Turn on thread page Beta

Anxiety and Oxford offer from extra-academic college watch

Announcements
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    I just got an offer from oxford. I applied to a college lower down in the academic tables because i thought if i went there i'd be happier but was pooled to one of the most academic colleges( not merton) !! I have bad anxiety disorder and ocd as it is, how am i going to cope i have no idea... It was always my favourite architecturally so in some ways i am insanely lucky to be pooled there but i don't think i'll be able to deal with the even greater than average expectations of the college, i think i'd be more comfortable at one where if u choose to aim for a first/ work extra hard even for ox it was self motivated. I just don't think I have it in me to deal with that stress . At the college I applied to i'd feel comfortable disclosing this stress but at the one i was pooled to i don't know how it would be received. Finally I forgot so many things in my interview ( literally couldn't answer the first question) and my gcses and a levels are like the bare minimum needed for oxford (AAA, 5A*s, i feel overwhelmingly that i'm not smart enough)

    Should I go to the GP? I'd like to build my academic resilience before going but is having average academic resilience and wanting it to be high enough for ox a real health problem? I can't tell my parents because they're so exhilirated and I don't want to put a downer on it. i sort of have a reputation for trying to run away with things too ( i tried escaping my interviews three times before I had them, had my bags packed). I liked my interviews a lot though so would have regretted it...

    Feel a mess rn.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    I would suggest speaking to your GP if your anxiety is affecting your day to day functioning, but bear in mind rankings and league tables of colleges are meaningless. They are all academic - and assessment is departmentally oriented, as is most teaching. You will probably have tutorials at other colleges at some point, and the marking of tutorial work is primarily if not wholly formative, rather than summative, to my knowledge. The end of year exams are not associated with any particular college, so the train of thought that one is more "academic" than another is clearly pointless...

    Just because historically this wasn't the case, and thus a college achieved a reputation for being more academic, and parlayed this into receiving more applications and thus the prerogative to be even more selective among an already extremely capable pool doesn't reflect in any way on the actual current status of the teaching and marking of the college. The fundamental way in which Oxbridge degrees are assessed has changed a great deal over the years (they are you know, written exams rather than all oral viva voce style sessions now...).

    Besides the point, the interviews are meant to be challenging. They don't care about the "right" answer - they want to know how you reason your way towards it, whether you reach it or not. They may well ask a question with no right answer, or that has not been answered even by the highest echelons of researchers (if it's sufficiently simple but deep to be accessible to those without specialist knowledge but not necessarily answerable by those with it - several maths problems for example are simply stated as such but considerably more complex to solve).

    So see your GP if you like - but realise you're being irrational about this and putting far too much stock in meaningless idle chatter from TSR and similar places that talk about prestige without any real experience or understanding of the complexities of the matter.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    I would suggest speaking to your GP if your anxiety is affecting your day to day functioning, but bear in mind rankings and league tables of colleges are meaningless. They are all academic - and assessment is departmentally oriented, as is most teaching. You will probably have tutorials at other colleges at some point, and the marking of tutorial work is primarily if not wholly formative, rather than summative, to my knowledge. The end of year exams are not associated with any particular college, so the train of thought that one is more "academic" than another is clearly pointless...

    Just because historically this wasn't the case, and thus a college achieved a reputation for being more academic, and parlayed this into receiving more applications and thus the prerogative to be even more selective among an already extremely capable pool doesn't reflect in any way on the actual current status of the teaching and marking of the college. The fundamental way in which Oxbridge degrees are assessed has changed a great deal over the years (they are you know, written exams rather than all oral viva voce style sessions now...).

    Besides the point, the interviews are meant to be challenging. They don't care about the "right" answer - they want to know how you reason your way towards it, whether you reach it or not. They may well ask a question with no right answer, or that has not been answered even by the highest echelons of researchers (if it's sufficiently simple but deep to be accessible to those without specialist knowledge but not necessarily answerable by those with it - several maths problems for example are simply stated as such but considerably more complex to solve).

