Maddy Thickett

Hometown & Region: Birmingham

Degree: Engineering Science

A levels: Physics, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, English Literature, EPQ

Year of study: Third Year

When I’m not working I’m…

… A member of Oxford’s dance troupe: The Broad St. Dancers, or in Gerties (the college caff) complaining about how much work I am not doing, or taking part in college sports, some I’d never even heard of (sorry Lacrosse).

What made you choose to study at Brasenose and/or Oxford?

It was, by far, the friendliest college on open day, and I connected with it immediately. I thought it was the perfect size for me (not too big that everyone is a stranger, but not too small that everyone knows far too much about you). It is one of the oldest colleges, with some of the most beautiful architecture, and it promised accommodation to all students for all of their course, which a lot of other colleges this size don’t. Overall, it matched all of my criteria, but it also has a lovely atmosphere, which is true of every day, not just on the open day.

Is life in Oxford different to what you expected it to be?

WE CAN HAVE SOCIAL LIVES!!! The myth is just that, we are not constantly at library desks and your peers are not all nobel prize winners of the future (though some of them might be, and it’s great that they are!). There is an infinite amount of extracurricular activities here and it is amazing to find out how many of them you can fit around your course.

But at the same time, you no longer have to cage the inner-geek, as being keen about your subject is a massive plus. College life is wonderful because you are living with people doing all manner of degrees, and its really interesting to share what you’re all doing.

What do you like most about studying in Brasenose?

Brasenose is an absolutely beautiful college, and it has been like living on a film set for the past 3 years (in fact, Brasenose is used for TV frequently), it also has a great undergraduate student body and I have met many friends for life here.

As far as ‘studying in Brasenose’, I find that people in the library during exam seasons can make the entire experience a lot more enjoyable. YouTube videos of cats are messaged to people sitting across from you, and coffee breaks are always welcomed. It is a really good bonding time and the group mentality keeps everyone much stronger.

A quality you think is important for someone looking to study at Oxford?

You have to be able to ‘Work hard, play hard’. There is no getting around the fact that there will be a lot of work, but there is also so much going on, from musicals to sports to debating, and to get the full experience of ‘Oxford’ you have to be able to throw yourself into both aspects.

What are the perks of your degree?

Engineers get a lot of lab work, where we make things like model bridges, which you then test to failure, working radios you can take home, clockwork cars and even beer. It’s always great to see the theory you learn in lectures and tutorials become applicable in the real world, because after all, that is the essence of an engineer. They also give you the chance to meet the other students in your year, which is a social opportunity which other subjects can sometimes miss out on.