This summer I had the amazing opportunity to visit Cambridge University and stay at Clare College for 4 days, experiencing a taste of the life of a Cambridge student.
The few days I spent at Cambridge were incredibly busy, we’d have breakfast at 7:30 and set off at 8 to walk to the Clare boathouse so that we could learn how to row. I had never rowed before in my life, and so it was a marvellous opportunity to be able to be taught by professionals. We also had the opportunity
to attempt to punt on the river cam, which was excellent fun.
Aside from rowing, we were also introduced to the way things are taught at Cambridge; the science group (the one which I was a part of), had two lectures about physics. We even had a supervision, in which any questions or uncertainties were answered, (and trust me there were many). We were given a group project, which by the end of the week we had to present to our lecturer and a couple of student helpers. Even though, at first I thought the project seemed unbelievably difficult and frankly a bit scary, I ended up loving it. We were given so much freedom in our independent study time, we could work together in the library, in our rooms, on the grass outside. The fact that the topic we were studying was so interesting, and we all had a united passion for physics made making friends so much easier, as we were all marvelling over the tiny lines created on a screen by single slit diffraction.
I had such a marvellous time at the University of Cambridge and made many friends there. Something that surprised me about the trip was how lovely and down to earth all of the people there are; many of us have preconceived ideas about Cambridge, such as the people being intimidating or arrogant, when in fact the opposite is true.
I was fortunate enough to, a few weeks later, attend a second summer school centred around health sciences at the university of Warwick and Queen Mary University London. Three other students from Cardinal Newman came to this summer school with me (Maddie Acton, Caolan Houston, Ellie McLaughlin), and we had an extraordinarily amazing time.
The first three days we spent at the university of Warwick, covering many interesting topics such as, medical ethics, presentation skills and how to find a career suited to you. We were also lucky enough to be able to visit the University Hospital, where we did several different activities in order to learn about the role of a doctor, and the different types of doctors found in hospitals.
On the afternoon of the third day, we made our way down to Queen Mary University of London, where we had an even larger variety of medicine-based activities, for example we had sessions about dentistry, where we had a go at putting a filling into a fake tooth, we also had the chance to take blood from a fake arm, and lastly we learned about medical engineering to name a few. Although a large amount of time was dedicated to medicine and study, alongside that we spent a large amount of time doing fun activities such as, rock climbing and being on a boat ride on the Thames.
In between all of the health sciences taster sessions we had a group presentation, which we had to prepare to present it in front of a panel of judges from both of the universities we visited. While preparing our presentation we had to research the question we were given, and provide arguments for the answers to that question, and conclude on the answer we found was the strongest. The group presentation was quite challenging, but also very rewarding, especially as we learned many valuable presenting skills.
I enjoyed my trip to both summer schools immensely, and believe they have really helped me to figure out a bit about what I’d like to study in the future, and where I’d like to study it. If you ever have the opportunity to go to such a summer school, I urge you to believe in yourself and apply for it, because the rewards for being a part of such a summer school are phenomenal.