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- Student Stories
What did you do before coming to Pembroke?
I studied at a German school where I took the Abitur (with a focus on Maths, English, History and German + 6 other subjects).
And the IB (which was treated as extracurricular).
What degree are you currently doing, and what stage are you at in your degree?
Two weeks ago I finished my finals for Experimental Psychology. I switched from Psychology and Philosophy after Prelims, as I didn’t enjoy Philosophy as much as I had anticipated.
What is the biggest/most important thing that you have learned during your time at Pembroke?
I had to learn how to motivate myself after not doing as well as I would have liked. Coming to Oxford means comparing yourself to lots of academically brilliant people, something I had not experienced before. After only achieving a 2.2 in Prelims I worked hard to analyse why I was not doing as well as I thought I would. I worked on these issues and did much better during my first year exams and have hopefully done even better in my final exams (fingers crossed).
This thought also extends to essays and collections: at Oxford you will not always be able to do as well as you want and it’s important not to be dragged down by that.
In your final year, which Advanced Options did you take? Did you do a Research Project? Did you write a library dissertation?
I took the advanced options Colour Vision and Computational Neuroscience. Both were very interesting, but completely different in teaching and assessment style.
I also did a research project on asking for advice during decision making which gave me insights into how experimental design, participant recruitment an data analysis work when you are doing your own research. In my library dissertation I focussed on the most recent work (post 2009) studying the Retrosplenial Cortex.
What would you like to do when you finish your degree? Or, if you already have something in place, please describe it!
I will be staying on at Pembroke for a Masters in Research in Psychology and hopefully following that a DPhil on eye-movements.
What has been the highlight of your time at Pembroke / Oxford?
I have really enjoyed singing in the college chapel choir. Before coming here I had no singing experience, but most of my friends were involved in the choir and so I joined, too. It’s a great community and having non-academic thins to balance work is important for me to keep functioning at Oxford.
Was there anything that surprised you about Pembroke / Oxford in your first year here?
I was surprised that people here are just like at home in many ways – there is not one type of ‘Oxford’ person. No matter what you like and who you are you will find like-minded people here.
Any advice for prospective students?
During Prelims the degree can seem very rushed and very superficial. However, in second and third year you will get an in-depth account of many different topics and you will have the possibility to choose to do what you like. Find some field of psychology that you like and get involved!
I have really enjoyed my time at Pembroke doing Psychology – enough to want to stay another 4 years!