    So see your GP if you like - but realise you're being irrational about this and putting far too much stock in meaningless idle chatter from TSR and similar places that talk about prestige without any real experience or understanding of the complexities of the matter.
    Thank you I appreciate your honesty. It is just when I went there on open day (architecturally was my favourite college) I was told by the students that they were expected to work extra hard there, and gave a comparison to another college saying that they got more essays. It also says on the website for the college in a student profile that the students are expected to work hard. I was hoping Oxbridge would be 9-6 days but am now concerned it might be 9-6, 7-11!!
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    Without knowing the exact subject or college it's difficult to advise but as has been said, these supposed 'reputations' about some colleges making their students work harder than others are hot air a lot of the time. Also, it's perfectly natural to panic and think "why did they choose me?" The reality is that they will pick people who they think are suited to the course/tutorial environment, and who are likely to get a 2.1 classification without much problem. They have faith in you, so you ought to try and have more faith in yourself :yep:

    What I would strongly advise, since you have mentioned an anxiety disorder and OCD is (if these haven't been formally diagnosed already) to go to your GP and start that process now. If you already have a diagnosis and haven't yet disclosed to Oxford, I would start making contact with the disability office and finding out what support they can give you and what exams arrangements/concessions could be made for you, should you meet your offer and arrive at Oxford. I would advise you not to firm your offer until/unless you are confident that you will be well-supported by your college, faculty, and the university as a whole, throughout the whole of your degree :nah:

    Oxford is tough, for sure, and people have to work hard. But it is (for most people) doable. So try not to be afraid! But please please please do make sure you know what support you can get there, and that that feels enough for you, before proceeding to firm it
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I just got an offer from oxford. I applied to a college lower down in the academic tables because i thought if i went there i'd be happier but was pooled to one of the most academic colleges( not merton) !! I have bad anxiety disorder and ocd as it is, how am i going to cope i have no idea...
    So i went to Merton. Only positive things to say. Yes, in the introductory meeting them emphasised that they wanted us to aim for firsts, but what tutors don't say that? After that i was not a very dedicated student and regularly did poorly in collections (mock exams - all colleges do them), failing more than one. At some other colleges (and generally the ones struggling in the Norrington table actually, not the ones doing well) this would get you Rusticated (enforced year out), but all Merton did was organise a talk with the welfare tutor to see if i was depressed or not. I wasn't, they let me on my way, and i passed in the end just fine.

    I really think you are reading way more into the academic reputation things than is truly warranted. The main thing that correlates with the Norrington table is college wealth. And having a wealthy college is generally not a bad thing!

    Finally I forgot so many things in my interview ( literally couldn't answer the first question) and my gcses and a levels are like the bare minimum needed for oxford (AAA, 5A*s, i feel overwhelmingly that i'm not smart enough)
    And yet they let you in right?

    This is an extremely common feeling. Don't worry - you are good enough. You wouldn't have got in if not.

    Should I go to the GP?...
    Well you have, to quote, "bad anxiety disorder and ocd". Emphasis on the self-label of "bad" there. Sounds like its worth a try no?
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you I appreciate your honesty. It is just when I went there on open day (architecturally was my favourite college) I was told by the students that they were expected to work extra hard there, and gave a comparison to another college saying that they got more essays.
    Yes but they almost certainly picked the one college they know of that does very few essays. I can do the same: I went to Merton and for my subject in first year did on average maybe 2.5 essays per week. People at Christchurch did 5 and people at Hertford did 4 :dontknow:

    It also says on the website for the college in a student profile that the students are expected to work hard. I was hoping Oxbridge would be 9-6 days but am now concerned it might be 9-6, 7-11!!
    It will probably be a bit more than you were doing for A-level. It depends how efficient you are, of course. There was a student survey a few years ago that suggested that for Oxford for medicine, the average was 42 hours per week.
    • #2
    #2

    My Latin teacher went to Oxford and left after a couple of years because of her anxiety. It can cause major problems, but she told me that she did receive support while she was there. I think the first thing to do would be to tell your parents - perhaps don't tell them you are thinking of not going, but just that you're nervous and want to be proactive about dealing with the issue before you get there. Visit your GP and let Oxford know: they'll provide support, both emotional and material.

    They wouldn't have given you an offer, particularly at a prestigious college, unless you deserve it. The fact that you got an offer with the grades you have (which are by no means poor; you clearly have incredibly high standards for yourself) is testament to your performance in the interview.

