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College Choices

I went to the open day today and I dont know which college I want to/should apply for? Im between Downing and Gonville and Keys atm any advice ?
Gonville and *Caius :wink: (although how you wrote it is the right way to say it, it's spelled this way!)

In any case, college choice isn't really that important, not worth spending too much time on. If you have a slight preference towards one pick that one. Downing and G&K are both central, (relatively, in Downing's case) old colleges so your experience is probably similar. One thing to bear in mind is G&K have a second site nearer Sidgwick Site which might be convenient if you're applying for a degree that is primarily based there (most humanities/social sciences courses). Equally G&K's library is on the Old Schools/Senate House site, basically, although with a separate entrance I gather. However this means it may be more likely to be disrupted by graduations and protests.

Downing is quite close to all the bioscience departments, earth sciences, and chemistry (and the central teaching sites used for other nat sci papers in e.g. physics etc), so likely a convenient location if you're planning to do natsci or medicine (for the preclinical years anyway), although really G&K is like....5-10 minutes further away at most anyway. That said, I believe Downing has a reputation for renting out college accommodation in the vacations for conferences, so being able to stay in college during vacation may be harder there (although honestly I think all colleges do this to the greatest extent they can - Downing just has very nice grounds so gets a lion's share of the conferences I think!). Likewise it's also a not uncommon venue for e.g. weddings and such, which might create some disruption now and then (although I imagine these will be smaller scale affairs than graduations, and won't have a security presence like protests).

Basically, they all have their upsides and downsides, plus about 1/3-1/5 of students get pooled most years anyway (usually around a quarter but it fluctuates I think), so there's a fair chance you'll end up at another college anyway! So don't get too invested in any single college :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by maset
I went to the open day today and I dont know which college I want to/should apply for? Im between Downing and Gonville and Keys atm any advice ?


When I applied for Gonville and Caius I underestimated how important procimity to my subject department is. Thankfully, I was conveniently pooled to the college closest to my department. Some people would say that it doesn't matter how far away your lectures will be but personally I realised it was a big factor for me that I would take into account if I had a redo of a picking a college.

Whatever college you end up at Downing, Caius or a pooled college, I guarantee you will find you love it just because it's your college and you can make your experience in it whatever you want.

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