Jessie attended Oxford Scholastica in 2014, and is now in her second year studying Maths at the University of Bath. Originally from the UK, she lived in Germany for many years before returning to England for university.
In our first featured alumni blog, she talks about her memories of the first ever Scholastica summer, and how her experience with OSA prepared her for university life.
I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since I was in Oxford! I had never been to a summer camp before applying to OSA so I had no idea what to expect.
When I showed up on the first day, Jamie gave us all a welcoming speech and although I can’t remember most of it, one sentence he said really stuck with me. “Our aim is that you’ll have the best summer of your life.” This stuck with me because of my scepticism; all I could think was how tough that would be as I’d had some brilliant summers! But Jamie was right – the summer of 2014 was incredible.
To be in the second ever group of Oxford Scholastica felt so special. I’m sure that all the Academy’s alumni have great memories, but I don’t think anything can feel quite so unique. It was the first summer OSA had ever run, so everything was fresh; we knew that everything we did would be one of the first times.
The people I met there became close friends quickly – I’m still in touch with quite a few of them, and we let each other know the important landmarks in each other’s lives.
I went to a European School, so was used to meeting people of lots of different nationalities, but I’ve never been surrounded by such a small and yet diverse group of people. It was such an eye-opening experience and it really broadened my horizons and allowed me to develop as a person.
One big change I noticed in myself was how my self-confidence grew. This allowed me to believe in myself enough to go on and apply to top class universities – it’s honestly thanks to my time at OSA that I believed in myself enough to get there.
My group in lessons consisted of three students and one tutor so they were very intimate and I really felt that this allowed me to truly learn and interact in a way I hadn’t before.
Although this was a summer camp, I felt like it gave me a glimpse of what university life actually was and I was proved right once I started studying!