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My hypothetical gap year and applying to Oxbridge Watch

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    (Original post by tc92)
    I'm applying to Oxford on gap year at the moment.
    Firstly, I hope you get in and need not worry about a gap year.
    If you do then definitely make the most of it. I'm going out to Africa in January till April, but so far I've been working very few hours a week tutoring which still pays very well (~£20 an hour). Originally, I'd thought I'd need lots of time for extra reading/studying for Oxford, which a) wasn't necessary timewise; and b) simply did not happen. I now face a fairly fun-filled week of studying to prepare for interviews. But the Oxford application needn't take up that much of your time so you'd be able to take a full-time job if that's what you wanted (barring the days at interview and prep for exams etc).
    As others have said, try and make things relevant and productive. Studying or working in a productive manner (i.e. not shelf-stacking at Sainsburys) look good.

    However, Oxford isn't the be all and end all of unis, and there are others which are arguably better depending on your subject. IF you take a gap year, you will come under the new tuition fee system, whatever that turns out to be. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the system and whether it is fairer or not, you will come under that. Whether that influences your decision is a different question - it may be a fairer system moving you to take the year out anyway.

    But as I say, hopefully you won't be faced with that dilemma!
    No such luck; got a rejection through today. But thank you anyway!

    Couple of questions: What kind of thing are you doing over in Africa? Also, did you apply to Oxbridge last year? What course/college are you for this year?

    You're right, it isn't; and I won't be reapplying unless I know I have something more than a "long shot" this time. The tuition fees system is a bummer, and despite my initial "humour me"s I guess there really is no way round it. It's not an attractive system they're proposing, but nor is it unduly unfair. However some may say I'm mad to be willing to suffer 300% higher fees when I've already got offers from good unis, and I suppose they're right too. Plus I shouldn't forget that I haven't even visited these unis yet. A gap year does sound like a nice idea though, as you have shown
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    No such luck; got a rejection through today. But thank you anyway!

    Couple of questions: What kind of thing are you doing over in Africa? Also, did you apply to Oxbridge last year? What course/college are you for this year?

    You're right, it isn't; and I won't be reapplying unless I know I have something more than a "long shot" this time. The tuition fees system is a bummer, and despite my initial "humour me"s I guess there really is no way round it. It's not an attractive system they're proposing, but nor is it unduly unfair. However some may say I'm mad to be willing to suffer 300% higher fees when I've already got offers from good unis, and I suppose they're right too. Plus I shouldn't forget that I haven't even visited these unis yet. A gap year does sound like a nice idea though, as you have shown
    Oh unlucky!! Keep fingers crossed for St. Andrews!

    I'm actually going out to Rwanda for 2 months to teach English at a school out there. It's a link through my old school so it's been fairly easy to set up, but it should be a great experience.

    I didn't apply for Oxbridge last year and had a deferred place at Warwick confirmed on results day but then decided, partly in that I was taking a gap year anyway, that it was worth a shot going for Oxford and withdrew my entire application to reapply. And it's French and History I'm going for.

    If you get the offer for St. Andrews I'd take it, given it's a great uni and the whole tuition fee circumstances (albeit the situation in Scotland is somewhat different). If you don't get them either, plump for one of them and see how results go in August. If you get good results, you can withdraw the entire UCAS application as I did and reapply; it's a very simple process, it took barely a minute on the phone to UCAS and that was it done and dusted, I didn't even need to contact Warwick directly at all.
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    This thread seems a tad preemptive, but I just thought I'd plan ahead for once.

    The idea to take a year out and reapply for 2012 entry has been growing on me for some time. (It's also partially borne out of my belief that Oxford are going to reject me soon, and though it's so hypocritical of me, I can just see myself reapplying next year with a strengthened application).

    So this is my hypothetical gap year:
    • EDUCATION: I'm still planning to stick with psychology when I reapply; though this time I'd give English more consideration too. Either way, I'd take up Classics AS, maybe Biology AS and redo all of part of French/Maths AS. These are for personal enjoyment/ helping with my subjects/ ironing out dodgy grades reasons.
      I'd attend school lessons for the first month or so and then self-teach at home, maybe coming in once every 2-3 weeks to see teachers for progress. (it's going to feel a bit weird coming back to school... like I'm the ex-pupil who can never let go.. but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do)
      I am aware however, that by the time the next Oxbridge deadline rolls around (this is assuming I get AAA+ this year), I won't have the results of any of these new qualifications. So how does it work? Would they give me a conditional based on my AS results? Or is it dependent only on what I achieved at A2?


