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    Ok, so I got rejected from Oxford for Geog this year, but have an offer from Durham. The Durham course is amazing and I prefer a small city to bigger northern cities (I come from Cambridge ). But the first time I visited I HATED the place, it felt really dull and depressing and I prefer cities like Cambs/Oxford because they still have things to do even though they’re small. Don’t know whether to accept Durham (the 2nd time I visited I decided its not that bad a place, especially as I feel lucky to have an offer from the uni– but I am by no means looking forward to living there) or take a gap year and reapply to Cambridge (and also perhaps Bristol). The course at Cambridge is fantastic and I LOVE the city, and I feel like I would have a fighting chance as the extra year has given me time to prepare (I was v. unprepared for the oxford interview – I only decided I wanted to do the course and apply to Oxbridge 3 weeks before I sent off UCAS!).BUT I don’t want to reapply and not get in to Durham – if I get my predicted 3A*s will they discriminate against me for applying a 2nd time? Has anyone who reapplied to Durham got in a 2nd time? This is basically what’s holding me back on a gap year (I have lots of things to fill a gap year with).This really isn't about prestige – I’m kind of annoyed Cambs and Oxford are so prestigious as I’d love to stay in my home city (or one very like it and very close). I’m feeling a bit messed up about this Thanks!!! p.s I'm not saying Durham is a bad uni or a bad place, I just couldn't personally see myself there - but don't want to give up my place there without careful thought!
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    Read your post back to yourself but imagine it is by another person. From what is written, I think it's quite clear that you don't really want to go to Durham - certainly not this year, anyway. Therefore, take a gap year and re-apply.
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    If you thought Durham was a 'dull and depressing' place then I don't think you will grow to love it. What I've found is that my perceptions of a place tend to be influenced by the diversity of things available there, regardless of whether I use them. If you are at all like that then you may well prefer somewhere like Cambridge or Bristol. I don't think Durham will discriminate against re-applicants, especially ones with 3A*s.
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    Thanks for the replies. I've decided I don't want to go to Durham this year; although I may grow to like it, I'm not ready and would like to think through my options. But I'm still very scared to reject their offer because I just know that next year if it turns out I don't get into Cambs or Bristol and Durham also reject me, I'll be kicking myself about this! :confused:
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    Do this, flip a coin, heads you go to Durham, tails you don't. Cover the coin as it falls, then ask yourself what you want it to be. And that's your answer. Regardless of everything, listen to your heart :yep:
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    with the a level changes next year, you're very likely to receive offers if you take a gap year and reapply
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    (Original post by HarrietHall)
    Thanks for the replies. I've decided I don't want to go to Durham this year; although I may grow to like it, I'm not ready and would like to think through my options. But I'm still very scared to reject their offer because I just know that next year if it turns out I don't get into Cambs or Bristol and Durham also reject me, I'll be kicking myself about this! :confused:
    Do you still want advice? or has your decision been made?!


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    To be honest I’m so indecisive that I won’t make a decision until the UCAS deadline :L

    Debating whether to accept Durham so that If I don’t get my predicted grades I can still go and won’t be reapplying in a ‘worse situation’, but reject them if I get the predictions. Don’t know how this will look to Durham though – plus I’m still not convinced I want to go away at all this year!

    Does anyone know someone who has got in a second time to Durham or other universities in the same league?


    Table Dust, what are the a level changes??
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    (Original post by HarrietHall)
    To be honest I’m so indecisive that I won’t make a decision until the UCAS deadline :L

    Debating whether to accept Durham so that If I don’t get my predicted grades I can still go and won’t be reapplying in a ‘worse situation’, but reject them if I get the predictions. Don’t know how this will look to Durham though – plus I’m still not convinced I want to go away at all this year!

    Does anyone know someone who has got in a second time to Durham or other universities in the same league?


    Table Dust, what are the a level changes??
    They're changing the exams, and re-sits. It's suppose to be just exams at the end of two years instead of every year (for two years).

    Personally, it depends what you want to do. Why do you want to take a gap year exactly? Durham is pretty much as high as it gets. Granted that Oxbridge is slightly better. Durham is still extremely good, and it's in a nice area.

    It all depends what you want to do, really.
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    Oh right, sounds like it's going to get much more difficult then :/

    The main reason I want to take a gap year is because I'm unsure about everything; also I'm not looking forward to going to uni at all, when all my friends can't wait to go. I don't think it's Durham, I would probably feel the same about anywhere.
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    Normally I'd say take the offer but it sounds like your heart isn't in it, and for important reasons as well (at the end of the day you are going to be living there for a few years). I'd say take the gap year; being a geography student there's plenty you can do to increase your chances (travel, voluntary work, etc.)
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    TBH it sounds to me like you're just smarting from your Oxbridge rejection as much as anything.

