Update: Since part 2 half of the coach has left, including most of my friends.
Perk: for myself and my friend, we now have two rows of three to ourselves.
Con: there has been a major accident on the motorway. So we’re definitely going to need the extra room!
So, as I pass the outskirts of Crewe – red lights in front, the pure white light from the moon to my right – I write part 3 and hope there aren’t any traffic tailbacks yet…
Back to Oxford, and my work’s stacking up. My project is on gravitational waves (read my overview here) and we must produce an individual essay and A1 scientific poster. Let the work commence!
Others would grown at the thought of extra work in the summer holidays. But this is a real chance to experience life as an undergraduate student (minus the alcohol). And I have to say, I’m enjoying it!
Oxford and Cambridge have a particular focus on independence in learning – research, projects & essays, and their famous tutorial system (more on that to come).
A fellow explained that this is the reason the interview to get in is so fierce – Oxbridge are primarily testing you’re ability to cope with their style of teaching. It’s not them being mean. Oxbridge tutors simply don’t want to give you a place, for you to be unable to cope and crash. A couple of students had their first all-nighter on the summer school ( that’s studying all night, not drinking!). The summer school certainly taught us all a variety of demands and lessons about further education.
I’m going to fast forward to Friday (the day I’m currently writing this). We are each allocated a tutorial with a PhD mentor to discuss our assignments. I was anticipating it to be intense and a little scary, but the tutorial was fun. I’ll repeat that, mainly because I can’t believe I said it – the Oxford University tutorial was fun! We discussed my essay. I explained theory to him. He explained theory to me. The atmosphere was jovial and light, and at no point were my ideas (& mistakes) chastised or humiliated. Oxford – I’m surprised! 🙂
I feel like testing the water of a student’s workload has been hugely reassuring. If you’re a prospective student:
a) Sign up to a summer school. Trust me – finding out what kind of learning style you suit is hugely beneficial, especially when your education costs £27,000! Not to mention the skills and knowledge you’ll get from challenging yourself.
b) Complete your own individual assignment and try your hand at research. If you can’t find where to focus, ask your teacher to set you an Oxford- style task. Or if you’d like a hand, leave a comment below or message me via Instagram – I’d be happy to help!
Part 4 is on it’s way!