How to Choose a College

In my opinion choosing a college was one of the most daunting things about applying to Oxford. Coming from a working class area and a northern state school, I had little prior knowledge of Oxbridge and few experienced contacts to call upon for help. Luckily my Grandad was more clued up than I was and, from what I assume was University Challenge, was able to point out to me that the structure of Oxford was unlike most other universities. My Grandad explained to me that some colleges were as old as the Aztecs whilst others were younger than he was and that some colleges came with vast grounds whilst others were smaller and perhaps more cosy. I remember sitting on the carpet in his living room - probably watching or – when he passed me a tourist map of Oxford; he had been to visit at some point. Several colleges stood out to me first on that map and now, as an Oxford ‘insider’, it seems that the same ones also stick out to the tourists: Christchurch with its stunning architecture and famous Old Tom tower; Magdalen with its extensive deer park and Trinity with its lush lawn where, YES, you walk on the grass! Retired and with an endless love for education (and his grandchildren), my Grandad accompanied me to an open day at the School of Archaeology. He then took me on an open top bus tour of some of the colleges and during that tour I made my initial decision.

I wanted to go to Keble.....

More on Rosie's experience of choosing a college in the next post...

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