    • WORK EXPERIENCE: Important to get as much as possible. I have contacts at the IoP, my school could hopefully also set me up at other places, I'd write to uni depts + hospitals + clinics and ask for opportunities there. I'd also LOVE to do WEx or work abroad but we'll see about that. Also I'd put my name down for a bit of volunteering (need to give back)

    • UNI EXPERIENCE: Visit loads of unis, make better informed decisions this time round. Also to visit my friends/meet new ones and generally faff around!

    • WORK: .... Obviously find a real job and stop leeching off mum and dad. Tutoring would be a good idea (assuming anyone even wants to be taught by me)

    • STUDENT-RELATED: Attend more lectures, plays, workshops, conventions, museums, courses and keep on reading specialist magazines and journals, books and plays etc

    • DRAMA: Join a drama group and go to loads of plays/gigs! & Hopefully write some material of my own

    • TRAVEL: France, Italy, Greece, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, US, China ??

    • APPEARANCE: Get my ass down to the gym. Grow my hair, my nails, boobs (seriously hellloo Mother Nature. did you forget about me?), improve my skin. Wardrobe and makeup overhaul.


    That was pretty fun to plan. I'm in the right mind to actually embark on it regardless of UCAS outcomes! Haha... All very ambitious too, but just my early thoughts really! (sadly knowing me I probably would end up only doing a few of these, and even fewer of these well)
    What do you think- especially regarding the education bullet point? Anything I ought to put in? Any other advice/tips if you've been there yourself?

    Thankss
    Sorry that you got rejected from Oxford, but well done on your other offers. Is there a particular reason you wanted to go to Oxford? I'm not sure if Oxford approve of re sitting AS's, so it may be a waste of time if you want to re-apply, or it may even worsen your application. But if you do decide to go with a gap year, I think you may run out of time! I'm not sure how much work you plan to do (full or part time?) but I am currently on my gap year - I work full time at an educational company and I am studying A level Further Maths online / self study. I am always running out of time to do things! I am so busy it is unreal, so based on your work aspirations, I think you will struggle to do all those AS's. If you get the grades for your other choices, then is there any point in re-sitting, and I don't think an extra 1 or 2 AS's would help an application - they are mostly fussed about A2's. I have no idea about work experience for psychology - I think it would be difficult (patient confidentiality etc.).

    I am on the Year in Industry scheme (http://www.yini.org.uk/index.html) . It is a great opportunity to get PAID full time work experience in STEM and Business related jobs. Most of them are engineering but you can find other ones - maybe you can find something related to your interests? I have been told by universities that they regard the scheme as extremely helpful in preparing your for university and you get paid for all of this! Maybe consider this as an option - you can even mix in travel as well (I think you get discount from some gap year companies).

    Anyway, if I were you I would take the offers. Yes, Oxford may have a brilliant academic reputation, but there is no point in chasing that dream, and at the same time, loosing other offers, and paying more in fees (you never know what will happen).

    Your decision!
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    How on earth were you planning on growing your boobs?!

    I wouldn't reapply for Oxford if I were you. Take some time to think about whether you really want to go there (think about those increased tuition fees!!) and if you do, go for it. But I bet you'll find in a couple of months that you'd rather just get to uni and enjoy it rather than putting it off for another year!

    (btw you really remind me of myself at your age. I'm 20 and got rejected from Oxford, I was devastated but decided I didn't want to reapply and went to Edinburgh instead. Best decision of my life. I've met incredible people from all over the world that I never could have met at Oxford and I was able to change my degree to incorporate a year abroad so I'm now living in Italy for the year. Don't give up on the enthuasism though, that list is awesome! You can still do all of that while at university, though maybe give up on the idea of more AS levels!)
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    If the idea of this gap year of self improvement makes you feel excited, then its worth going for, regardless of whether or not you get in Oxford.
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    (Original post by nosnibor)
    How on earth were you planning on growing your boobs?!
    Majorly pigging out? Lunchtime boob op? Lol iuno.

