If someone told me two weeks ago that the following week was going to turn into one of the best weeks of my life, I would have dismissed them instantly. I was heading to Oxford University to sacrifice one of my precious six weeks of summer all in the name of a good personal statement (an idea that many of my friends back home struggled to comprehend). Having found out a few months prior that I had been accepted into the programme to study Theology, a subject that I have a definite interest in but no drive to pursue as a career, I was definitely excited, but also increasingly nervous. Could I successfully travel over 500 miles by myself through an airport and to a city I had never stepped foot in before, and where my current geographical knowledge was extremely lacking excluding a small pop-out map given to me by a friend for my birthday. Would I know enough? I had horrible visuals of being surrounded by theology whiz-kids, experts in their fields at only 16, while I attempted to avoid my teacher's eye contact in the corner. And would I fit in? Having looked at the gallery of photos from the pupils who partook the week beforehand I seemed reasonably comfortable that I was not away to walk into an abyss of strange, new people, who didn't share any of the same interests as myself besides the topic we were studying.

These worries were almost entirely misplaced. Upon arrival in Birmingham Airport, I was delighted to meet two like-minded students, both studying different courses from myself, but both part of the UNIQ programme at Oxford University, and together we rode the final hour of both of our journeys on the train to Oxford. The next few hours felt chaotic; we were greeted by more UNIQ students and a large amount of mentors who were splitting us up into our college groups and marching us all around Oxford to our allocated locations which would become our homes for the next six days. After arriving and unpacking, the daunting task of meeting other students ensued. Along with two other girls across the hall from my dorm, we timidly approached the common room, and after an evening meal, spent our time playing games, such as Empire, Splat and (our much loved favourite) Mafia. 

The next four days went by in a blur; they followed a "breakfast, class, lunch, more class, free-time, tea, evening activities, bed by 11" regime that flew by, and very quickly we began to dread the end of the week. The bond made between like-minded strangers when thrown together for less than a week is indescribable - I got to know a lot of people very quickly, and some of which (you know who you are) I now have the incredible pleasure of calling my friends, and who I know I will not forget easily (this is also made easier by an incessant whatsapp group chat). 

By the penultimate evening, I found myself choking up at the thought of having to leave these friends, and our send away in the form of a fancy dress dance was the perfect way to go. I danced (or at least, attempted to) and sang to the point that I lost my voice with these people, and after a long walk back to our college (and a late night of bag packing and essay editing) I fell into one of the most comfortable sleeps I have had in a very long time.

The final day was emotional to say the least, and so I won't ponder on it for too long, but instead look back at some of the amazing memories I have been fortunate to take away from this week (which include but are not limited to playing inordinate amounts Mafia, a friend hitting his head off of a wall and a lengthy three hour Sanskirt class).

Now, some of you may be surprised by this account of the week. You may be thinking, "But Maddy, didn't you go to Oxford for a summer school?" and you would be quite correct, I did attend this with the intent of coming away with an increased knowledge in Theology, a better awareness of the English university system and an experience worthy to include in my personal statement. And while all of this is true, I have found myself taking something much more valuable from this experience, which is (and please allow yourself to cringe here as I have done numerous times while writing and rereading this) friends. 

If anyone wishes to know more about the Oxford UNIQ Summer School programme then feel free to message me on my facebook, twitter or email and I will happily help you or offer any knowledge that I can. 
make sure to follow this blog on bloglovin'   
twitter    /    facebook   /    instagram

My Theology class
Making Friends


If someone told me two weeks ago that the following week was going to turn into one of the best weeks of my life, I would have dismissed them instantly. I was heading to Oxford University to sacrifice one of my precious six weeks of summer all in the name of a good personal statement (an idea that many of my friends back home struggled to comprehend). Having found out a few months prior that I had been accepted into the programme to study Theology, a subject that I have a definite interest in but no drive to pursue as a career, I was definitely excited, but also increasingly nervous. Could I successfully travel over 500 miles by myself through an airport and to a city I had never stepped foot in before, and where my current geographical knowledge was extremely lacking excluding a small pop-out map given to me by a friend for my birthday. Would I know enough? I had horrible visuals of being surrounded by theology whiz-kids, experts in their fields at only 16, while I attempted to avoid my teacher's eye contact in the corner. And would I fit in? Having looked at the gallery of photos from the pupils who partook the week beforehand I seemed reasonably comfortable that I was not away to walk into an abyss of strange, new people, who didn't share any of the same interests as myself besides the topic we were studying.

These worries were almost entirely misplaced. Upon arrival in Birmingham Airport, I was delighted to meet two like-minded students, both studying different courses from myself, but both part of the UNIQ programme at Oxford University, and together we rode the final hour of both of our journeys on the train to Oxford. The next few hours felt chaotic; we were greeted by more UNIQ students and a large amount of mentors who were splitting us up into our college groups and marching us all around Oxford to our allocated locations which would become our homes for the next six days. After arriving and unpacking, the daunting task of meeting other students ensued. Along with two other girls across the hall from my dorm, we timidly approached the common room, and after an evening meal, spent our time playing games, such as Empire, Splat and (our much loved favourite) Mafia. 

The next four days went by in a blur; they followed a "breakfast, class, lunch, more class, free-time, tea, evening activities, bed by 11" regime that flew by, and very quickly we began to dread the end of the week. The bond made between like-minded strangers when thrown together for less than a week is indescribable - I got to know a lot of people very quickly, and some of which (you know who you are) I now have the incredible pleasure of calling my friends, and who I know I will not forget easily (this is also made easier by an incessant whatsapp group chat). 

By the penultimate evening, I found myself choking up at the thought of having to leave these friends, and our send away in the form of a fancy dress dance was the perfect way to go. I danced (or at least, attempted to) and sang to the point that I lost my voice with these people, and after a long walk back to our college (and a late night of bag packing and essay editing) I fell into one of the most comfortable sleeps I have had in a very long time.

The final day was emotional to say the least, and so I won't ponder on it for too long, but instead look back at some of the amazing memories I have been fortunate to take away from this week (which include but are not limited to playing inordinate amounts Mafia, a friend hitting his head off of a wall and a lengthy three hour Sanskirt class).

Now, some of you may be surprised by this account of the week. You may be thinking, "But Maddy, didn't you go to Oxford for a summer school?" and you would be quite correct, I did attend this with the intent of coming away with an increased knowledge in Theology, a better awareness of the English university system and an experience worthy to include in my personal statement. And while all of this is true, I have found myself taking something much more valuable from this experience, which is (and please allow yourself to cringe here as I have done numerous times while writing and rereading this) friends. 

If anyone wishes to know more about the Oxford UNIQ Summer School programme then feel free to message me on my facebook, twitter or email and I will happily help you or offer any knowledge that I can. 
make sure to follow this blog on bloglovin'   
twitter    /    facebook   /    instagram

My Theology class
Making Friends


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