My name is Laura Schubert, and I’m German but grew up in the South West of England. I am now in my second year studying a course called Human, Social and Political Sciences (or HSPS), and more specifically my subjects this year are Archaeology and Biological Anthropology. When I applied I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do and now halfway through my degree I still have no idea what I want to do later, or which subject I enjoy most. I want to say that it’s OK not to know and still take a step forward.
All of my university applications were for deferred places (to start a year later) so that I could spend a year travelling and volunteering. This was definitely the right decision for me; I had the support from college during my application, and whilst on my year abroad I could be more flexible and didn’t need to come back for interviews.
I applied to Cambridge because of the course: I heard about it by chance as it was a new course, and read that it was flexible and met many of my interests in Human Culture, Biology and International Politics. Although I didn’t know much about these subjects at all I went for it with a genuine interest to learn and discover new things. In an application especially for humanities subjects, I think they want to see that you’re interested and willing to learn, rather than that you know the answers already. So just have a go, apply, even if you\u2019re not sure you know what you want.
An average day for me looks like this: I’ll get up around 6:30am to do rowing or swimming training. After a homemade breakfast, I’ll head to a lecture at 10am, and though my department is very close to where I live, like lots of students in Cambridge I hop on my bike to get there. I might then go to the department library until lunchtime, when I either cook for myself or go to the college canteen, called ‘hall’, which is really sociable and where I often bump into friends. Once a week I have an afternoon practical in archaeology from 2-4pm which I really enjoy, and aside from this I’ll spend some time doing ‘life admin’ (emails, publicising facebook events, going to the post office) or reading for an essay on my laptop or in a book from the library. There’s always something to do in the evenings - I sometimes go to a talk on Climate Change or to the student theatre, and often cook dinner myself.
For me, Cambridge feels like home. I love the communities that I am part of: my church, my water polo team, people I know from my course and my college. Cambridge is quite small, so knowing people that care about you are close by is a wonderful thing.
Being here isn’t just about academia; I feel that I’ve learned lots of personal and practical skills (time management, cooperating with people, living independently, essay writing, how to start and structure projects, and how to arrange meetings and book rooms for events effectively). I still don’t know what I want to do as a career, or even which options I’ll choose next year, so my main piece of advice to you if you’re not sure what to do would be to go with something you’re passionate about and have a go.
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