    I wouldn't reapply for Oxford if I were you. Take some time to think about whether you really want to go there (think about those increased tuition fees!!) and if you do, go for it. But I bet you'll find in a couple of months that you'd rather just get to uni and enjoy it rather than putting it off for another year!

    (btw you really remind me of myself at your age. I'm 20 and got rejected from Oxford, I was devastated but decided I didn't want to reapply and went to Edinburgh instead. Best decision of my life. I've met incredible people from all over the world that I never could have met at Oxford and I was able to change my degree to incorporate a year abroad so I'm now living in Italy for the year. Don't give up on the enthuasism though, that list is awesome! You can still do all of that while at university, though maybe give up on the idea of more AS levels!)
    Good advice.
    I did really want to go there, but to be frank, it's probably more the lifestyle, the beauty of Oxford and the prestige that really attracts me. Work ethic-wise I don't think I'm there yet, mentally, and almost certainly it would be quite a horrible shock to have all this work thrown at me once I got there, if I got in. In fact, I thought all this even when I was making my application-- but I knew, just knew I'd regret not, so went for it anyway. What saddens me is not that I think I deserved to get in, or even get an interview, but that all my life people have expected great things of me and I never meet those expectations. I had hoped to recapture a bit of lost pride by getting somewhere with Oxford, but guess it wasn't to be.

    You're possibly right about the uni blues; I tend to get demotivated very easily, esp when there's little for me to do. And I may have the enthusiasm now, but it's very difficult to sustain! Hmmm, how do you know the people you have met in Edin you could "never have met" at Oxford?! What degree are you studying for?

    About the extra ASs... I kind of feel ashamed to admit it out loud, but my main reason for wanting to go down that route besides the 'bridging-the-gap' thing is because there is this absolutely compelling teacher at my school who I sort of can't bear to leave behind... so yeah I was so pleased with my plan... even though that would be super-tragic; doing lessons with Year 11s ..... :eek3: in the real world, I don't know if I'd have the endurance, but it's certainly an option I'll go through with if push comes to shove!

    But thank you! Always nice to hear from someone who was in the same boat (and subsequently found a more beautiful island than the one they were originally sailing towards and so disembarked there instead, leaving behind the clueless cabin boy.) (Sorry I like analogies)
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    (Original post by Retrospect)
    Woah, woah, woah. That's a whole lot to take into consideration!

    Forgive me if any of this sounds presumptuous, but these are my initial thoughts after reading your post. Taking up extra AS subjects and resigning yourself to a whole more year of exams after you have just finished your A2s, purely for enjoyment, whilst on a gap year, fitting in work experience placements and travelling abroad and personal goals, is not impossible, but seemingly quite unnecessary at first glance. What is it about the Oxford course that attracts you so much that you are willing to potentially turn down 3+ other offers to study good Psych courses? If you are unsuccessful in your application this year, I recommend that you have a long think about what sort of thing you are looking to get out of an Oxford education, particularly with regards to the EP course.

    Secondly, when you say you will be contacting the IoP, hospitals and clinics etc., what sort of work experience will you be looking for? You say you have contact at IoP so you know better than me if it would be possible to get w/e there, but I imagine psych-related w/e at hospitals and clinics is pretty much a no-go for a post/A Level student.

    In conclusion - have a good think about whether, realistically, a gap year is definitely for you. It may sound incredibly appealing right now, but make sure you are taking it for the right reasons and that you plan it well. Good luck.
    Maybe if there was a next time, I wouldn't go for Experimental Psychology but look into Psychology and Philosophy at Ox/ PPS at Cam instead. The flexibility and breadth of these degrees and the quality of the institution were my main reasons for wanting to re-apply, especially as I feel I've made such an error of judgement this cycle. It's not just the fact it's Oxbridge we're talking about here; if it was any other uni that I absolutely loved and got rejected from, I would be wondering the same thing. But I guess the difference between Oxbridge and other unis is that you're either the right fit for them, or you're not. Probably this will become more apparent to me over the course of the year, and then I'll have to be truthful with myself as to whether Oxbridge suits me after all.

