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Rejecting Oxford?

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    <apologies in advance for my technology issues, no idea how to use this >

    Basically, can't make a decision so have resorted to the internet in the hope it will solve all my *******s. I've applied to study chemistry and have unconditional offers from Oxford St Hilda's and Imperial (sorry to sound pretentious) and can't choose between them...everyone automatically says i should go to oxford for the prestige and job oppertunities etc but i've lived in the middle of nowhere in dorset all my life and would like to live somewhere without fields? Other reasons pro london; i know a few people at uni there already or are starting in sept (i know this shouldn't be a reason), i like cooking so would like to be self catered, and i disagree with some of oxford's principals...(eg they sent a reading list saying thanks for accepting the offer and said this wasn't a mistake, they send this to everyone irrespective of offer acceptance, which i interpret that they assume everyone accepts?). The only real reason i have for going to oxford is the whole future/career thing but does it make you that much more employable than an imperial degree? Slightly concerned about oxford's reputation of stuck up private school kids but i'm sure you get them anywhere, maybe quite a few oxford rejects at imperial? Anyone in a similar situation? Probably not? Any advice would be amazing, thanks
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    Firstly, you'll find just as many private school kids at Imperial I imagine, however, you're probably talking about the stereotypical stuck-up toffs, because you can't instantly tell everyone who went to a private school, and you're going to get those at every University.

    Don't feel like it's pretentious to have unconditionals for both, if you've got your grades... you've got your grades, you're going to get an unconditional. As for wanting to live field-free... you're not going to find fields in the centre of Oxford despite Oxfordshire being somewhat full of them. Having friends going to Imperial definitely shouldn't sway your decision, it's totally irrelevant, it's your education, and chances are, you'll find yourself with a completely different set of friends after a while anyway. As for wanting to cook, you can live out (or choose alternative Uni accommodation) in your second year; you can actually live out first year if you want, but need permission from the dean to do so, but picking to do this purely because you like cooking is a bit stupid, so I wouldn't recommend it. However, you're going to be in college for an 8-week term, then you go home for 6-8 weeks, where you can cook. Those 8-week terms fly-by, without question.

    I imagine Oxford sent a reading list because the vast majority of those given an offer will accept the offer, and besides, the reading list is going to be helpful even if you were off to study Chemistry in China, so they're hardly doing students not picking Oxford a dis-service by sending them it.

    I can tell you one big anti-London point - money. Oxford has some of the best funding of all UK universities, and if you live in college, some of the cheapest accommodation and catering. You're going to find the polar opposite of this in London, your student income will be lower (I doubt Imperial has bursaries/funding to rival Oxford/Cambridge) and your rent is probably going to be 3 fold that of Oxford.

    You seem to be hung up on a lot of misconceptions regarding Oxford, and drawn towards Imperial (London) for the wrong reasons. The point of going to University (when you're talking about Universities in the leagues of Oxford and Imperial) is to study the subject, and that's really what should account for the majority of the decision.
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    (Original post by Vickymh)
    <apologies in advance for my technology issues, no idea how to use this >

    Basically, can't make a decision so have resorted to the internet in the hope it will solve all my *******s. I've applied to study chemistry and have unconditional offers from Oxford St Hilda's and Imperial (sorry to sound pretentious) and can't choose between them...everyone automatically says i should go to oxford for the prestige and job oppertunities etc but i've lived in the middle of nowhere in dorset all my life and would like to live somewhere without fields? Other reasons pro london; i know a few people at uni there already or are starting in sept (i know this shouldn't be a reason), i like cooking so would like to be self catered, and i disagree with some of oxford's principals...(eg they sent a reading list saying thanks for accepting the offer and said this wasn't a mistake, they send this to everyone irrespective of offer acceptance, which i interpret that they assume everyone accepts?). The only real reason i have for going to oxford is the whole future/career thing but does it make you that much more employable than an imperial degree? Slightly concerned about oxford's reputation of stuck up private school kids but i'm sure you get them anywhere, maybe quite a few oxford rejects at imperial? Anyone in a similar situation? Probably not? Any advice would be amazing, thanks
    Don't go somewhere because you know others going there. It may encourage you not to make new friends, and you can still keep in contact with your school friends. People often make better friends at uni than at school anyhow. There is a bit of a jump up when it comes to Oxford/Cambridge prestige compared to Imperial, particularly internationally. If you can get Oxbridge on your CV you should give it serious consideration.

