“Hi! I’m Parth and I’m a first year studying Biochemistry at Magdalen. I’m currently living in London, where I’m from, but I’ve also had stints of living in Manchester, The Hague and Dubai!
Outside my degree, I like to describe myself as an enthusiastic (albeit average!) sportsman – I get involved in plenty of sports recreationally like football, cricket and rowing. I also love to play the piano and I brought a keyboard from home to my uni room.”
What advice would you give someone considering applying to Oxford?
I’d say be confident and apply whole-heartedly – don’t doubt your ability! It’s important to remember the process is holistic – just because you feel one part of your application might not be as strong doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance of getting in! I’d also recommend just doing a lot of research – go on forums and university websites, email tutors, watch YouTube videos, read about your course and even pay Oxford a visit! If you feel you will enjoy studying here there is no harm in applying.
What is the best thing about your course?
The best thing about Biochemistry is that it is such a nascent field of study. It’s not a subject taught at school, so I often considered whether or not I would enjoy it at a higher level, but what I find most compelling is the untapped potential the subject seems to have. A quite unique aspect to the course is the fact that publication of a few ground-breaking papers may radically change some of your lecture content!
I also love Biochemistry’s relevance to real world applications – the knowledge that the principles we are taught have revolutionised so much of our understanding of healthcare.
What does your day to day life as a student involve?
I have between 1-3 lectures, pretty much every day (so 8-10 a week), and a long practical session one day a week. Typically, in first year you get two college tutorials a week, and usually a couple of departmentally organised classes a week as well. On a typical day after my morning lectures I might go to the gym or grab an early lunch before sitting down to work for a few hours. In the evenings I’ll see friends for dinner (either in hall or we cook ourselves) or head down to the college bar before a night out. I personally like to cluster my work in bursts, so sacrifice evenings on nights before deadlines, and tend to go out a bit more on other nights. I also like to play a couple of footy matches a week, usually sometime just after lunch!
What is your favourite thing about Oxford?
It’ll sound like a cliché but I love the architecture and grandeur of Oxford – walking the cobbled stone streets past the Rad Cam fills me with a sense of pride to be able to study in a place like this, where so many great minds have before me. And of course, in terms of beauty, there’s no better place than Magdalen!