Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Back from the interview.

So it’s been something along the lines of eighteen days since my last blog post, which means it’s probably time to get a new one out before UCAS start kicking me for being a lazy blogger. In those eighteen days, I’ve taken four flights, been to my interviews in Oxford, sat my semester exams, begun my holiday with two more trips to the airport, and received a fourth offer – alas, not from Oxford.

The Oxford trip was mind-blowingly spectacular; after a comfortable twenty hour journey to the exotic land of England, I had a day to work my way from Heathrow to Corpus Christi on a comfortable train, where I spent the next four days playing board games and card games with other history and politics enthusiasts, which made for a bit of fun socialising. Since then a group of us have remained in touch so that, come January sixth, we’ll know who is to be reunited in Oxford and which of us will be hoping to meet up again in Durham.

Out of the people reading this blog – which I fear has risen from two people I don’t know to being two people I don’t know and eight people that I do – I’m sure none of you are interested in hearing about the interview. So I’ll tell you about it. After months of people building you up for it and telling you about the tricks the interviewers will play on you, you arrive nervous. The student ambassadors tell you that it’s not a process designed to trick you and that the interviewers will instead help you, but for all you know they’re part of the plan to make you feel too comfortable, so you ignore them. You show up to your first interview, worried about what’s to come, and suddenly you’re talking about something you love with others who love it more than you do. The interviewers go through different passages and pictures with you (for CAAH, at least) and help you on your way in order to learn more about your reasoning process. I never stopped feeling nervous, but I definitely enjoyed the process a lot more than I expected.

I was somewhat caught off guard when I walked into the archaeology interview and was asked about a settlement I’d mentioned in my personal statement, Hierapolis Pamukkale. I knew it well enough to speak on its origins and brief history, but was slightly thrown when, after I’d been through it, the interviewer suggested some reading to me and then told me he’d written a couple of essays on it. Apparently he knows it quite well, and I may or may not have looked a bit of a fool.

For those who skipped those last two paragraphs (i.e. everyone), the marginally more interesting stuff resumes here briefly. After receiving my fourth offer, adding St. Andrews to my list with just Oxford left to reply (and end my lucky streak), I was speaking with a friend, Trym, who, much to my chagrin has discovered that I am a UCAS blogger, asked me to put out a notice to the last university he hasn’t heard from that they should hurry up and reply. Clearly he thinks UCAS blogging is a lot more prestigious than it actually is. A notice to all Scottish universities: you might do well to send your rejections to him, and quickly. He is, after all, named after the Norse god of evil.

Obviously I joke, I wish to have no influence on any decisions unless it’s positive and in my favour (*cough* Hi Oxford!). Due to the rather slow nature of my holiday I’ve nothing else to say (yes, I hear the sighs of relief), so I’ll duck out of writing more till I’m bored again on Boxing Day.

Till whenever.

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