    I know, this is EVERYTHING I want to do, but realistically how much of it is going to get done I'd need to make a lot of compromises, and as someone else has said, there is never enough time! Actually I'm experiencing time-shortage sydrome even now at A2. OMG scary thought.... Me lounging in my bed watching trashy Youtube videos day after day, promising myself I'll do something valuable tomorrow and that I have a whole year, why not fritter away the rest of the day.

    Aah, I have been lucky enough to have had two placements at IoP before, despite being under 18 :ninja: It was mostly admin work though- but still useful! And since I'll be 18 during my gap year, I'll have slightly more options open to me. When I say "lots" of WEx though, really 2-3 would be enough I think. I could return to IoP if they'll have me, go to a uni department or two, participate in research etc. I have no idea about hospitals and clinics, just an idea.


    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    If the idea of this gap year of self improvement makes you feel excited, then its worth going for, regardless of whether or not you get in Oxford.
    It is making me excited! But equally it could swing the other way, I know what I'm like. I guess, see how St Andrews turns out and how much I love my choices?

    Thanks for the advice and the luck! You guys are very helpful indeed
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    RE retaking A-levels; I reapplied to Cambridge whilst retaking my German A2 and taking another A-level in my gap year, and got made an unconditional offer on the strength of my previous A-levels (AAB). However, my friend who's at the same college doing the same course retook an A2 and got made her offer based on getting an A in her retake. So, I think (at Cambridge, at my college) anyway, that it varies from person to person.

    I think that what other people are saying about not basing everything on Oxbridge is very true; though I can hardly talk, since I reapplied exactly for that reason. You should consider the fact, however, that you have three other very good offers. I didn't, so the decision to reapply was easy. Good luck, anyway.
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    (Original post by tc92)
    Oh unlucky!! Keep fingers crossed for St. Andrews!

    I'm actually going out to Rwanda for 2 months to teach English at a school out there. It's a link through my old school so it's been fairly easy to set up, but it should be a great experience.

    I didn't apply for Oxbridge last year and had a deferred place at Warwick confirmed on results day but then decided, partly in that I was taking a gap year anyway, that it was worth a shot going for Oxford and withdrew my entire application to reapply. And it's French and History I'm going for.

    If you get the offer for St. Andrews I'd take it, given it's a great uni and the whole tuition fee circumstances (albeit the situation in Scotland is somewhat different). If you don't get them either, plump for one of them and see how results go in August. If you get good results, you can withdraw the entire UCAS application as I did and reapply; it's a very simple process, it took barely a minute on the phone to UCAS and that was it done and dusted, I didn't even need to contact Warwick directly at all.
    I will take on board the advice, thankyou.
    I'm sure it will be extremely rewarding! Can I ask how your school has links to such a programme?
    It was very brave of you to withdraw your application, I'd probably be umming and ahhing about it, and keep postponing. Out of interest, did you apply to Warw again this cycle?
    Hoping StAs are kind to me, I'd love to do the course there, only parents are definitely not happy about me gallivanting off to Scotland. But even they can't deny it could potentially be the best opportunity available to me.

    (Original post by paper-wings)
    Sorry that you got rejected from Oxford, but well done on your other offers. Is there a particular reason you wanted to go to Oxford? I'm not sure if Oxford approve of re sitting AS's, so it may be a waste of time if you want to re-apply, or it may even worsen your application. But if you do decide to go with a gap year, I think you may run out of time! I'm not sure how much work you plan to do (full or part time?) but I am currently on my gap year - I work full time at an educational company and I am studying A level Further Maths online / self study. I am always running out of time to do things! I am so busy it is unreal, so based on your work aspirations, I think you will struggle to do all those AS's. If you get the grades for your other choices, then is there any point in re-sitting, and I don't think an extra 1 or 2 AS's would help an application - they are mostly fussed about A2's. I have no idea about work experience for psychology - I think it would be difficult (patient confidentiality etc.).

