monsixo
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So I was wondering are Oxford and Cambridge really worth the stress that I happen to hear students go through there. Is the difference between Oxbridge and other good unis that big? I mean I'm motivated to study hard but I don't want to be stressed out and under pressure all the time, I also want to experience the social side of uni life and not just studying
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Lostx
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It’s all about the label. :rolleyes:
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the bear
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it is like asking a soldier "is it worth the stress of joining the SAS ?"

Cambridge is the academic equivalent of the SAS .... Oxford maybe the Paras ? :dontknow:
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nexttime
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(Original post by monsixo)
So I was wondering are Oxford and Cambridge really worth the stress that I happen to hear students go through there. Is the difference between Oxbridge and other good unis that big? I mean I'm motivated to study hard but I don't want to be stressed out and under pressure all the time, I also want to experience the social side of uni life and not just studying
Here is an old response about some positives of Oxford

There are loads of reasons to want to go to Oxford (or Cambridge). I've main a totally not-exhaustive list below, not one of which will be "prestige". They basically all stem from the fact that Oxbridge have way, way more money than any other university.

- College system. Oxbridge is divided into 35ish individual colleges which provides a totally unique social, physical and academic environment. You live in a community of 200-500 students with dedicated college staff etc. Its a way more personal environment than a university of 10,000, and as a result you get:
- Substantially better access to extracurriculars like sports teams. Show me another university that has more than 100 competitive football teams, for instance. And that's not even the sport with the highest participation.
- University societies are also far more broad and active. You get loads of very interesting speaker events, I'd wager significantly more than at other unis.
- Every college has a bar so... access to 30+ subsidised bars.
- Short terms. A disadvantage in some ways but it also means long holidays. Holidays in which you can travel, spend time at home, work a temp job/internship for experience... whatever you want.
- The above also makes it cheap, as you only pay for 26ish weeks accommodation per year.
- Excellent financial support for those that need it.
- Tutorial system. It gives you access to world-leading academics in groups of 4, 2, even 1. That's really not something that exists elsewhere.
- Living and studying in 750+ year old colleges that conference guests pay £200+ per night to stay in.
- A very nice city, imo.
- Probably the best thing: the people you meet. I'm not going to pretend that that's exclusive to Oxford, but generally speaking Oxford attracts some amazing multi-talented people from loads of backgrounds, unified by being way more interested in academia than the people not at Oxford.

And here is a paper answering the exact question you asked

https://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/up...ridge-full.pdf
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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What subject would you be hoping to study?

It's a hell of a lot of work and yes it is very stressful, but it's got a lot of perks too and most people love their time there :moon:

I think it is completely worth it for most (but not all!) people :yep:
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by monsixo)
So I was wondering are Oxford and Cambridge really worth the stress that I happen to hear students go through there. Is the difference between Oxbridge and other good unis that big? I mean I'm motivated to study hard but I don't want to be stressed out and under pressure all the time, I also want to experience the social side of uni life and not just studying
It is worth it, if you take all the opportunities that you are given and are present.

They are not only about the tuition but the system is impressive. You work with some of the brightest people and you get access to a wide range of opportunities.
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sorryforgotpass
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(Original post by monsixo)
So I was wondering are Oxford and Cambridge really worth the stress that I happen to hear students go through there. Is the difference between Oxbridge and other good unis that big? I mean I'm motivated to study hard but I don't want to be stressed out and under pressure all the time, I also want to experience the social side of uni life and not just studying
Never applied to oxbridge but got 4A* so expect I would have been a "strong applicant", always wonder what it would have been like if I applied, got in and went. Anyway I went to a mid ranking russel group, my best friend at uni also turned down an oxford offer, there were a few others who never applied and were clearly well above the average student. IMO these are the pros and cons of going to a uni "worse" than you could have gone to.

Pros:
It's really easy, I averaged 90% best friend averaged 85%. At uni the highest grade is at 70%.
Much easier to stand out to staff/the university
Literally does not matter depending on what job you want. I got rejected from teacher training courses (due to lack of experience), people with awful grades and awful unis at the interviews got in.

