Am I being stupid by turning down Cambridge? Watch

jade_louise2000
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Hi all,

I've just made this account as I'm really conflicted over what to do right now.

I was amazed that back in January I got an offer to study law at Cambridge - I worked really hard for it and my family was so proud that I received an offer.

However, having thought about it more, I just don't know if Cambridge is right for me anymore. The workload looks overbearing, I'm not entirely convinced by the idea of constant formals and I'd rather enjoy my uni experience rather than being overwhelmed by pressure and expectation.

Despite this, I still thought I'd go to Cambridge because of it's prestige, how many doors it would open and just how hard I've worked.

Yet, when I looked around Nottingham (who have also given me an offer), I absolutely loved it - the campus, its overall feel, the excitement and nightlife of the city and I feel I could see myself fitting in there and enjoying myself much more than Cambridge and it's where I'd prefer to go.

When I mentioned this to my parents, they went mental and thought I was being incredibly stupid as having the opportunity to go to Cambridge is something many would dream of and Nottingham is quite a few notches below. I know this is very true and it's a part of my thinking but Nottingham is just where I want to go.

So, being as honest as you wish, if I turn down Cambridge to firm Nottingham instead, am I being shortsighted and wasting a great opportunity? I know Notts is still a fantastic uni but Cambridge is in that upper echelon that will open so many doors.

Thanks so much for the help as I've really been worrying.

Jade xxx
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CTLeafez
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It's your life when you really get down to it. If you honestly believe you'd be happier at Nottingham, and wouldn't in a few years time be thinking "what might've been if..." then go for it!

However you've said yourself you've worked hard to get this offer to Cambridge. Are you sure you're not just getting a lil' intimidated by the realisation that Cambridge will be hard work? If the admissions tutors/college didn't think you're up to the Cambridge standard, you wouldn't have received an offer.

I've applied for Nottingham for postgraduate, I can confirm it's a beautiful uni and city, having lived there 22 years however Cambridge is one of the best unis in the world and also a beautiful city!

I think you need to truly have a long think about this.
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Svesh
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I think alot of people feel that way about cambridge before going there but learn to develop the skills to manage the workload. However if Nottingham is where you believe you'll be the happiest for the next 3-4 years then it might be better to go there. But Cambridge will open alot more doors after graduation compared to Nottingham
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BlueEyedGirl_
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You are the person spending 3 years at university so it’s got to be somewhere you genuinely want to be. Cambridge is an amazing achievement, and obviously does have many benefits - however it won’t be the right university for everyone.

Remember there’s no rush to make a decision so take your time. Go look round both universities (and your other options) again, see the cities, find out more about the course, and talk to current students on the course and at the uni in general. If you still prefer Nottingham then chose Nottingham - there’s no point attending Cambridge if you don’t like it!
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bigstbadstt45
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dont think so. if push comes to shove u can always get a masters at oxbridge just to say ur oxbridge educated
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threeportdrift
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Constant formals? You know they aren't compulsory? You choose to go, if you want.
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by CTLeafez)
It's your life when you really get down to it. If you honestly believe you'd be happier at Nottingham, and wouldn't in a few years time be thinking "what might've been if..." then go for it!

However you've said yourself you've worked hard to get this offer to Cambridge. Are you sure you're not just getting a lil' intimidated by the realisation that Cambridge will be hard work? If the admissions tutors/college didn't think you're up to the Cambridge standard, you wouldn't have received an offer.

I've applied for Nottingham for postgraduate, I can confirm it's a beautiful uni and city, having lived there 22 years however Cambridge is one of the best unis in the world and also a beautiful city!

I think you need to truly have a long think about this.
Thank you

The "what-if" is honestly one of my biggest fears and I'll look back and regret not picking Cambridge. I wouldn't say I'm intimidated per say, I just don't think it's what I really envisaged for my university experience, while Nottingham was much more so.

The campus was beautiful as I loved its modern feel - I was so set on going to Cambridge since around the age of 15 that I didn't really consider other universities, but I loved Nottingham and I felt I'd be more at home.

I don't think I can convince my parents it's the right choice either.
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A*my
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(Original post by jade_louise2000)
Hi all,

I've just made this account as I'm really conflicted over what to do right now.

I was amazed that back in January I got an offer to study law at Cambridge - I worked really hard for it and my family was so proud that I received an offer.

However, having thought about it more, I just don't know if Cambridge is right for me anymore. The workload looks overbearing, I'm not entirely convinced by the idea of constant formals and I'd rather enjoy my uni experience rather than being overwhelmed by pressure and expectation.

Despite this, I still thought I'd go to Cambridge because of it's prestige, how many doors it would open and just how hard I've worked.

Yet, when I looked around Nottingham (who have also given me an offer), I absolutely loved it - the campus, its overall feel, the excitement and nightlife of the city and I feel I could see myself fitting in there and enjoying myself much more than Cambridge and it's where I'd prefer to go.

When I mentioned this to my parents, they went mental and thought I was being incredibly stupid as having the opportunity to go to Cambridge is something many would dream of and Nottingham is quite a few notches below. I know this is very true and it's a part of my thinking but Nottingham is just where I want to go.

So, being as honest as you wish, if I turn down Cambridge to firm Nottingham instead, am I being shortsighted and wasting a great opportunity? I know Notts is still a fantastic uni but Cambridge is in that upper echelon that will open so many doors.

Thanks so much for the help as I've really been worrying.