    I am on the Year in Industry scheme (http://www.yini.org.uk/index.html) . It is a great opportunity to get PAID full time work experience in STEM and Business related jobs. Most of them are engineering but you can find other ones - maybe you can find something related to your interests? I have been told by universities that they regard the scheme as extremely helpful in preparing your for university and you get paid for all of this! Maybe consider this as an option - you can even mix in travel as well (I think you get discount from some gap year companies).

    Anyway, if I were you I would take the offers. Yes, Oxford may have a brilliant academic reputation, but there is no point in chasing that dream, and at the same time, loosing other offers, and paying more in fees (you never know what will happen).

    Your decision!
    Thank you!
    That was what I was thinking; however when I phoned up Ox and StAs a few months ago, they actually lightly dissuaded me from resitting Maths (which I dropped and got a C in) this year, for fear of jeopardising my other A2 subjects. I have no idea whether they were already ruling me out in their head... Psychology involves Stats and Bio, esp at Oxford, and therefore it would be essential to build on/revisit one's knowledge during a gap year-- so why not do it in a measurable way by taking exams? (besides I just wouldn't feel comfortable with Cs at AS if I'm wanting to reapply to good unis). That's how I see it anyway, and I'm intending to put it to them when I ask for feedback on my app.
    See elsewhere in the thread for why I want to take another gamble there and time management..

    Hum, I think I checked out YINI a while ago and was disappointed they were so short on non-engineering/ physical science schemes But paid WEx and opportunity to travel would be a dream... I'll def check them out again!

    Decisions decisions!!!
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    (Original post by charlottesometimes)
    RE retaking A-levels; I reapplied to Cambridge whilst retaking my German A2 and taking another A-level in my gap year, and got made an unconditional offer on the strength of my previous A-levels (AAB). However, my friend who's at the same college doing the same course retook an A2 and got made her offer based on getting an A in her retake. So, I think (at Cambridge, at my college) anyway, that it varies from person to person.

    I think that what other people are saying about not basing everything on Oxbridge is very true; though I can hardly talk, since I reapplied exactly for that reason. You should consider the fact, however, that you have three other very good offers. I didn't, so the decision to reapply was easy. Good luck, anyway.
    Hellloo, what good news. What year/course/college did you apply?
    I'm not meaning to neglect my other places, just I was already interested in a gap year, then put off by the fee rises, then put on again by the rejection. I plan to visit them soon in Feb/March- then I can make more informed decisions!
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    Hellloo, what good news. What year/course/college did you apply?
    I'm not meaning to neglect my other places, just I was already interested in a gap year, then put off by the fee rises, then put on again by the rejection. I plan to visit them soon in Feb/March- then I can make more informed decisions!
    I applied to Robinson College, Cambridge last year (and the year before, hence they'd already seen me at interview, hence - I suppose - why they made me an unconditional offer?) Yeah, it's a tricky situation to be in. Visiting is a good idea - I nearly went to my back-up uni without visiting in a blind panic after missing my Cambridge offer, then went there and realised it just wasn't for me. Once again, best of luck!
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    Good advice.
    I did really want to go there, but to be frank, it's probably more the lifestyle, the beauty of Oxford and the prestige that really attracts me. Work ethic-wise I don't think I'm there yet, mentally, and almost certainly it would be quite a horrible shock to have all this work thrown at me once I got there, if I got in. In fact, I thought all this even when I was making my application-- but I knew, just knew I'd regret not, so went for it anyway. What saddens me is not that I think I deserved to get in, or even get an interview, but that all my life people have expected great things of me and I never meet those expectations. I had hoped to recapture a bit of lost pride by getting somewhere with Oxford, but guess it wasn't to be.

    You're possibly right about the uni blues; I tend to get demotivated very easily, esp when there's little for me to do. And I may have the enthusiasm now, but it's very difficult to sustain! Hmmm, how do you know the people you have met in Edin you could "never have met" at Oxford?! What degree are you studying for?

    About the extra ASs... I kind of feel ashamed to admit it out loud, but my main reason for wanting to go down that route besides the 'bridging-the-gap' thing is because there is this absolutely compelling teacher at my school who I sort of can't bear to leave behind... so yeah I was so pleased with my plan... even though that would be super-tragic; doing lessons with Year 11s ..... :eek3: in the real world, I don't know if I'd have the endurance, but it's certainly an option I'll go through with if push comes to shove!

