By Maddie Simpson
Having attended a failing state school for my high school career, it is safe to say I was shocked when I found out I had been offered a place at the University of Cambridge. It was therefore a huge knock to my confidence when I did not meet the grade requirements on results day last year. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I was ashamed; ashamed I thought I was good enough to even contemplate going to Cambridge. In my eyes, all my worries about being inferior to those who were privately educated and of a higher class had been proven correct.
However, it didn’t take me long to become thankful for what happened to me that day. I came out with three very good A-Levels, and was accepted by my insurance choice, Durham University. Later that night I considered what it would be like to go to Durham; I had loved the city and University when I visited, and the course appealed to me so much more – I became excited to move in.
Having nearly finished my first year, I can honestly say going to Durham has been the best experience. I love everything about Durham; the people, my college, my course and the city. It feels like my place, and I wholeheartedly enjoy both my life there and my degree. No longer do I feel like I’ve been rejected or like I am second best, because I feel at home. Sometimes everything works out for the best, and it is important to realise that, although Oxbridge is something to aspire to, if you do not end up there you are not a failure. You will find your place.