some thoughts whilst in Oxford

The title of this post reminds me of something William Wordsworth, or perhaps Percy Shelley, would entitle one of their poems. Ah, English.
Its raining today which is shitty because I need to get out and explore to clear my head and I didn't bring an umbrella–but fuck it, I need to breathe some air.
So I am at Oxford for uni interviews, I didn't want to talk about it too much but I've had lots of thoughts, and have few people to share the inner workings of my brain with (because I know no one here), so here you are.
The interviews have been weird. There was no way I could have prepared for the questions they asked me. No one asked me about the books I'd read or my coursework. To any future Oxford interviewees, you can't prepare–you can't pre-empt what they will ask you. Just read over what you've written and your submitted essay and think about arguments, beyond that relax.
I've had 2 interviews, one on my written work and anti-Semitism (she was like "I'm now going to ask you about your personal statement" and then isolated the single word 'anti-Semitism and I was like oh cmon) and one on a source and the value of testimony. I did get asked "whats the difference between history and memory?" which threw me a little, but in context it wasn't as challenging.
I really enjoyed both the interviews, which is  a good thing. There is, however, no way you can tell what they're thinking, which is intimidating. I sort of think they weren't hard enough so they don't think I'm capable and am doubting everything.
In all honesty, I'm a mix of emotions.
I, unfortunately, have fallen in love with this city, uni and college and I know that that is detrimental as, previously, I was impartial but applied through pressure. But now I love it and don't want to leave. There are only 8 places available at this college, and 43 applicants, so the chances are oh so low. But I really feel at home in this empire of castles.
But I'm also missing the familiar and am looking forward to escaping this high-charged environment of nerves which feels odd. This afternoon I'm going for coffee with an old friend which will be so warming as I'll be able to just be myself and I haven't seen her in so long. I've met some nice people and have had a chance to relax and explore the city but am also looking forward to being in a world I totally understand/where nothing is new.
Despite this, going home makes me a lil apprehensive as I feel I am returning to a world of dullness and am so excited to start my degree and am reminded of my love for this subject. My old school friends are also coming home this weekend, which also makes me stressed because I feel I am retreating to the past and am so ready to explore new worlds and new people and don't really want to go back.
Its now fucking pissing it down. Ugh. (lol I understand that this is so ambivalent and ambiguous but thats sorta how I feel)
But, I am so proud of myself for this whole process. Two years ago I couldn't stay away from home, would never have come to a some-what unfamiliar city, alone not knowing where I was staying or who I was meeting or what my timetable was. But I've talked to new people and explored and I feel so calm and wow. I've grown so much.

This post is maybe a little damp, like the weather lol. I am happy, just this process is weird (its just waiting and waiting and waiting) and it feels odd falling in love with something you know you can't have. But I've had fun and I love it here and I don't miss home or want to escape so, yay for new experiences and growth but also disheartenment at the fact that it'll never come true. Oh.

Its now 18:18 and I am so incredibly tired and am dreading, beyond all amounts, the 4 hour train home tomorrow and the preconceived emptiness of the weekend. I'll probably have a good cry tonight.


  1. 8 places?! That is crazyy!! You should be so proud of how amazing you've done on this journey. I feel like following you on this journey I can see how much you've grown and changed within yourself for the better! The question on the difference between history and memory is super interesting; as someone who hasn't done history since year 9 (regrets on my GCSE choice to take geography;/), I'd love to know what you said!? Hope all is good with you and that you can relax a little now. Proud of you for everything you've done my love, and can soo relate to feeling ready to move on now x x x

    1. ahh thats such a kind thing to say, Lexie. Oh no, everyone's asked me what I said and I fear my answer was totally incoherent because like is there a difference?? I just sort of talked about my throught process and the difference between the personal and the public but tbh it was all a whirlwind i've sort of forgotten... thank you my love you too xx

  2. The history and memory question must've been interesting! Well done on getting through the interview stage, it's basically the last bit of the very tiring process and now we just wait- I'm sure you'll get an offer because you're SO passionate about history, you basically live and breathe it ahaha. Even if you don't, it's a big lesson and the fact that you managed to travel and stay alone in a different city is an achievement in itself. good luck with it alll <3

    Dalal //

    1. see in retrospect its an interesting question but at the time I just thought "fuck". Ahh not so sure but it was a great experience. Thank youuuu xx

  3. I don't understand how there is only 8 places and only 43 applicants- am I just being dumb or is this abnormally small? Also I'm proud you made it through these interviews, they sounded so difficult and I don't understand how you could possibly answer a question like that! I'm glad you had a good time in Oxford and whether you get in or not doesn't matter because you worked hard and have you ever seen The Riot Club?! But honestly so proud of you for going and glad you had a good time and met new people. Woohoo to you!!x

    1. its just in that college so each college (there are like 30) will have like 10 history students or whatever but I KNOW. Haha so true, not sure the Riot Club is where I belong. Thankyou my love xx


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