Author Topic: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?  (Read 6193 times)

connor

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Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« on: November 28, 2015, 10:30:29 AM »
So, I'm a student at Oxford and I want to be FIRE by 30. I'm 19 now, and I'll finish my degree at 21 (nearly 22). University policy is that I'm not allowed a job, workload is too high.

Anyone got any advice on how I can get ahead? Maybe not now but once I've graduated, where I should put my money to minimise taxes etc. in the UK, just general life advice from people who have been there and done it really. I'm also thinking of moving country to get to FIRE earlier, any suggestions? (Degree is in Economics and Management)

All I have is 2k ($3k) in Vanguard's 100% Equity LifeStrategy at the moment, through a platform that charges 0.25%pa. Other than that, no income, assets or anything other than student loans (9k tuition pa plus 5.4k maintenance pa). When I get home in a couple of weeks I'm going to sell all the crap I have there, although I don't really own much of value.

Like I said, any life advice would be great so I can get to FIRE sooner!

gaja

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2015, 11:06:55 AM »
Are you eligeble for any scholarships/grants/stipends?

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2015, 11:22:22 AM »
You are (or should be) now accumulating capital at as big a rate as anyone on these boards.  But it is not financial capital.  It is educational capital, and friends capital, and social capital, and future professional connections capital.  Money is simple.  Making money is simple (you just need more coming in than is going out, which is basic arithmetic on the 2+2=4 level and about as interesting).  At 19 years old and at Oxford, you have the chance to put in place all those far more interesting things which will give you a fascinating and successful life which probably just happens to be financially successful as well.

Although on the financial front you are in any case doing as well as can be expected, provided your Vanguard investment is tax free in an ISA.

connor

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2015, 11:42:15 AM »
Are you eligeble for any scholarships/grants/stipends?

Not from the university, although I've applied to BP's scholarship scheme and Goldman Sachs' Challenge which pays for one year's tuition if I win it.


You are (or should be) now accumulating capital at as big a rate as anyone on these boards.  But it is not financial capital.  It is educational capital, and friends capital, and social capital, and future professional connections capital.  Money is simple.  Making money is simple (you just need more coming in than is going out, which is basic arithmetic on the 2+2=4 level and about as interesting).  At 19 years old and at Oxford, you have the chance to put in place all those far more interesting things which will give you a fascinating and successful life which probably just happens to be financially successful as well.

Although on the financial front you are in any case doing as well as can be expected, provided your Vanguard investment is tax free in an ISA.

This first term's been tough. The course is seriously academic and there's 0 application of the theories in the form of projects, case studies etc. literally just learn these theories and read these 40-50 book excerpts (40 pages each normally) a week. I hate reading, and haven't read much at all since I got here. I need to get involved with other stuff, I just haven't found anything that fits as of yet.

Vanguard investment is in an ISA. Sucks that Vanguard UK has min. investment of 100k to go direct, the 0.25%pa fee from the platform pisses me off.

former player

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2015, 11:52:58 AM »
I guarantee you everyone is finding it tough, and just putting on a more or less brave face.    Time will help, both with the work and the social side.

Can you convert any of your required reading into audio form?

connor

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2015, 12:14:09 PM »
I guarantee you everyone is finding it tough, and just putting on a more or less brave face.    Time will help, both with the work and the social side.

Can you convert any of your required reading into audio form?

I suppose I could, but it's all written by historians who are very wordy and not to the point. Often, each reading can be condensed to 4 sentences. I do have very scarce and secret notes on all the readings from recent graduates that are of these 4-5 sentences, BUT some people have said that actually reading the stuff will help more etc. so I'm currently debating which to do. Bearing in mind I'm now 8 weeks behind on actual reading.

former player

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2015, 12:34:30 PM »
Academics seem to think they are paid by the word, when they should be paid by the idea.

Perhaps pick the one to read that you like the look of most, or hate the most, each week.  Then riff off that with the help of your cheatsheets.  Build it up from there.  Try looking for something not on the reading list that may connect to it and look at just enough of it to be able to make the argument for a potential connection.

Also, is there any general studying assistance/advice available from your college?  Or can you ask one of your tutors about dealing with the amount of reading?  You are coming to the end of Michaelmass term, so perhaps phrase a request for advice as ways to get ahead for Hilary?

