Should I reject Cambridge? Watch

MaryBell21
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Hi guys, so basically I am an A-Level student in year 13 preparing to attend university this September. My dream university was Durham Univerisity, which I was very pleased to receive an offer from to study History (grades needed: AAA).

I had always planned on applying to Oxbridge, just to see what would happen, nothing more, as I genuinely didn't believe I had the ability to succeed in the application process. Nevertheless, I did not want to have any regrets and go about my life with the question 'Could I have gotten into Oxbridge?' unanswered. Then I thought this was stupid so I decided to not apply and just apply for the universities I thought were for me.

But then because I did not have another uni to fill my 5th choice, I applied. During the application process, I worked hard but not my hardest and at each stage, I was convinced that it would be my last. All throughout the process, I continued to dream about my time at Durham and how this was definitely a university and course I wanted to work hard for.

But then, I got an offer from Cambridge (as you probably guessed from the title). I never in a million years thought that this would happen, especially considering how little I wanted it and honestly how little I did for it in comparison to others and my usual standard (I had worked much harder for other situations). Now I am confused as to what to do.

My gut has always said Durham Durham Durham, but now I have voices whispering in my ear that Cambridge is a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I'd be sabotaging my own career if I were to turn it down. But Durham is 30 minutes from my family (Cambridge is 4 hours)*, it has a course that I really enjoy and it is a dream that I have been working for a very long time. I understand that Cambridge is an amazing university and I feel incredibly grateful (and shocked) to have recieved an offer, but I want to pick the university that feels right for me not just because it has a fancy reuputation.

I just don't know what to do. Do I go with my gut? Or do I pick the sensible option that could potentially 'set me for life' (provided I do actually get the grades and attend the uni and achieve an excellent degree).

*I understand university is a time of indepdence, but I can't help but let this factor dissaude me.
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Lemur14
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I think you need to think about why you prefer Durham. Is it a particular aspect of the course? Is it the teaching methods? etc. At the end of the day, it's your choice. But you shouldn't choose if the only reason is really that it's closer to family and you never thought you'd get a Cambridge offer, you need to think of it in terms of where you can see yourself for 3 years.

04MR17 I'm sure you'll have something useful to add to this :hugs:
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lolololol1235e1
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choose camrbridge dont regret it
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BasicMistake
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Do you have any ideas about what you want to do after university?
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okurr123
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You should choose the university based on where you think you’ll be happier and more comfortable, which will mean you will ultimately do better at that university. History is a very respectable degree pretty much anywhere so don’t let the reputation of Cambridge sway your decision as you will still do really well in a university where you will be happier and be more likely to get a first for example.
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Dandandalaxy
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Just remember you've got until the 1st of May to make your decision. Do what's right for you but please don't rush into it.
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by lolololol1235e1)
choose camrbridge dont regret it
You say that like nobody ever regrets going to Cambridge. It's not for everyone.
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by Lemur14)
I think you need to think about why you prefer Durham. Is it a particular aspect of the course? Is it the teaching methods? etc. At the end of the day, it's your choice. But you shouldn't choose if the only reason is really that it's closer to family and you never thought you'd get a Cambridge offer, you need to think of it in terms of where you can see yourself for 3 years.

