Natasha Davey is an undergraduate student studying Mathematics at St Anne’s College. As the first member of her family to apply for university, she knows first-hand the misconceptions that surround Oxford and is keen to spread the word that Oxford has one of the best bursary systems in the UK. Here is Natasha’s story.
Deciding to apply to Oxford was one of the biggest decisions of my life. Being the first member of my family to apply to university, I entered the process with a lot of preconceived notions which I later found out were simply not true. I remember that at Sixth Form, Oxford seemed like an elite, prestigious place where people like me could only aspire to go. It was only through meeting Oxbridge admissions tutors and students that I realised I had a chance of receiving an offer and I know that without those people I wouldn’t have applied at all.
I found my first year at Oxford to be very challenging, yet rewarding. Initially the pace and level of difficulty of the work was hard to adapt to. However, as the first term progressed I adjusted and now I feel like I have enough time to try and experience all that Oxford has to offer. One thing which amazes me about Oxford is the huge range of opportunities its students have. In the past year I’ve met rock stars, started learning a language, founded a charitable society, listened to world leaders debate and learnt more beautiful Mathematics than I could possibly have imagined before arriving here.
I want to help to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that surround Oxford, many of which I myself held a couple of years ago. It’s all too easy for an able student to be put off applying because they don’t think they have the right background or accent. I had the opportunity to meet a group of people from non-traditional backgounds hoping to apply to Oxford and I was surprised by how many of the students were worried they wouldn’t be able to afford the fees, or thought that Oxford fees were more expensive than other universities. None of them knew before they came that Oxford has one of the best bursary systems in the UK. Oxford has to constantly work against the way it is portrayed in the media in order to continue to attract the best candidates and I would like to help that in any way I can.