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Recent(ish) Oxbridge graduate - AMA(25 Posts)
Just that really...
I have been lurking on MN for a while but have only just noticed the number of Oxbridge threads!
I graduated with a first class science degree in 2018.
If anyone has any questions about admissions/final exams/what it's really like, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
One of the reasons why there are numerous Oxbridge threads is that MN is absolutely stuffed with Oxbridge graduates, postgraduates, tutors, supervisors, directors of studies, fellows, visiting fellows, visiting scholars, etc, etc. And parents of current students. So prospective parents know they can find wide-ranging, knowledgeable advice and opinion here.
But another voice is always welcome.
Btw, this < is generally seen as a bit PA round these parts ...
Noted. I took the number of threads as a signifier of interest in the subject, and I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that a more recent, firsthand perspective could be useful to some.
I am not a regular poster. Not sure I agree about " " - I'd argue the intention is clear from the context?!
I clicked on this to see whether by any chance you'd just done Modern Languages at Oxford (DD dithering about whether, even if her results were miraculously good enough, she'd enjoy the atmosphere).
But you're a scientist. Drat. Got plenty of those around!
Never mind. I imagine there will be some interest from that side of things. Are you Oxford or Cambridge? They are different...
I really should read poster names before posting. Still, one should never assume.
Was it very "woke" in your time? I was at Cambridge in the late noughties and while social and political issues were a thing, stuff like "safe spaces" and "no platform" was barely on the radar.
@GuppytheCat I did MFL at Oxford. Not hugely recent (graduated 2006) but happy to answer any questions you or your DD have.
@DrDreReturns - I am training to be a patent attorney
@GuppytheCat - Oxford. Initially I was planning to keep things vague, but given I have disclosed my (fairly specialist) job, I may as well say
I have friends who did MFL, and though I admittedly know very little about the course, they all loved it - and have fantastic and varied jobs now
a more recent, firsthand perspective could be useful to some.
It is - cheers OP.
@safariboot - very much so... although I may be biased as I went to one of the colleges with a reputation for being "woke". A few people took it to the extreme, and people with even mildly right wing ideas were sometimes sneered at. That said, for the most part it was a good thing and people were really respectful of different ideas and beliefs
@goodbyestranger glad to hear it, I hesitated before starting this thread (my first ever thread!) but I love reading other peoples threads and thought this might be a subject I could give some sort of useful input on
yorkshirelawyer Thank you! Mostly, her worry is that she would be at the lower end of ability (she certainly won’t get all A stars) and that she would struggle in a cohort of ‘brighter’ students. Does the course tend to race on relentlessly?
@goodbyestranger very good guess I think admitting the college I went to might be too outing given I have already disclosed my year of graduation and postgraduate job .
Hehe - it’s really interesting that grads of 2018 are on mumsnet. I think it’s great. Good luck with everything. Are you glad you graduated in 18 rather than now?
@GuppytheCat - Hopefully @YorkshireLawyer will be back to advise you further on the specifics of the course.
If it is helpful at all, from anecdotal experience, some people with weaker GCSE's/A levels go on to do really well at Oxford. A close friend of mine started with the lowest grades for her course (humanity, not MFL) at our college (GCSE: 1A*, mostly A's, a fews B's and 1 C, A level: 3 A's and a D at AS in a less relevant subject), but graduated with the highest grade for her course at our college. She worked hard, but no harder than anyone else - she just thrived on the type of teaching offered.
Do you think there is a divide between people of different social economic backgrounds? I have a friend whose son came back. He was hugely isolated not by the people as such but by the money. He just couldn't afford to socialise. I wondered if this is a general problem or an isolated one?
@Namenic I love mumsnet! I found mumsnet after googling a really specific fertility-related question. People on here seem to give completely honest advice and opinions . Hopefully it will still be going when I have my first child.
I am glad I graduated in 2018 and not in the middle of the current crisis. I would have been disappointed to miss out on a proper graduation ceremony, "trashing" at exam schools, and the post-finals clubbing. Also, I may have struggled to find a job!
Probably obvious rather than good OP! But in case you were - which of course you may not have been - just to say that I live just round the corner from the house in which Dorothy Wadham conceived and executed her plans for the college in the teeth of all sorts of political opposition, so all credit to her. The entire project was done by letter too, she was never able to visit Oxford - astonishing really, the whole thing (my eldest DD was the first girl to grow up in the village to go to Wadham, since 1610 - a bit of cheat since it only admitted boys for most of that time, but she'll still take the claim ).
@SummerHouse - I think it depends on the college and social group. Generally, at my college, people tended to eat in hall. I got the impression that the people who couldn't afford to, and cooked for themselves instead, felt a bit isolated at times (different colleges have very different hall food prices). We also tended to drink in pubs/bars because we would get told off for congregating in bedrooms late at night - this could get expensive . Balls are pretty expensive too.
There are lots of free social events though, like bops (college house parties). I also found that the "MCR" aka the graduate student body (I did my masters at Oxford too) benefitted a lot more in the way of subsidised social events. We had free formal dinners etc. This really helped keep costs down
Hah I was also going to guess Wadham
A while since I was there though
@goodbyestranger how very cool! Thanks for sharing . Fantastic claim to fame for your daughter too!
The thing that never ceases to amaze me about Oxbridge is how rapidly the entire character of a college or a faculty can change - and students always fondly imagine it's immutable and their anecdotal experience must be typical.
The same course or college can seem to be dominated by leftie politicos one year and would-be Tory politicians the next.