    Finally, if you enjoyed the interview, you will most likely enjoy Oxford. Therapy will be available there if things get tough, but you may find it easier when you are part of that environment and working alongside other ambitious, academic people. I got an offer too: hopefully see you there!
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Without knowing the exact subject or college it's difficult to advise but as has been said, these supposed 'reputations' about some colleges making their students work harder than others are hot air a lot of the time. Also, it's perfectly natural to panic and think "why did they choose me?" The reality is that they will pick people who they think are suited to the course/tutorial environment, and who are likely to get a 2.1 classification without much problem. They have faith in you, so you ought to try and have more faith in yourself :yep:

    What I would strongly advise, since you have mentioned an anxiety disorder and OCD is (if these haven't been formally diagnosed already) to go to your GP and start that process now. If you already have a diagnosis and haven't yet disclosed to Oxford, I would start making contact with the disability office and finding out what support they can give you and what exams arrangements/concessions could be made for you, should you meet your offer and arrive at Oxford. I would advise you not to firm your offer until/unless you are confident that you will be well-supported by your college, faculty, and the university as a whole, throughout the whole of your degree :nah:

    Oxford is tough, for sure, and people have to work hard. But it is (for most people) doable. So try not to be afraid! But please please please do make sure you know what support you can get there, and that that feels enough for you, before proceeding to firm it
    Thank you, I'll be sure to see if there is enough support. I will go to my GP. Thank you for saying it is doable, whilst I'd want to work as hard as a top 10 uni student aiming for a first I don't want to work as hard as the prime minister ( eg. 4-5 hours of sleep, wake up, work). I imagine that when you're there it might be easier to work more effectively, academically it must be quite a supportive environment having so many libraries, (hopefully) inspiring seminars and other people going through the same thing! The subject is essay based with a lot of reading. The college is the/one of the richest, so I am hoping there is good support.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    My Latin teacher went to Oxford and left after a couple of years because of her anxiety. It can cause major problems, but she told me that she did receive support while she was there. I think the first thing to do would be to tell your parents - perhaps don't tell them you are thinking of not going, but just that you're nervous and want to be proactive about dealing with the issue before you get there. Visit your GP and let Oxford know: they'll provide support, both emotional and material.

    They wouldn't have given you an offer, particularly at a prestigious college, unless you deserve it. The fact that you got an offer with the grades you have (which are by no means poor; you clearly have incredibly high standards for yourself) is testament to your performance in the interview.

    Finally, if you enjoyed the interview, you will most likely enjoy Oxford. Therapy will be available there if things get tough, but you may find it easier when you are part of that environment and working alongside other ambitious, academic people. I got an offer too: hopefully see you there!
    My word my interview was bad! It never felt more complex than A level. I hope they will, the college I'm at is more formal. However, I suppose people can still be formal and supportive!! Thank you for taking the time to answer and reassure me
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by nexttime)
    Yes but they almost certainly picked the one college they know of that does very few essays. I can do the same: I went to Merton and for my subject in first year did on average maybe 2.5 essays per week. People at Christchurch did 5 and people at Hertford did 4 :dontknow:



    It will probably be a bit more than you were doing for A-level. It depends how efficient you are, of course. There was a student survey a few years ago that suggested that for Oxford for medicine, the average was 42 hours per week.
    Actually they compared themselves to Merton! Hopefully it is manageable. It is just the concept of a couple all nighters a week and more than 8 hours of academic work every day for all three years ( probs ok near deadlines) sounds like something I couldn't do. I suppose you improve while you're there, both academically and in tolerance.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you, I'll be sure to see if there is enough support. I will go to my GP. Thank you for saying it is doable, whilst I'd want to work as hard as a top 10 uni student aiming for a first I don't want to work as hard as the prime minister ( eg. 4-5 hours of sleep, wake up, work). I imagine that when you're there it might be easier to work more effectively, academically it must be quite a supportive environment having so many libraries, (hopefully) inspiring seminars and other people going through the same thing! The subject is essay based with a lot of reading. The college is the/one of the richest, so I am hoping there is good support.
    As you say yourself in one of your posts above, the Oxford experience improves as you go along, because you grow academically and also in terms of your tolerance/threshold levels :yes:

