Becky Heaysman

Hometown & Region: Gosport, Hampshire

Degree: English

A levels: English Literature, History, Government and Politics, Psychology

Year of study: Second Year

When I’m not working I’m…

…College welfare rep so I spend a lot of time chatting to people around college, in Tescos buying treats for our awesome Welfare Teas, and doing Peer Support training. I play netball for college and go to Zumba and Yoga classes with a big group of friends. I have a job in Brasenose college bar but on the evenings I’m not working I like to be down there anyway, or heading out to one of Oxford’s finest clubbing venues…usually though, if people are looking for me they know they’ll find me in one of Oxford’s greener spaces, like Uni Parks or Christ Church meadows!

What made you choose to study at Brasenose and/or Oxford? (Be honest if you applied elsewhere…)

I didn’t want to apply to Oxford at all as I thought it looked intimidating and not for me (I was definitely wrong!)  My English teacher persuaded me to come to an Access Day at Brasenose and I was overwhelmed by the friendly atmosphere and lovely tutors and students. I got the chance to have a mock tutorial and absolutely loved it – as soon as I walked out of the college and started to head home I knew I had to get back there somehow! I loved getting one-on-one attention and the chance to really learn from someone else, sharing in the creative process as we discussed ideas and having a direct influence on the discussion, rather than just listening to a lecture.

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

It’s definitely easier to get involved in any activity you like than I thought it would be – there are so many opportunities to do whatever you find interesting, whether that’s sport, charity work or student media. It’s so easy to sign up for clubs or societies, and you get to meet loads of new people that way. People in general are much more diverse than I expected, and it’s great to be able to get to know so many people so well in the college environment.

What do you like most about studying in Brasenose?

My tutors are brilliant – as well as being really nice people they are hugely inspiring and make everyone feel like they always have time for them. This really gives us the confidence to explore crazy ideas and have a lot of fun with our work, making our study so much more enjoyable and rewarding.

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

Being confident in your ideas and prepared to defend your views, as tutors love testing to see how well your arguments hold up….but it’s also important to know how to admit defeat! This is what most tutorials, as well as interviews, are based on, so it’s important to be able to present your argument and know how to adapt it on the spot and accommodate new suggestions.

What are the perks of your degree?

Being able to manage my own timetable and work schedule; I’ve chosen to study a specifically Medieval course and get so much free rein within that to pick my own texts and essay titles, so I am always looking at things I am genuinely interested in. I’m a morning person so this doesn’t really affect me, but I’ve heard a lot of the other English students love their lie-ins too.