Cons:
Because it will be really easy you can't impress your average employer. 90% is the same as 70% to them even though one is much harder to get than the other. The friend with the oxford offer clearly got annoyed about this cause you get lumped in with people with far worse grades
If you're genuinely interested in your subject there are probs less people to discuss it with
Some jobs it matters a lot, think ib and law.

Think carefully, if you don't care about your subject, enjoy getting ****faced and want to be a teacher/doctor something where it doesn't matter don't go. If you want to go into ib or law, if you care a lot about your subject then go. I would generally recommend you go though, I wish I applied but on the other hand my friend who got the offer has no regrets over turning it down.
Last edited by sorryforgotpass; 7 months ago
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Muttley79
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(Original post by monsixo)
So I was wondering are Oxford and Cambridge really worth the stress that I happen to hear students go through there. Is the difference between Oxbridge and other good unis that big? I mean I'm motivated to study hard but I don't want to be stressed out and under pressure all the time, I also want to experience the social side of uni life and not just studying
It depends on the degree. Certainly not for Medicine or Engineering.

What are you thinking of studying?
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monsixo
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Thanks for the help guys
I want to study psychology and I'm passionate about it
I'm thinking of applying to oxford, bath, st andrews and maybe loughborough/durham/lancaster
It's just that people say you sacrifice your mental health if you choose oxford and that's sth I don't want
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nexttime
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(Original post by monsixo)
Thanks for the help guys
I want to study psychology and I'm passionate about it
I'm thinking of applying to oxford, bath, st andrews and maybe loughborough/durham/lancaster
It's just that people say you sacrifice your mental health if you choose oxford and that's sth I don't want
I mean, its intense, but the drop out rate is the very lowest in the country so its obviously not that bad! https://www.channel4.com/news/factch...-dropout-rates

Personally I found it entirely manageable actually. Exam time was stressful, but what exams aren't.
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EnglishStudent*
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(Original post by monsixo)
Thanks for the help guys
I want to study psychology and I'm passionate about it
I'm thinking of applying to oxford, bath, st andrews and maybe loughborough/durham/lancaster
It's just that people say you sacrifice your mental health if you choose oxford and that's sth I don't want
I thought I wouldn't be able to cope with my course because I have anxiety, but it somehow got better once I was at uni. Yes there were highs and lows (term goes so quickly you don't notice until the vacation though), but overall I've never been happier. With good organisation (something still beyond me I won't lie), I don't think it is actually that stressful. And the close contact with your tutors, living in a college often in the city centre, formals and occasionally balls are definite positives, however romanticised they may seem! Yes it is a lot of work, but I'm lucky to have better teachers than I've ever had before helping me with it!
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by monsixo)
So I was wondering are Oxford and Cambridge really worth the stress that I happen to hear students go through there. Is the difference between Oxbridge and other good unis that big? I mean I'm motivated to study hard but I don't want to be stressed out and under pressure all the time, I also want to experience the social side of uni life and not just studying
This is a question I've thought about a lot and I think it's impossible to answer for anybody other than yourself. It is undeniably a stressful environment and it isn't going to do your mental health any favours, particularly if you've got pre-existing issues. On the other hand, it is a brilliant university and one of the best places in the world if you want to learn as much about your subject as possible. It's something that you've got to weigh up for yourself I'm afraid.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by monsixo)
Thanks for the help guys
I want to study psychology and I'm passionate about it
I'm thinking of applying to oxford, bath, st andrews and maybe loughborough/durham/lancaster
It's just that people say you sacrifice your mental health if you choose oxford and that's sth I don't want
It's worth bearing in mind that at Oxford, it's Experimental Psychology (which, I understand, is somewhat different to a regular psychology degree. Although it's still accredited by BPS or whatever), so that's something to think about.

With regards to your last line: it really depends and there are different versions of what "sacrifice your mental health" means. Personally, I don't think it is a good idea to go to Oxford if you have a pre-existing mental health condition. Others here would disagree with me though, and their view is just as valid as mine. Everyone's experience of Oxford is unique and individual to them!

