On Wednesday 23rd October, we, JG18, embarked on an eye-opening trip to Peterhouse College in Cambridge!
Our day began nice and early at 08:00 am when we arrived with our parents, all eager to set off to the university. After the two-hour coach journey, we finally arrived at the beautiful city of Cambridge – you can think of it as a scaled-down version of London.
Admittedly, we did get lost on campus at first but we were soon rescued by one of the Peterhouse College event organisers, Amber Page. We walked through the corridors, the walls covered with pictures of college alumni, serving as a testament to the legends who came before us – it really was inspiring to see!
We were taken to the theatre and greeted formally by the event organisers, Catherine Walker, the aforementioned Amber Page, and the master of Peterhouse College – Bridget Kendall, who welcomed us with open arms. In the theatre, they spoke to us about all things Cambridge: the collegiate system, the student body, bursary and scholarship schemes and more importantly why we should all apply to one of the most influential universities in the world. Students in the JG cohort at this point, myself included, got quite excited at the thought of becoming a student here and needless to say we had plenty of questions to ask. So it was very befitting that Amber and Catherine had fit a separate student and parent Q&A session to satiate our important queries: so as our parents left the theatre, we had an informative 20 minute Q&A session discussing all our burning questions like: “How big of an impact will my GCSEs have on my uni application?”. We also discussed all the extra-curricular things we could do to strengthen our application to university. The session was useful because it is rare to have the opportunity to ask all those questions directly to a university.
We reunited with our parents over lunch around 11:30 am and then split up into two separate groups, consisting of both students and parents, and head out for a college tour, led by Peterhouse student volunteers. The campus was stunning, with lovely gardens, a tranquil atmosphere and, as it was a small college, it was easy to see how students could feel at home here – especially with the fully equipped gym, church, bar, and common room.
The final thing on our itinerary was a careers game and problem-solving activity: Catherine and Amber walked us through their personal anecdotes of their journey to Cambridge, as well as the journeys of others from A-Level choices to their career. The careers game proved that you don’t need to have perfect grades in every subject but rather it’s all about your consistent improvement, from GCSE, in the subjects you really love and more often than not, no one has a linear path to their career: what you intended to do and what you actually do can sometimes be very different, for example, a student studied French and German at A-level, which allowed them to study linguistics at university but then they went back to take their biology and chemistry A-levels and went on to spend 5 years at university studying medicine to eventually become a medical doctor!
The Cambridge visit was really fun above all else and on behalf of all of JG18, I really want to thank Amber, Catherine and especially Bridget Kendal for accommodating us: they were all so passionate, welcoming and made very gracious hosts! I’ve learned that hard work and consistency are necessary to reach somewhere like Cambridge – a goal that seems much more attainable now!
by God’sFavour Oluwanusin