Hey! I’m Augustine (everyone calls me Augy), a (soon-to-be) third-year Classics student here at Corpus Christi, from Canterbury, UK.
I didn’t actually know that I wanted to study Classics at uni until I came to Oxford for my interviews. Before that I was seriously considering applying for Maths at UCL, maybe with German, since I enjoyed both subjects at A-level and thought Oxbridge probably wasn’t for me. To be honest, I applied for Classics because I wanted to keep my options open! Oxford seemed like the best place to study Classics, since the course is so wide-ranging here, so I thought I’d give it a try, though I didn’t really expect to get in. As my mum said to me at the time, “You definitely won’t get in if you don’t apply, so why not have a go?!” So, having asked around at school and online, and having had a look around Oxford in the summer (would recommend!), I decided that Corpus seemed like the friendliest and most welcoming college, so I applied here. I’m so glad I did.
Since starting at Corpus I have loved every minute. I had so many fears at first, but the tutors, staff and other students were so supportive that now it feels just like home, and I couldn’t be happier. While work is undoubtedly important, the social life at Corpus is excellent. Everyone quickly makes friends with other year groups as well as their own, and being a small college allows everyone to get to know each other. Corpus is simply a lovely place to be, especially if you’re keen on Classics, and I would strongly encourage you to apply.
The Classics course at Oxford has two parts: Mods (Moderations, taken in second year) and Greats (final exams). Having Mods as a kind of half-way stage gives everybody a solid grounding in language and literature (so don’t worry if you’ve never done any before), plus a paper in a ‘Special Subject’ (anything from Greek Sculpture to Linguistics), and one in Philosophy. It also allows you to meet lots of people from other colleges in language classes organised by the Faculty. Mods were hard work, but I got through, and now I’m starting on Greats, where the range of choices is even wider and more exciting (everything from Sex & Gender to the Philosophy of Mathematics). For instance, I’m currently doing Early Greek Hexameter Poetry (which includes the Odyssey), and Greek Historical Linguistics, which includes the option of studying the Mycenaean Linear B tablets, the oldest form of Greek ever discovered - from the 15th Century BC!
Oxford is also a great place to study if you haven’t studied Latin or Greek at school. I was lucky enough to take Latin A-level at my school, but not Greek, so I’ve learnt Greek here at Oxford from (more or less) scratch; you’ll be amazed at how fast your language skills can improve.
As for extra-curricular activities, I’m pretty sure you can do just about any activity you can think of at Oxford. Within college alone, there is plenty going on. I personally don’t do a huge amount outside of the Corpus Chapel Choir and the college football team (the Pelicanos), but others do a lot more. Here are some examples of just a few of the things my friends get up to (often with people from other colleges): drama, athletics, rugby, set-design, table-tennis, life-drawing, Dr Who Soc, German Society... There truly is something for everyone.
Please do get in touch (email address on the right) if you have any questions about anything at all. I am very happy to answer any questions about Corpus, Classics, Oxford or admissions, or just anything else you might be worried about. Admissions can be confusing and scary, but you’ll get through, and hopefully I’ll see you soon!