I let my Oxford application define my self worth || Why I think I was Rejected

  • Published on Dec 4, 2019
  • I have left this quite late I know, but I wanted to share this with you because it's so important that we normalise these feelings. It's okay not to be okay and, after I was rejected from Oxford, I really did struggle with my mental health. Remember though that rejection does not define you. When you face rejection, it is not YOU being rejected, but rather your applications. We should focus on the way that we cope with rejection, and how we grow as a result of it.
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Comments • 633

  • Liz G
    Liz G 11 hours ago

    This was a beautiful video, thank you for sharing it 💓

  • Fall_Out Boy
    Fall_Out Boy 4 days ago

    I got a similar question (PPE) asking how my study of maths related to my love of politics. To be honest, I was stumped. So I took my teacher's advice and said "Other than the obvious economic element, I've never really thought about that before; but it is a very interesting thought and I would love to explore that in my reading!"
    My mindset going in was basically: if you know something, prove it, if you don't, say how you'd overcome that.

  • Libby Davis
    Libby Davis 4 days ago

    Got my offer today for cambridge geography. Shocked considering clever people like her didn’t get in.

  • thotithehotti
    thotithehotti 7 days ago

    You are so mature and insightful! I’m happy for you that you’re happy with where you are right now and you seem like such a genuinely kind and wholesome person, which not many other academically driven students manage to be because they’re so focused on themselves and their studies so I applaud you for that. Btw I’m adding this to my folder for if I get rejected from my dream school next year. I imagine you’re helping many people with this video so thank you for that.

  • Jemma G
    Jemma G 9 days ago

    My dream is studying medicine at Edinburg university

  • Jemma G
    Jemma G 9 days ago

    I’m wondering why you went to your second interview if you were so sure you had already been rejected?

  • Haidar Alr
    Haidar Alr 15 days ago +2

    Its ok failure happens to everyone no matter who they are and what they are like

  • Keep calm and stay positive

    This has happened to me a lot and I think it is because we are hsp's. When you are highly sensitive your level of arrousal is very high and under stressful situations, one cannot perform as well although you know the lesson perfectly because there is a part of the brain overinvested on the survival mode and there is a smaller part of brain energy dedicated to the cognitive functions although you conciously are telling to youself that there is no danger in that situation.

  • pip
    pip 16 days ago +1

    Cambridge has a better English course than Oxford now. Durham tops both.


  • Malcolm Doss
    Malcolm Doss 16 days ago

    but you did get in, just not in this universe. it still counts

  • justaname
    justaname 20 days ago

    You're such a positive person and it's painful watching you struggle with mental health over this. (Even though I understand that this sort of rejection hurts.) However, it is also tremendously helpful to younger people who look up to you and, therefore, very important. Thank you for going through this tough time in front of "the world"!
    Time spent doing all the work you did is never time wasted and you gained lots of experience and knowledge and are all the more interesting and well-rounded for it.
    And who knows, you might still do a PhD at Oxford, if you choose to go further in your academic career. Based on personal experience, I'd say it's a much easier experience at the graduate level.

  • penguink
    penguink 21 day ago

    thank you very much for being this open and sharing your thoughts. I am finishing my masters degree this year and I am seriously afraid of applying for jobs afterwards because I know that I will be rejected from some jobs. And as much as I know that that is okay, I have also never really failed before and I am really unsure as to how I will be able to cope with that without feeling like a failure myself.

  • Babaleca Ferreira Bandarra

    2 years ago you were 17? Wtf do u are 19? Dude i thought you were like 14

  • Maddie_JJ
    Maddie_JJ 22 days ago +4

    Couldn’t agree more 😊 I thought my life was over when I didn’t get in 🤣 but honestly you end up exactly where you’re supposed to be.

