scared to go to oxford Watch

student0864
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I got an offer from oxford and am over the moon, but i’m really stressing about it!!! it seems stupid to pass up such an amazing opportunity, but it also might not be the right place for me.

obviously it’s a stereotype and I know it won’t be true of everyone, but i’m scared the people there will be posh/rich/snobby etc. the friends I made during my interview period were nice, but even they were quite different to me AND a lot of them didn’t get in

i’m not posh or rich or private schooled, and i wouldn’t really describe myself as a nerd. I know there’s such a heavy focus on academia at oxford and i’m worried this will mean missing out on the fun part of uni/student life -parties, clubbing, all the things I was looking forward to.

I am passionate about my subjects (and hopefully will be able to cope with the workload), but I don’t wanna miss out on the fun all my friends are having at less intense universities

even if I do fit in and find friends, i’m just worried i’d enjoy myself more somewhere else
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aliceaquaspirit
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I know a load of people who went off to oxford. I'm from a private school, but literally they are all the nicest and most down to earth people. not all private school kids are snobs, I promise! you have just been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly don't overthink it, just go in with an open mind and know that not everyone there will be snobby and rich
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by student0864)
I got an offer from oxford and am over the moon, but i’m really stressing about it!!! it seems stupid to pass up such an amazing opportunity, but it also might not be the right place for me.

obviously it’s a stereotype and I know it won’t be true of everyone, but i’m scared the people there will be posh/rich/snobby etc. the friends I made during my interview period were nice, but even they were quite different to me AND a lot of them didn’t get in

i’m not posh or rich or private schooled, and i wouldn’t really describe myself as a nerd. I know there’s such a heavy focus on academia at oxford and i’m worried this will mean missing out on the fun part of uni/student life -parties, clubbing, all the things I was looking forward to.

I am passionate about my subjects (and hopefully will be able to cope with the workload), but I don’t wanna miss out on the fun all my friends are having at less intense universities

even if I do fit in and find friends, i’m just worried i’d enjoy myself more somewhere else
I went to Oxford from a comprehensive in Sheffield in the 1980s. You will find plenty of people from a similar background. Yes, there are people from wealthier ones too, but you'll also find them elsewhere, they just won't be as clever. A tiny minority may be obnoxious, but the vast majority are fairly normal people. There will also be a fair number of overseas students. Mixing with people from different backgrounds is part of the university experience, IMO.

Workload depends very much on the individual and course. I read Engineering and Computing Science, and, whilst some of the material took effort to really understand (or avoid!), it didn't require a lot of work. If I did 2 hours where I really focused, I'd had a very good day. Others had to work more, but I didn't know anyone that was consistently unable to do other things. With 8 week (plus a bit) terms, you will have plenty of time to socialise outside of term, even within term elsewhere.

Plenty of Oxford students enjoy activities outside of their degree, often ones with non-trivial time requirements. Whilst there will be times when you feel overwhelmed (you need to be pushed to achieve the next step academically), it almost never lasts for long.

Going away to university is, IMO, the first big step into adulthood that many of us take. It is scary, but it also builds confidence that you can be independent. Universities do provide support, so you're not entirely on your own.

Good luck, and enjoy the experience. It's a very special place, and a great experience, IMO.
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student0864
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(Original post by aliceaquaspirit)
I know a load of people who went off to oxford. I'm from a private school, but literally they are all the nicest and most down to earth people. not all private school kids are snobs, I promise! you have just been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly don't overthink it, just go in with an open mind and know that not everyone there will be snobby and rich
Thank you! I’m really trying not to buy into the oxbridge stereotypes, and keep reminding myself that just because people are wealthier/private schooled doesn’t mean they’re snobby😊
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nabilahhh
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That's an opportunity of a life time don't dare to throw it away!!
I'm so happy for you and congratulations xx
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student0864
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
I went to Oxford from a comprehensive in Sheffield in the 1980s. You will find plenty of people from a similar background. Yes, there are people from wealthier ones too, but you'll also find them elsewhere, they just won't be as clever. A tiny minority may be obnoxious, but the vast majority are fairly normal people. There will also be a fair number of overseas students. Mixing with people from different backgrounds is part of the university experience, IMO.

