Oxford students give advice to their younger selves

This may be one of the most important posts I’ve ever put together.

I recently received an email from an offer-holder asking me what advice I had for someone in their position: what would I tell a fresher, or indeed my 18-year-old self, if I had the chance? Not, by any stretch, an easy question to answer. I do have my own pieces of advice to give, but I also turned to the many, many wonderful Oxford students and graduates in my life, some of whom I know personally, others of whom I share online spaces with, and asked them the same question. And goodness, did they deliver! Below, a collection of funny, honest, timeless advice from people who have been through the Oxford experience and are all the wiser for it. We make mistakes so you don’t have to.

If you find this post helpful, please let me know in the comments, and please share this post with the people you know who are also hoping to start university soon!

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MT 0/1: False Starts and Keeping Your Cool

My dear long-neglected readers!

As you will have gathered by now, I began my Masters course in Golden Age Spanish as an Ertegun Scholar at the beginning of October, which means that the First Week of term has just come to an end. Many of you will have read my Finals posts, and I do want to continue blogging the rest of my time at Oxford, as my undergraduate degree flew past and I have relatively few distinct memories from that time. I may well continue in the same format, telling you about my week and what I got up to and how I found it, but today’s post is a little different. Continue reading

Applying to Oxford: History and Modern Languages

Hello, and welcome to our new guest series on the blog: applying to Oxford for various subjects. There will be a guest contributor every day writing about their personal experience of applying to Oxford for their own subject.

Today’s post is written by Lara, who is currently reading History and Spanish at Hertford. This post is also a little different to the other posts we’ve had – as there is already information in previous posts about applying for History and for MML, this post is shorter and concentrates more on what sets History and MML apart from other degrees.

For more information about applying for History and sitting the HAT, click here.

For more information about applying for Modern Languages in a Joint School, click here.

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The Final(s) Weeks

*Zayn voice* Hey, what’s up – it’s been a while…

If you used to read my “10.5 Weeks” series and wondered what happened to the last 2.5 weeks, wonder no more. It’s been a long time coming, but if you were curious to know how the last weeks of my degree were, this post is for you! It’s a long one, so grab a snack and a cup of tea!

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Week 4: Translation, Tension & Trinity Term

Surprise! I bet you didn’t expect another post this early, did you? Sadly, it’s rather more out of necessity than zeal – it’s the start of Trinity Term, meaning my exams start on Monday and continue throughout the week, so I won’t be able to put together a post during the early part of the week like I normally do. Monday at 4 is German speaking, Tuesday at 10.15 is Spanish speaking, Wednesday at 9.30 is Spanish listening and Thursday at 9.30 is German listening. In between, I still need to revise literature, so it’s going to be a tiring week. Continue reading

Things I Wish People Would Stop Saying About The Year Abroad: Part Two

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was with the overwhelmingly positive response to the first part of this mini-series: it seems a lot of people are tired of being told the same things about their time abroad. With that in mind, I’ve made a nest on my sofa with the Dil Dhadakne Do  soundtrack and a bag of chocolate truffles from Galeria Kaufhof in order to write the next part.

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Should I: Study Modern Languages at Oxford?

Hi everyone, and welcome to the second article in the “Should I?” series. The university admissions season has settled into that quiet period between the arrival of the offer letters and the final exams that determine your grades, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is completely at peace. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of soul-searching among holders of MML places (Modern and Mediaeval Languages) at Oxford, and so I thought I’d give a comprehensive overview of the course structure and the features that set it apart from similar courses at other universities.

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Sixties Flick

A few years ago, I went through a retro music phase. I listened exclusively to music from the “American Graffiti” era for months on end, falling deeper and deeper into the time jump until it was a total jolt to turn on the radio and hear Tinie Tempah’s “Frisky”: I had to ease myself back into listening to modern pop music as it was such a shock to the system. I decided that my Year 11 prom look would be early Sixties-inspired, and devoted myself to avidly researching the fashions of this era as much as possible (this would have been a lot easier if Pinterest had been in my life!). This is when I started wearing my now trademark winged eyeliner (literally a year or so before it fully came back into fashion!) and when I started longing for dresses and clothes fitted at the waist. However, there was one problem: I couldn’t do anything with my hair.

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