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Oxbridge too far (continued) - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Oxbridge too far (continued)
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covertmusic From: covertmusic Date: November 16th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't have much constructive to add, really, I'm afraid - my own personal history is a salty mix of disgust and despair, so I try to delude myself and imagine it all happened to some other bugger - but this is wonderful stuff, evocative and thought-provoking, and if you'll keep writing I'll keep reading.

My own interview process was awkward, just as I was - still am - and like much of my past, I don't remember as much of it as you do. I do remember lying on my bed in North Court in Jesus, listening to a tinny little set of Walkman speakers (The Bends inevitably; I was pretty recently seventeen, in my defence), thumbing through a copy of Q, sick and anxious and somehow hopeful, and dreaming of who I'd be if I escaped, and dreaming about what escape might be. It wasn't, in the end, because some things you can't run fast enough to run away from, and some things you carry with you.

There was a girl there I'd met before, though - I'd seen her at some schools debating competition in Durham. She was from Warrington, and a bit Gothy, and friendly; I liked her, anyway. Not as much as you liked Jacob, from the sound of things, but still. I was - who am I kidding, am - so very competitive and suspicious. All I wanted to do was beat everyone, prove myself and feel justified and worthwhile. But not her; I wanted her to win too.

She must not have gotten in, or she must have turned the place down, because I never saw her again.

I didn't really prepare for interviews; for sciences, I could either do it or I couldn't. My interviews went pretty well, though they mostly went by in a blur - these small offices and stern faces - and I got the typical 3A offer. I'd have been off to Bristol (unconditional) otherwise; my other offers were Glasgow, Aberdeen, St. Andrews and Durham (all unconditionals).

Somewhere I imagine those other quantum covertmusics - the one who went somewhere else, the one who applied for English Lit, the one who kept drinking, the one who learnt to shut up and listen - and I dream of gathering all of us together and asking myself what I would have changed.

But would I even understand myself?
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