Workload depends very much on the individual and course. I read Engineering and Computing Science, and, whilst some of the material took effort to really understand (or avoid!), it didn't require a lot of work. If I did 2 hours where I really focused, I'd had a very good day. Others had to work more, but I didn't know anyone that was consistently unable to do other things. With 8 week (plus a bit) terms, you will have plenty of time to socialise outside of term, even within term elsewhere.

Plenty of Oxford students enjoy activities outside of their degree, often ones with non-trivial time requirements. Whilst there will be times when you feel overwhelmed (you need to be pushed to achieve the next step academically), it almost never lasts for long.

Going away to university is, IMO, the first big step into adulthood that many of us take. It is scary, but it also builds confidence that you can be independent. Universities do provide support, so you're not entirely on your own.

Good luck, and enjoy the experience. It's a very special place, and a great experience, IMO.
Thanks so much, this was really reassuring. And very true that there will be wealthier students at any uni. I’m just really worried that, even if the people are normal/not snobby, I won’t find people who are fun and “cool” (in the nicest way possible) - people who don’t fit the oxford stereotype of very very work focused etc. As I mentioned, the people I met at my interview were all lovely and I got along with them, but I couldn’t imagine going out clubbing with them, purely because we had different interests and hobbies . I got the impression that a lot of people there would prefer a formal dinner over a night out, which is not what i’m used to at home😂

But then again you’re right, uni is about meeting new people and I need to be open minded. I just don’t want to rule out places like Leeds/ Birmingham/ Nottingham/Bristol etc where I know for a fact there’s a great night life and will be lots of “normal” people, and the drinking and experimenting and bla bla bla is guaranteed.

Thanks again!
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Kaaayy19
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Actually I don’t know that much about the type of students there bcs I’m an international student, and i’d like to let you know that this is MY DREAM TO STUDY AT OXBRIDGE, believe me millions of people want this chance, so pleaaase if you really want this opportunity and you worked hard for it, don’t ever think to change your mind just because the people there, btw rich people don’t bite, and everywhere you go you’ll find nice people as well as snobby or whatever..
I know my English isn’t that good but i hope you understand me😂..
Good luck and keep updating us😍
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student0864
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(Original post by Kaaayy19)
Actually I don’t know that much about the type of students there bcs I’m an international student, and i’d like to let you know that this is MY DREAM TO STUDY AT OXBRIDGE, believe me millions of people want this chance, so pleaaase if you really want this opportunity and you worked hard for it, don’t ever think to change your mind just because the people there, btw rich people don’t bite, and everywhere you go you’ll find nice people as well as snobby or whatever..
I know my English isn’t that good but i hope you understand me😂..
Good luck and keep updating us😍
thank you!! that’s what I mean, I know I would regret passing up such a once in a lifetime opportunity🤔

(and don’t worry, your english is great)
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by student0864)
Thanks so much, this was really reassuring. And very true that there will be wealthier students at any uni. I’m just really worried that, even if the people are normal/not snobby, I won’t find people who are fun and “cool” (in the nicest way possible) - people who don’t fit the oxford stereotype of very very work focused etc. As I mentioned, the people I met at my interview were all lovely and I got along with them, but I couldn’t imagine going out clubbing with them, purely because we had different interests and hobbies . I got the impression that a lot of people there would prefer a formal dinner over a night out, which is not what i’m used to at home😂

But then again you’re right, uni is about meeting new people and I need to be open minded. I just don’t want to rule out places like Leeds/ Birmingham/ Nottingham/Bristol etc where I know for a fact there’s a great night life and will be lots of “normal” people, and the drinking and experimenting and bla bla bla is guaranteed.
Part of the university experience is stepping out of your comfort zone. You'll be fine.

