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jadeemma
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I've received an offer from Cambridge for Maths and heard how demanding the course is and the amount of hard work required! Does anyone wish they went to a different Uni? Plus what are the parties and nights out like?
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tazarooni89
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I applied to Maths at Cambridge but didn't get an offer, so went to UCL instead. I had some friends who got into Cambridge for Maths and other similar subjects though.

I'm sure there are lots of plus points for going there, but one reason why I'm glad I didn't is because of the amount and difficulty of the work. Friends of mine who were equally/more academically talented than me were struggling really hard to get a 2:1, and a lot of them didn't actually manage it, whereas I got a First with relative ease just because my course and exams were easier. This is quite an advantage when you consider that many employers consider a 2:1 to be an absolute minimum entry requirement, regardless of the university you're from.

If you're looking to become a world renowned academic, at the cutting edge of research in your field, or want to go into a really exclusive profession where pretty much everyone is from Oxbridge, and you're sure you can cope with the work and get a 2:1 at least, then a Cambridge degree is certainly a great thing to have on your CV though.
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alcibiade
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My daughter went to Cam and loved it, but at times it was a terrible struggle for her. Now in graduate school, she told me she was glad she did it but that, had she known what she was going to go through, she is not sure she would have done.

As a parent, I view how she performed, overcoming the stress and boosting herself to new levels of academic excellence, as a triumph in every sense. She has kept her inspiration for her subject (archaeology), learned to research and write, and continued her music, but beyond friends did not develop many relationships - there simply wasn't time.
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imsoanonymous123
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first year maths student at cambridge

kind of disappointed in cambridge. its not as good as i thought it would be. the lectures are honestly just downright terrible, they take simple concepts that you could learn in 5 minutes in sixth form and then make them completely incomprehensible without adding anything to it

do i regret it? no. I dont know where else i would be if i wasnt here. I dont know what its like at other universities but I sure as hell liked being in sixth form more than I do here.

I got S/1/S for step and at the moment im on the verge of failing. i didnt think i would even consider doing anything other than maths a year or two ago but now I dont even know what im doing here.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by jadeemma)
I've received an offer from Cambridge for Maths and heard how demanding the course is and the amount of hard work required! Does anyone wish they went to a different Uni? Plus what are the parties and nights out like?
You don't go to Cambridge for 'parties and nights out', though there's plenty of social activities going on in the university.

Of course it's demanding and hard work. It's mathematics at Cambridge - were you expecting a BTEC and a pat on the head? If you don't like the sound of hard work and commitment to your course, then it's probably best to not accept the offer and go somewhere where the standards and expectations are lower.
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pamplemousse.
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(Original post by Reality Check)
You don't go to Cambridge for 'parties and nights out', though there's plenty of social activities going on in the university.

Of course it's demanding and hard work. It's mathematics at Cambridge - were you expecting a BTEC and a pat on the head? If you don't like the sound of hard work and commitment to your course, then it's probably best to not accept the offer and go somewhere where the standards and expectations are lower.
I don't have any problem with working hard but for me it's a legitimate concern that I could be at the bottom of the class regardless of effort because of the standard.

I WANT there to be people better than me, that's healthy and exciting, but not to the extent that I struggle to pass regardless of how much work I put in and feel like an idiot.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by pamplemousse.)
I don't have any problem with working hard but for me it's a legitimate concern that I could be at the bottom of the class regardless of effort because of the standard.

I WANT there to be people better than me, that's healthy and exciting, but not to the extent that I struggle to pass regardless of how much work I put in and feel like an idiot.
This is an entirely understandable concern. I think people worry greatly when going up to Cambridge that they'll find the transition from being a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond too much of a change. There's also as you say the worry that you'll struggle so much that you won't even pass, let alone swim. The facts belie this - a staggeringly small number of students actually fail their courses or do so badly it's cause for some sort of serious concern or action, and the students who do fail generally have an awful lot else going on in their lives and/or have taken no advice or guidance from their DoS or supervisors. Cambridge are not in the habit of routinely admitting students who might fail - trust them with this!
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(Original post by pamplemousse.)
I don't have any problem with working hard but for me it's a legitimate concern that I could be at the bottom of the class regardless of effort because of the standard.