    Don't let misconceptions about stuck up students put you off either. My sister had a worse experience at Nottingham in this regard than I have had at Oxford. Particularly at a down-to-earth college like St Hilda's.

    I'm not sure about your point regarding fields. Oxford is still a town, so it's not like you go rambling over pastures to get to lectures. London has an awful lot of green space for a major city, as well, so there's no escaping the dreaded fields either way.

    There are kitchen facilities on site (http://www.st-hildas.ox.ac.uk/index....acilities.html) so you can be self-catered if you like.

    What principles of Oxford's do you disagree with? For the record, I didn't get a reading list until well into my summer holiday and then it was online so your experience is not university-wide.
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    (Original post by Vickymh)
    <apologies in advance for my technology issues, no idea how to use this >

    Basically, can't make a decision so have resorted to the internet in the hope it will solve all my *******s. I've applied to study chemistry and have unconditional offers from Oxford St Hilda's and Imperial (sorry to sound pretentious) and can't choose between them...everyone automatically says i should go to oxford for the prestige and job oppertunities etc but i've lived in the middle of nowhere in dorset all my life and would like to live somewhere without fields? Other reasons pro london; i know a few people at uni there already or are starting in sept (i know this shouldn't be a reason), i like cooking so would like to be self catered, and i disagree with some of oxford's principals...(eg they sent a reading list saying thanks for accepting the offer and said this wasn't a mistake, they send this to everyone irrespective of offer acceptance, which i interpret that they assume everyone accepts?). The only real reason i have for going to oxford is the whole future/career thing but does it make you that much more employable than an imperial degree? Slightly concerned about oxford's reputation of stuck up private school kids but i'm sure you get them anywhere, maybe quite a few oxford rejects at imperial? Anyone in a similar situation? Probably not? Any advice would be amazing, thanks
    I don't really have a lot to add to what others have said...

    But I worry that if you have all these misconceptions now about Oxford, you're going to arrive with a chip on your shoulder about 'stuck up private school kids' and not fully embrace university life.

    Oxford is a city, a beautiful one at that.

    I think St Hilda's are quite flexible about eating arrangements and you live out in your 2nd year anyway afaik- but catered accommodation is a great way to meet people and chat after a busy day anyway. You have your whole life to cook for yourself, not to mention the long vacs.
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    Vickymh, it really depends what you're seeking.

    As I've said in other places, Imperial is situated in the richest and safest part of London, a place called Kensington and Chelsea.

    Harrods is down the road and King's Road is only a short walk away. Hyde Park / Kensington Gardens is round the corner. I'm sure you'll see the beauty of the place in Spring / Summer.

    Oxbridge does have a reputation to none (in the UK at least). To Americans, all they hear about re UK unis is Oxbridge, owing to the disproportionate amount of publicity those two unis attract. (Not many from Imperial would choose to work in media, so it doesn't receive too much attention in those circles).

    For example this article is about fees in London universities and yet it features a picture of Oxford!

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...uition-fees.do

    The US go on about their unis a lot too, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Standford, etc. but you must realise these polls are skewed towards English speaking institutions.

    If you know anyone in investment banking, they will be able to tell you the majority of quants (the mathematicians and physicists) are French and come from places like L'ecole Polytechnique in Paris which doesn't have a high profile in the UK. But I can assure you their grads are top notch, after all they study for 5 years as opposed to 3 and cover a lot more material.

    Imperial has a strong reputation in Europe and the Far East, so not surprisingly it has a very international feel.

    Imperial grads also have the highest starting salary of all unis in the UK.

    At Oxford it's pretty much a university town / city where most of the people you bump into are likely to be students. It's also more traditional than most with matriculation dinners and similar events. Great if you're into all that, a chore otherwise.

    London on the other hand is much bigger and you'll get to meet a lot more people from a variety of backgrounds, shopping, restaurants, theatres and museums. There are 4 museums alone within 10 minutes of Imperial.

    It's also nice (and safer) to have friends when you start in a new place.

    Depending what your career aspirations are, the finance capital is in London's City district and Canary Wharf, so if you choose to do an internship during the summers within a financial institution, you'll already be familiar with the place.

    Should you choose to go into industry and pursue a scientific career, all scientists would have had dealings with Imperial.