04MR17 I'm sure you'll have something useful to add to this :hugs:
I feel as though the course at Durham is more flexible, whereas Cambridge is quite focused on European and British History (especially first year). I can genuinely see myself at Durham for 3 years, and I can see myself happy too. I'm also concerned about the workload and living situation at Cambridge. I've spent 2 years hating my life at A-level I don't want to be working hard now just to spend 3 years of my life anxious and stressed at Cambridge (a bit melodramatic I know but I'm stressed with this dilemma).
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katf
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Go with your gut. Durham is an excellent university, and you may find having family close by helpful. Lots of people do drop out because they're homesick. You clearly want to go to Durham. If you ignore reputation, which one would you go to? Which has the course you prefer? Choose that uni.
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by lolololol1235e1)
choose camrbridge dont regret it
I'm worried that listening to people (as opposed to myself) with that very mindset is what will make me regret choosing Cambridge.
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by BasicMistake)
Do you have any ideas about what you want to do after university?
This another dilemma in my life. I've always wanted to do history, then complete a conversion course to law (GDL) and then the LPC. But I'm not so sure anymore.
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delia0117q
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tbh this is why i didn’t apply to oxbridge. i’ve been set on my uni for 5 years now, and i wanted to avoid the situation you’re in right now. i’d say choose the gut feeling, the one where you feel like you belong. if you can’t fit in and make that campus your own, your uni time will definitely be hard
best of luck to you
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by okurr123)
You should choose the university based on where you think you’ll be happier and more comfortable, which will mean you will ultimately do better at that university. History is a very respectable degree pretty much anywhere so don’t let the reputation of Cambridge sway your decision as you will still do really well in a university where you will be happier and be more likely to get a first for example.
This is what I believe also. I wish I was not so deeply affected by the voices of others and could do what I truly thought was best for me. But I'm scared what I think is my best, isn't the case. (that got deep fast woah. I apologise).
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by katf)
Go with your gut. Durham is an excellent university, and you may find having family close by helpful. Lots of people do drop out because they're homesick. You clearly want to go to Durham. If you ignore reputation, which one would you go to? Which has the course you prefer? Choose that uni.
You're completely right. To answer your questions, Durham and Durham. Thank you for that insight.
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nightisdark
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Ironically I am in the same situation for History (I also love 20 minutes from Durham lol) and I would choose Durham — mainly because it’s closer to home and it’s just as good a uni as Cambridge IMO.
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by delia0117q)
tbh this is why i didn’t apply to oxbridge. i’ve been set on my uni for 5 years now, and i wanted to avoid the situation you’re in right now. i’d say choose the gut feeling, the one where you feel like you belong. if you can’t fit in and make that campus your own, your uni time will definitely be hard
best of luck to you
Honestly, at this rate, I wish I didn't apply. Best of luck to you too, thank you.
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by nightisdark)
Ironically I am in the same situation for History (I also love 20 minutes from Durham lol) and I would choose Durham — mainly because it’s closer to home and it’s just as good a uni as Cambridge IMO.
Wow that's amazing! Is that the decision you are going to make?
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Moments
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You'll always do better a the uni you're happiest at. Doing better is better for your career than the name of the university. Many people go on to have very succesful lives without even going to university.

Since you have some time to decide, i would Strongly advise visiting both campus' over the summer and possibly spend a long weekend in Cambridge to get a feel for the place. If you can get a face-to-face talk with your program leader that would help a lot too.
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Lemon1806
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Hi! I’ve recently also received an offer to study History at Cambridge, and have also applied to Durham. For me I’ve always wanted to go to Cambridge, so I suppose the choice is easier, but I understand the pressures put on people to apply and definitely accept Oxbridge.
If possible, I would attend the Durham offer holders day and try to find a time to visit your college at Cambridge to get a feel of both environments. If you find Durham still feels like it is best for you then I see no reason why you should choose Cambridge just because of its reputation. After all, the workload is greater at Cambridge and you may find yourself thinking “I should have gone where I really wanted”.

On the other hand, you may visit your Cambridge college and absolutely love it and the environment there and you may end up being swayed. Therefore, I’d definitely take the time to visit both if you can (even if you already have).

Seeing as the Durham offer is AAA, if you did choose Cambridge at the end of the day durham could be your insurance meaning even if you do not meet the offer you’d still have a university you love to go to!!
But really my main point is go visit or try and find some sort of virtual tour if you cannot travel

(Congrats on both offers btw, they are both excellent institutions)
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MaryBell21
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
You say that like nobody ever regrets going to Cambridge. It's not for everyone.
I agree. Anyone can regret going anywhere.
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