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Rosie's Oxford Story

My name is Rosie and I was born in the year 1998 in Manchester in the North West of England. I have lived here ever since with my mum, a teaching assistant; my dad, a human resources officer in a college and my younger brother, Shea. This is my Oxford University story.

My story begins in the year 2012, which was my penultimate year at the local state secondary school. It was during this time that I was considering what to take for A Levels and my mum recommended that it might be useful to see which A Levels were needed for certain courses that I might want to take at university. By this point I was pretty set on studying archaeology, I did briefly go through a phase of preferring dinosaur history aka palaeontology buuut once I discovered that I needed physics to get into a Russell group University I quickly changed my mind. Having seen that UCLAN, Manchester University, York and Nottingham all did some form of archaeology and all wanted students from ‘well rounded scientific and creative backgrounds’ I cemented them in my mind. I was going to go to University of Manchester and my A Levels would be Biology, Geography, Sociology, General Studies and Textile Design. I wasn’t too keen on leaving home at this point, mainly due to fears of not being able to afford to live away from home.

Fast forwards to GCSE results day and I still hadn’t even really thought about going to Oxford. I was aware that they did the course I wanted because it came up on the google search, but my mum and I had only joked about actually getting in – people from my background and area didn’t go to Oxbridge you see. That all changed when I opened my envelope and revealed 10A*s - I was over the moon and in total shock... maybe I could get into Oxford? I saw my Grandad shortly after this and he informed me that Oxford was a collegiate university and that I would have to choose a college. I had no idea what he was talking about and so, he agreed to take me Oxford and show me around himself.

I began my AS Levels in September 2014. The jump from GCSE was big but I thought I was coping pretty well. That was in everything but biology... Having an essay mind and not a naturally scientific one, Biology had seemed to get almost impossibly hard for me. I would revise every night just to take in the content. It didn’t help that at this point in my life a healthy increase in exercise and clean eating over the summer after year 11 had started to turn sour. My mind had started to become so flooded with calories, fitness regimes, rules about meal times and ways of getting to gym as much as possible without people realising that I had almost lost the ability to think about anything else. As my weight dropped rapidly as did my ability to concentrate and be creative. My textiles grades were slipping from A*s and As to Bs at a push because I simply could not muster the effort to give artistic flair or be innovative with my designs. My Biology grades were also at an all time low and this didn’t help the matter. I guess you could say that in order to counter act my loss of control over Biology, I turned to controlling food.

It wasn’t until the summer, after I had participated in the UNIQ summer school and decided that I was definitely applying to Oxford, that my mindset began changing and my desire to reach top grades and achieve ‘Oxford’ started pushing in front of other thoughts.

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