(Original post by TGL)
Ive been reading this forum for a quite while and I haven't seen anyone giving a good coherent account of what its like to be at Oxbridge and why people should be so keen to apply here.
There's some information floating around but its quite patchy and deals with mainly practicalities for students who already have offers or with very broad issues which you can get from college websites.
My post is aimed at encouraging people to apply to Oxbridge. It is a bit unconventional. It really is written from my perspective; it highlights things which I personally love about being at Oxford, rather than 'advantages' you would find on the TSR wiki pages. I think there are quite a few people like me, who think like me and are attracted to the same sorts of thing as I was when I was an applicant. I always suspected that going to the best university in the country would be 'the good life' but no one ever confirmed it; no one ever showed me pictures or made it come alive...that is what im aiming to do.
I am really targeting people who have just finished that AS levels and are considering applying to Oxbridge.
If you think im emphasising the wrong aspects of Oxbridge or encouraging people to apply for 'not the right reasons'; don't bother replying, your opinion does not add anything to the discussion. Thanks!
My post has 5 sections:
1. Accommodation, College and Living
2. Social Life and Going Out
4. Work and Exams
5. The Degree and Prospects
Ill do one section each day.
Click on the images to make them bigger.
Accommodation, College and Living
I'm very fortunate that I go to quite a wealthy college. And it does help to apply to a wealthy college because you will invariably get more comfortable and spacious living conditions.
ChCh, St Johns, Magdalen, Merton, Balliol
Trinity, St Johns, Clare, Emma, Caius, Christs at Cambridge
Don't listen to people who say they were put off by the college being 'too big'. There's no real advantage of having a small, ugly college somewhere out of town.
So, this is the front of the accommodation:
Its located about 10 minutes walking distance from Tesco, Sainsburys, M&S and many other shops. Nearby are several cafes and restaurants including Starbucks, Costa, Brown's and a couple of wonderful cocktail bars. Its about 15 minutes from the main club area.
This central location is a theme common to many Oxbridge colleges. Unlike most other universities, undergraduate accommodation is incredibly close to all the amenities you will ever need and more. Its also very close to the main lecture theaters. I will go into more detail in Section 4 but my main lecture theatre was 10 minutes walking distance from where I lived in first and second year.
The accommodation I am living in is very modern but of course there are the beautiful older buildings throughout both cities. My college has several large, picturesque quads also but accommodation is certainly more comfortable in one of the new buildings.
My room is on floor 2 - we have a lift so transferring things in and out is quite convenient.
Each room is equipped with an en-suite and a fridge/freezer as standard. We also have unlimited internet. It is extremely fast (3-8 MBps) and there are literally no limits. I have downloaded over 100 GB in the last 3 months and quite a lot of that is from torrent/usenet. No one ever says anything. Its absolutely brilliant. Another advantage of a rich college, I think.
The rooms are cleaned and vacuumed by college employees called scouts. At our college, they clean room + toilet twice a week and even leave wash your towels and bedding for you. Anything breaks or doesn't work? Inform them and within 24 hours it will be replaced or fixed, even on weekends! They do an excellent job.
The kitchen is of excellent quality. Its cleaned every day by the scouts. 5 people share one kitchen.
This is one the living areas which is attached to our kitchen:
What if you don't want to make your own food?
The college food is amazing. Its not only the food though, its the setting and the grandeur too. The hall is like the Hogwarts (from Harry Potter) hall. Dinner can be a three course meal where each course is served by a large catering crew or a simple buffet-style meal if you're in a hurry. The cost of these meals is also ridiculously low as everything is subsidised like mad at Oxbridge, especially at good colleges. All meals are around £2.50-£3.
The society dinners are the best. These are usually with tutors and students in your college studying your subject. They have the best food and sometimes you get some amazing guests!
We also have a free gym in the basement of the building. Its hardly ever busy and its extremely well equipped.
It is really is a wonderful place to live.
We also get car parking provided by the college. Now for a bit of a digression...
and its to do with my car. I drive a nice little car, a BMW 1 series. Yeah, its not amazing but for a student car its quite decent. And you might think my parents paid for it, just like they did my public school education? Wrong on both counts. I went to grammar school and the 10k I paid for the car I earned by doing an internship for a bank over the summer holidays. Students from other universities also get the opportunity to do these but at Oxbridge they are just so much more common and easy to get. 40% of my year group at my college did one of these lucrative 10 week internships. I'll talk a bit more things related to this in Section 5.
And what is the cost of all of this?
£3000 per year (£830 room + £170 meals per term X 3)... including room and meals. You just can't beat that for what you get. No matter where you go you can't beat it because Oxbridge subsidise your costs so much.