    But thank you! Always nice to hear from someone who was in the same boat (and subsequently found a more beautiful island than the one they were originally sailing towards and so disembarked there instead, leaving behind the clueless cabin boy.) (Sorry I like analogies)
    I'm studying for English Literature and Italian, but Edinburgh's a very international university and judging on my friends at Oxford's friends, I know that I've been able to meet a more varied group of people. That's not exactly the most important thing in the world, but my university experience has given me a more international perspective which I doubt I would have got at Oxford. (I'm planning to move to New York, for example, which I don't think would have happened if I'd gone to Oxford).

    You should NOT reapply if you're applying to Oxford to prove something to somebody. Yes, intelligence and dedication is required to get into Oxbridge, but so is a hell of a lot of luck, so not getting in / getting in doesn't really prove much.

    Love the analogy! Sure you don't want to study English Lit...? :p:
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    (Original post by charlottesometimes)
    I applied to Robinson College, Cambridge last year (and the year before, hence they'd already seen me at interview, hence - I suppose - why they made me an unconditional offer?) Yeah, it's a tricky situation to be in. Visiting is a good idea - I nearly went to my back-up uni without visiting in a blind panic after missing my Cambridge offer, then went there and realised it just wasn't for me. Once again, best of luck!
    You must have really really impressed them! But I thought Cambridge's entry reqs last year were A*AA/AAA? I would have thought they would even specify higher grades for someone who was resitting?
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    You must have really really impressed them! But I thought Cambridge's entry reqs last year were A*AA/AAA? I would have thought they would even specify higher grades for someone who was resitting?
    Hmm, well there is this. To be honest, I think that a lot rests on the interview. Each college makes different offers - some make offers of A* A* A*, some give unconditional offers (though to be fair they are really rare before you've done your A-levels). If you really decide that your other places aren't for you, then all you can do is give it your best shot.

    lol, I meant 'hmm, well there is this' in response to your question, rather than the thing about impressing them at interview. Just realised how unintentionally arrogant that sounded :P
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    Maybe if there was a next time, I wouldn't go for Experimental Psychology but look into Psychology and Philosophy at Ox/ PPS at Cam instead. The flexibility and breadth of these degrees and the quality of the institution were my main reasons for wanting to re-apply, especially as I feel I've made such an error of judgement this cycle. It's not just the fact it's Oxbridge we're talking about here; if it was any other uni that I absolutely loved and got rejected from, I would be wondering the same thing. But I guess the difference between Oxbridge and other unis is that you're either the right fit for them, or you're not. Probably this will become more apparent to me over the course of the year, and then I'll have to be truthful with myself as to whether Oxbridge suits me after all.

    I know, this is EVERYTHING I want to do, but realistically how much of it is going to get done I'd need to make a lot of compromises, and as someone else has said, there is never enough time! Actually I'm experiencing time-shortage sydrome even now at A2. OMG scary thought.... Me lounging in my bed watching trashy Youtube videos day after day, promising myself I'll do something valuable tomorrow and that I have a whole year, why not fritter away the rest of the day.

    Aah, I have been lucky enough to have had two placements at IoP before, despite being under 18 :ninja: It was mostly admin work though- but still useful! And since I'll be 18 during my gap year, I'll have slightly more options open to me. When I say "lots" of WEx though, really 2-3 would be enough I think. I could return to IoP if they'll have me, go to a uni department or two, participate in research etc. I have no idea about hospitals and clinics, just an idea.
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    I was rejected last year for EP before interview (I sort of disregarded the TSA and consequently my performance on it was pretty abysmal , aside from that my GCSEs were probably slightly lower than the average) and at the time I applied to Oxford for similar reasons to you, so I wasn't too gutted about it all. Cambridge would've been a better bet but I disliked the PPS structure and didn't meet the requirements for Natural Sciences. I got four other great offers but decided to leave behind psychology all together and I'm on a gap year at the moment.

    So, back to the topic at hand, I really don't wish to sound negative, and if the idea of a gap year appeals, you should definitely go for it provided you plan it well. It definitely wakes you up a bit and it's good to experience the 'real world' so to speak before quietly crawling back into cosy student life.
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    This thread seems a tad preemptive, but I just thought I'd plan ahead for once.

