Samuel, Chemistry

Chemistry Sam F

There are times when there’s lots of things to juggle, not just work for your tutors but with everything else you’ll undoubtedly sign yourself up for too. Just try to keep your cool! (There is also help available in college whenever you need it, in a variety of forms.)

I was quite late in deciding which course to apply for –between Chemistry and Materials. I think I made the right choice in the end; choosing something that I enjoyed means having the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. (Though breakfast in Hall helps with that too!)

I didn’t know much about Oxford when I first started looking at universities in the sixth form. I came up for an Open Day and was completely sold. When it came to choosing a college, I thought that most of them looked quite similar, so I stood outside the Bodleian and asked people who looked like students which college had the best food. Almost all of them said Trinity, so I applied here. There were, of course, other reasons too: there’s college owned accommodation available for the length of your degree if you want it; generous financial support; to make sure you have a life outside academia there are more clubs and societies than you could ever want; but best of all it’s a close-knit community with oodles of Trinity spirit. In fact, one of the things I like most about Trinity is its size – large grounds, but a smaller student body to fit in them. Having a smaller JCR means you know everyone, not just in your year but every other one too, and gives Trinity a vibe you won’t find elsewhere.

I won’t lie –I did find going from A-Level to university was a bit of a jump, but it’s definitely do-able! I hadn’t really done any Physical Chemistry before so that was all new, but then it is to everyone, so don’t panic. Doing further maths at A-level has helped me throughout my degree. Whilst skills like problem-solving and logical thinking almost go without saying, being organised definitely helps here the most. There are times when there’s lots of things to juggle, not just work for your tutors but with everything else you’ll undoubtedly sign yourself up for too. Just try to keep your cool! (There is also help available in college whenever you need it, in a variety of forms.)

As an undergraduate chemist your time is quite structured. You have around ten lectures a week. Two days a week are spent in the Physical, Organic, and Inorganic Chemistry labs, with any tutorials and classes dotted around the other days. The fourth year (Part II) gives you the chance to spend a whole year doing only the topic you find most interesting, which is really fab. I was always more a fan of the squidgy biological chemistry. I’m actually doing my research in Botany, looking at the metabolic network in plants.
I joined Trinity choir on the first Sunday, and have been singing in it for four years since. I was also lucky enough to get into the University’s Air Squadron where I learnt to fly. A particular highlight of my time in Oxford was organising the Trinity Commemoration Ball in 2014.

I will soon start a job at Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, where I’ll be managing the design and manufacture of cars – being assigned to one particular car and seeing the project through from start to finish. I had no idea though before I started my degree what I wanted to do when I grew up- and I still don’t know exactly! At the moment, I’m taking some time off before starting my job. I’m lucky to have been granted Trinity’s Whitehead Travelling Bursary, so I’m off to climb Mont Blanc.

FInd out more