Strictly is now calling me.  Good luck.


frugledoc

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2015, 01:18:00 PM »
You are at one of the top universities in the world.  I am sensing a lack of street sense from you but the world will be your oyster.  The possibilities with a good degree from Oxford are endless.  Just focus on your degree and future career at the moment.   I am sure early FI will be quite easily achievable for you. 

And don't worry about the 0.25% platform fee. It really doesn't matter at your stage.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 01:20:38 PM by frugledoc »

shelivesthedream

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2015, 04:02:06 PM »
I promise to come back to this thread when I have a bit more time but a few quick ideas:

Buy a bike! Everything is close enough in Oxford to walk but getting into the habit of cycling will help when you have longer distances to travel.

Avoid "nightlife". College bops only and one drink a night.

Are you in your first or second year?

PAID INTERNSHIPS. Research now. You definitely can't work during term but summer is LONG. Fried of mine got 10,000 one summer interning at a bank.

More later!

connor

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 05:14:16 AM »
I promise to come back to this thread when I have a bit more time but a few quick ideas:

Buy a bike! Everything is close enough in Oxford to walk but getting into the habit of cycling will help when you have longer distances to travel.

Avoid "nightlife". College bops only and one drink a night.

Are you in your first or second year?

PAID INTERNSHIPS. Research now. You definitely can't work during term but summer is LONG. Fried of mine got 10,000 one summer interning at a bank.

More later!

I definitely need to get a bike over the holidays. I haven't used one in years. I'm at the furthest college from everything so it's definitely needed.

I don't drink anyway, so the nightlife isn't really an issue, but agreed it's ridiculous money.

I'm a first year, so internships aren't all that common for this summer. Thinking of working at a Canadian summer camp for around 10 weeks for 1.5k, including accommodation and food etc. Means I'll end up with 800ish after flights etc. plus what I save on food. Unless you can think of alternatives to that? Definitely hoping for an internship next summer, hopefully at a bank just for the .

Thanks!

Doubleh

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2015, 06:26:33 AM »
First of all, great start! Believe me that by saving into Vanguard you are already streets ahead of most of your fellow students. As mentioned above don't worry about the 0.25% platform fee, thats probably about the best you will get in the UK market right now. To put it into context at 2k invested it is costing you a fiver a year. As your stache grows you will be able to get the % down by moving to a fixed fee provider but for now what you have is cheaper. For more info on this and lots of UK specific investing advice check out Monevator if you haven't already, they are fantastic: http://monevator.com/compare-uk-cheapest-online-brokers/

Regarding the reading, life at oxford moves at a pace and you need to keep looking forwards. If you focus on the reading you're behind you will just miss out on the new stuff. Instead let the backlog go for now, maybe read the crib notes and leave it at that or catch up over the holiday. Yes there is an important skill to be learnt in reading the orignal material and learning how to parse it down to the important parts. Maybe try searching for online resources on scanning, skimming and speed reading to help with this. But you can almost separate the skill of learning to digest material from the actual knowledge in the material itself. Maybe to start read one of your set passages in full and the notes on the others. That way you learn all of the facts and still practice the reading, but at a level you can manage. Then build it up to reading two passages in full etc until you reach your comfort level.

Definitely talk to your tutors about your concerns, and your director of studies or pastoral tutor. The pace of learning is frenetic and feeling overwhelmed is common. Your college have seen all this before and will do all they can to help you - the worst thing you can do is to bottle it up until you feel you can't handle it.

I took Natural Sciences at Cambridge which is known as one of the most packed syllabuses there and there was an unwritten understanding that you need to pick & chose within the syllabus - what we called in those days "strategic binning". One of the big differences from school where you can learn everything and do well is that now the syllabus is trying to stretch you by giving more than you can cover .You need to learn which parts to focus on and ensure you know enough to answer exam questions on those parts. If you try and learn a bit of everything you will find you don't have enough depth in any areas. Your tutors should be able to help you with this, or else previous years' students.

Don't worry too much about earning extra money now, focus on not wasting what you have. But here are a couple of things that worked well for me. Does your college run summer schools and need students to work as assistants? Or are you eligible to do this at another college? Summer is a great time of year to be in Oxford that the students otherwise miss, and its great experience.

