now aims to become a journalist.

His mother provided plenty of encouragement. “My mum was a single parent who was bringing me up in one of the dodgier areas of south London. She had done well to keep me on the straight and narrow and she knew the value of education and how it provided the best way to move up from my surroundings,” he explains.

Toby enjoyed his years at Southampton: “I went through the gambit of subjects, from Roman Catholicism to climate change, Northern Ireland to Israel, and by the end of it, I felt as though I had done a course that allowed me to ask more questions, analyse and better understand the world around me.” 

His dissertation considered the founding of the state of Israel. During his degree, Toby appreciated modules taught by Mark Levene and Joachim Schloer and even considered staying on to study at masters level.

Now the young Londoner is taking a year off and then plans to enrol on a specialist journalism programme: “History gave me education rather than training, and it allowed me the time to find out what I wanted to do. These things are vital in making the right career choices. I'm glad in the end that I chose history.”

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