Jade xxx
You risk regretting it if you don’t go to Cambridge and always thinking “what if”. But you have to just not think like that because it’s easy to regret things but if you do go you might have the worst time of your life with the workload. Go with wherever you think you will be happy and if you think you won’t be happy with Cambridge then go for Notts 🙌🏼 It’s your life and it’s better to be happy and settle for a les s prestige uni than be unhappy and overworked
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by Svesh)
I think alot of people feel that way about cambridge before going there but learn to develop the skills to manage the workload. However if Nottingham is where you believe you'll be the happiest for the next 3-4 years then it might be better to go there. But Cambridge will open alot more doors after graduation compared to Nottingham
That's exactly why I'm very reluctant to turn it down, it's just I much preferred Nottingham's general feel and I know it's still a top university, just not on the level of Cambridge.

I know I'll develop those skills and it could be a sense of fear, I just don't have the same enthusiasm about Cambridge anymore, especially when compared to Nottingham.
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ThatGuy107
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Believe me you’re not alone, I got an offer for Biochem at oxford and I’m in exactly the same position. Feel free to pm me!
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CTLeafez
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(Original post by jade_louise2000)

I don't think I can convince my parents it's the right choice either.
You don't need to convince your parents of your decision. You just need to convince yourself that whatever you choose is the best for you!

You're the one dedicating 3+ years of your life to this city and £27k, not your parents.
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by BlueEyedGirl_)
You are the person spending 3 years at university so it’s got to be somewhere you genuinely want to be. Cambridge is an amazing achievement, and obviously does have many benefits - however it won’t be the right university for everyone.

Remember there’s no rush to make a decision so take your time. Go look round both universities (and your other options) again, see the cities, find out more about the course, and talk to current students on the course and at the uni in general. If you still prefer Nottingham then chose Nottingham - there’s no point attending Cambridge if you don’t like it!
It's definitely my greatest achievement yet as the interview process was so daunting and it felt like all the effort was worth it but now I just don't think it is exactly what I want.

I've weighed up the pros and cons and the pros for Nottingham slightly outweigh those of Cambridge. My other offers are from Durham, Warwick and Leeds, although I prefer Nottingham to all of them.

I'll look more into the course and other details but it's just such a tough decision.
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Constant formals? You know they aren't compulsory? You choose to go, if you want.
I know, sorry that was more of a generalisation - it's more just the sense of formality and overbearingness that I'm put off by, while I much preferred Nottingham's overall atmosphere.
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Violet Days
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Maybe go to Cambridge and then if you don't like it drop out and go to Nottingham. Try before you buy kind of thing cause you may love it
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by A*my)
You risk regretting it if you don’t go to Cambridge and always thinking “what if”. But you have to just not think like that because it’s easy to regret things but if you do go you might have the worst time of your life with the workload. Go with wherever you think you will be happy and if you think you won’t be happy with Cambridge then go for Notts 🙌🏼 It’s your life and it’s better to be happy and settle for a les s prestige uni than be unhappy and overworked
I'm very conflicted about the whole thing but know that my happiness and being in a place I'd genuinely enjoy should take precedence over everything.

I don't think I'd be unhappy at Cambridge per say, I just think I'd be happier at Nottingham and would fit in much better.

I don't know how much the prestige element will make a difference as I'm sure Nottingham opens a sufficient number of doors as well?
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by Thomas_Grimes_17)
Believe me you’re not alone, I got an offer for Biochem at oxford and I’m in exactly the same position. Feel free to pm me!
Thank you, that's really appreciated Where are you thinking of turning down Oxford for?
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ThatGuy107
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(Original post by jade_louise2000)
Thank you, that's really appreciated Where are you thinking of turning down Oxford for?
York for me, and no matter how long you think about it you just can’t get the Oxbridge out the back of your head 😅
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by CTLeafez)
You don't need to convince your parents of your decision. You just need to convince yourself that whatever you choose is the best for you!

You're the one dedicating 3+ years of your life to this city and £27k, not your parents.
I know but I still feel as if I'm disappointing them and letting them down, especially since they told my whole family that I'd been accepted into Cambridge.

They just feel as if Nottingham won't be as advantageous for me and it'll make finding work and the highest salaries more difficult - a perspective which I understand but just isn't the forefront of my thinking right now.
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BlueEyedGirl_
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(Original post by jade_louise2000)
It's definitely my greatest achievement yet as the interview process was so daunting and it felt like all the effort was worth it but now I just don't think it is exactly what I want.

I've weighed up the pros and cons and the pros for Nottingham slightly outweigh those of Cambridge. My other offers are from Durham, Warwick and Leeds, although I prefer Nottingham to all of them.

I'll look more into the course and other details but it's just such a tough decision.
It’s completely understandable that you’re finding this hard, you won’t be the only one don’t worry! This is a tip I often see on here to help with uni decisions - flip a coin, with Cambridge as heads and Nottingham as tails. Whatever it lands on, that’s where you go.

Now what was your reaction? If you’re immediately excited, or filled with dread then that tells you a lot. It won’t solve your problem but it may help you out into perspective how strong your feelings (either positive or negative) are for each uni.
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jade_louise2000
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(Original post by Violet Days)
Maybe go to Cambridge and then if you don't like it drop out and go to Nottingham. Try before you buy kind of thing cause you may love it
That's a good idea, I just think I'd be reluctant to do that as it would complicate a lot of things and if I hated Cambridge, then transferring to Nottingham would put me behind :/

Having visited both though, I found Nottingham much nicer.
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