Secondly one of the few ways you can legitimately earn money during term is through the Officers' Training Corps or URNU (navy equivalent). You can actually earn decent cash through this, on top of making friends for life and having some awesome weekend trips that I found really helped me to get away from the work bubble and unwind. Of course this isn't for everyone, but is probably a good fit for many more people than realise it. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, short or tall and you don't need to be a superman, just basic fitness. Importantly you don't need to want to join the military, and are under no obligation to do so either whilst you're studying or after you graduate. You learn loads about teamwork and leadership, and its something employers particularly banks love to see.

Feel free to PM me with any questions


Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 08:24:08 AM »
Hey connor! Welcome. I'm  seconding bops, bikes and OTC/URNU/UAS (I think they only recruit around fresher's week). I would also look at matched betting - a couple of hours at the weekend at the start of term (after your loans is paid in and before battels are paid) could make you a little spare money (but make sure it is properly matched). If you are a little further out (north or south?) then you may be able to get paid for a couple of hours' tutoring for GCSE/A-level kids (I know you're not allowed to, I didn't get caught).

The other thing is get to know people that may be able to help you out in the future. The best summer job I got was working for my friend's mum, and loads of people get internships through personal connections rather than applications (I should have done this more). For summer jobs, the Canadian camp thing sounds like a fun experience if it is what you want to do, but it won't make you money compared to working even a minimum wage job somewhere and living at home (if this is an option). If you can do more skilled work over the summer you will earn more.

When you graduate consider working in London (where the money is), so maybe start thinking about how you could do that cheaply.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 09:10:59 AM »
OK, I'm back! Warning: epic post.

I didn't go to Oxford (where I went we had courts and supervisors, not quads and tutors...) but you are at exactly the time in life when I wish someone had sat me down and told me all this stuff. You have enough freedom now to run your own life and enough maturity to start making sensible decisions about it, but also not enough experience to do well without some guidance.

The Academic Side of Oxford

The thing you need to realise about going to university, and especially to somewhere like Oxford, is that everyone struggles at first. Your whole first year is spent figuring out a new way of thinking and a new way of writing that no one really prepared you for or explained about. And suddenly you're not the cleverest person in the class any more. That can be hard if you self-worth is tied up in your intelligence. However, there is a LOT of help available if you ask for it. You do have to ask for it, though, because no one will magically know how you're doing and reach out to offer it to you. If you're finding the course hard in general, talk to your tutor/director of studies. Explain that it's a lot of reading and you feel like you're falling behind. Is there something they would recommend prioritising? Ask your paper tutors for help too, when they give you reading lists. Ask them what the most important thing on the reading list is, because you want to make sure you focus on the right things. Is there a particular chapter of a book that is most important?

Do yourself a favour and figure out a routine for your work. I ended up having one essay and a few lectures a week. I went to the library five days a week from ten til five.

Day one:
10am-1pm: Read set text (most of my papers were based around set texts and commentaries) a few times. Make notes on important themes/issues to cover.
2pm-5pm: Read first book from reading list.

Days two and three:
10am-1pm: Read book from reading list.
2pm-5pm: Read book from reading list.

Day four:
10am-1pm: Read book from reading list.
2pm-5pm: Collate notes and plan essay.

Day five:
10am-5pm: Write essay.

Supervision on day six (straight to the library to get the books out for the next one!), rest on day seven, rinse and repeat. So I got through one set text and six books on the subject per week. I always had two essays left over to do during the holidays, so I stayed for week 9 and came up in week 0 to get them done, or sometimes took books home.

Bear in mind that when I say "read book", I didn't read every word. I looked at the title of the essay and the themes/issues I noted on day one and cherry picked chapters that fitted that. Also look at the subject index for clusters of pages that deal with what you're looking at. I had a few good tutors who would just set chapters, not throw a whole book at you. The goal is not to read everything - it is to extract the maximum amount of useful information from the book and then move on. Yes, this is journalism rather than scholarship. But if you can master this, you will be marvellously efficient for the rest of your life.

You may notice no lectures in there. I went to the faculty library so could easily pop downstairs for a lecture and then back up to carry on. However, I went to the first lecture of every paper and then only went back to the ones that were worth it (well planned, relevant to the set texts, good handouts...) Good lecturers are like gold and can summarise a week's worth of reading, but some are just a waste of time.

