Hey! I’m Catherine, a second-year physicist at Corpus. I’m from the Wirral, which is just south of Liverpool in the North West.
My time at Oxford so far has been a big learning curve, but rewarding in so many ways. Physics is a degree in problem solving, so helps you think flexibly and analytically, but further to this it makes you resilient (because you don’t usually get a problem right first time!). In First Year, I particularly enjoyed the classical mechanics course; this was not too different to A-Level Further Mechanics at first so I had quite a nice base already, and then it was solving problems logically with nice applications, even to rockets. Every year you also get to choose at least one short option depending on how many lab days you want to do, and in both First and Second Year I have done the astrophysics option. I have enjoyed these a lot as it’s nice to get the chance to have some choice and learn in a little more depth about certain topics you’re interested in.
I am currently the Vice Captain for Oxford University Athletics Club and Social Secretary (which means I organise the social fun stuff outside of running) for Oxford University Cross Country Club. I think it is so important to have something you enjoy outside of your degree while at Oxford, because terms can get pretty intense (especially with a STEM degree like Physics) and it is a really nice yet still productive way to take a break and recharge. I find my athletics so much fun because it is like a whole new set of friends outside of college, but also gives me set times of the week where I can just take my mind off work.
To any prospective applicants or successful applicants waiting for first year to start, please feel free to email me with any questions you might have, big or small. I went to a state school and know the application process can seem quite daunting without much support, but it is so doable and I would encourage anyone thinking of applying to just do it, because you definitely won’t get in if you don’t apply! I thought there was no way I was going to get in throughout the application process but I did it, so back yourself and give it a go. And to anyone wondering how they should prepare before they get here, or what to expect, I’m really happy to point you in the right direction.
Resources categorised by subject and by Key Stage, as well as materials for applying to Oxford and finding out more about Corpus, can be found here.