I think it would be more accurate to say that at Oxford, one sacrifices sleep more than one's mental health :yes: Either via clubbing, or via all-nighters
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BrasenoseAdm
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(Original post by monsixo)
So I was wondering are Oxford and Cambridge really worth the stress that I happen to hear students go through there. Is the difference between Oxbridge and other good unis that big? I mean I'm motivated to study hard but I don't want to be stressed out and under pressure all the time, I also want to experience the social side of uni life and not just studying
Hola monsixo,

In general, surveys report that a greater percentage of students at any university report that they feel relatively high level of stress in comparison with high levels of enjoyment. Nationally, the most recent NatWest / Youthsight survey reported figures of 45% for feeling stressed and 41% for feeling relatively high levels of enjoyment (a gap of -4%). The sample sizes for individual universities are very small and so have large margins of error. That said, the gap for Oxford and Cambridge is probably at least as wide as the national gap and (in terms of statistical significance) could be wider.

To balance this, longitudinal surveys of happiness (where individuals are sampled at intervals throughout their lives) indicate that students are happier at University than at any other point in their lives - including Oxbridge students. There are various possible interpretations of the data but it could be that universities attract groups of students with particular combinations of stress and enjoyment levels and that these individuals would in fact be more stressed and less happy doing something different elsewhere.

It is also true that in general Oxbridge students work more hours per month than students do elsewhere on average. However, they also spend more time socialising. Both of these figures relate to Term time only. Again, there are different interpretations of the data but one possibility is that the short Terms and relatively generous bursaries/subsidies mean that students spend less time doing paid part-time work during Term. Consequently, time is allocated in ways that result in more work and more socialising because students enjoy both of these activities.

On the difference between the two Universities and other courses, the HEPI report cited in this thread is worth reading. Due to the fact that the colleges deliver a great deal of tuition, the unit of resource spent on undergraduates has not fallen over time. In consequence, small group teaching (Tutorials) still exists. Thirty years ago, Tutorials were a staple element of teaching elsewhere but were phased out as the staff:student ratio deteriorated due to reductions in government funding (which did not keep pace with the expansion of student numbers). Some benefits of Tutorials feature in the HEPI report: such as prompt feedback from an individual academic consisting of more than a mark.

Brasenose Admissions
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username4745258
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Yes it is worth it. The amount of experience and pleasure you enjoy from the subjects you love taught to a high standard is probably great.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by monsixo)
Thanks for the help guys
I want to study psychology and I'm passionate about it
I'm thinking of applying to oxford, bath, st andrews and maybe loughborough/durham/lancaster
It's just that people say you sacrifice your mental health if you choose oxford and that's sth I don't want
As another poster has said check you want the course content.offered by Oxford. Go where you will get a 1st or a 2i, a 2ii from Oxford is not worth it.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by monsixo)
Thanks for the help guys
I want to study psychology and I'm passionate about it
I'm thinking of applying to oxford, bath, st andrews and maybe loughborough/durham/lancaster
It's just that people say you sacrifice your mental health if you choose oxford and that's sth I don't want
As above, I'd recommend you look in detail at the psychology courses offered by each university; Oxbridge are both very scientific and academically oriented psychology courses. If you were interested in going into, e.g. clinical psychology, while the degrees would meet the requirements (i.e. being BPS accredited) you may not get much chance to focus on that aspect of the discipline during the degree (which may be a negative for you).
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monsixo
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Thanks! I'm actually not sure about the career path in psy I want to take but maybe organisational psy? Is experimental psychology in oxford appropriate then? And does it really matter what my bachelor degree is for organisational psychologist for example or other career paths except for clinical and counselling which I think require doctor's degree
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nexttime
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(Original post by monsixo)
Thanks! I'm actually not sure about the career path in psy I want to take but maybe organisational psy? Is experimental psychology in oxford appropriate then? And does it really matter what my bachelor degree is for organisational psychologist for example or other career paths except for clinical and counselling which I think require doctor's degree
Clinical psychology does not require a doctor's degree, but it is incredibly competitive. People do multiple years as a psychology assistant (quite a mundane and certainly low paid role) just to be in with a shot of it.
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