revegarcon
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Hey everyone! I recently got an offer from Oxford University to study English which is pretty cool and I was originally really happy about it. However, I struggle really badly with my mental health and I'm getting increasingly worried that the work load at Oxford will be too much for me to handle. My second choice was originally going to he durham but I have similar fears about the workload and class divisions that I would find really alienating. When I went to visit royal holloway, I sort of fell in love with the university and found it to be so welcoming. Everyone there cared more about education than results. I feel like if I reject oxford and durham, and instead go to royal holloway, I'd be considered a dissapointment/failure and regret never going to such good unis. Equally though, I'm incredibly worried that the negative effect such a competitive environment will have on my mental health will be too much for me to handle. Any advice?
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Sophhhowa
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Try and talk to people currently at Durham/ Oxford ideally who are studying English about your concerns and see what they say about what it’s actually like and the support available. It might not b as bad as you think in which case you’ll regret turning down such a great uni- getting into Ox is such an achievement plus they wouldn’t give u a place if they didn’t think you were up to it
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by revegarcon)
Hey everyone! I recently got an offer from Oxford University to study English which is pretty cool and I was originally really happy about it. However, I struggle really badly with my mental health and I'm getting increasingly worried that the work load at Oxford will be too much for me to handle. My second choice was originally going to he durham but I have similar fears about the workload and class divisions that I would find really alienating. When I went to visit royal holloway, I sort of fell in love with the university and found it to be so welcoming. Everyone there cared more about education than results. I feel like if I reject oxford and durham, and instead go to royal holloway, I'd be considered a dissapointment/failure and regret never going to such good unis. Equally though, I'm incredibly worried that the negative effect such a competitive environment will have on my mental health will be too much for me to handle. Any advice?
Hello,

I can't speak for Durham at all but you are right (imho) to not be automatically accepting your Oxford offer, given your mental health issues. Oxford isn't always the most accommodating uni for those who struggle with mental health :no: so you are right to question whether it is for you. English is a particularly fast-paced course :eek:

My advice to everyone who has an Oxford offer but has mental health issues is to carefully weigh up the disability provisions from each uni you have an offer from, including Oxford. (Mental health issues qualify under the Equality Act 2010 as a disability and you will be recognised as such :yes: ) Find out everything you possibly can about what support you would get. I would pay particular emphasis to exam arrangements/reasonable adjustments, as these can be quite different depending what uni you're at. For example, when I was at Oxford (admittedly, 10 years ago, but things don't change that fast in Oxford!) and was in a massive psychotic episode, I was told that my mental health difficulties could not be taken into consideration when marking my exams Consequently I graduated with a 2.2. That wasn't entirely Oxford's fault but certainly the support I would have wanted or expected (had I been a tad more lucid) was lacking :sadnod:

I can't speak for the undergrad experience at RHUL but I am doing a PhD there and am registered with their Disability and Dyslexia Service. Unfortunately our Mental Health Adviser is leaving in a few weeks' time but she should be replaced by September, should you decide to firm Royal Holloway. They are creating some new roles specifically relating to mental health (I forget the exact title but it's a kinda liaison service between the DDS and the Health Centre, which is the GP service on campus) and the ladies in the DDS office are very lovely :love:

Do feel free to ask here or PM me if you have specific questions. Good luck in making a decision. You most certainly would NOT be a fool to turn down Oxford - your welfare and your life is far more important. In any case, Oxford is far from the be-all-and-end-all
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Mirai609
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Watch out for people at Oxford/Durham who might say that they love it there because they've been taught to believe that suffering is part of the experience. (I'm not saying you're going to suffer there, but you have to take everything with a grain of salt)
You can do so much more in a comfortable environment, but you have to take into account how much the uni counts for getting a job in your field.