I don't know what the pattern of work is like for Economics, but I would strongly suggest trying to work out what is most important and doing that. IT WILL GET BETTER WITH PRACTICE AND YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS THIS WAY. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out. To your DOS, your tutor, the university counselling service, your college nurse, your friends... Your college nurse is particularly important because they are paid to have 'surgery hours'. You might as well pitch up and use them! Mine was so lovely and for a few terms I popped down once a week for a cup of tea and a fifteen minute chat. She was just really nice and nothing to do with my academic work. It's better to ask for help NOW, before you are totally mired in awfulness, than to wait until you have dug yourself a huge hole. If it really gets that bad, consider degrading for a year. I know a few people that did it. I'd recommend not doing it unless absolutely necessary because it's hard to come back to a new year group after taking a year away from work, but it's an option and no one will ever know after you graduate. It won't scar you for life!

One thing that you need to know is that it's worth putting effort in to get a 2.i because a lot of employers use that as a filter. However, you don't need to be the best any more! You did it! You won the game! It's not worth the extra effort to try to get a first unless you want to be an academic. Prioritise your degree so that you get a 2.i but after that, don't worry. Also, if you're getting a 2.i/2.ii in your first year you'll be fine. You will get better at this. Also also, I got 60.25 and my husband got 69.75 and we both get to put 2.i on our CV. As long as you cross that boundary, you're set.

I'd recommend reading Cal Newport's books/blog over Christmas while you have time to think a bit about optimising your work efficiency. All of his ideas are available on the blog somewhere, but I would recommend getting the books for a clear, efficient layout. The two I enjoyed most were "How to Win at College" and "How to be a High School Superstar" but they're all worth a look. He drills down to the core of what is important in academic work and what is important in seeming impressive in life, and encourages you to ditch all the busywork and fuss. They really changed the way I looked at my degree and helped me to relax about it.

The Non-Academic Side of Oxford

Oxford has so many opportunities but also a few pitfalls. There is a lot of drinking around, and I'd really urge you to moderate your alcohol intake. It is bad for your health, your studies and your motivation. It's also bad for your bank balance. You can have just as much fun sober as drunk. However, it is important to make friends! Buy some natty mugs, some nice teabags and a pack of biscuits. Let people know they can drop in. (You're working in the library, right, so if you're in you're fair game!)

We actually had pretty good kitchens (real hobs! and an oven!) but I'd still recommend you eat most meals in hall. Maybe not breakfast, and maybe not lunch if you're out at the library, but most hall meals are a decent enough nutritious meal for a good price and take up no prep time for you beyond two minutes in the queue. It's a nice fixture in the day too, ensuring you get a break and some time to socialise. Dinner is also usually early (6pm? 6.30pm?) so you can take it as a natural divider of the day - no work after dinner.

Let me tell you a big secret: May Balls suck. Unless you are a massive extravert who loves popular music and doesn't get cold, they suck. Don't bother. June Events are a bit better value for money but they kind of suck too.

Be wise with societies. Totally join one (or a few!) but only actually make a big commitment to one or two. I dipped my toe into a lot of things and it's a great time to try stuff out while it's cheap (100 for two terms of Italian lessons? yes please!) but you need rest and balance in your life.

Getting a Job

Go to the careers service now. Just make an appointment, take your CV in, and ask for general guidance on careers in banking, management, whatever. Or ask "What do people do with an economics degree?" Making that first contact in your first year will be really helpful.

You are absolutely right not to try to work during term. I'd also keep Christmas and Easter free for resting and/or catching up on work. However, with the long (three month?) summers you are in the perfect position to get some serious work experience under your belt and actually earn some money.

I said in my first post that you should look into paid internships. I know you are in your first year but still, it's a possibility for both summers. Get on it! Banks, management consultancies, blah blah blah. Just apply! You never know. And even if you don't get in this time, you'll have much more knowledge for next time.

This Canadian summer camp thing... depends what your priorities are. It's not a particularly impressive CV point and you're not coming back with a lot of money. However, if it sounds like a fun time to you, then go for it! As long as you don't lose money on the experience, you win.

I was going to suggest, though, if paid internships don't work out, signing up for a temp agency for admin work. You'll likely start off near minimum wage but you can get promoted quickly if you are hardworking, pleasant and punctual. The advantage is that you will earn a chunk of money over the summer, you will have experience in an office environment, you will have good professional referees, and you will have a backup contact. If you can show you're a good, responsible worker, you'll get offered more work when you need it - maybe next summer, or maybe even as a stop-gap when you graduate. That kind of work is always out there and they'll take you on at the lowest grade if you have a pulse and can use Microsoft Word, but if you build a good reputation with them it'll stand you in good stead forever.

