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Am I really good enough for Oxford? (I desperately need advice) Watch

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    Firstly, thank you so much for reading this!

    I have just been offered a place to study at Oxford. And I am so incredibly thrilled to have been given an offer. The goal of getting into Oxford has been my main aim for the last 3 years. However, I never thought I had a chance, and now that I've been accepted, I am so worried that I'm not actually good enough.

    The first time I applied, I was rejected. However, after achieving A*A*A* in my A2's I decided to reapply. And now that I've been given an offer, I don't know what to do. I realise how incredibly ungrateful and selfish I must appear, especially since there are so many people who are gutted about being rejected from Oxbridge.

    I just worry that I'm not going to do well at Oxford. I worry that I've never had to work hard before, and if I go to Oxford, I wont know how to cope. I'm worried that I'm not going to succeed, because although I'm very interested in the subject I applied for, I don't really know how passionate I am. I'm worried that if I get there, I wont be able to cope because I really am not good enough.

    I realise that to be given an offer they must see something in me, but I'm so terrified that they might be wrong. And the thing that bugs me most, is that I am not the type of person who worries about things, and yet for the first time I can remember, I am now worried. And I don't really know why I feel this way.

    I know that I sound so selfish and self absorbed, but I would really appreciate any advice! I swear that I'm not as awful as I appear on here!
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    What subject did you get an offer for
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    This is a hard one.. I have a feeling that you're not fully in it, but getting into Oxford is an amazing achievement!

    It sounds like its exciting news because everybody else thinks it is, it doesn't seem you are desperately excited to go?

    What are your other choices, where do you see yourself in the future, how crucial is Oxford to you?

    At the end of the day there is no denying Oxford students have more work. If you're not used to this, then the pressure of the university might be bad news and you could end up achieving a low graded degree or non at all. However if you have a burning desire to go and do well, you will be absolutely fine.

    No one can make this decision for you, and although Oxford seems like the best choice it isn't always. Maybe take the next view months to get more of a feeling of the uni, visit it again and imagine yourself there in 6 months.
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    (Original post by CatherineE-S)
    Firstly, thank you so much for reading this!

    I have just been offered a place to study at Oxford. And I am so incredibly thrilled to have been given an offer. The goal of getting into Oxford has been my main aim for the last 3 years. However, I never thought I had a chance, and now that I've been accepted, I am so worried that I'm not actually good enough.

    The first time I applied, I was rejected. However, after achieving A*A*A* in my A2's I decided to reapply. And now that I've been given an offer, I don't know what to do. I realise how incredibly ungrateful and selfish I must appear, especially since there are so many people who are gutted about being rejected from Oxbridge.

    I just worry that I'm not going to do well at Oxford. I worry that I've never had to work hard before, and if I go to Oxford, I wont know how to cope. I'm worried that I'm not going to succeed, because although I'm very interested in the subject I applied for, I don't really know how passionate I am. I'm worried that if I get there, I wont be able to cope because I really am not good enough.

    I realise that to be given an offer they must see something in me, but I'm so terrified that they might be wrong. And the thing that bugs me most, is that I am not the type of person who worries about things, and yet for the first time I can remember, I am now worried. And I don't really know why I feel this way.

    I know that I sound so selfish and self absorbed, but I would really appreciate any advice! I swear that I'm not as awful as I appear on here!
    Although the veracity of this statement varies between subjects, it generally holds true: the harder you work, the better results you will get. This is no different for an Oxford degree - the more hours of focused study time you do per week, the better you will do. It is not a question of being 'good enough' - if you are given an offer, then the staff think you're someone they're confident who will not bring shame to the College. Everyone here is very clever, so the differentiator is how much work you do. I see very clever people here who are slipping because they don't work enough and spend too much time doing other things. I see very clever people here getting top marks because they spend the majority of each night going through lectures, writing essays, etc.

    Before I started here, I had many of the same concerns as you, and I continued to have those concerns right the way through my first term - everyone else seemed so clever and better than me. However, I did spend a lot of time working, and was rewarded for that by getting a very high mark in our mock exams after Christmas, which made me feel a lot better about the future.

    Compared to the work here, I have never had to work hard before. I didn't know how to cope at first. I lose and regain passion for my subject a few times per week. However, I have now established a regular, healthy work/life routine, and my worries are mostly gone.

