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The journey to Oxford was terrifying! I’d never been so nervous in my life and barely uttered a word the whole way there.

I had been instructed to arrive at Magdalen College on the Sunday evening before interviews began on the Monday. It was the first stage of a very daunting few days.

Upon arrival a current student guided me to my room. I cringed slightly as he offered to help me carry my bright pink suitcase…it really was a Legally Blonde moment! He took me through the various quads until I found myself in the Deer Park. Surely I can’t be staying here, I thought to myself.

Sure enough, he pointed to a beautiful building on the edge of the park. I was in shock as I unlocked the door. Instead of being faced with the stereotypical student box room, in front of me wasn’t a just a room but a whole apartment!

I felt as if I had been transported back into Brideshead Revisted; the room evoked memorable scenes of men smoking cigars around large dining tables, consuming copious amounts of alcohol and discussing vaguely intellectual topics. It was all so surreal.

A single bed was placed in the corner of the room. A large dining table stood next to an ornate fire place and the view was spectacular; the room overlooked the whole deer park. I then opened another door which led to a large lounge with a sofa bed and coffee table and attached was my own ensuite bathroom. I found out later that not all of the rooms were like this, I had completely lucked out!

Top Tips

  • Oxford can seem so daunting, especially at interviews but remember you are all in the same position.

  • Ask if you get lost – out in the Deer Park, I completely lost my bearings and wandered around several times for what seemed like hours trying to find my way to the main college.

  • Bring warm clothes – the University is spread around the city, rather than being one campus, so it’s likely that you’ll have to venture out into the cold.

  • Staying in Oxford will help you to decide whether you like being surrounded by the history and tradition – some people love it, whereas others find it’s not for them.

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