I WANT there to be people better than me, that's healthy and exciting, but not to the extent that I struggle to pass regardless of how much work I put in and feel like an idiot.
A common concern, and unlikely to be the case in practice. Of course, someone will be "bottom of the class" but tbf it's probably not you. The professionals at Cambridge have given you an offer because they can see your potential. They are rarely wrong... and the dropout rate at Cambridge is among the lowest in the UK.
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Doones
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(Original post by Reality Check)
This is an entirely understandable concern. I think people worry greatly when going up to Cambridge that they'll find the transition from being a big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond too much of a change. There's also as you say the worry that you'll struggle so much that you won't even pass, let alone swim. The facts belie this - a staggeringly small number of students actually fail their courses or do so badly it's cause for some sort of serious concern or action, and the students who do fail generally have an awful lot else going on in their lives and/or have taken no advice or guidance from their DoS or supervisors. Cambridge are not in the habit of routinely admitting students who might fail - trust them with this!
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username1865079
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(Original post by jadeemma)
I've received an offer from Cambridge for Maths and heard how demanding the course is and the amount of hard work required! Does anyone wish they went to a different Uni? Plus what are the parties and nights out like?
This is what I said to my daughter when she was agonizing over, some years ago now, which university to firm/insure. (though the reason for her agony was not to do with demanding work/social life, etc)

There's no way anyone can know for sure if you will be happy/unhappy at any university you choose because no one can be at more than one university at a same time and compare the outcome.
But, if you feel unhappy at a university you chose and wish you had chosen another one, the degree of regret you'd feel may be somewhat quite different: 'Wish I'd chosen Cambridge' while at other unis VS 'Wish I'd chosen [insert another uni's name]'while at Cambridge.

Yes, the environment at Cambridge (and any other top universities) is immensely intense and demanding. But almost everyone at Cambridge also enjoy good social life as well, including active involvement in club/societies.
Maybe not as much time spent of partying or clubbing as students at other less demanding universities, but they do have life outside academic commitment and they enjoy it fully.
Because you have to be self-disciplined and be sensible in deciding what to do when, you'll learn how to time-manage efficiently after 3/4 years of leading a very full-on life.
'Work hard, Play hard' is what they do and learn.

Academic thing is always the priority as it should be at a university like that. So if that's not what you want, may be Cambridge is not a right place for you.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by jneill)
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username1865079
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(Original post by pamplemousse.)
I don't have any problem with working hard but for me it's a legitimate concern that I could be at the bottom of the class regardless of effort because of the standard.

I WANT there to be people better than me, that's healthy and exciting, but not to the extent that I struggle to pass regardless of how much work I put in and feel like an idiot.
Whether you are going to be the bottom of the pile will entirely depend on how you work and conduct your life once you get there, not how you are now.
Selecting candidates in admission process is like splitting the finest hair. There isn't much difference in ability/talent between vast majority of students who got offer. They (and YOU) are all capable and that's why you were accepted.

