Ruth Meredith

Hometown & Region: Swansea, South Wales

Degree: Politics, Philosophy and Economics

A levels: Politics, Economics, English Literature and Product Design

Year of study: Third Year

When I’m not working I’m…

Involved with Oxford’s Student Union, and part of Raise and Give, it’s charity fundraising group. Last term I helped to organize a ball for 1000 people for RAG. I’m also part of the Living Wage Campaign. There are lots of good places around Oxford for live music, which I love and they’re always cheap and great. There’s also a lot of time spent drinking tea, and wine with friends.

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

I came to an Oxford-wide open day in Sixth Form, mostly because I was hoping for a sunny day off school rather than because I was thinking about applying.

I went for a tour around Brasenose with a friend, and we were shown around this beautiful place by a really lovely third year, who told us about his experience of Oxford and Brasenose and answered all of my really odd questions. I visited another few colleges afterwards, but I’d already been totally won over by the friendliness of Brasenose’s open day helpers, and how they all kept telling me that it was like a family. By the time I was on the bus back to school I’d decided that even though I thought getting in was really unlikely, Brasenose was so friendly and Oxford was so full of opportunities that it would be silly not to apply.    

That was the extent of my college research, but definitely the right choice!

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

Oxford life is far quicker than I thought it would be, but after a little breaking-in period I’ve come to love that. It means that you get more out of nine weeks than you ever expected. It’s also so much more varied than I thought, the range of things to get involved with is huge and it means no two weeks are the same. In any week, you might be watching a play your friend’s directing, listening to a major public figure speak, doing a charity hitchhike, or relaxing on a punt with friends.

What do you like most about studying in Brasenose?

I love that Brasenose is a small-ish college, so that you really can get to know everyone. We have lots of college-wide events, like fancy-dress bops, movie nights and a summer arts festival that’s always great. We live in Brasenose accommodation the whole three years, so you’re never more than two minutes from bumping into somebody you know. Because we’re quite small, we’re really homely and we really take care of each other.

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

I think it’s really important to take feedback well, and not to be disheartened if your tutor doesn’t love your essay this week. I once just had “YUCK” written by a paragraph. With so many new topics in a short amount of time, it’s impossible for every essay to be a winner so it’s important to not take criticism too personally, and bounce back the next week.

What are the perks of your degree?

This year I’ve been taught by an academic whose books got me interested in politics in Sixth Form, which was amazing, but such an odd feeling!

PPE is pretty great for subject-related trips, conferences, and fancy subject-dinners. It’s also quite a big intake subject, so with lots of people in your year it means it’s really flexible and you can do whichever modules suit you best in a term.

It’s also really great that I can say I have a partial degree in Economics, despite dropping it after first year.