Oxbridge: what the winky spider did there and more…….

When does a medical applicant apply to Oxbridge? Is it when confidence overcomes reality and  when you really think for a moment that you are the chosen one who can study for 6 years in the Hogwarts like atmosphere of Oxbridge. Nah, I applied because I was out of choices and I also did not want to regret on my deathbed that I could have studied at Oxbridge, and found the cure for the disease that brought me to the deathbed in the first place. After all what did I have to lose? On the contrary, lets sum up the motivation I had for applying to Oxbridge.

1. I have spent half of my childhood, wearing capes and scaring off make-believe dementors, muttering J.K Rowling created magic spells and believing that Hogwarts would be where my muggle parents would send me to become a full blown witch. And, when you have a look at Oxford/Cambridge, you can for a moment actually feel the magic in it. This was one half of the reason why I chose it.

 P.s Truth be told, I only got to know later on that Harry Potter was actually shot in Durham, Damn the heartbreak!

2. Winning the Nobel Prize- I have actually seen myself winning the nobel prize for medicine, and Oxbridge seemed to be the right place for kick starting my career, the league tables all played a crucial role, why are they so biased towards Oxbridge people? Always first or second……

3. If you submit the UCAS application in November like I did, you are looking forward to almost 5 months of waiting and interviewing before the results. Oxbridge comprises the only university to interview you in December and send results out in January, for gap year people like me, this keeps you busy for atleast 2 months.

4. BMAT- I did the blunder of looking at section 2 of the BMAT and feeling that it was a piece of cake, after the UKCAT, the prospect of having a pen and paper test with no timers running in the background seemed a bliss. But then came Section 1, which fucked my brain immensely.

5. To think that I could actually study at Oxbridge, brought a kind of respect for me from my family. For a person experiencing that kind of reverence for the first time, the mere probability of getting an offer seems something to leap for.

6. Being an international applicant, my choices were pretty limited. Some places did not find my qualification acceptable, for the others I did not find theirs acceptable…….

6 points are enough, aren’t they? well they were for me then and I spent almost a month waiting for the BMAT results and then an interview call. My BMAT score was definitely above average and section 2 and 3 were real good. More about my Bmat experience later on but I think for now it suffices to say that I was called for an interview. Now let me emphasize how hard it is for international applicants to get even an interview invite. Whilst packing for my trip to Oxbridge, I often felt that since I had crossed the first difficult part to interview, I was definitely going to get an offer. Screw modesty, I really think I had good enough communication skills. Aah, the investments I did for the interview, shining black suits, a new haircut, expensive spa treatment to get that Grey’s Anatomy glow on my face and air tickets ( beware around Christmas, tickets are harder to find than Santa himself and costlier than all the gifts in his bag) .

Hmm, in retrospect the interview went really good, the kind where you come out feeling really high and happy. But then there is the gut-wrenching wait through Christmas New year and a week after that before you hear from them. Now this was the moment, I had been waiting for all my life (atleast all my medical aspiration life), imagine a young person, fresh out of school, back from Oxbridge, with the memory of a good enough interview and looking forward to classes in September. Yup, you imagined that right, now imagine a dejected applicant, heartbroken and unable to believe on humanity. Yes, that was me after the results, I had been rejected.

 Really all that waiting had reached a saturation point, I wouldn’t say that it did not feel bad, cos it did and more so because I could not for a moment figure out what had gone wrong. Well, truth be told I cannot figure out even now…..

So, how was life after the results? It was slow, like a long drawn drama and with no other med school interviews at the moment, the dejection lingered on for quite some time. And then I got an invite from another med school in London, that felt good, but what Oxbridge did for me was that it kind of stole the area of my brain which told me that I was really good at doing interviews. All through school and beyond, I don’t remember even thinking about my communication skills but now freshly rejected from Oxbridge, there was this dread of not being good enough……

So I still have an interview to give next month, this is going to be my ever first encounter with an interviewer after Oxbridge and like a heartbroken person, I sometimes have the feeling that I might not be too good at the game, but as my mother rightly says I need to just hang in there……..

So, would I apply to Oxbridge again if given a chance? Yes, definitely, because like everything else in life, even in loss this has taught me an important lesson. The lesson of patience and perseverance. Yeah, maybe next time I will  talk to my parents and make sure that they understand that getting an interview is not what gets you an offer, there are a number of other things which matter. Maybe, I will rejoice in the fact that I had an interview and feel blessed that I could atleast go so far.

So now finally, the post rejection take on my reasons for choosing Oxbridge

1. Hogwarts is just fictitious and like I said Durham was where it was all shot and afterall Harry Potter is so old school!!!

2. Winning a Nobel Prize does not mean that you have to be an Oxbridge graduate. It just means you are really good at what you do no matter where you come from.

3. November, December, January, February. Days are meant to fly and they shall. Trust me for I have experience, one does not need Oxbridge to while away time.

4. UKCAT has really been kind to me. I somehow came in the top 10% of UKCAT scores. BMAT take that!!!!

5. League tables- I am going to start my very own Winky Spider University ranking table and no guesses where Oxbridge is going to figure

Aah, that was my Oxbridge journey, loved and cherished……

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