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    My son has an offer for Philosophy, conditional on three As, which he should get.
    Only one problem - he's very daunted by the workload he'll have at Oxford.

    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.

    He's not against hard work but, as he says, 'Why work flat out at Oxford, with a workload that's reputedly several times more than elsewhere, and end up with a 2:1, when I could go to Durham, work a bit less hard, enjoy myself a bit and get a first?'

    Any thoughts?
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    (Original post by Crumbofcomfort)
    My son has an offer for Philosophy, conditional on three As, which he should get.
    Only one problem - he's very daunted by the workload he'll have at Oxford.

    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.

    He's not against hard work but, as he says, 'Why work flat out at Oxford, with a workload that's reputedly several times more than elsewhere, and end up with a 2:1, when I could go to Durham, work a bit less hard, enjoy myself a bit and get a first?'

    Any thoughts?
    Oxford doesn't offer solo philosophy so I assume he is going to read PPE.

    Threads like this always worry me because there is no doubt that A level students work consistently harder than in our generation. I have never seen any sign that Oxford students work harder than when I was there and they still find time for the same range of extra-curricular activities as in the past. There has been no decline in the number of boats on the river; the Union is still full of its hacks; the same number of plays are put on; and the same concerts are given. If the standard of those extra-curricular activities is sometimes lower than in the past, that is not because of any reduction in the time given to them, but because the admissions system no longer gives any advantage to extra-curricular talents.
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    (Original post by Crumbofcomfort)
    My son has an offer for Philosophy, conditional on three As, which he should get.
    Only one problem - he's very daunted by the workload he'll have at Oxford.

    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.

    He's not against hard work but, as he says, 'Why work flat out at Oxford, with a workload that's reputedly several times more than elsewhere, and end up with a 2:1, when I could go to Durham, work a bit less hard, enjoy myself a bit and get a first?'

    Any thoughts?
    Also, assuming it's PPE at both, 21% get a First vs 13% at Durham

    And because terms are short yes it can mean they are more intense but also means students have long vacations ...

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    (Original post by Crumbofcomfort)
    My son has an offer for Philosophy, conditional on three As, which he should get.
    Only one problem - he's very daunted by the workload he'll have at Oxford.

    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.

    He's not against hard work but, as he says, 'Why work flat out at Oxford, with a workload that's reputedly several times more than elsewhere, and end up with a 2:1, when I could go to Durham, work a bit less hard, enjoy myself a bit and get a first?'

    Any thoughts?
    Getting a 2:1 or 1st isn't going to be a doss anywhere.

    What he may be forgetting is that the nature of the workload will be very different from what he's been dealing with in the last four years, and how he feels about it may also be different since he will be working (mostly) on things that he has chosen to do because they interest him. It is also the case that the working style at Oxford will be very different from that of anywhere else (apart from Cambridge, of course). The tutorials and the essays that go along with them offer an incredibly valuable training in being able to quickly get acquainted with a topic and write something credible about it. Workplaces like those sorts of skills.

    I'm not saying that he shouldn't decline his Oxford offer, but I am saying that he should think very carefully about why he is doing so. It is a particularly demanding intellectual environment but, as nulli tertius has observed, that doesn't seem to stop people from having a lot of fun along the way.
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    (Original post by Crumbofcomfort)
    My son has an offer for Philosophy, conditional on three As, which he should get.
    Only one problem - he's very daunted by the workload he'll have at Oxford.

    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.

    He's not against hard work but, as he says, 'Why work flat out at Oxford, with a workload that's reputedly several times more than elsewhere, and end up with a 2:1, when I could go to Durham, work a bit less hard, enjoy myself a bit and get a first?'

    Any thoughts?
    I don’t think that he should turn down the offer. This can be part of the education and training that he may need for his future career and life. There is a reason why Oxbridge students are consistently sought after and I think it is because of the preparation they have had at these institutions.

    Yes, I would not argue that Oxford PPE is better than Durham PPE and vice versa. However, one must look at the overall education and the past track record. I doubt that Oxford kids work harder than those at Imperial or UCL. So he will be fine, besides it will be for 3 years.

