By Tilly Rose
Well, let me start this post by saying YOU are a SUPERSTAR! Navigating GCSEs during a year in which you've barely been to school, have had to adapt from learning from home, with all the extra barriers and stresses that go with it - challenging family situations, WIFI problems, financial difficulties, caring for relatives, distractions, siblings, lack of equipment...and so many more. Whatever happened today, just powering through this year has been an amazing achievement and we are so proud of you!
I remember on GCSE Results Day thinking 'Ok, with these grades, there is a chance I could actually apply to Oxford Uni...' and if you're thinking the same, then I want you to know it's never too early to start thinking about applying!
Think about why so many pupils from top schools get into Oxford Uni...they've been prepping their whole lives. Although there is no 'magic formula' to get in, there is no doubt that being prepared helps, especially when it comes to interviews.
So what can you start doing?
* Pick A Level subjects that fit with the uni degree you are hoping to study.
* Start looking into the Oxford Uni courses and see which appeal to you - this way you can start putting all your energies into whichever subject you think you'd like to apply for.
* Once you've decided on a subject, start doing little things over the next year to immerse yourself in it outside of school.
* When you find something interesting in a lesson at school, write it down in a notepad. Then when you have a bit of time, do a bit more research into the things you've written down.
* What sort of research? Look them up online, read books about the topics, read articles, news reports, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, visit relevant places mentioned - anything at all to extend your learning beyond the curriculum.
* Use the next year to get used to talking about your subject - start putting your hand up more in class and after school tell your family, relative or friend what you've learnt that day OR just tell the dog or the wall - just get used to saying things out loud!
* Keep asking yourself WHY? Whenever you have an opinion on something you've learnt/read, ask yourself or get someone to ask you WHY you think that. This will get you used to evidencing and justifying your thoughts which is a key part of an Oxford interview!
Don't put yourself under huge pressure, you have time but just plod along with some of these things and keep that nifty notepad with you. That way, by the time application season comes around, you'll have so much to put in your personal statement and so much to discuss at interview!
For today celebrate the achievement of those GCSE results! YOU deserve it!