“Hello! I’m Ryan from Gateshead. I study English Literature and Language at Magdalen.
I was on the executive committee of the university English Society, I enjoy writing, I play rugby and darts for my college teams, and I’m a student ambassador. I’m also part of the team from Magdalen who won the inaugural punting championship last year.”
What advice would you give someone considering applying?
No matter what school you go or went to, if you love the subject you want to do at university then let that drive you. Let that be the thing to come through in your personal statement, your entrance exams and during interviews. As long as you’re passionate and absorbed in your subject, you have potential for growth wherever you go but that is what tutors really appreciate and recognise, and that’s what makes you fit into Oxford.
What is the best thing about your course?
Probably the freedom it gives you. You can effectively study any piece of literature written between 650 c. and the present day. Obviously, this expands and clarifies your understanding of each period massively, but the tutors here really help you develop a critical voice and your own literary style, which makes the course so enriching and constantly fascinating.
How did you find moving away from home?
I was quite looking forward to moving away and living by myself for the first time, but I was concerned Oxford would just be academics all the time and that everyone and everything would be a bit dull, or conversely, too much too often. I’ve loved living here ever since I moved in – I live and work with very bright, but fun and interesting, brilliant people who make the experience of living in a castle a more special than it already is. The college events in fresher’s week as well as societies and sports made getting settled quite easy, and the accommodation is ideal; my Faculty building, the Exam Schools and the local shop are less than five minutes’ walk away, the centre of town is just at the top of the High Street, and there are tonnes of restaurants and pubs extremely close. On top of this, the deer park and sports facilities within College grounds mean that not only is Magdalen beautiful, but very open and green, and the rooms are so reasonably priced for how spacious and well-furnished they are.