Sunday, 6 November 2011


Chocolate really is the most important thing about applying to university. After all, research has shown that it can boost cognitive abilities. The last few months have made me believe it.

I had a mock interview on Friday. It's probably a little bit silly to drive yourself crazy with nerves about something that doesn't matter in the long run, but naturally, I did. Afterwards, I convinced myself that it's in some ways preferable to have a mock interview that went hilariously unfortunately than one that was a doddle. Anyway, after said mock interview, I thankfully got to enjoy some chocolate I had secreted in my bag, and was free to wander back to the common room, make some tea, and essentially ride out a sort of 'nerves hangover.' I'm sure we all know the feeling.

For me, there are a number of moments during the process so far that have been the most nerve-wracking. Number one - realising I'd clicked 'send' on my UCAS form despite the fact that it contained a massive, gaping error. Here's some advice - don't send it when you know you won't be able to contact your referee for an extended amount of time afterwards, for example, over the weekend. I learnt that lesson the hard way. Number two - attending an Oxbridge conference and being blown away by the number of people there who literally spewed genius. Sitting in the corner while someone quotes from Nietzsche's 'On the Genealogy of Morality' is a little disheartening, granted, but then again I doubt any potential interview is going to allow anyone time to recount every little facet of history about the subject. I suppose we can all fill half an hour with something other than inane mumbling.

Number three was realising I'm seemingly one of an extremely small number of people in my class who has not yet had the pleasure of receiving an offer. You can explain this away to yourself with a variety of very valid reasons. University A prefers to wait until all applications are received before doing anything with them. University B has a notoriously slow departmental process. University C allegedly only gives out offers every two weeks, so if you can avoid the rejection week in the middle, you're as safe as houses. And the other universities might not have got around to looking at your application yet. Even so, it's true that there are only so many times you can stand it when your heart leaps at the sight of a (1) in your spam folder, before realising that it's an invitation to buy a new laptop that's 227% off and comes free with a deal allowing you to sell your soul.

We all overanalyse it. It's university! It's the most exciting time of our lives! People are far more likely to be crowing exuberantly when they have an offer than when they don't, so it creates the false impression that we're all alone in the place-less world. Thank you for reading my first entry! I look forward to sharing more of the gruesome/exhilarating moments that develop from my application in the future.



  1. Thank you so much for this blog! I too am applying to university this year and it's nice to hear that someone else is having the same worries as me.

  2. Seriously, I love PPE too! I find it fascinating, but personally am a hot chocolate lover ;) not so keen on tea.

  3. What an informative blog- I just love this. Totally feel your pain!