I haven't looked at the figures recently, but the majority of students will be from state schools.

Which subject and college?
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OxFossil
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(Original post by student0864)
I got an offer from oxford and am over the moon, but i’m really stressing about it!!! it seems stupid to pass up such an amazing opportunity, but it also might not be the right place for me.

obviously it’s a stereotype and I know it won’t be true of everyone, but i’m scared the people there will be posh/rich/snobby etc. the friends I made during my interview period were nice, but even they were quite different to me AND a lot of them didn’t get in

i’m not posh or rich or private schooled, and i wouldn’t really describe myself as a nerd. I know there’s such a heavy focus on academia at oxford and i’m worried this will mean missing out on the fun part of uni/student life -parties, clubbing, all the things I was looking forward to.

I am passionate about my subjects (and hopefully will be able to cope with the workload), but I don’t wanna miss out on the fun all my friends are having at less intense universities

even if I do fit in and find friends, i’m just worried i’d enjoy myself more somewhere else
Weren't you terrified before the interviews too - afraid that you would be exposed as a lightweight, feel out of place and not know what to do or how to talk to anyone? So how did that work out? Clue: they thought you were *exactly* the sort of student they wanted, and think will do well there

Like RogerOxon points out, starting at uni anywhere is a daunting experience - are you sure that you aren't simply feeling this nervous because it so happens that the Oxford offer has the most reality right now?

FOMO is a weak reason for not going - believe me, every other Fresher will be just as determined as you are to have a fun time, essays notwithstanding. And in some ways, because every college organises its own bops, and social activities, and everything is in walking disatnce, Oxford can be a more social place than other unis.

None of this is to say that you definitely should go. It isn't for everyone. But please try and make the decision based on reality, rather than fantasies and generalised anxiety thoughts. Meantime, there is no rush to decide. Go to any offer holder days at Oxford and your other choice(s). Make a deicision when you have a more balanced overview.
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barror1
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Though I might not be the most qualified here (Cambridge reject lol), I will definitely say that even if you can't find anyone in your college there are going to be so many societies with like-minded people that you can access!
Start at your college, but there will always be places to branch out
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ConicalFlask
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I was in what sounds like a similar postion - I had the offer, but was unsure whether to take it or not, and making a choice was extremely difficult because everyone automatically assumes you'll take the Oxford offer. In the end I did take it, because I knew that I could always drop out and reapply somewhere else, but it would be really hard to get an offer again if I turned it down and then changed my mind.

I would say to think carefully about this. If it is really worrying you that you won't like it, then it is absolutely your choice not to take the offer. Don't let other people convince you to do something you don't want to do. On the other hand, however, it is a massive oppurtunity and it's nowhere near as posh and snobby as the media make it out to be. Try having a look at the societies list on the union website because there are lots of oppurtunities there to meet people in a similar situation as you - there's the first-generation society, a northerners society, loads for different countries, ethnicities and religions etc.
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Kaaayy19
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(Original post by ConicalFlask)
I was in what sounds like a similar postion - I had the offer, but was unsure whether to take it or not, and making a choice was extremely difficult because everyone automatically assumes you'll take the Oxford offer. In the end I did take it, because I knew that I could always drop out and reapply somewhere else, but it would be really hard to get an offer again if I turned it down and then changed my mind.

