Martha — Maths — Durham University
Both my parents worked at universities while I was growing up, so I had always assumed that I would end up at one too. As soon as I found out that you could carry on studying maths after leaving school, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I think I was about 11.
Because I knew what I wanted, I started visiting universities pretty early on. Coming from a big city, I decided that I wanted to live somewhere completely different. I loved Durham from the start, but my school also encouraged me to apply to Oxford. There was no admissions test when I applied to Durham, but I did take the MAT and go to an interview for Oxford. The interview process took 4 long days. In the end I didn’t get in, but now I don’t think that I would have coped well with the pressure or pace of the course.
For my first choice, I was torn between Warwick and Durham, but when I realised my school bus pass still worked on the Warwick campus I knew I wanted to be further away. My time at Durham was incredible — I loved the city, made new friends and really grew into myself, so I know I made the right choice.
My top tip — When you’re at school, getting into university can sometimes feel like the end goal, but really, it’s just the beginning. Keep in mind that this is a course you’ll be on for 3 years or more and pick somewhere you think you’ll be happy.