By Matilda Trueblood
Congratulations on achieving an offer from the top university in the world!
The first thing that you should definitely do after receiving an offer is celebrate! Not only have you successfully gone through a gruelling admissions process, you did it all during a global pandemic and probably the most disrupted school experience ever. You deserve to be incredibly proud of yourselves.
Usually, after receiving an offer, you would be advised to focus on your A-levels in order to meet the grade requirements for your offer. But obviously the pandemic has again messed everything up. As a fresher who went through the chaos of exam grading last year, I fully understand how stressful and unsettling it is to have your exams cancelled without a clear plan to replace them. It’s completely understandable that all the confusion around exams and the stress of the current lockdown may impact your motivation, but it’s advisable to continue with your schoolwork, especially with the possibility of ‘mini’-external exams (whatever that means).
One thing that I and many other freshers struggled with when we began at Oxford is the lack of motivation to work after six months of doing very little. Continuing with some schoolwork will definitely help you in the future. If you do end up in a similar situation to last year, with schooling for year thirteens ending early, it’s a good idea to try and use some of the timein a way that will prepare you for future study. There are lots of free courses online, or you could do some reading (or equivalent) that could be useful for your course. Giving yourself something to do each day, and a sense of structure, will also make lockdown easier to handle.
However, the situation at the moment is really stressful. Set achievable targets and be kind to yourself. Good luck!