Will I crack under the pressure at Cambridge? Watch

VanillaSky
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I'm an offer holder for English at Cambridge, expected to begin my university degree in October of this year. This is a real post, not a made up story. Please be sincere and honest in your response and refrain from making derogatory remarks.

Like most people, it's been my dream to study there and I could hardly grasp the enormity of the decision when I was accepted. I come from a non-traditional background, growing up in a ****hole in one of the poorest areas of the country, the kind where the majority of the girls in my year group were pregnant mothers in their teens. Most boys would have progressed to the construction industry or some such. When I walk out of my home- where I live on a Council Estate (the majority of the houses/flats here are council homes)- I see drug dealers, unruly young people creating trouble for others in the area, mass unemployment... I couldn't possibly describe to you how much I absolutely want to get out of this place.

The GCSE pass rate at my school was the highest ever- at... 40% and the teachers were mostly crap, probably because they knew most of the students in the class were 'no hopers'. But that's another story. You see, what I'm trying to say is that I've had to work incredibly hard to get to where I am. I've had to overcome an enormous amount of psychological barriers and internal conflict to progress to A levels and have the confidence to apply to the best universities. Over the years, I've become progressively confident and self-motivated but the internal battle remains. I know the academic pressure at Cambridge is going to be incredibly tough, but will I be able to handle it? What is the work load like? As you can appreciate, I've had an unusual upbringing compared to most people who are probably attending Cambridge and desperately don't want to make the wrong university choice. I have offers from London Universities to read English, would I be better off there?
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dd4483
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The work load isn't huge, just as long as you understand it (sadly, I do not).

But the fact you've gotten into Cambridge from the school you described means you're probably smarter than a lot of the people who come from public school etc.

If you're gonna go to university, you may as well go to Cambridge.
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Supergrunch
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If you're used to working hard without much input from teachers, then you'll be fine, as that's essentially what you'll be doing at Cambridge too. Most people find it tough but doable, so choose based on what course you like rather than whether you'll be able to cope with it.
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ily_em
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You might even be better prepared than other people as you've spent your life working independently to get where you are now (not that those people haven't worked hard either, but you're certainly not going to be worse off).
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anoushka1
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I have an offer for this october this year and although I went to a good school for my A-Levels for my GCSE's I did not I had to work hard by myself to get to this stage.

I would never miss the opportunity, if you came this far, imagine the opportunities this will open up for you!! Go for it , dont back down the best you can do is grab every chance and try your hardest. Im sure that if you got an offer they think you have the potential to do excellently, have more faith in yourself!!

Please take the offer, its the opportunity of a lifetime and you have worked for it!!
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Evielee_17
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It sounds like you have worked hard to get there... Wouldn't it be a shame to fall at the last hurdle? You will be just as good as everyone else there so go for it Don't let fear get you down :cookie:
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SaturnineDragonfly
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The academic pressure will be tough, but you know yourself what you can handle, and it sounds like it's been tough so far, so you may find that the pressure at Cambridge is less than you expect now, and you end up thoroughly enjoying every minute. If you've learnt to push pressure away when it gets too much, give yourself a break, and just enjoy what you're studying as much as you can, there's no reason why the pressure should be too much. And I'm guessing you know how to do that already. Plus, you'll be surrounded by people who can empathise with whatever you end up going through academically, which may help lighten the burden. It would be a waste if you let fear of too much pressure deter you from going to Cambridge. (My school was very similar to yours, s'hole was my favourite word to describe it. ) If it was your dream to go there, seriously don't be intimidated by the reality of going there, just go for it, look after your mind when you're there, and love the experience.
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Jakeh
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You've clearly worked extremely hard for a lot of your life, you can finally reap your rewards and go to one of the best Universities on the globe. Theres no question to it! You will kick yourself if you dont go! Go and make something of yourself and get out of where you live. You can be the start of a new generation for your family, really well done for working so hard to get where you're at.
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Jakeh
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(Original post by JCC-MGS)
You still sound like you have a kneejerk tabloid-fuelled hate of poor people even if you are one, you'll fit in just fine.
Until you yourself live in places where its poverty ridden you will have no idea what its like. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious to leave 'poverty' and earn a good wage.
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tealandtaup
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(Original post by Jakeh)
Until you yourself live in places where its poverty ridden you will have no idea what its like. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious to leave 'poverty' and earn a good wage.

