Report by Natasha Loydell - Year 11
Last Thursday I got on a train with seven other Year 11 students and two teachers, Miss Rickatson and Mrs Stokes, and waved Cornwall goodbye for a day or two. Our destination? Oxford University.
The eight of us had been offered the opportunity to visit the city and it’s university for a taster day, which not only meant a visit to a world-renowned city, but lots of train journeys. Thankfully we all arrived into the final station without losing anyone or anything and walked to the Youth Hostel we would be staying in for the night. Refreshed and excited, we went for a walk through Oxford as it began to get dark; the streetlights and shop windows illuminating the beautiful architecture.
On Friday we arrived at Hertford College for around nine o’clock and were greeted along with other schools with an introduction talk. The students were then split into two groups depending on which ‘pathway’ we had selected for the day – Humanities and Arts or Sciences – and headed off to our designated college. Niamh, Jordan and I were in the Humanities group, with Jasmine, Harry, Ben, Kelan and Fiona opting for Science.
The Humanities students were based in Wadham College for the day, starting the morning with a series of mini-lectures, including one around the philosophy and possibilities of time travel. After a break for lunch we were given a tour of the college by a current Law student. Each of the colleges is like a tiny campus: each one has its own library, traditional dining hall and chapel, and often has a college choir, among other societies and groups you can join. My favourite part of the day was the final workshop, where we separated from the teachers and spent an hour talking to two current first years about their experience of the university. It was really interesting to hear their opinions, what subjects they were studying and the different stages of the application process.
We walked back to Hertford College for the de-briefing, and a quick talk about other opportunities to explore the University as a student. Then we were back on the train, and by the time we got back to Cornwall we all decided that our perceptions of Oxford had changed dramatically; it’s not just for ‘posh’ people, or those who can afford it. If you work hard, the Oxbridge dream seems that little bit less impossible.