A boost trip to Oxford University

Last Wednesday, members of the BOOST Club in year 12 went on a visit to Oxford University, St Catherine‘s College. 

It was a very academically rigorous day, especially having been at school for two lessons before leaving, but one that was incredibly interesting and thought-provoking. We began by having a generous lunch provided by the College, which was followed by several lectures and a tour of the site. The lectures were insightful and helped explain the dos and don’ts for applying to university (not just Oxford) which was very useful to us all. The second was a Q and A session with current students doing various subjects at various stages of their courses, it was a great opportunity to ask all the questions we had, ranging from diffusing the “Oxford Stigma” to how to decide which college to go to. This was followed by a tour of the grounds and when we returned, a lecture of our choice on either science or humanities. I chose to attend the science one which was eye-opening and talked about the technologies behind bioengineering particularly replacing worn or damaged organs and tissues with biologically engineered materials. This was especially interesting as it showed the huge potential of biological engineering, and the true interdisciplinary collaborations required for a successful treatment approach, as well as the great lengths which new surgical implants and similar have to go through in order to reach the patient.

We were lucky to receive this lecture from an expert in her field, who clearly explained the complex science around the topic, whilst it is often easy to get lost in these difficult concepts, she was careful to ensure we all followed the whole time.  Whilst I wasn’t there for the geography one, from what I heard, it was also very interesting to those who attended, and are interested in studying humanities and the arts at university.

Finally, we had some excellent speeches from our own BOOST members about big topics such as “what holds us back”, “who do we want to be?”, “things we’d never do again” and “things we’ve had to overcome” these were interesting to see the perspectives and personal experiences of others, and were delivered very well. We followed each speech with discussions relating to the idea, which was a great way to explore the views further between ourselves, and was a good way to finish off a day of trying to answer the “big questions”. Overall, it was a very enjoyable day for us all, and one that definitely opened our eyes to new ideas, and cleared up some of the myths of Oxford. 

Thanks to the teachers who came too, and Mr Niblett for organising the event, as well as St Catherine’s College, Oxford University for hosting us. 

by Madison Shorthouse 12J