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    I'm so scared to start at Oxford. I'm so scared of the workload. I'm losing interest in my subject.

    On my gap year I've discovered more about myself and what I want from life and what it actually is. I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.

    I want to go to St Andrews instead and have a more chill time, or somewhere like Durham, or UCL, or Bristol and study more at my own pace.

    Not sure if it's just me being scared of what other people say and warn me of, but is it actually that bad?
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    You don't have to go- ask them to release you?

    It's a lot of hard work, and there's an intense pace you'll have to keep up with. But it's not just work work work. It's work work work, play hard. See what the first term is like, then make a decision
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    (Original post by firedogs)
    I'm so scared to start at Oxford. I'm so scared of the workload. I'm losing interest in my subject.

    On my gap year I've discovered more about myself and what I want from life and what it actually is. I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.

    I want to go to St Andrews instead and have a more chill time, or somewhere like Durham, or UCL, or Bristol and study more at my own pace.

    Not sure if it's just me being scared of what other people say and warn me of, but is it actually that bad?
    What subject is it that you applied for? The workload is not insurmountable for most people and there's lots of fun to be had at Oxford, of any/varying kinds! But obviously if you're no longer wanting to study that subject, that is a genuine problem...
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    I've seen this a lot and I started having some of the same issues, so I'll try to give my perspective as an Oxford offer holder as well.

    Your situation may be entirely different, but chances are if you got into Oxford, you've worked hard. But if you are worried about losing interest in your subject and the future workload, you feel as if Oxford will be a huge step up from the amount of work that you had to do to get in.

    What I can say then, is that how hard you have worked already to most students is actually far harder than you probably think in your own eyes, and this is true for almost any high-flying student. But you've become so normalised to it, you (hopefully) have still been able to have fun, relax and not completely stress yourself out. Being at Oxford will be the same principle. It is a lot of work and it will be a step up, but it's work everyone there does, your mates will have the workload and most students grow used to it to the point they're still able to have tons of fun, get involved in clubs and societies, and don't spend everyday wishing they were at a less intensive university. After all, if you start at Oxford you won't have experienced anything else.

    No matter the university you end up at, the grass will always seem greener on the other side. But the advantage of an Oxford degree over other degrees (depending on the course but generally) is pretty certain, not just in terms of prestige but in terms of the quality of teaching and opportunities available. You've discovered yourself in your gap year, but no one can say whether that will change or not. Few people don't change from 18 to 28 let alone 18 to 48. But the benefits from a marginally better education will likely still persist. Bear in mind, at other universities you'll still be working hard, managing your time, stressing out and nowhere you'll go will be super straightforward, easy or tons of fun if you want to end up with a good degree. If that extra enjoyment you may get definitely appears worth the sacrifice from Oxford, then your mind is already made up.

    If you don't think you are good enough, admissions tutors disagree. Absolute worst case scenario you'll be in a great position to switch, but doubt is normal. Support at Oxford is very good for these sorts of things because it has to be. Oxford will push you more, but if you can manage it you'll come out better for it, and personally doubt isn't ever worth the sacrifice of turning it down. The workload is greater to answer that question, but it's not impossibly harder than any other university as mentioned. Everywhere will be tough at times, but everywhere you'll be normalised to it.

    I've given a pretty one-sided view, which to be fair is my own, so I will add that an Oxford degree isn't everything. For some courses like Medicine or other vocational courses, going to any top Russell Group university will have you set. For most courses, the benefit stops are slight prestige which is becoming increasingly less important. The soft skills gained from an Oxbridge education through work can easily be gained at any other university, and if you genuinely think you will regret your time at Oxford, I think it's an entirely respectable view to turn it down for somewhere you'll feel more fulfilled. In the end if you don't think you will regret turning down Oxford, given what has been said, then go for it, your happiness matters a lot more than prestige or the slight benefit at the risk of regret throughout and afterwards. Just in my opinion, if you are unsure, you have nothing to lose by at least trying.
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    (Original post by firedogs)
    I'm so scared to start at Oxford. I'm so scared of the workload. I'm losing interest in my subject.

