Being from a state-school in the North West, applying to Oxford seemed like a very distant hope. This all changed when I attended an Oxbridge conference and met the senior tutor from Mansfield College. Coming from a strong tradition of non-conformity and welcoming the excluded, I instantly felt comfortable applying to this college. When I arrived for interviews, I met so many wonderful, like-minded people, many of whom were from similar backgrounds. This made the experience so much easier and I was far less stressed about being excluded because I wasn’t the ‘usual’ type of Oxford applicant. In November 2017, the BBC published an article entitled ‘The Oxford University college fighting elitism’, detailing how Mansfield makes Oxford more accessible. The College representatives “make almost 200 visits every year to schools across the UK” – one of the main reasons I felt passionate about applying to Mansfield was meeting the Senior tutor after the Oxbridge conference at a local school information evening, where she remembered meeting me and was delighted to answer all my questions about the application process. There is an amazing focus on the personal at Mansfield, the tutors care about making connections happen between the college and different schools across the country. In the 2017 intake, Mansfield admitted 91.4% State School students. The College sets up events with schools which have never had a student attend Oxford before – they want to find talent regardless of background. Helen Brooks, Access and admissions officer, beautifully spells out Mansfield’s message in the article: "Our ultimate aim is that everyone should feel like Oxford is an option for them, regardless of where they come from." This May, Senior tutor Lucinda Rumsey received an MBE for services to social mobility in Higher Education. Mansfield’s access work is a testament to both the college’s tradition of inclusion, but also commitment to the future of this university. Seeking to include talented students from all over the country, they are constantly striving to create a more diverse and inclusive college. Mansfield itself is a beautiful, welcoming community. Being a smaller college, you instantly get to know everyone in your year in the first few weeks. I cannot tell anyone reading this enough that if you are from a state-school, less traditionally ‘Oxford’ background, there is a place for you at Mansfield.