    The idea to take a year out and reapply for 2012 entry has been growing on me for some time. (It's also partially borne out of my belief that Oxford are going to reject me soon, and though it's so hypocritical of me, I can just see myself reapplying next year with a strengthened application).

    So this is my hypothetical gap year:
    • EDUCATION: I'm still planning to stick with psychology when I reapply; though this time I'd give English more consideration too. Either way, I'd take up Classics AS, maybe Biology AS and redo all of part of French/Maths AS. These are for personal enjoyment/ helping with my subjects/ ironing out dodgy grades reasons.
      I'd attend school lessons for the first month or so and then self-teach at home, maybe coming in once every 2-3 weeks to see teachers for progress. (it's going to feel a bit weird coming back to school... like I'm the ex-pupil who can never let go.. but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do)
      I am aware however, that by the time the next Oxbridge deadline rolls around (this is assuming I get AAA+ this year), I won't have the results of any of these new qualifications. So how does it work? Would they give me a conditional based on my AS results? Or is it dependent only on what I achieved at A2?


    • WORK EXPERIENCE: Important to get as much as possible. I have contacts at the IoP, my school could hopefully also set me up at other places, I'd write to uni depts + hospitals + clinics and ask for opportunities there. I'd also LOVE to do WEx or work abroad but we'll see about that. Also I'd put my name down for a bit of volunteering (need to give back)

    • UNI EXPERIENCE: Visit loads of unis, make better informed decisions this time round. Also to visit my friends/meet new ones and generally faff around!

    • WORK: .... Obviously find a real job and stop leeching off mum and dad. Tutoring would be a good idea (assuming anyone even wants to be taught by me)

    • STUDENT-RELATED: Attend more lectures, plays, workshops, conventions, museums, courses and keep on reading specialist magazines and journals, books and plays etc

    • DRAMA: Join a drama group and go to loads of plays/gigs! & Hopefully write some material of my own

    • TRAVEL: France, Italy, Greece, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, US, China ??

    • APPEARANCE: Get my ass down to the gym. Grow my hair, my nails, boobs (seriously hellloo Mother Nature. did you forget about me?), improve my skin. Wardrobe and makeup overhaul.


    That was pretty fun to plan. I'm in the right mind to actually embark on it regardless of UCAS outcomes! Haha... All very ambitious too, but just my early thoughts really! (sadly knowing me I probably would end up only doing a few of these, and even fewer of these well)
    What do you think- especially regarding the education bullet point? Anything I ought to put in? Any other advice/tips if you've been there yourself?

    Thankss
    just get a job and then go travelling (in one region i think is best because then you get more of a feel for a place rather than going to loads of very different countries). Gap years are a great chance to chill out and take a break especially before the hectic nature of an oxbridge degree - take it, don't be too ambitious!
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    (Original post by nosnibor)
    I'm studying for English Literature and Italian, but Edinburgh's a very international university and judging on my friends at Oxford's friends, I know that I've been able to meet a more varied group of people. That's not exactly the most important thing in the world, but my university experience has given me a more international perspective which I doubt I would have got at Oxford. (I'm planning to move to New York, for example, which I don't think would have happened if I'd gone to Oxford).

    You should NOT reapply if you're applying to Oxford to prove something to somebody. Yes, intelligence and dedication is required to get into Oxbridge, but so is a hell of a lot of luck, so not getting in / getting in doesn't really prove much.

    Love the analogy! Sure you don't want to study English Lit...? :p:
    I'm still not completely sold on there being too much of a gap, as at Oxford and Cambridge invariably you acquire so many contacts and links (at least that's what I've heard). But I'm so happy for you that you're broadening your horizons like that! Why NY if I may ask?

    I would reapply to prove something to myself. That's not necessarily to get in. Of course next year, I'd like to get to interview. But it's more than that- I feel the Oxbridge process forces you so much to mature and develop as a person and a student, and because of that I'll always be glad I applied. You're right about the lottery thing, though.