    On my gap year I've discovered more about myself and what I want from life and what it actually is. I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.

    I want to go to St Andrews instead and have a more chill time, or somewhere like Durham, or UCL, or Bristol and study more at my own pace.

    Not sure if it's just me being scared of what other people say and warn me of, but is it actually that bad?
    Workload is largely exaggerated. Especially if you are ok with being bottom of the year and scraping a 2.1, rather than clinging to the idea of being the very best. I personally probably worked about 28ish hours per week, so loads of free time (although I also didn't work much for A-levels so that wasn't something new).

    I would also argue that if you want to 'live', Oxford is an exceptional place to do so. You live in a college which is quite different from anywhere else. You can live in 750 year old buildings, something you will never do again. You can partake in sports you'd never be able to elsewhere e.g. rowing. You get the long long holidays to either earn some money or travel places (with travel grants maybe?) or do what you want. And you also meet some incredibly interesting people. Far from exclusive to Oxford of course, but if you want to meet people who may well legitimately become the next prime minister, or world famous comedian, or world-leading scientist, its more likely there than anywhere else.

    And then you're using big words like 'life'. Oxford is only 3 years. Your life is much longer. If Oxford might open up a few more opportunities for that much longer period (and i am not just referring to financial opportunities) then its worth it.

    But you will likely have a lower workload elsewhere and although the opportunities may be less if you think you'd definitely be happier, then that's hard to argue with.
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    (Original post by firedogs)
    I'm so scared to start at Oxford. I'm so scared of the workload. I'm losing interest in my subject.

    On my gap year I've discovered more about myself and what I want from life and what it actually is. I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.

    I want to go to St Andrews instead and have a more chill time, or somewhere like Durham, or UCL, or Bristol and study more at my own pace.

    Not sure if it's just me being scared of what other people say and warn me of, but is it actually that bad?

    Your post raises quite a lot of issues. On one level, the gap year experience looks to have boosted confidence (you are re-evaluating and learning more about yourself, stepping back from what is sometimes viewed as a conveyor belt from school to university). On another level, the gap year experience appears to be acting as a shield. To gain independence and long-term fulfillment you will need to build on the disciplined approach to work and achieving goals developed at school.

    We would suggest talking through how you are feeling with a professional counsellor, if you can. Another thing to bear in mind is that you have the option of starting your Oxford course and seeing how the experience measures up. If it is apparent very quickly that the degree is not right for you, you would have the option of withdrawing and re-applying through UCAS for a course at one of the universities you mention since the deadline is January 15th. We would also suggest that you are open with the college about how you are feeling and they can then advise further, signpost free counselling, and also advise when in the term you would become liable for tuition fees in case it becomes clear early on that you don't want to continue.
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    That place could have gone to someone else.
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    (Original post by firedogs)
    I'm so scared to start at Oxford. I'm so scared of the workload. I'm losing interest in my subject.

    On my gap year I've discovered more about myself and what I want from life and what it actually is. I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.

    I want to go to St Andrews instead and have a more chill time, or somewhere like Durham, or UCL, or Bristol and study more at my own pace.