Another option is to work at May Balls. It's only for a night so not great money but it's easy to get and any money is a bonus.

There are also a few things you can do at university for your CV. I'd recommend only picking one, and not at the expense of getting a 2.i, but any of the following are always impressive: Union president, editor of the newspaper (even just news/economics editor), May Ball president. They require you to manage an organisation and to execute a large project. Real Cal Newport for more ideas. Also, if you have time, Google essay competitions. They are impressive and potentially help your studies too, as well as usually having a small cash prize.

When you graduate, consider NOT working in London. It's really expensive and the quality of life is not as good as elsewhere. I think northern towns (Manchester, Birmingham, etc) are the best balance for wage vs COL.

Life Skills and Advice

I'd hold off on stressing about general life skills for now, at least until your second summer. However, as I said before, it's an ideal time to become confident on a bike and to carry that with you into the future.

Also, experiment with cooking in a low-key environment where you can always go to hall if you fail that much. Try cooking a different recipe just once a week. Look at A Girl Called Jack or Budget Bytes for recipes. Print off the ones you like and stick them in a ringbinder. It'll give you a store of quick, cheap recipes you can call on when you graduate and live on your own.

Don't buy lots of stuff. Don't invest in anything physical at this age. You just don't know what you'll want and it's a PITA to move it. Even decent kitchen stuff. However, one thing you will want is one decent interview suit - jacket, trousers, shirt, tie, shoes. Really worth the investment if you buy a good one. Get into the habit of looking for second hand things, though - eBay is brilliant.

Don't buy a car when you graduate. Heck, don't even learn to drive unless you have to. It's expensive and unless you live in a rural area, unnecessary. I find myself wanting to learn to drive for work now (age 25), but I work freelance and even when I pass I won't be buying my own car. Put it off for as long as possible!

Investing for FIRE
Don't worry too much about your student loans. If you don't make 'enough' money, you'll never pay a penny back. They are not the massive burden that they are for Americans. Obviously pay them back ASAP, but don't worry about taking out a modest amount now. I have enough in the bank to pay back my student loans in one fell swoop but am currently choosing not to do so because the interest rate is about 1%.

Brilliant that you have 2000 saved! That's your emergency fund right there and will be so helpful if you need a security deposit on a rental flat when you graduate or if you need to spend a few pounds buying crockery and bed linen. Big pat on the back! Good that it's in an ISA too. I think all UK FIRE-aspirants should max out their ISA before they do anything else. It's tax-free and flexible. In the future, you should consider a SIPP or stakeholder pension. I have one which I've been paying a small amount (less than 100) a month into for a few years. I might stop paying into it soon as you can't access it until you're of pensionable age but it's nice to have that little pot compounding away. BTW, 0.25% is REALLY GOOD for the UK. I'm looking at switching my platform because the fees are 1.2% but am struggling to work out which fee structure is best for me. Don't be misled by all the American numbers on this forum. Benchmarks are different over here.

Don't worry too much about saving right now. Keep to your budget for living expenses and save anything you make over the summer, but right now is the time to focus on your degree - and also on thinking about what you want your life to be like. Why do you want to FIRE? Can you get that another way? Can you have some of that now? What's the best way to get there? However, if you're not charged transaction fees, I would try and squirrel away tiny amounts (even 10) each month, just to get into the habit of saving. Also track your net worth - it's fun once it starts going up when you start earning!

Summary
This might not seem very true to you where you are now, but you are putting yourself in a great position by starting to think about these things at your age. You are giving yourself the chance to avoid costly mistakes that will dog you for decades. You won't look back at thirty and still be paying for that stupid car you bought when you were twenty, or berate yourself for years of wasting money on random crap that you don't even have any more. It might seem frustrating that you can't really do much now, but you can lower your expenses and manoevre so that you're in a good position to get a good job when you graduate.

Read, mark, learn, inwardly digest, and then PM me with any questions (even "stupid" ones!).

To Do List For You
- Make an appointment with your tutor to discuss how best to prioritise/manage your workload
- Get a Cal Newport book to read over Christmas
- Figure out a work routine over Christmas
- Make an appointment with the careers service
- Research paid summer internships
- Think about best alternative summer job
- Practice on your bike!

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2015, 09:39:25 AM »
OK, I'm back! Warning: epic post. ...