I would say to think carefully about this. If it is really worrying you that you won't like it, then it is absolutely your choice not to take the offer. Don't let other people convince you to do something you don't want to do. On the other hand, however, it is a massive oppurtunity and it's nowhere near as posh and snobby as the media make it out to be. Try having a look at the societies list on the union website because there are lots of oppurtunities there to meet people in a similar situation as you - there's the first-generation society, a northerners society, loads for different countries, ethnicities and religions etc.
Perfect reply👍🏼
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Someone poke me to reply to the OP later, plz? :puppyeyes: Need to wake up a bit more first before writing a lengthy reply
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by student0864)
I got an offer from oxford and am over the moon, but i’m really stressing about it!!! it seems stupid to pass up such an amazing opportunity, but it also might not be the right place for me.

obviously it’s a stereotype and I know it won’t be true of everyone, but i’m scared the people there will be posh/rich/snobby etc. the friends I made during my interview period were nice, but even they were quite different to me AND a lot of them didn’t get in

i’m not posh or rich or private schooled, and i wouldn’t really describe myself as a nerd. I know there’s such a heavy focus on academia at oxford and i’m worried this will mean missing out on the fun part of uni/student life -parties, clubbing, all the things I was looking forward to.

I am passionate about my subjects (and hopefully will be able to cope with the workload), but I don’t wanna miss out on the fun all my friends are having at less intense universities

even if I do fit in and find friends, i’m just worried i’d enjoy myself more somewhere else
I think a lot of my fellow Oxonians past and present have given you great information. I just wanted to add my own response (as someone who was also neither posh nor rich nor private-schooled), to reassure you that whilst it's natural to have doubts, I really do believe you would be very pleasantly surprised if you decide to accept your offer and make your grades, and end up at Oxford in October! As someone else said, mixing with people different from you is one of the best things about uni (imho) and

A few things I'd like to emphasise/add, to what others have already said:

1. Once you're there, it's actually really hard to tell what someone's background is (schooling, class, etc.) unless you actually ask them! Sometimes you can guess (e.g. if someone has an extremely posh, southern accent, then maybe they went to a big public school like Eton) but the overwhelming majority of the time, it's near impossible to tell!

Case in point: there was a very well-spoken, confident-sounding/seeming guy in my year in my college, reading German. As he came across so confident and had what I considered a posh accent, I thought he must have gone to a private school. It was only during conversation, when I mentioned in passing that I was from a comprehensive school and he went OMG ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! that I realised how wrong I had been!

2. Even if someone IS from a much more privileged background to you, that doesn't mean that they are going to be a complete tosser, or that they'll be rude to you. One of the nicest, sweetest, most mild-mannered and unassuming people I ever came across at Oxford (the college husband of a friend from a different college) was the son of a Lord! :eek: Obviously his family were loaded and he'd gone to very good schools, but he was a great person and loved sharing a grotty house off the Cowley Road with my friend as much as anyone else :awesome:

3. Oxford takes instances of student bullying quite seriously, in my experience at least. So in the unlikely event that someone WAS rude to you about your background, you can assure your reporting it would be taken seriously :yes:

4. There is a heavier workload and a heavier focus on academia at Oxford - that cannot be denied. But that's not to say that most of us are nerds or spend all our time working! There's loads of fun to be had in Oxford, of any kind, including drinking and clubbing and those kinda things. Granted, I've heard the clubs in Oxford are not as good as the ones in London, but then that's probably true of many cities, given that London is the capital of the UK

5. Someone else above mentioned societies you can get involved in to meet like-minded people. I'd like to add that if you're looking for a particular society and it doesn't exist - you can set it up yourself :king1:


To summarise: you may well enjoy yourself more somewhere else, but I think you'll enjoy Oxford a lot more than you're imagining at present The overwhelming majority of Oxonians have a great time there, and there's little reason (from what you've said so far) to think you wouldn't have a great time too

That said, I do appreciate the worry because I suspect you come from a background not so dissimilar from mine. If it would help to talk to someone who went to a comprehensive school and who applied under the Oxford Access Scheme (nowadays called Target Schools IIRC), do feel free to PM me :hugs:
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Vinny C
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Be yourself... I was right, they were wrong and still they rejected me. Go in and rip them apart...
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dkb73
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I think a lot of my fellow Oxonians past and present have given you great information. I just wanted to add my own response (as someone who was also neither posh nor rich nor private-schooled), to reassure you that whilst it's natural to have doubts, I really do believe you would be very pleasantly surprised if you decide to accept your offer and make your grades, and end up at Oxford in October! As someone else said, mixing with people different from you is one of the best things about uni (imho) and

