Amanda, English

English Amanda

There are plenty of opportunities to branch out to university societies, but I found my plate was certainly full enough with all of the college activities I did! Through being so involved I did things I never would have dreamed of.

I decided to apply to Oxford in Year 12 because (full disclosure here) lots of people in my school were applying. Seeing my peers apply successfully, and therefore knowing that I had an equally good chance of getting a place, helped me a lot with the process in general. I wasn’t overconfident though – I knew that I would have to work very hard to give my application the best chance of success.

I decided that I wanted to apply for English in Year 13, after deliberating for about a year between English and Music. I firmly fell on the side of English in around August just before I got my A-level results, and I began my application for Oxford once I had seen that I had achieved the required grades.

The English course is heavily focussed on personal study, which encourages us to develop our own interests and writing style from an early stage. Although we are also given a lot of guidance on how we can hone our writing skills for the purposes of clarity. If we find an area of interest which is outside the suggested essay topics for that week, our tutors will usually encourage us to pursue that topic. English students usually produce 12 essays per 8-week term, which means that we have to learn how to sift through large amounts of information quickly, and how to formulate arguments effectively. In this sense, the English degree requires both efficiency and attention to detail, and teaches you to work under time pressure. Even though I have just finished my degree, my favourite modules were still Victorianism and Linguistics, both of which I studied in my first year.

The best thing about studying at Oxford is the tutorial system. A tutorial is a class which can be as small as 1-1 and as large as 4-1, in which you discuss your week’s essay with your tutor. The small class size forces you to put as much effort into your studies as possible.

I applied to Trinity after seeing it on an open day, simply because the helpers stood out as friendly and welcoming. I was also attracted to the idea of a living within a smaller college community. Trinity has around 300 undergraduates in total, so here is a strong sense of community within the college, which breeds an infectious feeling of pride and enthusiasm. I feel this most when talking to prospective students at interviews or on open days, as I become almost alarmingly ‘college-proud’! Like many students here, I was also drawn to the beauty of the grounds.

Outside my studies, I have been a choral scholar in Trinity College Chapel choir for 2 years, and was a member for three. I also coxed our women’s first boat for our college boat club, was women’s tennis captain for a year and was Vice President of Trinity College Music Society. There are plenty of opportunities to branch out to university societies, but I found my plate was certainly full enough with all of the college activities I did! Through being so involved I did things I never would have dreamed of. I have competed in the National Rowing Regatta Women’s Hear of the River Race and have performed with chapel choir in Venice, Tuscany, Budapest and Madrid.

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