Elin Evans, 18, from Caerwys in Flintshire is currently in her first year at University of Cambridge, studying Engineering. Here’s what she had to say about her exciting university experience so far:
Since starting in September, I have had one of the best experiences of my life. Not only have I become more independent, but I have also had the chance to explore my subject like never before. I have had so many opportunities to express myself and develop my interests.
I chose the University of Cambridge because you study general engineering for the first two years of the course before specialising in the third year. For me, this was important as it gives me the opportunity to explore the subject more before deciding which field I want to go into.
In my first few days, I was really nervous as I didn’t know anybody but the small, family-like environment of the college ensured I had the opportunity to mix with others from the beginning. Freshers’ week was the perfect opportunity to meet and get to know people from all around the country and across the world.
I was originally sceptical of living and sharing a bathroom with five other people, as we all live busy lives and have different timetables, but I have not yet had to wait more than five minutes for a shower! Also, having your best friends less than five steps away from your door is one of the best remedies for homesickness.
I am really enjoying my course as I’m developing a well-rounded understanding of engineering. I was nervous about being a female in a male-dominated course, but this really wasn’t anything to worry about. Some of the most inspiring engineers I have met so far at my college have all been female!
The University of Cambridge is really nothing like I expected it to be – everyone here is ‘normal’ and I am yet to meet anyone from Eton! The atmosphere is very unique and there is always someone up for a chat if you’re ever feeling stressed or just in need of a break. At the weekend there are a lot of tourists patrolling the streets, but most weekdays I will only meet a handful of people on my way to morning rowing.
My first term at university has been a very full one – from early morning rowing to late night dinners and parties – I have enjoyed every minute. I will admit, there have been times which are hard due to homesickness and stressful workloads. However, there is so much support provided for every student here that you never feel like you’re alone in your struggles and there is always someone to turn to.
Without Seren, I am pretty sure I would not have had the confidence to apply to the University of Cambridge in the first place. Through embracing the opportunities offered, it allowed me to learn more about how to apply and gave me the confidence to successfully make it through the application process.
If I were to have any advice for someone thinking to apply to Cambridge, the most important thing I have to say is “just go for it!” You never know what will happen if you don’t try.