    Bristol is a large city (pop. 500k) whereas Durham has a population of 42k, so that can't really be helping your decision too much if being in a small town really is important to you. Truth be told, all the two towns have in common are that they host prestigious universities.

    How would you feel if you were rejected again from Oxford? Or if you missed the grades necessary to reapply? And why are you thinking of reapplying to Durham if you really hated it that much? I had a university on my UCAS form that I hated when I visited. There wasn't a snowflake in hell's chance that I would have reapplied if I had had to.

    Personally I think prestige is clouding your judgement far more than is really necessary or sensible. If you genuinely want a small southern city then I would suggest having a look at Exeter, Bath, Sussex, Surrey, Warwick (which is in Coventry, not Warwick) and Reading.

    Turn down Durham by all means if that's what you really want to do (though I think you would be sensible to wait until results day) but at least come up with some viable alternatives that don't involve getting into Oxford.
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    (Original post by HarrietHall)
    Ok, so I got rejected from Oxford for Geog this year, but have an offer from Durham. The Durham course is amazing and I prefer a small city to bigger northern cities (I come from Cambridge ). But the first time I visited I HATED the place, it felt really dull and depressing and I prefer cities like Cambs/Oxford because they still have things to do even though they’re small. Don’t know whether to accept Durham (the 2nd time I visited I decided its not that bad a place, especially as I feel lucky to have an offer from the uni– but I am by no means looking forward to living there) or take a gap year and reapply to Cambridge (and also perhaps Bristol). The course at Cambridge is fantastic and I LOVE the city, and I feel like I would have a fighting chance as the extra year has given me time to prepare (I was v. unprepared for the oxford interview – I only decided I wanted to do the course and apply to Oxbridge 3 weeks before I sent off UCAS!).BUT I don’t want to reapply and not get in to Durham – if I get my predicted 3A*s will they discriminate against me for applying a 2nd time? Has anyone who reapplied to Durham got in a 2nd time? This is basically what’s holding me back on a gap year (I have lots of things to fill a gap year with).This really isn't about prestige – I’m kind of annoyed Cambs and Oxford are so prestigious as I’d love to stay in my home city (or one very like it and very close). I’m feeling a bit messed up about this Thanks!!! p.s I'm not saying Durham is a bad uni or a bad place, I just couldn't personally see myself there - but don't want to give up my place there without careful thought!
    What course is it, what AS scores did you get, what GCSEs did you get and what A levels are you taking to A2? Without that information it's impossible to make any suggestions.

    You may have been rejected as a consequence of low A UMS scores at AS, or perhaps your PS was poor, or you performed badly in the Oxford interview, maybe your A level choices were non-preferential subjects, your GCSE's may have been too low even. I feel making any suggestions without that knowledge could only mislead you.
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    Perhaps firstly email Durham and explain that you've changed your mind and you want to take a gap year? Choose it as your firm choice and come August, if your grades are good enough, email them again and explain that you are considering applying to Cambridge and ask their position if you were to apply again. The best outcome would be that they would say they would give you an offer.

    I can sympathise with your decision as it is very similar to my situation last year and I did both steps above. Happily, my firm choice university said they totally understood and I received an unconditional offer from them for this year too. Unfortunately, I got rejected from Oxford after reapplying but I don't regret trying.

    Good luck and hope this helps .
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    (Original post by em_cart)
    Perhaps firstly email Durham and explain that you've changed your mind and you want to take a gap year? Choose it as your firm choice and come August, if your grades are good enough, email them again and explain that you are considering applying to Cambridge and ask their position if you were to apply again. The best outcome would be that they would say they would give you an offer.

    I can sympathise with your decision as it is very similar to my situation last year and I did both steps above. Happily, my firm choice university said they totally understood and I received an unconditional offer from them for this year too. Unfortunately, I got rejected from Oxford after reapplying but I don't regret trying.

    Good luck and hope this helps .
    Thank you, that has really helped, I think contacting them personally and just being honest is probably the best thing to do
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    (Original post by Hayek)
    What course is it, what AS scores did you get, what GCSEs did you get and what A levels are you taking to A2? Without that information it's impossible to make any suggestions.

