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!
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.