Last week, thousands of young people found out whether they had been successful in their applications to Oxford and Cambridge. As well as a flawless academic record, candidates are expected to demonstrate a passion for their chosen subject that goes well beyond the confines of the classroom.
One would-be Oxford undergraduate, Holly Dempster-Edwards shares her journey with us
My Oxford journey – Holly Dempster-Edwards (U6)
Going to Oxford has been a dream of mine for many years. I cannot stress how exciting I find the idea of studying the subjects I am passionate about at such an excellent University.
I have always enjoyed doing extra-curricular reading in other languages and I had already chosen to apply to St Hilda’s, Oxford a couple of years ago, but the real preparation didn’t start until the summer term of L6, with group Oxbridge sessions involving discussions such as the deeper meaning of rabbits’ tails and balloon debates where the idea was to convince the others that your subject was the least worthy. All of this was enormously helpful in helping us to think laterally.
On top of this, in the autumn term I met on a weekly basis with Mr Dennison and my subject teachers to discuss the novels and plays I had mentioned in my personal statement – I must have reread one, two or sometimes three a week – and to prepare the written work I had to send off to Oxford. There was also a written grammar exam in November (which, I am not ashamed to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed!).
Finally, at the start of December, I was invited to interview at St Hilda’s. I had one interview for each language which I found enjoyable and intellectually engaging experiences. Thankfully there were none of those dreaded “What is a banana?” questions – we discussed a poem that I was given before each interview, as well as my wider reading; then we spoke a little bit in the languages too.
Following a month’s agonising wait I have now heard that St Hilda’s are offering me a place for October (AAA). I am, of course, extremely excited and immensely grateful to everyone at Moreton who has supported me in attaining this goal. It has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life so far!