    You may have been rejected as a consequence of low A UMS scores at AS, or perhaps your PS was poor, or you performed badly in the Oxford interview, maybe your A level choices were non-preferential subjects, your GCSE's may have been too low even. I feel making any suggestions without that knowledge could only mislead you.
    I got 8A* 2As and 2Bs (and a BTEC) at GCSE, got AAA in Geog, History and Biology and a high B in Chemistry at AS (which I dropped), predicted 3A*s at A2. I'm pretty sure it was the interview that let me down because I was so nervous and didn't have time to prepare much as my history coursework was due in the same week! :/
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    (Original post by HarrietHall)
    Thank you, that has really helped, I think contacting them personally and just being honest is probably the best thing to do
    No problem. If you've got any more questions about this, I'm happy to answer .
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    (Original post by HarrietHall)
    Ok, so I got rejected from Oxford for Geog this year, but have an offer from Durham. The Durham course is amazing and I prefer a small city to bigger northern cities (I come from Cambridge ). But the first time I visited I HATED the place, it felt really dull and depressing and I prefer cities like Cambs/Oxford because they still have things to do even though they’re small. Don’t know whether to accept Durham (the 2nd time I visited I decided its not that bad a place, especially as I feel lucky to have an offer from the uni– but I am by no means looking forward to living there) or take a gap year and reapply to Cambridge (and also perhaps Bristol). The course at Cambridge is fantastic and I LOVE the city, and I feel like I would have a fighting chance as the extra year has given me time to prepare (I was v. unprepared for the oxford interview – I only decided I wanted to do the course and apply to Oxbridge 3 weeks before I sent off UCAS!).BUT I don’t want to reapply and not get in to Durham – if I get my predicted 3A*s will they discriminate against me for applying a 2nd time? Has anyone who reapplied to Durham got in a 2nd time? This is basically what’s holding me back on a gap year (I have lots of things to fill a gap year with).This really isn't about prestige – I’m kind of annoyed Cambs and Oxford are so prestigious as I’d love to stay in my home city (or one very like it and very close). I’m feeling a bit messed up about this Thanks!!! p.s I'm not saying Durham is a bad uni or a bad place, I just couldn't personally see myself there - but don't want to give up my place there without careful thought!
    I think if you hated the town then Durham may not be the place for you - you're gonna be living there for 3 years of your life after all. I would advise you to go to a university where you can see yourself totally slotting into the environment of the town. If you get top grades this summer you can reapply, and you won't have to think about insurance choices: so your choice next year will hopefully be much easier when you put down your 5 choices.

    (Original post by em_cart)
    Perhaps firstly email Durham and explain that you've changed your mind and you want to take a gap year? Choose it as your firm choice and come August, if your grades are good enough, email them again and explain that you are considering applying to Cambridge and ask their position if you were to apply again. The best outcome would be that they would say they would give you an offer.

    I can sympathise with your decision as it is very similar to my situation last year and I did both steps above. Happily, my firm choice university said they totally understood and I received an unconditional offer from them for this year too. Unfortunately, I got rejected from Oxford after reapplying but I don't regret trying.

    Good luck and hope this helps .
    Do you mind if I ask which university was your firm? as I think I'm in a very similar position to the one you were in last year - I've been rejected form Oxford and I'm considering reapplying. However, I would quite like to reapply to my current firm choice next year as a backup: I'm just trying to work out whether they'd be annoyed at me reapplying if I do in fact decline them having got my grades this summer.
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    (Original post by Dr Rockso)
    I think if you hated the town then Durham may not be the place for you - you're gonna be living there for 3 years of your life after all. I would advise you to go to a university where you can see yourself totally slotting into the environment of the town. If you get top grades this summer you can reapply, and you won't have to think about insurance choices: so your choice next year will hopefully be much easier when you put down your 5 choices.



    Do you mind if I ask which university was your firm? as I think I'm in a very similar position to the one you were in last year - I've been rejected form Oxford and I'm considering reapplying. However, I would quite like to reapply to my current firm choice next year as a backup: I'm just trying to work out whether they'd be annoyed at me reapplying if I do in fact decline them having got my grades this summer.
    That was my worry last year. I'll send you a private message with more details .
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    (Original post by HarrietHall)
    I got 8A* 2As and 2Bs (and a BTEC) at GCSE, got AAA in Geog, History and Biology and a high B in Chemistry at AS (which I dropped), predicted 3A*s at A2. I'm pretty sure it was the interview that let me down because I was so nervous and didn't have time to prepare much as my history coursework was due in the same week! :/
    Your GCSEs appear strong enough for Oxford (I assume you were state-educated), your UMS scores may have been low however, which could have let you down. I know Cambridge won't look at you if your average score is less than 93%, but most likely it was your B in Chemistry.

    Or as you say it might be your interview, it's obvious that you'd rather not go to Durham, so don't, otherwise you'll spend three years regretting your choice and paying £9,000 for it. I'd take a gap year, do something amazing while you have the chance and then reapply. I know someone in a similar predicament, however this time between Exeter and Durham, Exeter being a beautiful city and Durham being a bit drab.
 
 
 
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