Samuel Homan

Hometown & Region: Lymington, Hampshire

Degree: Physics

A levels: Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry

When I’m not working I’m…

…Spending time in one of Oxford’s lovely pubs with friends. If I’m feeling less lazy then a trip to Iffley sports centre to play squash is next on the list. During a library session my main source of procrastination is internet browsing or playing pool in the JCR. In Trinity term I go on walks through Christchurch meadows or University Parks and go punting if the weather’s really nice.

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

I applied to study at Oxford because of its reputation and the fact that I love the city and the collegiate system. During the summer open days I visited lots of colleges to get a feel for what each one was like. Brasenose was the last one I visited on the day and definitely left the best impression. When I did a bit more thinking about it back home I realised it ticked all my boxes: central location, accommodation offered for all years of study, beautiful quads and friendly atmosphere.

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

The workload is what I expected but I’m enjoying my subject to an extent I never expected so it feels very manageable. The tutorial system is a lot more useful and less daunting than I thought it would be. I really get a lot out of them and think it is one of the unique parts of the Oxford experience. I did not expect to feel part of such a close-knit community when I first started at Oxford but that is what the collegiate system provides.

What do you like most about studying in Brasenose?

First and foremost I enjoy my subject and how it’s taught. The topics have definitely got steadily more interesting as I’ve progressed through the years. My physics tutors at Brasenose are excellent at teaching and challenging my understanding of the course. During Trinity term, with exams looming, the teaching evolves into effective support and guidance with revision sessions tailored for specific students due to the small class sizes (usually two students with one tutor). Brasenose has a fantastic library that I regularly use and often contains the textbooks I need so I don’t have to travel far for resources.

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

I think aptitude in your subject is a given so moving on from that I would say the next most important thing is passion for your subject. What keeps me going through all my problem sheets is the fact that I’m enjoying the topic and at the end of term I can look back at how much I’ve learnt in just 8 weeks! A hardworking attitude is often stated as a quality but I think laziness is fine as long as you’re prepared to sometimes work at ridiculous times; lots of people find themselves in this situation so it’s not lonely and is definitely part of the Oxford experience.

What are the perks of your degree?

As a physicist you get to work in the undergraduate laboratories. Some are the labs are pretty awesome, as examples: wiring up a mini computer, working with lasers and using modelling software on the same data that won a group of scientists the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. Also, Physics is a great subject if you don’t like writing essays! The main perk from studying in Oxford is being surrounded by an environment that is so conducive to learning due to the history, the libraries and the tutorial system. A summer perk is getting to play croquet on the quad lawns.