You can look at things like this: You got into Oxford, which means you have potential. You can work out with your own potential at any uni. Of course, there may be less opportunities and less prestige, but you will have the mental energy to work past those inconveniences if you feel better.
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Brightonmama
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I think it’s natural that you are feeling like this. Everyone who has a place is worried about the workload. They are worried that they won’t be up to it. But the application process is very gruelling for a reason- to make sure you are a suitable candidate. The short terms are intense- but in other ways you will be incredibly cosseted- your meals provided for you, accommodation a few minutes from your tutorials. I did English a long time ago- and there is actually only a few hours of compulsory lessons per week. So lots of self directed study. But I found it less gruelling than A levels. I managed to find time to do a couple of plays per term and left with a very good degree. I was also an anxious person. I think there is much more welfare support available these days. I think these are just jitters. But it is entirely your choice. It will be ok whatever you decide. Try not to worry.
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Doones
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(Original post by revegarcon)
Hey everyone! I recently got an offer from Oxford University to study English which is pretty cool and I was originally really happy about it. However, I struggle really badly with my mental health and I'm getting increasingly worried that the work load at Oxford will be too much for me to handle. My second choice was originally going to he durham but I have similar fears about the workload and class divisions that I would find really alienating. When I went to visit royal holloway, I sort of fell in love with the university and found it to be so welcoming. Everyone there cared more about education than results. I feel like if I reject oxford and durham, and instead go to royal holloway, I'd be considered a dissapointment/failure and regret never going to such good unis. Equally though, I'm incredibly worried that the negative effect such a competitive environment will have on my mental health will be too much for me to handle. Any advice?
(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Hello,

I can't speak for Durham at all but you are right (imho) to not be automatically accepting your Oxford offer, given your mental health issues. Oxford isn't always the most accommodating uni for those who struggle with mental health :no: so you are right to question whether it is for you. English is a particularly fast-paced course :eek:

My advice to everyone who has an Oxford offer but has mental health issues is to carefully weigh up the disability provisions from each uni you have an offer from, including Oxford. (Mental health issues qualify under the Equality Act 2010 as a disability and you will be recognised as such :yes: ) Find out everything you possibly can about what support you would get. I would pay particular emphasis to exam arrangements/reasonable adjustments, as these can be quite different depending what uni you're at. For example, when I was at Oxford (admittedly, 10 years ago, but things don't change that fast in Oxford!) and was in a massive psychotic episode, I was told that my mental health difficulties could not be taken into consideration when marking my exams Consequently I graduated with a 2.2. That wasn't entirely Oxford's fault but certainly the support I would have wanted or expected (had I been a tad more lucid) was lacking :sadnod:

I can't speak for the undergrad experience at RHUL but I am doing a PhD there and am registered with their Disability and Dyslexia Service. Unfortunately our Mental Health Adviser is leaving in a few weeks' time but she should be replaced by September, should you decide to firm Royal Holloway. They are creating some new roles specifically relating to mental health (I forget the exact title but it's a kinda liaison service between the DDS and the Health Centre, which is the GP service on campus) and the ladies in the DDS office are very lovely :love:

Do feel free to ask here or PM me if you have specific questions. Good luck in making a decision. You most certainly would NOT be a fool to turn down Oxford - your welfare and your life is far more important. In any case, Oxford is far from the be-all-and-end-all
revegarcon you won't get any better advice than this from TLG. She know's all about this.
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Brightonmama
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Hello,

I can't speak for Durham at all but you are right (imho) to not be automatically accepting your Oxford offer, given your mental health issues. Oxford isn't always the most accommodating uni for those who struggle with mental health :no: so you are right to question whether it is for you. English is a particularly fast-paced course :eek:

My advice to everyone who has an Oxford offer but has mental health issues is to carefully weigh up the disability provisions from each uni you have an offer from, including Oxford. (Mental health issues qualify under the Equality Act 2010 as a disability and you will be recognised as such :yes: ) Find out everything you possibly can about what support you would get. I would pay particular emphasis to exam arrangements/reasonable adjustments, as these can be quite different depending what uni you're at. For example, when I was at Oxford (admittedly, 10 years ago, but things don't change that fast in Oxford!) and was in a massive psychotic episode, I was told that my mental health difficulties could not be taken into consideration when marking my exams Consequently I graduated with a 2.2. That wasn't entirely Oxford's fault but certainly the support I would have wanted or expected (had I been a tad more lucid) was lacking :sadnod:

I can't speak for the undergrad experience at RHUL but I am doing a PhD there and am registered with their Disability and Dyslexia Service. Unfortunately our Mental Health Adviser is leaving in a few weeks' time but she should be replaced by September, should you decide to firm Royal Holloway. They are creating some new roles specifically relating to mental health (I forget the exact title but it's a kinda liaison service between the DDS and the Health Centre, which is the GP service on campus) and the ladies in the DDS office are very lovely :love:

Do feel free to ask here or PM me if you have specific questions. Good luck in making a decision. You most certainly would NOT be a fool to turn down Oxford - your welfare and your life is far more important. In any case, Oxford is far from the be-all-and-end-all
I am full of admiration for you in doing a PhD with these issues. Sounds like you have really learned how to advocate for yourself in difficult times. And the fact that you are serving others by passing on this advice is a real testimony to your compassion, wholeness and hard work. When I was at Oxford in the 1980s there was NO pastoral care at all. And most of the tutors seemed to be on the spectrum and couldn't look you in the eye. I don't know how any of us got through! It's so hard to know though isn't it whether you would have fared better somewhere else. Study is so introspective and isolating at times. And everyone is so young when they go to University. I remember my time as one of extremes: jubilant highs and laughs and a lot of anxiety and a few terrible lows. But at the time I thought everyone was the same as me! I think you have to go inward and be really honest with yourself. You know better than anyone else if you have the emotional bandwidth to cope with Oxbridge or to at least give it a try. Nobody's experience is exactly the same as yours.
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revegarcon
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Hello,

I can't speak for Durham at all but you are right (imho) to not be automatically accepting your Oxford offer, given your mental health issues. Oxford isn't always the most accommodating uni for those who struggle with mental health :no: so you are right to question whether it is for you. English is a particularly fast-paced course :eek:

My advice to everyone who has an Oxford offer but has mental health issues is to carefully weigh up the disability provisions from each uni you have an offer from, including Oxford. (Mental health issues qualify under the Equality Act 2010 as a disability and you will be recognised as such :yes: ) Find out everything you possibly can about what support you would get. I would pay particular emphasis to exam arrangements/reasonable adjustments, as these can be quite different depending what uni you're at. For example, when I was at Oxford (admittedly, 10 years ago, but things don't change that fast in Oxford!) and was in a massive psychotic episode, I was told that my mental health difficulties could not be taken into consideration when marking my exams Consequently I graduated with a 2.2. That wasn't entirely Oxford's fault but certainly the support I would have wanted or expected (had I been a tad more lucid) was lacking :sadnod:

I can't speak for the undergrad experience at RHUL but I am doing a PhD there and am registered with their Disability and Dyslexia Service. Unfortunately our Mental Health Adviser is leaving in a few weeks' time but she should be replaced by September, should you decide to firm Royal Holloway. They are creating some new roles specifically relating to mental health (I forget the exact title but it's a kinda liaison service between the DDS and the Health Centre, which is the GP service on campus) and the ladies in the DDS office are very lovely :love:

Do feel free to ask here or PM me if you have specific questions. Good luck in making a decision. You most certainly would NOT be a fool to turn down Oxford - your welfare and your life is far more important. In any case, Oxford is far from the be-all-and-end-all
Thank you so much for this advice! I'll definitely do some more research into what support the unis offer. It's comforting to know I wouldn't be totally insane to reject oxford if it'd benefit me in the long run
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nonnymanny
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(Original post by revegarcon)
Thank you so much for this advice! I'll definitely do some more research into what support the unis offer. It's comforting to know I wouldn't be totally insane to reject oxford if it'd benefit me in the long run
hi
can u pls tell me wht u got at gcses?
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Em.-.
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If you don’t think you’d be happy at Oxford don’t go. Carefully decide first as it is for 3 years. At the end of the day the reason you would go to Oxford or Durham is because you think the education would make you happy in some way. Risking you own mental health to go to a uni with heavy workload isn’t a good idea, but definitely think about it first so you don’t end up doing something you’d regret - whether that be wishing you’d taken the risk and gone to Oxford or going there and being very stressed and miserable.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Brightonmama)
I am full of admiration for you in doing a PhD with these issues. Sounds like you have really learned how to advocate for yourself in difficult times. And the fact that you are serving others by passing on this advice is a real testimony to your compassion, wholeness and hard work. When I was at Oxford in the 1980s there was NO pastoral care at all. And most of the tutors seemed to be on the spectrum and couldn't look you in the eye. I don't know how any of us got through! It's so hard to know though isn't it whether you would have fared better somewhere else. Study is so introspective and isolating at times. And everyone is so young when they go to University. I remember my time as one of extremes: jubilant highs and laughs and a lot of anxiety and a few terrible lows. But at the time I thought everyone was the same as me! I think you have to go inward and be really honest with yourself. You know better than anyone else if you have the emotional bandwidth to cope with Oxbridge or to at least give it a try. Nobody's experience is exactly the same as yours.
Thanks for the kind words I think many people's experience of Oxbridge is one of extremes, like you say! And you're right to point out that no two people or their experiences are the same :yep:

