Student Blog

Meet the students

We’ll soon be offering a new Alternative Prospectus – a guide to Downing written by current students for prospective applicants. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the student profiles which will be included. Meet some of our students!

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Ruby (Geography)

 Ruby

1. Tell us about yourself!

I’m from near Birmingham (the Black Country if you’re really interested), in an area where not a lot of people go to university, let alone Oxford and Cambridge. At A level I studied Biology, Geography, English Language and Art and Design with Textiles – so a good variety! I now study Geography at Downing. In my spare time I love sewing, and I also really like being outdoors, hula hooping (seriously!) and cooking.

2. What’s the best thing about your subject?

The thing I love most about Geography is the variety within the subject. Last week I had a lecture about Victorian prostitutes, immediately followed by one about delta geomorphology. These crossovers between human and physical geography are what I love, but I also love that my subject feels so relevant to the changing world that we live in.

3. Why did you pick Downing?

I shadowed a Downing student during the CUSU Shadowing Scheme in Year 12 and loved the place! I honestly wouldn’t even have applied to Cambridge if it hadn’t been for the scheme, so my advice to anyone considering university options now is just to keep an open mind. My favourite thing about Downing is the architecture.

4. What has been your most memorable Downing moment so far?

During my first term I *accidentally* wore my onesie to drinks with the Master. My friends still won’t let me live it down!

5. What advice would you give to prospective applicants?

Do a subject that you love. Three years is a long time to be studying a single subject, and for most people your degree is the first time you’ll be doing just one. Therefore, pick something that you really enjoy, not what you think will look better on your CV. If you enjoy it, you’ll do better as well.

 

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Tom (Natural Sciences)

Tom

1. Tell us about yourself!

I am from Birmingham and did Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Physics  at A-Level (+ Geography to AS Level). Since coming to Downing I have really enjoyed ‘College sports’ which means playing for Downing against other Cambridge Colleges. I play Hockey and Squash but I’ve had a go at some lesser known sports like Lacrosse and Ultimate Frisbee! I find College sport a perfect balance of being both competitive but relaxing.

2. What’s the best thing about your subject?

The best thing about Natural Sciences is easily the flexibility and choices it gives you. I was struggling to pick between Chemistry and Physics, but Natural Sciences lets you do both (plus another option) in first year. Now I’ve ended up specialising in that third option – Earth Sciences!

3. Why did you pick Downing?

Choosing a College is different for everyone but I found on the Open Day that Downing seemed to have the most welcoming atmosphere, and somehow it just felt ‘right’ for me. I’d certainly recommend coming to an Open Day if you get the chance – it’s the best way to find out whether a particular College might be for you.

4. What has been your most memorable Downing moment so far?

So many memories already! The formal meals are fantastically surreal and there have been many other amazing events. However, I’d say that playing in a hockey final for Downing against an Oxford College is a real stand out.

5. What advice would you give to prospective applicants?

If Downing feels right for you then don’t hesitate to apply. Also, don’t worry about asking any questions at any point either before or during the application stage – they’re there to help!

 

Ellie (Engineering)
Ellie (Engineering)

Ellie

1. Tell us about yourself!

I’m a second year Engineer at Downing from South-West London. I went to a girls grammar school and studied Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Product Design at A-Level. I play badminton for the college, and I’m also involved in the University’s Christian Union and the Eco-racing Society.

2. What’s the best thing about your subject?

I love the diversity of my subject. I didn’t know when I applied what branch of Engineering I wanted to go into, so doing a general Engineering degree has allowed me to try a bit of everything before I have to make a decision about my career path. Now I have an appreciation for all areas of engineering and I know what I want to do (and what I definitely don’t want to do!). I also really enjoy the practical stuff too and seeing the application of what we learn in lectures – who knew I’d be able to build my own radio within my first year at university!

3. Why did you pick Downing?

I really liked the feel of Downing when I visited – it’s so friendly and open! It’s also right in the middle of town which makes it a bit quieter, although it’s in a perfect location for me as it only takes two minutes to walk to lectures!

4. What has been your most memorable Downing moment so far?

I think the week after exams in the summer holds some of my fondest Downing memories so far. It was so nice to be able to spend time in the beautiful city that is Cambridge, with all of the really great friends I’d made after my first year who I now can’t imagine living without. It made it seem ridiculous that I’d ever worried about not enjoying university!

5. What advice would you give to prospective applicants?

My advice would be to be yourself and to go with what you want to study, not what you think will benefit you in the future. Choose what you enjoy as you’re more likely to succeed. You’re bound to be happy and make great friends wherever you end up, so don’t worry too much!

Student

If you’re interested in finding out about life as a university student, then this is the place for you. The student blog is filled with tales of supervisions, sports clubs, interview experiences, student societies and more.