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Vanina Hangu

Faces of Suffolk

Vanina Hangu

I came back to studying after a very long gap at 33 years old. Where I was born in Romania, it was quite a harsh life and I never had the opportunity to study. I’ve moved 17 times living in three different countries, and my family and friends are in Italy now and I miss them a lot. I tried a lot of jobs but I never felt like I had found my purpose in life.

It was hard coming back to education and moving to a new country. But you adapt and it’s a great way to develop and grow as a person. People are often afraid to take new opportunities or to leave their roots, but to me, that’s a big mistake. Even if it goes wrong you can learn a lot. And if it goes well, you can have the greatest experience of your life, which happened in my case.

I don’t have my box in society and I'm not trying to fit in. I am a weird person and I wear it as a badge. All I want is to enjoy what I’m doing and if it's possible, to help others. Now I can say I love what I do.

Because I had no scientific background, I had to start with a foundation year before starting Bioscience. But my plan is to do my Masters and PhD in neuroscience and remain in research. I love being in the lab and I want to think that my future work will help people who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

It’s never too late to find your purpose. Just stay open to what this life offers you, because whether it’s bad or good, you will always learn something.

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