Janie Olver – (Natural Sciences, 1st Year)


FROM: Saltash, Cornwall
SCHOOL SUBJECTS: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, French

Why Natural Sciences?

Studying the NatSci Tripos at Cambridge gives you a wide breadth of knowledge, and also means you don’t have to make any decisions too early on. This year, I choose Biology of Cells, Chemistry, Physiology and Mathematical Biology, although when I arrived I still hadn’t made up my mind completely. I love that I can experience parts of different subjects and then I can make an informed choice for my options next year.

What advice would you give prospective applicants?

If you enjoy learning and at school you always wanted to know more, then come to Cambridge and be surrounded by people like yourself! Also, if you believe that you can get really good results at school and you want to learn in a demanding but rewarding environment, don’t try and put yourself off the idea. Don’t think that it is probably for someone else. Cambridge is for everybody and it is possible to get in!

Any specific interview advice?

It would be lovely to say don’t worry, but I think it would be unrealistic. But really don’t stress, the interviewers are not there to catch you out or to find out the things that you don’t understand. It is ok to say I don’t know, but then try to think of a way around the problem. It is perfectly fine to get things wrong. The interviewers just want to know if this kind of learning environment will work for you. Just think out-loud and make the most of it.

Has Trinity Hall lived up to your expectations?

I came from a small Sixth Form where I could see the sea, so being able to come to a small college where all first years live on Central Site and where you can sit by the river and read was exactly what I was looking for.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I was definitely not expecting Tit Hall to be as amazing as I now know it is!
What do you do when you’re not working? I enjoy learning languages in any spare time that I have, so I have enrolled in an Advanced French course at the Language Centre. There are also lots of other languages and levels available, for example Beginners Chinese or even Persian and Arabic.
In the evenings, we all tend to set a time to stop working and do something different, even if that is just drinking tea and eating ridiculous amounts of biscuits.

Favourite thing about Trinity Hall/Cambridge?

Sitting on the wall overlooking the river, after doing some essay writing, and pinching myself that I am actually here.