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Profile: Chloe Bardou

Woman in a field smiling

Chloe Bardou (2020, History and Politics)

Chloe is in her third year studying History and Politics at Univ. In her second year, she served as both Access and Equality Rep for the JCR and Ball Entertainment Officer. 

Why did you apply to do History and Politics at Univ?
I really struggled to choose my degree, originally wanting to apply to do law at Selwyn College Cambridge. Having attended a few taster sessions for law, I realised it wasn’t quite for me and having done history and politics at A levels, I just decided to continue it for my degree! At the end of Year 12, I was given the opportunity to visit Oxford through the access scheme UNIQ and fell in love with the city, leading to me attending the September Open Day at Oxford and discovering Univ, which I loved for its older architecture as well as its central location in the city.

Chloe with friends in sub fuscHow have you changed since walking through Univ’s doors for the first time?
I definitely have a lot more academic confidence. I used to be really scared to create my own arguments and would just parrot what I had been reading for my most recent essay. Over the three years, my tutors have really pushed me to develop my own thoughts and be more critical about topics I am studying, which has made the discipline a lot more fun! I’m also a lot less worried about what I should be doing in the future. I thought coming to Oxford everybody knew exactly what they wanted to do after their degrees, and although this is the case for some, it is definitely not for all. I am graduating this year and I am still unsure what I want to do but the Oxford Careers Service is incredibly supportive and helpful, offering opportunities I had never considered before.

Has anything about the course/Oxford University experience/Univ surprised you?
I was extremely surprised by how flexible my course is. I came in expecting to be told what time periods to study as I did at A Level, and it was very scary at the start to delve into topics I had no clue about! This has led to me specialising in and finding a passion for Russian military history, which if you had asked me about three years ago, I would have never considered.

Univ’s second years live off-site for their second year, in the Staverton Road site and I expected to not enjoy it due to the 10-15 minute daily bike commute. I am surprised by how much I miss it this year, having returned to the main site, due to its very communal living aspect. It was really nice living with my friends with shared common spaces for a year, and I almost miss the commute as it was a nice way to get some fresh air and exercise.

Chloe being lifted by M1What do you do/have you done outside of your studies?
I joined the College’s rowing community in my first year and haven’t looked back since! I have both learnt to row and cox at Univ and have sat on the committee for two years. It is an incredibly welcoming community and I have had many good moments through this society, from our socials to having the chance to row at Dorney Lake, where the 2012 Olympics took place, and taking part in national competitions in London. I was also on the JCR committee in my second year, both as access and equality rep and as ball entertainment officer, which were both challenging positions but I hope to have made a difference through the former, and have put an incredible ball on through the latter! In my third year, I have decided to branch out of Univ a bit and have started playing for the Oxford University Women’s Rugby League team which has been incredibly fun and a great way to meet people from the rest of the uni.

Woman with male rowers in blazersDo you have any favourite/funny moments from your time at Univ?
Probably the University College Ball, the run-up may have been incredibly stressful and chaotic, but hearing how much fun everybody had on the night is a very rewarding feeling!

Do you have any advice for interview candidates/prospective students?
Make sure you are applying for your degree because you have a genuine passion for it rather than any other pressures. You will be studying it intensively for three, four, or six years and this is made so much easier if you enjoy it! Show this interest in your interview because chances are, your interviewer will also be extremely passionate about it.

Describe Univ in three words.
Friendly, welcoming, fun!

Published: 14 November 2022

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