A few things I'd like to emphasise/add, to what others have already said:

1. Once you're there, it's actually really hard to tell what someone's background is (schooling, class, etc.) unless you actually ask them! Sometimes you can guess (e.g. if someone has an extremely posh, southern accent, then maybe they went to a big public school like Eton) but the overwhelming majority of the time, it's near impossible to tell!

Case in point: there was a very well-spoken, confident-sounding/seeming guy in my year in my college, reading German. As he came across so confident and had what I considered a posh accent, I thought he must have gone to a private school. It was only during conversation, when I mentioned in passing that I was from a comprehensive school and he went OMG ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! that I realised how wrong I had been!

2. Even if someone IS from a much more privileged background to you, that doesn't mean that they are going to be a complete tosser, or that they'll be rude to you. One of the nicest, sweetest, most mild-mannered and unassuming people I ever came across at Oxford (the college husband of a friend from a different college) was the son of a Lord! :eek: Obviously his family were loaded and he'd gone to very good schools, but he was a great person and loved sharing a grotty house off the Cowley Road with my friend as much as anyone else :awesome:

3. Oxford takes instances of student bullying quite seriously, in my experience at least. So in the unlikely event that someone WAS rude to you about your background, you can assure your reporting it would be taken seriously :yes:

4. There is a heavier workload and a heavier focus on academia at Oxford - that cannot be denied. But that's not to say that most of us are nerds or spend all our time working! There's loads of fun to be had in Oxford, of any kind, including drinking and clubbing and those kinda things. Granted, I've heard the clubs in Oxford are not as good as the ones in London, but then that's probably true of many cities, given that London is the capital of the UK

5. Someone else above mentioned societies you can get involved in to meet like-minded people. I'd like to add that if you're looking for a particular society and it doesn't exist - you can set it up yourself :king1:


To summarise: you may well enjoy yourself more somewhere else, but I think you'll enjoy Oxford a lot more than you're imagining at present The overwhelming majority of Oxonians have a great time there, and there's little reason (from what you've said so far) to think you wouldn't have a great time too

That said, I do appreciate the worry because I suspect you come from a background not so dissimilar from mine. If it would help to talk to someone who went to a comprehensive school and who applied under the Oxford Access Scheme (nowadays called Target Schools IIRC), do feel free to PM me :hugs:
Same here - got an offer and worrying a bit. Freshers week do include non-clubbing/non-alcoholic activities right? Am an international student and don't drink, so I'm afraid of missing out on some 'student culture' stuff and worried about making friends because of that
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Kaaayy19
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Same here - got an offer and worrying a bit. Freshers week do include non-clubbing/non-alcoholic activities right? Am an international student and don't drink, so I'm afraid of missing out on some 'student culture' stuff and worried about making friends because of that
Congrats!!🎉 Can i know where r u from? And what’s ur qualification?
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(Original post by Kaaayy19)
Congrats!!🎉 Can i know where r u from? And what’s ur qualification?
Thank you!! I'm from Malaysia, did the IB Diploma (on a gap year, was a reapplicant)
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by dkb73)
Same here - got an offer and worrying a bit. Freshers week do include non-clubbing/non-alcoholic activities right? Am an international student and don't drink, so I'm afraid of missing out on some 'student culture' stuff and worried about making friends because of that
There should be alcohol-free events, yes! Try not to worry about making friends: I don't really drink either (apart from a cheeky Pimms in the summer on the odd occasion) but I used to go to pubs and bars with friends and just drink Coke or mocktails. Didn't stop me making strong friends, many of whom I'm still in touch with today
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