Agreed!
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tealandtaup
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GO!
You have come this far you'll work the rest out fine!
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Alex-92
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(Original post by Jakeh)
Until you yourself live in places where its poverty ridden you will have no idea what its like. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious to leave 'poverty' and earn a good wage.
Hear, hear.
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Tortious
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(Original post by anoushka1)
I have an offer for this october this year and although I went to a good school for my A-Levels for my GCSE's I did not I had to work hard by myself to get to this stage.

I would never miss the opportunity, if you came this far, imagine the opportunities this will open up for you!! Go for it , dont back down the best you can do is grab every chance and try your hardest. Im sure that if you got an offer they think you have the potential to do excellently, have more faith in yourself!!

Please take the offer, its the opportunity of a lifetime and you have worked for it!!
This - as long as you're willing to put in the hard graft and have faith in yourself, you'll be fine. They wouldn't have made you an offer if they didn't think you were capable of studying at Cambridge!

(Out of interest, Anoushka1, which college is your offer from? :ninja:)
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Got the tshirt
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(Original post by VanillaSky)
I'm an offer holder for English at Cambridge, expected to begin my university degree in October of this year. This is a real post, not a made up story. Please be sincere and honest in your response and refrain from making derogatory remarks.

Like most people, it's been my dream to study there and I could hardly grasp the enormity of the decision when I was accepted. I come from a non-traditional background, growing up in a $hithole in one of the poorest areas of the country, the kind where the majority of the girls in my year group were pregnant mothers in their teens. Most boys would have progressed to the construction industry or some such. When I walk out of my home- where I live on a Council Estate (the majority of the houses/flats here are council homes)- I see drug dealers, unruly young people creating trouble for others in the area, mass unemployment... I couldn't possibly describe to you how much I absolutely want to get out of this place.

The GCSE pass rate at my school was the highest ever- at... 40% and the teachers were mostly crap, probably because they knew most of the students in the class were 'no hopers'. But that's another story. You see, what I'm trying to say is that I've had to work incredibly hard to get to where I am. I've had to overcome an enormous amount of psychological barriers and internal conflict to progress to A levels and have the confidence to apply to the best universities. Over the years, I've become progressively confident and self-motivated but the internal battle remains. I know the academic pressure at Cambridge is going to be incredibly tough, but will I be able to handle it? What is the work load like? As you can appreciate, I've had an unusual upbringing compared to most people who are probably attending Cambridge and desperately don't want to make the wrong university choice. I have offers from London Universities to read English, would I be better off there?
I think you will do really well at Cambridge as you have not been spoonfed and should be capable of doing the work necessary at Cambridge. There is a lot of work to do at Cambridge but as the lecturers and supervisors are world class you should have no problem. Go for it and don't worry!
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anoushka1
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(Original post by Tortious)
This - as long as you're willing to put in the hard graft and have faith in yourself, you'll be fine. They wouldn't have made you an offer if they didn't think you were capable of studying at Cambridge!

(Out of interest, Anoushka1, which college is your offer from? :ninja:)
Hey

Im hopefully going to Selwyn right near the Sigdwick faculty haha nice and close

Ohh Pembroke is pretty, Hopefully be seeing you next year xx
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Melz0r
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(Original post by VanillaSky)
I'm an offer holder for English at Cambridge, expected to begin my university degree in October of this year. This is a real post, not a made up story. Please be sincere and honest in your response and refrain from making derogatory remarks.