    You know, I've always wondered whether I made the right decision re: Psychology vs Eng Lit... Eng Lit has been my favourite subject since primary school but recently I doubted whether the degree was for me. Psychology was something new, exciting, and it links into basically everything which I naturally loved. But I really don't know!! (This is why I'm holding out for StAs )

    Btw which subjects other than the one you applied for did you do in Year 1 and 2?
    (Original post by charlottesometimes)
    Hmm, well there is this. To be honest, I think that a lot rests on the interview. Each college makes different offers - some make offers of A* A* A*, some give unconditional offers (though to be fair they are really rare before you've done your A-levels). If you really decide that your other places aren't for you, then all you can do is give it your best shot.

    lol, I meant 'hmm, well there is this' in response to your question, rather than the thing about impressing them at interview. Just realised how unintentionally arrogant that sounded :P
    Don't worry, I knew you didn't mean it like that!
    It shouldn't really affect my decision- but which colleges are more lenient and which are more strict would you say?
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    (Original post by Retrospect)
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    I was rejected last year for EP before interview (I sort of disregarded the TSA and consequently my performance on it was pretty abysmal , aside from that my GCSEs were probably slightly lower than the average) and at the time I applied to Oxford for similar reasons to you, so I wasn't too gutted about it all. Cambridge would've been a better bet but I disliked the PPS structure and didn't meet the requirements for Natural Sciences. I got four other great offers but decided to leave behind psychology all together and I'm on a gap year at the moment.

    So, back to the topic at hand, I really don't wish to sound negative, and if the idea of a gap year appeals, you should definitely go for it provided you plan it well. It definitely wakes you up a bit and it's good to experience the 'real world' so to speak before quietly crawling back into cosy student life.
    Oh we're kind of similar then only I took the TSA quite seriously (no correlation between that and actually doing well though). My GCSEs were 4A* 6A 2B but as I don't do physical scis now, they were probably looking at my Science GCSE grades too, which weren't great: A(Chem),B, B. AS grades again not the best. Plus my PS wasn't heavily science-focused. So all in all it must have been an easy decision for them.
    What were your other offers btw? And are you reapplying?

    (Original post by joeyg)
    just get a job and then go travelling (in one region i think is best because then you get more of a feel for a place rather than going to loads of very different countries). Gap years are a great chance to chill out and take a break especially before the hectic nature of an oxbridge degree - take it, don't be too ambitious!
    LOL, I wasn't planning on visiting all those countries; just a shortlist really and depends on prices/ opportunities available. I want to be ambitious.. I don't want to become complacent!
    So I gather you're on/ been on a gap year too?
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    Oh we're kind of similar then only I took the TSA quite seriously (no correlation between that and actually doing well though). My GCSEs were 4A* 6A 2B but as I don't do physical scis now, they were probably looking at my Science GCSE grades too, which weren't great: A(Chem),B, B. AS grades again not the best. Plus my PS wasn't heavily science-focused. So all in all it must have been an easy decision for them.
    What were your other offers btw? And are you reapplying?
    My ultimate love was UCL, and I had a post-interview offer from them, alongside Southampton, Birmingham and Sussex (around the time I started having doubts about Psych, I transferred my app to Medical Neuroscience @ Sussex ). Then, despite my undying love for UCL I decided psychology wasn't really for me after all. I'm currently on a gap year applying for an entirely different course. My best advice for you is to concentrate on getting the grades you want at A2, after that the (academic) world is your oyster.
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    (Original post by Retrospect)
    My ultimate love was UCL, and I had a post-interview offer from them, alongside Southampton, Birmingham and Sussex (around the time I started having doubts about Psych, I transferred my app to Medical Neuroscience @ Sussex ). Then, despite my undying love for UCL I decided psychology wasn't really for me after all. I'm currently on a gap year applying for an entirely different course. My best advice for you is to concentrate on getting the grades you want at A2, after that the (academic) world is your oyster.
    Ooh, OK. Your choices are like mine and my friend's combined
    Did you visit Birm and Sussex? If so, what were your thoughts on the unis themselves, and the courses they offered?
    Also: why did you decide thatpsychology wasn't for you? It must have been very difficult pulling out of a uni that you loved and be faced with such uncertainty. I'm not meaning to make you feel bad btw; it was obvs the right thing to do and I think you're really brave!
    I agree with the advice
 
 
 
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