    Doing an essay subject with heavy amounts of reading can be tough. Just remember that the tutorial system works in such a way that if you start to flag, your tutor will almost certainly notice and can put in measures to support you. For example, in my first year (I read music at Worcester College) myself and my tutorial partners were having harmony tutorials together, all three of us. But my tutor realised that I was struggling and working at a lower level to my tutorial partners so eventually he split me off from them so that I could have harmony tutorials 1:1 with him and work at my own pace. Even though this is not supposed to happen in first year for harmony tutorials, he was able to offer and arrange this for me.

    So yeah, any issues will most likely be picked up on! But if you find yourself struggling at all, please don't suffer in silence - that could end up biting you in the arse really badly :sadnod: Be vocal and honest with people from the outset
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Actually they compared themselves to Merton! Hopefully it is manageable. It is just the concept of a couple all nighters a week and more than 8 hours of academic work every day for all three years ( probs ok near deadlines) sounds like something I couldn't do. I suppose you improve while you're there, both academically and in tolerance.
    It depends on the student - some certainly did have to work insane amounts - but like i said on average probably not. In my experience its that you either do 6-8 hours efficient study per day or you end up doing all-nighters. Not both!

    You can take days off every now and then as well. Remember than all the 1st boat rowers will be training ~20 hours per week, similar for other uni-level sports, yet they still manage. People do do things other than work at Oxford!
    • #3
    #3

    ‘Ive said it before but I’ll say it again for the ladies in the back: Don’t go to oxford if you already have anxiety issues or are insecure about your academic ability. Perfect recipe to crash and burn. You’ll be WAY happier somewhere else.
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    ‘Ive said it before but I’ll say it again for the ladies in the back: Don’t go to oxford if you already have anxiety issues or are insecure about your academic ability. Perfect recipe to crash and burn. You’ll be WAY happier somewhere else.
    How motivating. With your attitude I'm sure you'll grow and improve.

    I'll trust those with the wisdom and motivation to go there thanks, not someone who has nothing better to do than use the anonymous feature to say unhelpful, useless things.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    ‘: Don’t go to oxford if you already have anxiety issues or are insecure about your academic ability.
    Sorry about your experience, but that meets the criteria for such a large proportion of admitted students. Most are fine. It's also the case that people who don't have this history can run into the same problems. Not sure about this advice at all.

    Expect hard work, and make your own assessment as to whether to proceed.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    ‘Ive said it before but I’ll say it again for the ladies in the back: Don’t go to oxford if you already have anxiety issues or are insecure about your academic ability. Perfect recipe to crash and burn. You’ll be WAY happier somewhere else.
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    How motivating. With your attitude I'm sure you'll grow and improve.

    I'll trust those with the wisdom and motivation to go there thanks, not someone who has nothing better to do than use the anonymous feature to say unhelpful, useless things.
    To be fair to #Anon3, the first bit of what they wrote is what I'd honestly want to say to most people. I just don't say it because often it's not the most constructive thing that can be said to people who have already replied and got an offer, and who really want to go and make it work somehow. But I at least feel there is some truth in what #Anon3 said, so don't discount it completely :nah:
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I just got an offer from oxford. I applied to a college lower down in the academic tables because i thought if i went there i'd be happier but was pooled to one of the most academic colleges( not merton) !!
    Congratulations on your offer! They have obviously seen a lot of potential in you. They know what they're doing.

    The university looks to have good student support services, e.g. counselling - you will get support when you need it.

    Don't believe all the stories of high pressure that you hear - a lot of it is either subject-related (a few require long hours of study, but most don't) or personal / family pressure. It's an amazing place to study. Good luck!
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    ( i tried escaping my interviews three times before I had them, had my bags packed). I liked my interviews a lot though so would have regretted it...
    It sounds like you will enjoy tutorials then.

    You'd have to be quite arrogant not to be a little in awe about going to Oxford, but you will find that you're better than you think.
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    Is this Magdalen college by any chance?
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by atomicine)
    Is this Magdalen college by any chance?
    No
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: January 20, 2018
Poll
Cats or dogs?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.