I graduated first in my faculty, in 2011, with a BA in History and Political Science, a combination which incorporated my passion for both research and activism. This year I completed my master’s thesis on the framing of female sanctity in Early Irish hagiography. My proposed doctoral research expands upon this project, to interrogate the role of vernacular saints’ lives in identity formation. I am particularly excited about the opportunities for interdisciplinary research afforded by my Cambridge department. The experiences and challenges encountered, in returning to education as a mature learner, have been among the most difficult and rewarding of my life. The professional validation and personal fulfilment arising from my studies have been, and continue to be, an immense privilege and I am confident that in my future career I will aid other mature students negotiate their university years.