Jade Stephenson

Jade Stephenson

Name: Jade Stephenson

Subject: Medicine

Year: First

A-Level subjects/equivalent: Biology, Chemistry and Maths

What’s your background?

I’m from the North-East of England and have attended state schools across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. I’m the first person in my family to attend university and/or go on to higher education so the whole process was definitely an eye-opener to my family and I!

Why did you apply to Cambridge?

It goes without saying that Cambridge is a respected and reputable university and the city is amazing; both very prominent factors in the decision-making process. Medicine is one of the most competitive degrees to get into and the application process is demanding regardless of where you apply. One of my main mottos is to give anything and everything a go as you never know what you can achieve and where you can get in life so I decided that Cambridge was worth a go.

What made you choose Peterhouse?

My sixth-form college was particularly small and I loved the homely feel of it and knowing everyone that attended. Peterhouse is the smallest of the colleges and has a lot of heritage which reminded me of my sixth-form. Everyone was really friendly when I visited and it was hard not to fall in love with the place! I also loved the set-up of the first year accommodation with everyone being housed together in St. Peter’s Terrace as it really helped meeting people, making friends and settling in very quickly!

What was the application process like?

Not as scary as you think it is going to be! Everyone was very helpful whenever I contacted the college, both pre and post-offer making, which definitely helped in making sure that I got everything done on time and efficiently making the whole thing a lot less painful! The ‘Peterhouse Admissions Blog’ by the admissions office was particularly helpful as it addressed deadlines and any questions people had. Trust me, you won’t be the only one with questions and they are more than happy to help!!

How was your interview?

Not as daunting as I thought it would be! I had two academic interviews for Medicine and I was very nervous before them. The most important bit of advice I can give about the interviews is to just be yourself! I relaxed a lot more in my second interview which definitely helped and I even found it enjoyable! As long as you’re yourself no matter what the outcome is you know that you did everything you could and they gave you an offer/rejection for who you are and not who you pretended to be.

How did you find settling in at Cambridge?

Very easy! Freshers’ Week was amazing!! Everyone was so friendly and helpful and there were so many events that it was hard not to get involved and get to know and love everyone. The accommodation makes it very easy to meet people and you quickly make friendships in other houses. The Porters are very friendly too which definitely helps as you always feel like there is someone there for you in Cambridge no matter how far away from home you are.

What happens in your normal working week?

A LOT. Medicine is a very fast-paced and intense course but it is so unbelievably enjoyable! Medicine has quite a lot of contact time and includes dissection and lab time. You have at least three supervisions a week which are very helpful and definitely help you get organised and stay on track with the work and help you with any questions or things you are struggling with. One of my main tips for Medicine is to get the balance between work and extra-curricular which makes the whole thing a lot easier and more enjoyable.

What are the most enjoyable and most challenging parts of your subject?

For me personally, at first I found the essay component of the course challenging as I hadn’t done any kind of extended writing work since GCSE English! This was not a problem as you get a lot of practice and advice from the supervisors who are more than willing to help you as long as you put the work in. Supervisors are there to help you and just want to help you achieve your full potential as a Cambridge undergraduate. One of the most enjoyable aspects is the visits we make to hospital as part of our supervisions as they help to apply the course content to ‘real life’ and definitely help to put everything into perspective!

How do you manage the financial side of university?

I’ve never really thought about this as it isn’t a problem. There are a lot of bursaries and grants on offer that mean you don’t have to worry about finance while you are here so you can focus on other aspects of your time at Cambridge.

How do you spend your free time?

I did rowing in my first term which was soooo much fun!! I really would advise anyone to give rowing a go when they start. Other than that I have played badminton and attended many of the guest speaker events as part of the various societies. There are so many societies and clubs for you to join at Cambridge that it is hard not to get involved – Cambridge is what you make of it!!!

Describe one of your best Cambridge memories.

There really are so many to choose from, but, I think my best memory would be at the Christmas party at the end of Michaelmas term. It was such an enjoyable evening and everyone was there together; there was a moment near the end of the night when everyone was on the dance floor linking arms and singing along to Christmas songs. There was such a family feel to the evening that everyone was there for each other and it was hard to believe that all of the friendships made had all taken place in the previous 8 weeks!! Moments like this make you realise how amazing it is at Cambridge and how much of a tight-knit community Peterhouse is!

Have you any particular advice to potential applicants?

GO FOR IT!!!!!! Be yourself and try everything to the best of your ability. You will never know unless you try!!