    To answer your basic question - yes, you are good enough for Oxford. The interview is basically an academic IQ test, to see if you have 'the spark', and you have it. The only determinant of your success will be how hard you work, and that requires you to be motivated, and if you aren't, then you need to motivate yourself, which you will learn how to do at uni. If you want to succeed and are willing to put in the time, then your very experienced teachers will be pleased with you, and work with you to get you a decent grade.

    The Oxbridge experience is a reason in itself to go, it is a very unique education which will open your eyes and your mind in many ways.

    EDIT: To offer some numbers - I've just printed off my class timetables and study timetables for this term. Comes to a weekly average of 18 hours in lectures/practicals, 4 hours in supervisions, 25 hours self-study time (various things - typing up notes, reading about topics, essays, etc). Bear in mind that this is for Medicine though, and we generally have more work to do than most other subjects. Success also needs you to do quite a lot of work in your Christmas and Easter vacations.
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    Don't be so desperate to go to Oxford. Your second choices are also good unis. If you do well there, you will still be able to go to Oxford for a masters.
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    look realistically you'd be an idiot to turn down oxford, you need to go and just work harder than you ever have, its nothing youre incapable of
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    hell yeah u are!!
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    (Original post by CatherineE-S)
    Firstly, thank you so much for reading this!

    I have just been offered a place to study at Oxford. And I am so incredibly thrilled to have been given an offer. The goal of getting into Oxford has been my main aim for the last 3 years. However, I never thought I had a chance, and now that I've been accepted, I am so worried that I'm not actually good enough.

    The first time I applied, I was rejected. However, after achieving A*A*A* in my A2's I decided to reapply. And now that I've been given an offer, I don't know what to do. I realise how incredibly ungrateful and selfish I must appear, especially since there are so many people who are gutted about being rejected from Oxbridge.

    I just worry that I'm not going to do well at Oxford. I worry that I've never had to work hard before, and if I go to Oxford, I wont know how to cope. I'm worried that I'm not going to succeed, because although I'm very interested in the subject I applied for, I don't really know how passionate I am. I'm worried that if I get there, I wont be able to cope because I really am not good enough.

    I realise that to be given an offer they must see something in me, but I'm so terrified that they might be wrong. And the thing that bugs me most, is that I am not the type of person who worries about things, and yet for the first time I can remember, I am now worried. And I don't really know why I feel this way.

    I know that I sound so selfish and self absorbed, but I would really appreciate any advice! I swear that I'm not as awful as I appear on here!
    I'm in completely the same position as you!!! It's nice to know I'm not the only one
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    (Original post by CatherineE-S)
    ... I am so worried that I'm not actually good enough. ...

    ... I've never had to work hard before,...
    Both very common among Oxford offer holders and students. Plenty of people will joke about how they're an imposter in first term.

    But the vast majority are absolutely fine and have a great time. Oxford' drop out rate is one of the very lowest in the country.

    You will probably find that for the first time in your life you are not the best in the class any more, you might not even be aiming for a particularly high grade any more. But that's fine. People adapt.
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    (Original post by hopefulecon12)
    What subject did you get an offer for
    Archaeology and Anthropology
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    (Original post by Josb)
    Don't be so desperate to go to Oxford. Your second choices are also good unis. If you do well there, you will still be able to go to Oxford for a masters.
    You can and people do fail a master's, so I don't how this solves anything. Also, there probably is a higher dropout rate for master's than for an undergraduate degree.

    ---

    To the OP: Oxford has the second-lowest dropout rate in the UK (second to Cambridge) and the UK has generally the lowest dropout rate in Europe. Oxford is one of the universities in the UK that give out the most 2:1s and firsts. Hardly anyone gets a third and no-one gets below that, so I really wouldn't worry too much about failing after getting in.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)

    To the OP: Oxford has the second-lowest dropout rate in the UK (second to Cambridge) and the UK has generally the lowest dropout rate in Europe. Oxford is one of the universities in the UK that give out the most 2:1s and firsts. Hardly anyone gets a third and no-one gets below that, so I really wouldn't worry too much about failing after getting in.
    Agree with this but isn't the low dropout rate because Oxbridge people having difficulties try so very much harder to stay the course for kudos reasons? It is nothing that the Oxford authorities per se are doing.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    Agree with this but isn't the low dropout rate because Oxbridge people having difficulties try so very much harder to stay the course for kudos reasons? It is nothing that the Oxford authorities per se are doing.
    You can't really just make that claim. I should think people don't do too badly because the tutorial system makes it difficult for you to outright fail everything.