Like most people, it's been my dream to study there and I could hardly grasp the enormity of the decision when I was accepted. I come from a non-traditional background, growing up in a $hithole in one of the poorest areas of the country, the kind where the majority of the girls in my year group were pregnant mothers in their teens. Most boys would have progressed to the construction industry or some such. When I walk out of my home- where I live on a Council Estate (the majority of the houses/flats here are council homes)- I see drug dealers, unruly young people creating trouble for others in the area, mass unemployment... I couldn't possibly describe to you how much I absolutely want to get out of this place.

The GCSE pass rate at my school was the highest ever- at... 40% and the teachers were mostly crap, probably because they knew most of the students in the class were 'no hopers'. But that's another story. You see, what I'm trying to say is that I've had to work incredibly hard to get to where I am. I've had to overcome an enormous amount of psychological barriers and internal conflict to progress to A levels and have the confidence to apply to the best universities. Over the years, I've become progressively confident and self-motivated but the internal battle remains. I know the academic pressure at Cambridge is going to be incredibly tough, but will I be able to handle it? What is the work load like? As you can appreciate, I've had an unusual upbringing compared to most people who are probably attending Cambridge and desperately don't want to make the wrong university choice. I have offers from London Universities to read English, would I be better off there?

Hi there. I feel like I can empathise with your situation a little, although it sounds like you've had it much worse than me. I always felt my school ought to have had the motto, "Achieve in spite of your education not because of it." I obviously can't predict how you'll feel when you get to Cambridge, but there is no reason why what you've been through should prevent you from doing well. It sounds obvious, but if they let you in, they saw potential in you and they think you can do it. And it sounds like a cliché, but your upbringing and education will have made you stronger. You might even find you thrive. You won't take anything for granted, you'll be used to working hard and doing things for yourself, you won't expect anything to be given to you or made obvious... you've done so well to get an offer and I would definitely, definitely advise you to take it!

If you've got any other questions or just want to chat, feel free to PM me.
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Tortious
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(Original post by anoushka1)
Hey

Im hopefully going to Selwyn right near the Sigdwick faculty haha nice and close

Ohh Pembroke is pretty, Hopefully be seeing you next year xx
Awesome! You'll probably have John Spencer as a DoS then - he's a really good lecturer, as is Janet O'Sullivan:

John Spencer


Janet O'Sullivan


...and I'm sure you will! Make the most of the summer after A Levels though - chances are you won't be sent that much work. :cool:
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anoushka1
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(Original post by Tortious)
Awesome! You'll probably have John Spencer as a DoS then - he's a really good lecturer, as is Janet O'Sullivan:

John Spencer


Janet O'Sullivan


...and I'm sure you will! Make the most of the summer after A Levels though - chances are you won't be sent that much work. :cool:
Aww thank you, I think I'm working hard enough, trying to apply for student finance now haha

Ohh Janet O'Sullivan interviewed me she is amazing I loved her, and I've heard that John Spencer is awesome so I'm really excited now!!!

Oh my dont worry I will , I plan to have loads of fun haha

How are you finding the law course?
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TurboCretin
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If you're not under pressure at uni, you're not doing yourself justice. They wouldn't have let you in if you weren't up to it - go to Cambridge.
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Tortious
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(Original post by anoushka1)
Aww thank you, I think I'm working hard enough, trying to apply for student finance now haha

Ohh Janet O'Sullivan interviewed me she is amazing I loved her, and I've heard that John Spencer is awesome so I'm really excited now!!!

Oh my dont worry I will , I plan to have loads of fun haha

How are you finding the law course?
Erm...hard to say, really. It's all interesting stuff but I'm going back over my notes now to revise and I'm finding there's loads of background detail that I doubt I'm going to need for the exam. :sigh:

Having said that, it feels like hard work but I don't think it's impossible - I'm not working as productively as I could (I'm on TSR for starters!) so I should still be able to get sorted by the time my exams come around at the end of May. My DoS is brilliant for keeping an eye out for articles - he's writing a new book on tort law at the moment and he's sending us loads of current affairs stuff in case it comes up in the exam. He's so cool.
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