I started thinking about Oxford quite late. I was personally keener on working out what I wanted to study rather than where I wanted to study that subject. I was trying to decide between History, Classics and English.
The community at Exeter is close enough to feel comfortable but there’s enough distance so you don’t feel swamped. Exeter definitely gives you the opportunity for everyone to have their own space if they want it. It’s also a highly accepting community. I’ve seen some of my friends process big changes in their lives and Exeter has the support in place to help them through that.
What sets Exeter apart from other colleges is our wonderful Victorian chapel, which is also a place in which a lot of community activity takes place, be that drama productions or gathering during fire drills! It’s a wonderful physical hub at the centre of the College and is also the home of one of the best mixed-voice choirs in Oxford, and potentially the best student-led choir. I find choir a release at the end of the day, and although it’s an intense musical environment, it’s not an unwanted pressure. The choir community allows me to be a better singer whilst in a community of friends.
Oxford gives you the opportunity to meet a range of incredible speakers. In my first year, film director Peter Jackson came to Exeter. It was great to hear him talk as I really enjoy artists speaking about their craft. Oxford brings in such a wide range of people from every conceivable walk of life.
One of my tips for interview would be to not be afraid to need your own space. Interviews can be very rigorous and intense, taking place over two or three days. Try not to get bogged down in meeting new people and it’s best not to see people as competition. Interviews are as much an opportunity for you to evaluate the college as for the college to evaluate you – they’ll help you see if Oxford is for you, so just relish the opportunity to talk to some amazing people and see it as great interview practice for the future.