Pathways to Success opened my eyes and mind to the vast possibilities available to me at Murray Edwards or elsewhere in Cambridge. Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by women we later discovered to be the Admissions Tutor for the university and the senior biology professor, not that their demeanour gave it away, as my prejudices had feared before the visit. Everyone I met during my stay, potential students and staff, were friendly, down to earth and outstandingly ‘normal’ despite their clear intelligence. As a result, I easily settled in within the first workshop and found myself confidently contributing my ideas to the people in my small randomised group as well as feeling comfortable feeding back to the larger group. We were taught about the criteria beneficial to success and identified specific areas for us each to improve, discussing in detail how we could go about these improvements.
I was completely hooked by the talks led by the invited alumnae speakers and left inspired. Their accomplishments achieved both within their time at the university and after having left were exceptional. When I learnt that the second speaker was a scientist I prepared myself to be uninterested due to my personal loathing of the subject, though I found the talk relatable and easily applicable to my own life and studies.
The celebratory dinner was a definite highlight of the stay. The surprise revelation of the strawberry pavlova emerging from the floorboards was met with extreme excitement from everyone, especially the student helpers who were aware of the spectacle and barely containing their eager anticipation prior to its extravagant introduction.
We were fully informed of the application process and myths about interviews were addressed. All in all, the two days were a brilliant experience that offered a unique and active insight into Cambridge university life. At Murray Edwards, being surrounded by likeminded young women, I learnt to be unapologetically assertive of my abilities and unashamed to stand out, which is something that I believe will stay with me long after the visit. Long story short, I will be submitting my Cambridge application later this year.
Vicki Simons, L6D