I’ve just finished my second year reading law at Lady Margaret Hall. Going to Oxford has always been something I had thought about but never something I thought I would actually get the chance to do. Being the first in my family to go to university, I was daunted by the whole idea of it; I had no clue as to what to expect. However, both parents and teachers have always encouraged me to aim as high as possible. I went to fantastic schools where I was given lots of support and I don’t think I’ve ever felt disadvantaged by my background.
I, like many people, had many preconceived notions about what Oxford would be like. I had heard plenty of horror stories about the interviews in particular. I think curiosity as to whether the stories were, in fact, reality was one of the reasons I decided to apply. However, around the time I was applying to universities, my Sixth Form invited back former students who were currently at university to speak to us. I was able to talk to students who were studying at Oxford and it was both relieving and inspiring to speak to them about their experiences. Having now spent two years at Oxford so far, I have learnt that there is definitely no typical Oxford student! I have met people from all walks of life and Oxford is a great place to share different views and experiences.
The interviews were the first time I had ever been to Oxford. I really had no idea what to expect. What really struck me was how friendly and welcoming the atmosphere was. The interviews themselves were nothing like the tales I had been told. Looking back on it now, the interviews were very reflective of what can be expected in an ordinary Oxford tutorial in terms of its structure and format. Aside from what I had included in my application, there was no expectation that I had any knowledge of the law and discussion was focused around general topics such as ‘obesity and the NHS’. I think I would go as far as to say I enjoyed the interview process, although I probably didn’t realise it at the time!
Law has always been something I have been interested in, although I had never studied law as a subject before going to university. What I knew I had picked up from reading books on the law from my local library and work experience I had done during secondary school. What really appeals to me is that law permeates almost every area of life. This has definitely been reflected in the law course at Oxford; studying law has given me the chance to learn about a huge variety of subjects, from Roman legal history to how a mortgage works. I think my favourite subject has been jurisprudence, the theory of law. It was a great chance to explore what we mean when we talk about ‘the law’ and what role it should play in society.
I think the best advice I was given when I was applying to Oxford is to apply for a subject you are really passionate about. Studying at Oxford provides a great opportunity to interact with a huge variety of people, including world-leading experts in the area you are studying. It’s a fantastic place to learn and I don’t think I would get the same experience anywhere else.