Starting at Oxbridge - Why Imposter Syndrome is not your faultWatch
This is just to add a little to those insights by assuring new Oxbridge students that feeling you've landed somewhere you do not "belong" is not your fault.
Rosie Crawford (a student at St Peter's College, Oxford) compared pictures of the dining halls of Oxford colleges with the equivalents at the oldest public schools. What's striking is how similar they are.
The rituals, the dress codes, the special language, the "heartiness", the assumption of private wealth - these are all an extension of the culture of the elite boarding school. Oxbridge was designed to include some and exclude others.
The good news is that things are changing. Most students at Oxbridge are from state schools now, and the ethnic mix is more equitable. There are support groups and lots of academics who actively encourage people from less "traditional" backgrounds. So remember that feeling "out of place" is normal. It's not a personal failing, its a symptom of their problems, not yours. Take your space; seek out allies; talk about your experiences and keep pushing to make Oxbridge more inclusive and welcoming for everyone.
When I was applying, my thinking was: No I don't fit in here, which means there's a mold that needs breaking. And if me turning up puts a small dent into the Oxbridge stereotype, then I've had a positive impact.