Why did you apply for the programme?

My parents have always pushed me to realise my full potential and are the reason that I enjoy learning and exploring history. They never got to experience university or even college life, so they never wanted me to miss out on that life. I applied on a whim—I had visited Cambridge twice at open days but didn’t really believe that I could fit in somewhere that established. My form teacher in college mentioned the programme during a guidance session and I decided to apply, not really thinking that I would ever be accepted.

Did you have any worries before attending?

I was worried about travel, to begin with, I rarely travel outside Yorkshire and so a four-hour commute alone to Cambridge absolutely terrified me. I was also worried that I wouldn’t fit in, as cliché as that sounds. I’ve always been a confident person but the thought of being somewhere so prestigious amongst so many intelligent people scared me so much, yet as soon as I got off the train, I made a group of friends who I’m still in contact with today.

What were your highlights of the programme?

The highlight of my experience was being able to have discussions about history with people who love it as much as I do. I tend to forget that there are different perspectives of historical events, and I enjoyed hearing people explain how, depending on who you ask, things are much different than how they are first presented. It gave me a new perspective on my subject and has made me a more cautious historian.

What are your plans for the future?

I gained some amazing friends and the confidence to speak to PhD students about my course. It is nice to know that there is always someone out there who will answer my questions! I hope to get a PhD in history and write a book about Yorkshire heritage using the stories from people who are living around me today who deserve to be preserved as a part of history forever.

What would you say to someone who is unsure about applying?

If anyone were to ask me, I’d say, honestly, just apply! I never expected to be accepted and because I went, I feel so confident in my ability to succeed. It isn’t just a week of hard degree level studying, but a week of intense laughter and memories, that will stay with you for the rest of your life.