(Original post by revegarcon)
Thank you so much for this advice! I'll definitely do some more research into what support the unis offer. It's comforting to know I wouldn't be totally insane to reject oxford if it'd benefit me in the long run
No problem! If you have any questions, do feel free to PM me or to post them on here. Happy to help if I can
(Original post by Doones)
revegarcon you won't get any better advice than this from TLG. She know's all about this.
:hugs:
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Doones
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(Original post by revegarcon)
Thank you so much for this advice! I'll definitely do some more research into what support the unis offer. It's comforting to know I wouldn't be totally insane to reject oxford if it'd benefit me in the long run
One other thing to throw into the mix, you can go to a different university for postgrad, should you wish to...

so RHUL then Oxford (or wherever) or vice versa, as per TLG.
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revegarcon
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(Original post by nonnymanny)
hi
can u pls tell me wht u got at gcses?
hey my gcses actually aren't the most impressive; I got a 9, three 8s, two 7s, and four 6s. So if you're considering applying try not to let gcses dissuade you, they're just one part of the larger picture
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nonnymanny
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(Original post by revegarcon)
hey my gcses actually aren't the most impressive; I got a 9, three 8s, two 7s, and four 6s. So if you're considering applying try not to let gcses dissuade you, they're just one part of the larger picture
may i pls know wht u got the 6s in?

thanks for replying
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revegarcon
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(Original post by nonnymanny)
may i pls know wht u got the 6s in?

thanks for replying
maths, art, chemistry, and computer science (nothing relevant to the course I want to study which probably helped)
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cucaracha
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I can give you some insight into the support available at Durham (graduated in English 2018)

The English lectures are all optional so there's no attendance to worry about if you're really struggling. I believe Oxford has weekly tutorials, whereas at Durham they are fewer in number and more spaced out, so less intense workload. The seminar tutors are understanding if you tell them you can't make a tutorial (assuming you'll have met with the disability service at the start of the year so your struggles/needs are on file). In my experience of not attending seminars before registering with disability support, the English Department took a strict and kinda mean approach of sending scary emails, which is difficult to deal with when you're in need of support - but AFTER registering with disability support in my final year the Department knew to back off and try a bit of compassion

Basically it's really important to get your needs known by disability support. This will of course require a £50 GP letter first, which is annoying. But I found the disability support team really helpful and supportive, and they created an environment for me where I was really able to do my best work. I was granted extra time in exams and a separate smaller venue. There were quite a number of other students in the same situation actually. The Department was also told to be a bit more lenient with essay extensions if I needed them, and just knowing the possibility to do that was there helped me a lot.

I think it would be really helpful for you to hear the support currently available at Oxford from the perspective of an English student. Idk if it would differ across colleges too?
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Brightonmama
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(Original post by revegarcon)
Thank you so much for this advice! I'll definitely do some more research into what support the unis offer. It's comforting to know I wouldn't be totally insane to reject oxford if it'd benefit me in the long run
How are you feeling about it all now revegarcon? Feeling any clearer on your decision? Which college accepted you may I ask?
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Hugh's Swan
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The other option is that you go to Oxford and if you can’t hack it, take a year off and return, or reapply to somewhere like Royal Holloway - there are options without going straight for the least stressful. You may find the work at somewhere like Royal Holloway does not stretch you. Have a think.
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