    I suggest you go and visit both places again, not just the universities but other neighbouring parts to see what your gut feeling is.

    If you do choose Imperial over Oxford, you won't be the first to reject Oxbridge.
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    Lots of country-folk find Oxford to be a 'huge' city - it depends what degree of culture shock you want i guess.

    Oxford don't expect EVERYONE to accept their offer, but the fact is, >90% will end up enrolling all factors considered, so it makes sense for them to e-mail around to everyone.

    Friends being there already should be considered a negative really, as it can impact on your integration to uni life. That's how i see it anyway.

    Oxford is very different to imperial at the end of the day - college system, big town vs huge city (well, depending on your interpretation!), course differences, accommodation differences, pronounced cost differences. Lots of factors to help you decide i feel.
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    (Original post by Vickymh)
    i like cooking so would like to be self catered
    Hilda's website says that there are cooking facilities available — "There are bathrooms and showers on each floor and kitchens with cooking facilities and refrigerators." — so you would be able to cook your own food. (Did you have reason to believe this wouldn't be the case?) I certainly found that after the first couple of weeks or so, when eating in hall allows you to get to know a lot of new people, self catering became a lot more popular.
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    (Original post by Vickymh)
    <apologies in advance for my technology issues, no idea how to use this >

    Basically, can't make a decision so have resorted to the internet in the hope it will solve all my *******s. I've applied to study chemistry and have unconditional offers from Oxford St Hilda's and Imperial (sorry to sound pretentious) and can't choose between them...everyone automatically says i should go to oxford for the prestige and job oppertunities etc but i've lived in the middle of nowhere in dorset all my life and would like to live somewhere without fields? Other reasons pro london; i know a few people at uni there already or are starting in sept (i know this shouldn't be a reason), i like cooking so would like to be self catered, and i disagree with some of oxford's principals...(eg they sent a reading list saying thanks for accepting the offer and said this wasn't a mistake, they send this to everyone irrespective of offer acceptance, which i interpret that they assume everyone accepts?). The only real reason i have for going to oxford is the whole future/career thing but does it make you that much more employable than an imperial degree? Slightly concerned about oxford's reputation of stuck up private school kids but i'm sure you get them anywhere, maybe quite a few oxford rejects at imperial? Anyone in a similar situation? Probably not? Any advice would be amazing, thanks
    1.Oxford is a largish city.
    2. You can be self catered - nobody forces you to eat in hall
    3.They are just being polite, and letting you know the reading in advance.
    4. You don't obviously know many private school people. YOu clearly have a massive chip on your shoulder. Sort it out. Just remember - they are there on as much merit as you, you are neither any better or worse than they are. If you go around hating them for where they wne to school - you are pathetic.
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    I was in essentially the same position a few weeks ago, choosing between Imperial and Oxford as my firm. But I went for Imperial in the end. It came down to where I'd rather be living, and for me (coming from Bristol) Oxford was just too much of a lifestyle change. It seemed to me like I wouldn't just be studying at Oxford University I'd be spending the next 4 years of my life in it. Whereas with Imperial, I felt like I'd be studying at Imperial but living in London. If that makes sense? Personally I wasn't a big fan of Oxford when I went there, as I've never been big on tradition or architecture or any of that. Essentially the course is going to be top rate wherever you go, it ultimately comes down to where you want to spend the next 3/4 years of your life.

    One thing I would say is that I think people make too much of a song and dance about Oxbridge, and I think that the academic 'gap' between Oxford and Imperial in terms of sciences is only about as big as say the difference between Durham and Bristol. I got a lot of people telling me I was crazy for turning down Oxford, but it makes sense for me. Just go where you'd rather go.

    Also congrats and best of luck wherever you end up.
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    Go Imperial and there is a chance your accommodation will be just off Edgware Road. Therefore you'll spend your first year coming back from partying being leered at by middle aged arabs. Got into many an argument defending an ex who kept getting hassled by men who should have known better.
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    (Original post by Noble.)
    Firstly, you'll find just as many private school kids at Imperial I imagine, however, you're probably talking about the stereotypical stuck-up toffs, because you can't instantly tell everyone who went to a private school, and you're going to get those at every University.