I have seen a few students who did struggle. But in all cases of these, it was mostly because the way they didn't quite do what they should've been doing; like not putting enough effort or having too many(non-academic) things on their plate.
DoS is there to keep an eye on you so that you'll stay on a right path, all through your course. And he/she will give you advice/warning before it's too late to remedy the situation, IF needed. So listen to what they say. You'll be good.
(those struggled students I know didn't quite listen to what their DoS and friends told them......)
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Moura
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(Original post by jadeemma)
I've received an offer from Cambridge for Maths and heard how demanding the course is and the amount of hard work required! Does anyone wish they went to a different Uni? Plus what are the parties and nights out like?
There are many good unis out there that have a healthier work/life balance that are just as sought out for by employers. Maybe if you want to go into something super competitive like law or IB or something it might help (? - I know people from my uni who have done both of these things at top firms with no hindrance) but otherwise I don't see why you would sacrifice your life on your undergrad so much unless you are a studious /serious person of course. Before anyone say "Cambridge/Oxford students have a life too !!1!!1!!"... yeah sure, but not compared to other unis in the top 10, sorry. I am basing this off of people I know btw, who actually seem like the more sociable people there. I would say if you are a normal social person then don't box yourself in and look at your other options, seriously consider them and don't get sucked in by the people who masturbate over the thought of going to Oxbridge here on TSR.
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username1865079
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(Original post by imsoanonymous123)
first year maths student at cambridge

kind of disappointed in cambridge. its not as good as i thought it would be. the lectures are honestly just downright terrible, they take simple concepts that you could learn in 5 minutes in sixth form and then make them completely incomprehensible without adding anything to it

do i regret it? no. I dont know where else i would be if i wasnt here. I dont know what its like at other universities but I sure as hell liked being in sixth form more than I do here.

I got S/1/S for step and at the moment im on the verge of failing. i didnt think i would even consider doing anything other than maths a year or two ago but now I dont even know what im doing here.
You've only done one term.....
And the first term in the first year is used very much to make sure all students will be on the same level and have covered all necessary grounds for the time the teaching intensifies and goes up another level from the second term onward because everyone came from different educational/schooling backgrounds.
You haven't seen anything yet......
Brace yourself.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Moura)
There are many good unis out there that have a healthier work/life balance that are just as sought out for by employers. Maybe if you want to go into something super competitive like law or IB or something it might help (? - I know people from my uni who have done both of these things at top firms with no hindrance) but otherwise I don't see why you would sacrifice your life on your undergrad so much unless you are a studious /serious person of course. Before anyone say "Cambridge/Oxford students have a life too !!1!!1!!"... yeah sure, but not compared to other unis in the top 10, sorry. I am basing this off of people I know btw, who actually seem like the more sociable people there. I would say if you are a normal social person then don't box yourself in and look at your other options, seriously consider them and don't get sucked in by the people who masturbate over the thought of going to Oxbridge here on TSR.
This is a bit of a hobby horse of yours, isn't it. Why are you so antagonistic toward people who aspire to Oxbridge? Between them, they have over two thousand years of experience as academic institutions behind them - don't you think it's rather natural to aspire to want to be part of that history?
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Moura
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(Original post by Reality Check)
This is a bit of a hobby horse of yours, isn't it. Why are you so antagonistic toward people who aspire to Oxbridge? Between them, they have over two thousand years of experience as academic institutions behind them - don't you think it's rather natural to aspire to want to be part of that history?
Not really lol? I made one post about people who are obsessed with Oxbridge who havent even been there and collect alumni as friends... I made that post because I'd just met up with a friend who acts this way and I'd forgotten how annoying it is. Nothing to do with those aspiring to go there.

Here I am saying there is more to life than Oxbridge and it's not always the best choice, especially for your undergrad. Really don't see the harm in giving a different perspective? It is not the only academically good university out there and I think some people fall into an "Oxbridge or my life is over" kind of mentality and I really don't think it deserves that kind of reverence.
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the bear
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Cambridge Students =

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the bear
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Elsewhere Students =

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PythagorasGhost
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(Original post by jneill)
the dropout rate at Cambridge is among the lowest in the UK.
That doesn't necessarily imply that more enjoy Cambridge than other universities. It could be the case that a large proportion of people have considered dropping out but don't simply because 'it's Cambridge'.
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Doones
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(Original post by PythagorasGhost)
That doesn't necessarily imply that more enjoy Cambridge than other universities. It could be the case that a large proportion of people have considered dropping out but don't simply because 'it's Cambridge'.
It could be, but it's also lower than Oxford.
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