This is amazing advice, I wish I'd heard it a decade ago and am delighted that I've heard it now!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2015, 10:20:04 AM »
OK, I'm back! Warning: epic post. ...

This is amazing advice, I wish I'd heard it a decade ago and am delighted that I've heard it now!

Thanks! I'll admit I don't always practice what I preach (chucked in the idea of a lucrative graduate job for a creative postgrad but now successfully "followed my passion" and am freelancing in my chosen field) but I also wish I'd heard it many years ago! Also interested to see so many Oxbridge people coming out of the woodwork. Figures that we'd be overrepresented here, I suppose.

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2015, 01:50:19 PM »
Hehe - I came back to post here and found shelivesthedream has said most of it, much more eloquently! Some excellent advice there!

A few extra things to add.

Would I be right on thinking you haven't found your people at Oxford yet? They are out there but you will have to join stuff to find them. There is so much out there and it's mostly well funded - rock climbing club, kayaking, ballroom dancing, whatever. Get out there.

 I sense you have found the first term tough (it is!) - the whole place is set up for people who genuinely are excited by what they are studying  (I did a niche medieval weird thing in Cambridge and genuinely loved it). If you are finding the course hard and boring (awful combo!), please get help asap - your Director of Studies or Personal tutor are both there to help . There's always your college welfare rep as a start.

I think it's wonderful that you have found this blog now, so you can make great decisions in your twenties, but right now, step away from the future and focus on the present. Find nice people to hang out with, apply for travel bursaries and then travel in your holidays. Put your financial savvy to good use as the treasurer of a big organisation - Rag, or a ball committee, or whatever. Right now it's about getting soft skills, interesting things to talk about in interviews, and... passing your course !

(Sorry, can you tell I'm a teacher? Please take my advice as it is given, with good intentions and a smile)

Good luck!

Doubleh

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2015, 03:04:20 PM »
Just another vote that she lives the dream nailed it - she said pretty much everything I was trying to far more eloquently

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2015, 01:36:24 AM »
... Also interested to see so many Oxbridge people coming out of the woodwork. Figures that we'd be overrepresented here, I suppose.

Yep, interesting. Anyone up for a punting meet-up? I have free rental at Cambridge. [Translation: anyone up for a picnic on a small boat?]

cerat0n1a

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2015, 01:43:52 AM »
Good time of year to go punting - there's no tourists in Cambridge at the moment!

Not much to add to what shelivesthedream said, other than to tell Connor not to worry too much. First year at university is a huge transition in your life, plenty of people will be struggling with making friends, managing money, the academic workload etc. Just hang in there.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2015, 01:53:42 AM »
... Also interested to see so many Oxbridge people coming out of the woodwork. Figures that we'd be overrepresented here, I suppose.

Yep, interesting. Anyone up for a punting meet-up? I have free rental at Cambridge. [Translation: anyone up for a picnic on a small boat?]

Aw, that would be great but Cambridge is really hard for me to get to at the moment! (MA graduation next year and not sure if I'm going to make it because it's a 3.5 hour bus journey on a bus that starts running at about 9am.) Oxford is more convenient... and we could invite Connor!

connor

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2015, 05:31:15 AM »
Wow, some awesome advice here. Thanks to everyone, definitely going to help me through my degree as well as my twenties. I've been looking at internships etc. and there isn't anything great for first years, other than knowing people. I may post on this forum to see if anyone in the UK works somewhere that they could manage to get me an internship for the summer.. Other than that, I don't have many options as my parents aren't all that well connected, and there isn't much temp work around where I live, although I'll be keeping an eye out.

Thanks everyone! 

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2015, 05:32:44 AM »
Yikes! 3.5 hrs on a bus, perhaps not. Oxford punting won't start until February at Magdelen Bridge or Easter at Cherwell, but it would be fun meet up.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2015, 12:36:28 PM »
Yikes! 3.5 hrs on a bus, perhaps not. Oxford punting won't start until February at Magdelen Bridge or Easter at Cherwell, but it would be fun meet up.

Other activities are available!

shelivesthedream

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2015, 06:48:02 AM »
Seriously, would anyone be interested in a nostalgic Cantab/Oxon meetup in Oxford? We could totally have a punting meetup in February (blankets and thermoi!) or an alternative activities meetup sooner.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Starting out in Oxford, UK. Advice?
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2015, 02:31:27 AM »
I'm in