Graduate from Selwyn College, Cambridge reading HSPS
An update from Georgia four years after completing the Linacre Reach Higher Programme, including advice for current and prospective students.
“My name is Georgia and I attended Linacre in 2016. After staying in Cambridge for the second summer school I realised that I’d love to apply, and Paul told me about a course called Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS). I was lucky enough to make a successful application and I matriculated at Selwyn College in 2017. HSPS includes so many topics, but I focused on Politics and International Relations. I’m now graduating and starting a role with the Department for International Development which I’m really looking forward to! Throughout my time at university I completed several internships and placements – my favourite was a Survey Designer with the Ministry of Justice – and I was able to take part in lots of extra-curricular and voluntary activities which I’d really recommend.
Linacre was such a fulfilling and enriching experience for me. Prior to attending Linacre, I didn’t have any family or any friends that had gone to university so I was pretty clueless about the courses available, the application process and university life in general. Linacre offered me the opportunity to meet like-minded people who were interested and passionate about academia, and gave me a space where I could explore my own interests while being supported by peers and mentors alike. It allowed me the chance to realise that I was really keen to aim high and study something that I would absolutely love, which no one had really told me before. Further, meeting with academics, current students and experts in the field I was interested in was so inspiring, and conversations and lessons with them were invaluable in providing me with the skills to make a well-rounded application to university.
Beyond this, Linacre helped me during my time at university in helping me believe that university, and Cambridge specifically, was a place for people like me. There are a lot of preconceptions that Cambridge is southern, middle class and male – and while this holds some truth – I think it’s really important that those from backgrounds which have been traditionally underrepresented realise that they are valued and important to the institution. Without Linacre, I would never have even considered applying to Cambridge and I would have never had access to the opportunities that I’ve been so grateful for. The practical application and subject support is incredibly useful, but I think for me Linacre helped break down the barriers that I perceived were in front of me.
For current and prospective students, I would say time and time again to please never believe that you are incapable of anything. I would have never dreamed I was able to do half the things I’ve done in the past few years – if I had told 16 year old me about my life today, I wouldn’t have believed it! But throughout my time at university I’ve proved that it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, you are just as entitled to every university place, job or other opportunity out there as anyone else. Linacre is the perfect chance to explore your passions and if you attend the programme, make sure to learn from those around you, engage in conversations, and don’t be afraid to speak up and get involved. You might be surprised at the things you enjoy, and keeping an open mind will help you explore all the options available to you.”