State Schools Take Cambridge

By Bella Manfredi

Recent admissions statistics from the University of Cambridge revealed that a “record number” of state school students were admitted this year: I am one of them.

To pretend that the road to being given an offer was smooth would be unfair. Having come from a school that does occasionally send students to Oxbridge, I was lucky in the fact that my teachers had a vague idea of what the process would entail. Despite this, it was a complete rollercoaster and taught me a lot about myself along the way. The night I received my invite to interview I was crippled with some upsetting news about a family death only an hour later. This drove me to do my absolute best as a sort of ‘last ditch attempt’ to make the person proud.

I have a horrible tendency to psych myself out - as you can imagine, my imposter syndrome was having a field day when I was sat in the waiting room for my interview. As mine didn’t start until 3pm, I was one of the last people on-site and felt that everyone else had already ‘clicked’, chatting in smaller groups. Too shy to approach anyone, I sat on my own and tried some deep breaths to calm my nerves. Whilst my first interview felt like a nightmare, the second was a little better and I felt (relatively) in control. Always a pessimist, I thought I’d scuppered my chances at a place.

Roll on to the present day. I did in fact get an offer of A*AA and after a very panicked results day (the A I needed in physics had been downgraded to a B) I was fortunate enough to still be offered my place. I’m now heading to Cambridge with three A*s and determination to make my Grandad proud.

Make sure to check out Bella on Instagram @bellamanfredi_ and YouTube iStudyBells .