Katie has been offered a place to study Physics at Oxford

“Somebody told me I should just go for it,” Katie explains when we ask why she applied to study at Oxford. “They also told me that if I didn’t get a place I could just pretend that I rejected them.”

“It’s still not quite kicked in yet…”

Katie was sat in the library with her friends when she found out she’d been offered a place to study Physics at the University of Oxford. “I was spamming the refresh button on the computer,” she tells us. “It took me a while to process as I kept having to read and re-read. It’s still not quite kicked in yet…”

She told her parents and her teachers straight away. “They were more happy about it than I was,” she says laughing. “I’m not the type of person who celebrates. I just move on to the next challenge, which is that I need to get the grades. But my parents in particular were really proud of me.”

The Access Project’s support

Katie’s tutor actually studied Physics at the University of Oxford – which she has found helpful. “My tutorials have allowed me to explore Physics even more – I’ve done lots of further reading around the subject,” she explains. “My tutor has put me in touch with lots of people – including a PhD student and a Masters student at Oxford. It’s helped me quite a lot.”

Alongside the support from her tutor, she’s also found her in-school mentor helpful. “I’m not usually someone who needs a lot of help – but knowing I have that support there has helped. In particular it’s good to reflect once a term on where I am. The Access Project has helped to pick me up and guide me – which was more than I could have asked for – and I believe every person, whether applying to Oxbridge or not, deserves that help.”

Katie’s advice for people considering applying to Oxbridge

Katie found the process of applying to Oxford incredibly challenging. “It is without a doubt one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life,” she said. “Be sure you want to do it. Think about it! Because it takes so much time and effort if you want to stand a good chance.”

“To get in you have to be dedicated. But it’s a good taster of what you’ll see at Oxford. It’s preparing you to see how you’ll cope.”

Katie is so passionate about Physics that she hopes to go on to study a PhD in it somewhere in Europe: “I’d love to get into research in quantum computing or quantum information.”

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