    Good luck.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    t also means students have long vacations ...
    But the official meaning of vacation, don't forget, is: you will have vacated your room in hall and be working towards collections in your first week after returning.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    But the official meaning of vacation, don't forget, is: you will have vacated your room in hall and be working towards collections in your first week after returning.
    Summer vacation (or whatever Oxford call it)

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    (Original post by jneill)
    Summer vacation (or whatever Oxford call it)

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    There are still collections upon return.
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    (Original post by Crumbofcomfort)
    My son has an offer for Philosophy, conditional on three As, which he should get.
    Only one problem - he's very daunted by the workload he'll have at Oxford.

    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.

    He's not against hard work but, as he says, 'Why work flat out at Oxford, with a workload that's reputedly several times more than elsewhere, and end up with a 2:1, when I could go to Durham, work a bit less hard, enjoy myself a bit and get a first?'

    Any thoughts?
    Oxford wouldn't have given him an offer if they didn't think he could cope with the workload. And in any case, I doubt there would be much of a difference in the workload needed for a 1st from Durham and a 2:1 from Oxford. Oxford is possibly the best university in the world for undergraduate philosophy - I'd definitely take the offer.
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    (Original post by Crumbofcomfort)
    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.
    Has he considered taking a gap year? It would allow him a year to destress and do something non-academic for a while - and to appreciate what he has when he returns to intellectual rigour.

    It wouldn't mean losing his Oxford place - if asked, they may be happy to let him defer his place, even at this stage.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    There are still collections upon return.
    I'm sure it doesn't take nearly 4 months vacation to prepare for them.
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    (Original post by Crumbofcomfort)
    My son has an offer for Philosophy, conditional on three As, which he should get.
    Only one problem - he's very daunted by the workload he'll have at Oxford.

    He's worked flat out for the last four years, got all As or A*s at GCSEs and AS level,is now predicted A*s for A2 -but he wants to ease up a bit and even have time to enjoy himself a little.

    He's not against hard work but, as he says, 'Why work flat out at Oxford, with a workload that's reputedly several times more than elsewhere, and end up with a 2:1, when I could go to Durham, work a bit less hard, enjoy myself a bit and get a first?'

    Any thoughts?
    Whilst I agree with all the previous posters, the theme generally is - Oxford should be fine. Whilst for most students it is, you and your son probably need to be aware that a few students do struggle at Oxford, and yet thrive elsewhere - there are blog type threads on transfers from Oxford to Bath, or to UCL (I'll see if I can locate them).

    You say that your child has worked very hard until now, so does this mean that he has not had any extra-curricular over the last four years - music/drama/sport/socialising/holidays etc - at all? My impression is that both Durham and Oxford have a huge amount of extra-curricular going on, which is generally very useful for the CV when making job applications.

    I recently met a mother whose daughter received a first for Chemistry at Oxford in the last five years or so, who commented that her daughter had worked every day (but I suspect this was say 8 hours, not 16 hours) throughout her degree except Christmas Day. It sounds as if this was certainly a student who treated holidays as time to consolidate the learning, but I haven't come across many students willing to admit that they spent the summer holidays on their degree.

    I am not sure that one should place much stress on obtaining a first class degree, whichever university you go to. As Jacob Rees-Mogg said, his 2:1 at Oxford was "better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick". However, with grade inflation, I would be much less sanguine about the usefulness of a 2:2 these days.

    If he does get into diffiiculties when at uni (whichever uni), do you think that he will be able to reach out to his tutors/mentors for an open conversation about whether the difficulties are likely to be temporary, or an indication of a failure to thrive in that particular environment?

    A thread that starts slowly but has plenty to say about not enjoying uni and what to do:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1491118

    Post number 25 on page 2:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...ford+Bath+blog
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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    Has he considered taking a gap year? It would allow him a year to destress and do something non-academic for a while - and to appreciate what he has when he returns to intellectual rigour.

    It wouldn't mean losing his Oxford place - if asked, they may be happy to let him defer his place, even at this stage.
    Gap years can be very useful, I agree.

    A contrary opinion was expressed by Robert Crampton recently -
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/article4712881.ece
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    Turning down a PPE at Oxford is like turning down an offer to sleep with Kylie Minogue because she is too short.
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    (Original post by hedgemonkey)
    Turning down a PPE at Oxford is like turning down an offer to sleep with Kylie Minogue because she is too short.
    LoL

    your son should decide what course he's going to do first before he chooses any university. I've noticed a distinct lack of interest in this thread from you since first posting and would like to know what course he is actually going to do or don't you know? I think you should take more interest in your son first and foremost.
 
 
 
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