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.
choose camrbridge dont regret it
Do you have any ideas about what you want to do after university?
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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Last edited by okurr123; 1 month ago
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.
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.