    Not sure if it's just me being scared of what other people say and warn me of, but is it actually that bad?
    It's your life - follow your heart and reject the place if you want to. I did and never regretted it.
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    Worst case scenario you blow your mind studying for 3-7 years to get into a much better paying job which will allow you to live the lifestyle you desire. If you want to travel a lot then getting your degree and thus a better job (especially being oxford grad) will enable that. Maximum 7 years of hell to have the rest of your life be much better.
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    (Original post by Milax1x)
    Worst case scenario you blow your mind studying for 3-7 years to get into a much better paying job which will allow you to live the lifestyle you desire. If you want to travel a lot then getting your degree and thus a better job (especially being oxford grad) will enable that. Maximum 7 years of hell to have the rest of your life be much better.
    That's not true - not going to Oxford has never held me back in my career. You cannot generalise like this ...
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    prepare as much as possible before you go, see how it goes this year. I am sure other unis will be very glad to accept an oxbridge student who wants to transfer to them to the second year. you will probably also be able to switch subjects in 2nd year at oxford if that's what you prefer. or you might find it's all going really well and you're having an amazing time with opportunities you wouldn't get at another university. doesn't make sense to pull out before you even know what you're pulling out from...
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    OP, don't worry, i'll sacrifice myself and go to Oxford for u as a replacement
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    (Original post by firedogs)
    I'm so scared to start at Oxford. I'm so scared of the workload. I'm losing interest in my subject.

    On my gap year I've discovered more about myself and what I want from life and what it actually is. I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.

    I want to go to St Andrews instead and have a more chill time, or somewhere like Durham, or UCL, or Bristol and study more at my own pace.

    Not sure if it's just me being scared of what other people say and warn me of, but is it actually that bad?
    Firstly, as others have said, going to Oxford does not mean you have to devote your existence to studying. Yes, there are people who do that, but most have a perfectly healthy work-life balance. The recommendation is that you treat your studies as a full-time job (which is quite reasonable) but as nexttime said, if you don't care about getting the best possible mark, you can definitely do it with less.

    Secondly, going to Oxford isn't just about getting a high paying job. I'm not motivated by that in the slightest, and I'm still glad that I'm here, because I enjoy my subject and it's the best place in the country to enjoy my subject. It's a beautiful town, the resources are fantastic, and the university is a very special place.

    In the end, its your choice. Turning down Oxford is not necessarily a mistake, but it's important that you're making informed decisions. It is correct that Oxford is an intense environment and that your workload will probably be greater than at other universities. On the other hand, I'd argue that most of that pressure is self-imposed and the workload is not overwhelming for most people as long as they have semi-reasonable time management skills.
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    (Original post by firedogs)
    I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.
    Do you know what the most common job for an Oxford graduate is OP?

    Teacher. With most being in the state sector.

    Oxbridge is not all about money.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Do you know what the most common job for an Oxford graduate is OP?

    Teacher. With most being in the state sector.

    Oxbridge is not all about money.
    Wow!

    You wouldn't happen to know what it is for Cambridge, would you?
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    (Original post by firedogs)
    I'm so scared to start at Oxford. I'm so scared of the workload. I'm losing interest in my subject.

    On my gap year I've discovered more about myself and what I want from life and what it actually is. I'm no longer in the mindset of work work work, get a high paying job. Life is for living.

    I want to go to St Andrews instead and have a more chill time, or somewhere like Durham, or UCL, or Bristol and study more at my own pace.

    Not sure if it's just me being scared of what other people say and warn me of, but is it actually that bad?
    Which subject? For most, the workload isn't that high for the ability of the offer holders. IMO, chosing a different university because of workload would be a mistake. Eight week terms (or even 8.5) are nice.

    IMO, some other universities are more work, especially when they have more timetabled 'learning'.
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    (Original post by marupe)
    Wow!

    You wouldn't happen to know what it is for Cambridge, would you?
    Probably lecturer or bus driver idk
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    (Original post by Bulletzone)
    Probably lecturer or bus driver idk
    :rofl:

    it's probably also a teacher but I wouldn't know how to confirm that
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    (Original post by RogerOxon)
    Which subject? For most, the workload isn't that high for the ability of the offer holders. IMO, chosing a different university because of workload would be a mistake. Eight week terms (or even 8.5) are nice.

    IMO, some other universities are more work, especially when they have more timetabled 'learning'.
    Am I reading this right? Does Oxford have 8-8.5 week terms?
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    (Original post by Sabby888)
    Am I reading this right? Does Oxford have 8-8.5 week terms?
    Yes, as does the other place.
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