    Also I don't think that's important. If everyone who has been there managed to do OK, there's no reason to think the OP would be an exception.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    You can't really just make that claim. I should think people don't do too badly because the tutorial system makes it difficult for you to outright fail everything.

    Also I don't think that's important. If everyone who has been there managed to do OK, there's no reason to think the OP would be an exception.
    I thought I was asking the question rather than making the claim. I agree with your main points. I'm just not convinced you can read too much into the low drop-out rate for Oxbridge. That's what you seem to be doing.
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    The tutors have made you an offer because they think you can get at least a 2.1. Very occasionally the tutors do get it wrong for whatever reason, but generally speaking they mostly get it right when picking their students. So you should trust in their decision.

    The step-up from secondary school to Oxford is a huge one and can feel insurmountable at times. The fact is though, that most people to manage to make the leap and somehow adjust. Some take longer than others but as long as you work hard and keep an open dialogue with your tutors about how you're doing and how to improve, the likeliness is that you WILL thrive (eventually) in that environment.

    It's not selfish or self-absorbed to worry about these kind of things but at the same time, there's no real need to worry at the moment. So if you like the collegiate system and the course structure and content, I would say accept your offer!
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    I thought I was asking the question rather than making the claim. I agree with your main points. I'm just not convinced you can read too much into the low drop-out rate for Oxbridge. That's what you seem to be doing.
    In that case my answer is no.

    And my point was regardless of the reason if others managed to work harder and stay on successfully, there's no reason why OP won't do the same.
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    Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to respond; it has been so helpful and I really appreciate it !
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    In that case my answer is no.

    And my point was regardless of the reason if others managed to work harder and stay on successfully, there's no reason why OP won't do the same.
    You made two points.

    The second was that the degree outcome would probably be favourable ... I totally agree.

    The first was that Oxbridge has a lower dropout rate. It might be construed from this that students at Oxbridge are under less pressure than other universities to drop out but if this pressure is caused by pushy parents/personal pride is that relevant to OP's situation? Possibly, but this should be made clear unless you really believe that Oxbridge is a stroll in the park?

    You should at least have put your second point first. (IMHO, which I am sure you will disagree with)
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    (Original post by CatherineE-S)
    Firstly, thank you so much for reading this!
    Sorry! I think you might be trying to close this thread down.

    They rejected you then they accepted you. To me that suggests that it is not an exact science. They might be right or they might be wrong. But they cannot be both.How can you tell?

    You have an offer. If you don't go you will never know. I went to Oxford and my daughter is currently at Oxford. It was not possible for me to explain to her what it is like - even though it has not changed very much.

    So, if you do go, what is the worst case if you can't manage after one year?
    ... and as ToyGun and others have pointed out, most people manage (true). The hardest part really is getting in.

    Above all, don't feel guilty or inadequate. You got to a certain standard and above that it is a lottery. Not your fault and not even theirs. It is a competition but the rules are nebulous. Once you are in they have exams to test whether you are good enough (and nearly 100% pass!)
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    You made two points.

    The second was that the degree outcome would probably be favourable ... I totally agree.

    The first was that Oxbridge has a lower dropout rate. It might be construed from this that students at Oxbridge are under less pressure than other universities to drop out but if this pressure is caused by pushy parents/personal pride is that relevant to OP's situation? Possibly, but this should be made clear unless you really believe that Oxbridge is a stroll in the park?

    You should at least have put your second point first. (IMHO, which I am sure you will disagree with)
    Whilst there are obviously individual differences (2% does dropout), ALL students enrolled managed, for whatever reason. So the question is whether OP is the 2%, and their chance of being in the 2% is the same, without additional information, as everyone, which is 2%.

    Going to Oxford is not a stroll in the park, but it's not as tough as people make it out to be either, especially if you're not aiming for the top grade in everything.
 
 
 
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