    Don't feel like it's pretentious to have unconditionals for both, if you've got your grades... you've got your grades, you're going to get an unconditional. As for wanting to live field-free... you're not going to find fields in the centre of Oxford despite Oxfordshire being somewhat full of them. Having friends going to Imperial definitely shouldn't sway your decision, it's totally irrelevant, it's your education, and chances are, you'll find yourself with a completely different set of friends after a while anyway. As for wanting to cook, you can live out (or choose alternative Uni accommodation) in your second year; you can actually live out first year if you want, but need permission from the dean to do so, but picking to do this purely because you like cooking is a bit stupid, so I wouldn't recommend it. However, you're going to be in college for an 8-week term, then you go home for 6-8 weeks, where you can cook. Those 8-week terms fly-by, without question.

    I imagine Oxford sent a reading list because the vast majority of those given an offer will accept the offer, and besides, the reading list is going to be helpful even if you were off to study Chemistry in China, so they're hardly doing students not picking Oxford a dis-service by sending them it.

    I can tell you one big anti-London point - money. Oxford has some of the best funding of all UK universities, and if you live in college, some of the cheapest accommodation and catering. You're going to find the polar opposite of this in London, your student income will be lower (I doubt Imperial has bursaries/funding to rival Oxford/Cambridge) and your rent is probably going to be 3 fold that of Oxford.

    You seem to be hung up on a lot of misconceptions regarding Oxford, and drawn towards Imperial (London) for the wrong reasons. The point of going to University (when you're talking about Universities in the leagues of Oxford and Imperial) is to study the subject, and that's really what should account for the majority of the decision.
    There might be a fair number of public school toffs at Imperial but there certainly are no Bullingdon Clubs.
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    (Original post by dugdugdug)
    There might be a fair number of public school toffs at Imperial but there certainly are no Bullingdon Clubs.
    My God so many people with chips on their shoulders - you would complain if people hated on the Working Class. So don't hate the other way (whatever 'class' you define yourself as)
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    (Original post by dugdugdug)
    There might be a fair number of public school toffs at Imperial but there certainly are no Bullingdon Clubs.
    Who cares? I haven't heard about or had these clubs preached about in my time at Oxford, so it's totally irrelevant. It's really pathetic stereotyping Oxford, no-one I know comes across in such a way you think "they must be studying at Oxford" the large majority of students could easily be classed as the student body of any other University in the UK.
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    Go to the Uni that you think you will be happiest, Why not go an visit the areas you will be staying in and make a decision that way. You have to also think about money and it might be cheaper to live in Oxford.
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    (Original post by summer_blazed)
    I was in essentially the same position a few weeks ago, choosing between Imperial and Oxford as my firm..
    :confused: Your posts don't seem to tie up to this current status. But each post appears genuine. I'm intrigued! Does someone else share your account to ask the odd question, or have you just had a really unusual couple of years?
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    (Original post by shoshin)
    :confused: Your posts don't seem to tie up to this current status. But each post appears genuine. I'm intrigued! Does someone else share your account to ask the odd question, or have you just had a really unusual couple of years?
    How do you mean? :/
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    (Original post by summer_blazed)
    How do you mean? :/
    I mean, I was confused by your posts on 3/12/10, 24/9/11, and two on 9/3/12. Anyway, you're firmed at your uni of choice, so it's all good.
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    Oh and btw, according to this, 51% of Imperial's students were rich enough to not need student loans. This compares to just 27% of Oxford. Read that as you will.
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    (Original post by shoshin)
    I mean, I was confused by your posts on 3/12/10, 24/9/11, and two on 9/3/12. Anyway, you're firmed at your uni of choice, so it's all good.
    Well as you can see from my sig I'm on a gap year, because I failed to get the grades for any of my universities last year (partially because my dad decided to walk out on us and leave me and my mum essentially penniless and homeless) I got rejected from Oxford last year, but reapplied this year and got offers. Don't think that's particularly confusing..
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    (Original post by summer_blazed)
    Well as you can see from my sig I'm on a gap year, because I failed to get the grades for any of my universities last year (partially because my dad decided to walk out on us and leave me and my mum essentially penniless and homeless) I got rejected from Oxford last year, but reapplied this year and got offers. Don't think that's particularly confusing..
    I never said that your sig or your current status were particularly confusing; gap year and reapply is obviously a very common scenario. I was confused by the fact that some of your posts seem to contradict others. Very sorry about your rotten year. You did amazingly well to make your Imperial offer while going through this.

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