Posted on July 2, 2004.
So, Cambridge open day today. It was great. I was ten minutes late for the first talk that I wanted to go and see (on Interviews), so I dashed in, sat down on the nearest free seat, and realised everyone was talking. Shortly after I arrived, a lady walks up to the front and says that the speaker has been "unavoidably delayed". A few minutes later he arrives introduces himself as "the guy who loses his bicycle lock keys". From the outset, it looked as if I would enjoy the day. Perhaps the most reassuring quote was regarding extra-curricular activities on UCAS forms - they're not essential in any way, shape or form. I have a few, but compared to other people I know, who have extra-curricular activities coming out of thier ears, I was getting a bit concerned. The speaker told us that we shouldn't worry, and that they were only useful to talk about at the 'chit-chat' interview, concluding with the statement "We're nerds - we don't care about extracurricular".
I then dashed off to a sample physics lecture that explained (quickly) why time must be different depending on the speed that you are travelling. I saw the lecturer afterwards (at the Physics information stand) and told her exactly what I thought of the lecture (i.e. I enjoyed it), although nothing earth shattering was really said. I picked up literature for the Natural Science modules I might consider doing (i.e. anything not biological), then visited the Zoological Museum and finally reading the prospectus again, killing the hour and a bit I had until the Natural Sciences lecture. I found it less useful than the interview lecture, as it told me less that I didn't already know, but it was still worthwhile to just see everything about Natural Science in one go. I'm particularly attracted to the subject teaching structures - in Year One, you get (for each of the four modules) three hours of lectures, an afternoon in a laboratory, and an hour with a teacher and 1-3 other pupils.
Cambridge kicks ass. Now to just get in. I'm fortunate my desired subject is Natural Sciences - there's only a 3:1 contention ratio for places, compared to something like Medicine, which there is a 9:1 ratio. We'll just have to see how it goes.