Sarah Atayero is a first year undergraduate studying Experimental Psychology at Wadham College whose negative opinion of Oxford was turned around after meeting some Student Ambassadors while at Sixth Form College. Sarah is now working hard with us to dispel misconceptions about Oxford and introduces herself here.
If it was not for Wadham’s Access team who visited my sixth form college when I was in year 12, I never would have applied to Oxford. This is by not means an exaggeration, I have come from a state school where only one student per year applied to Oxbridge. Of those who applied from my school it seemed only those with an exceptional academic record were accepted. For me, an average student who simply worked hard and had a burning desire to study psychology, Oxford was simply a fantasy. Wadham Student Ambassadors presented the real Oxford. I know how Oxford appears to students from a background similar to mine and I know how this can put them off applying. This is why I am dedicated to being involved in Access both here at my college and at the University.
My first few weeks have been a whirlwind of opportunities and networking. What I am most shocked about is the amount of support available from both my college and my peers. I imagined the University to be a cold, isolating and hard-working institution where I would not fit in. I have not felt discriminated against or judged due to my background or ethnicity, and neither should I be. This is the image of Oxford where I come from; I want the chance to change this perspective!
After my undergraduate degree I will have obtained a Graduate Basis for Chartership by the British Psychological Society which will allow me to progress onto clinical training. After completing clinical training I aim to continue studying psychology, whilst practising in a hospital setting. I believe learning is a life-long process and I intend to stay in formal education for as long as I can.