Natalie, Physics

Physics Natalie

The work is hard and it can be tiring and challenging but also exhilarating. You are surrounded by people in the same position so the friends you come away with are really close.

I hadn’t really considered applying for Oxford until I did some work experience with a doctor who had been and who encouraged me to think about it. She told me about her time here which made it all seem like more of a real option for me.

The only advice I would give is to make sure you apply for something you are genuinely really interested in because you don’t want to spend 3-4 years studying something you don’t care about. A good way to work this out is to check out the syllabus and see if when you finish reading it you feel excited or bored!

The Physics course at Oxford is quite mathematical so it helps if you are quite confident at Maths-that said, I wouldn’t have called myself a maths whizz and I’ve still found it ok. My favourite thing so far has been quantum mechanics because the maths behind it is simple and beautiful and the physical implications are counter intuitive but have been proven by experiment.

There are quite a lot of contact hours with a day or two of labs a week, a few hours of lectures a day and on average two tutorials a week- which I really like because it motivates me to stay on track and means I always feel like there is lots of support if I get stuck. I think that the main difference at university from school is that you have to learn how to motivate yourself. It is a challenge but also a really useful skill.

It’s too hard to choose one thing which I have enjoyed the most about being at Oxford. I’ve met people I know I’ll stay friends with for life and had the most amazing experiences. Everyone here is really passionate about their subject and there is no limit to how much you can learn. There is always someone willing to explain something or have a discussion with you. The work is hard and it can be tiring and challenging but also exhilarating. You are surrounded by people in the same position so the friends you come away with are really close. Trinity is great because it is such a small and friendly college- plus we have the best food and great gardens which you can enjoy in the summer.

There are countless different clubs and societies you can get involved in at Oxford. I play a lot of sport so I joined the university hockey club, which is quite a lot of training but so much fun and has a great social life. University sports clubs tend to have quite a good standard and also be a really good way to make friends outside of college. I also row for college which was a great new thing to try out for the first time at university. I do some volunteering and try to go along to the talks at the Oxford Union. I even tried out boxing this term!

At the moment I’m planning to take a few months out after university to do a technology internship and do some travelling but after that I will probably do a PhD. I’m not 100% sure I want to do Physics forever I am still really interested in the subject after four years, which I’m taking as a sign that I’m not ready to quit yet!

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