Student Profiles – Izzy, Philosophy

Izzy is a third-year Philosophy student from Pembrokeshire, Wales. She studied A Levels in Religious Studies, History, and English Literature, and the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Why did you choose Trinity Hall?
It was small, central, old, and has a lovely library!

How did you prepare for the application process and interviews? 
I read around my subject, I entered essay competitions, contacted charities that could offer support, watched recorded lectures online from lecturers’ personal websites, listened to podcasts, and took practice logic papers to prepare for the exam.

I also re-read my personal statement and anything I’d mentioned in my personal statement to ensure I had answers for any questions they might ask on it.

Why did you choose your course?

It was the subject I loved the most. Compared to other courses, this one has more contact hours and focuses on the areas I cared about more. Other university courses also tend to combine my subject with others, whereas I just wanted to study Philosophy, not Philosophy and something else.

How does your course compare to your expectations?

I am thoroughly enjoying my course. There is more focus on the STEM side of things than I had anticipated, especially logic, but this has been useful to me and made me more well-rounded.

Book from the special collections on display in the Old Library

What is your favourite part of your course?
Probably the coursework. I get to really hone in on an area I care about and absorb myself in the topic. The supervisions are wonderful too; they can teach you what would take you months to figure out yourself in about half an hour. Also, I really loved the aesthetics paper I took in second year.

How are you taught?
I probably have about 10 hours of lectures a week and then 1-2 supervisions a week. In first year, I had logic classes every fortnight and the same with discussion groups. In second year, I was busier with 2 discussion groups, so that gave me a few more hours a week. I probably spend about 50 hours a week doing my degree, but it varies from week to week.

How do you manage your workload?
I like to stay on top of things by tracking my progress and keeping lists of jobs that need doing. Just take it week by week and figure out a schedule that works for you, even if it’s not conventional. (I tend to take a day off midweek and work through the weekends because I find I’m more productive for essay writing then as I have less distractions like lectures or meetings that break my flow.)

Guests in the Dining Hall as seen through the window

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Spend time with friends, projects related to my degree or plans for masters, get involved in college life, JCR/June Event, go to church and make sure to fit in sleep and exercise!

What are your plans for the future? Do you have any reflections/advice about your time at Cambridge and Trinity Hall?
I’m hoping get onto a Masters for next year. I really recommend just getting stuck into whatever you care about, and talking to as many people as possible about it, particularly the staff, there’s often opportunities for you if you just make what you care about known. There’s also nothing stopping you from making something happen yourself – for example, starting a society at the college is great fun.