  • Muhammad Maqbool
    Muhammad Maqbool 23 days ago

    Hi hi how are you you are very nice video you can help me e you can touch teach English you are very nice♥️♥️♥️🎈

  • Swasti Airon
    Swasti Airon 24 days ago +1

    U r a really hard working person !keep up the good work!😃😃

  • jadeviga
    jadeviga 24 days ago

    I can only imagine how devastated you must have felt=/ But couldn't you try again? Here in Brazil if you fail to pass the vestibular, let's say it's like an SAT, you can take the test in the next year. You can try how manny times you want actually, is annual.

  • Chloe Baker
    Chloe Baker 26 days ago

    I applied for cambridge starting next year, and I didn't get it. It's been about 2 weeks now and I'm finally coming to the terms with it. Now, I'm thinking more like "you don't know if you don't go for it" I'm just happy that I had the opportunity to go for it and I'll never forget the experience.
    Edit: spelling

  • Sleeping Awake
    Sleeping Awake 28 days ago

    You're wise, kiddo.

  • Charlotte Buckley-Jubb
    Charlotte Buckley-Jubb 28 days ago +2

    Some observations from your video. I believe what brought your interview down is that you relied too much on academics and other people views. Oxford want to see you. I know academics are your strong points but your personality did not shine through instead the articles and books you read from other people did. Your own opinions and personality was buried under the work and preparation. I believe they just didn’t see you but they saw someone who knew how to re word someone else

  • Noel Mull
    Noel Mull 29 days ago

    The true University is the one in your infinite mind. It is not a building, a place. I came from a rather impoverished, working class background. However, from the age of 17 I went to a local library and read absolutely everything I could, from Aeschylus to ezra pound. At the age of 20 I went to drama school and became an actor. Over the last few years I've concentrated on writing plays and poetry. Now people say to me which college in Oxford did you go to?!!! O, the irony of it. I tell them I never even went to school. They think I'm joking! Everything is meant to be. "if it wasn't for bad dreams I could be imprisoned within a nutshell and be king of infinite space, for nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so" hamlet, hamlet, act 2. Best wishes, Noel

  • Анастасия Калинина

    Thanks for this video. I really respect you for admitting that this rejection had an effect on quite a large portion of your life and that you’re only able to truly get over it and reflect on it years later. I also think it’s so mature of you to admit that you NEEDED to experience that failure to grow as a person. I’ve been learning these same things in the last few years and having a lot of peers not understand me when I talk about them. It’s so refreshing to see someone so young and so mature!

  • Sophia A.
    Sophia A. Month ago

    Also, it's not that your application wasn't "good" enough, it was the university that wasn't good enough for you. It was an atmosphere that wouldn't help you grow, but hinder you. Exeter seems to have given you independence and creativity and friendship, which is what truly makes life beautiful.

  • Sophia A.
    Sophia A. Month ago +1

    In terms of them asking about the connection between chemistry and English, and why you were studying chemistry, they wanted to hear what YOU thought, not what Tennyson/Eliot thought. They wanted to hear how YOU connected the two, since this kind of independent thinking is what you do at university. So just know that you answered it the best way that you could at the time, and now, you'll always want to answer that question :)

  • Maikki T.T.
    Maikki T.T. Month ago

    It's a good thing to realize that you've put too much of your identity into the application process and I'm glad you're happy in the university you're in right now; it seems like being rejected from Oxford has had some unintended, positive consequences in your life as well :). Also, I do believe that had you not had an anxiety attack just before your interview you would have a very good chance of getting in. Unfortunately, we can't always control everything in life and sometimes things just don't work out and you show great maturity in being able to accept that and move forward with you life. However, have you considered applying for Master's in Oxford? I watched your other video about changing courses and it seems that you have a certain passion for academic study and you seem like the kind of person who could fit well into Oxford. (I'm currently doing a Master's degree in Oxford myself.) Also, most often an interview is not part of the application process when you apply for Master's so you wouldn't have to worry about that either. :)

  • Thirishavacado
    Thirishavacado Month ago

    you are such an inspiration!!

  • Alisha Ma
    Alisha Ma Month ago

    thank you so much for this! you have no idea how much this helps me. i haven't even applied yet (i'm planning on applying to lse, kcl and edinburgh within the next few weeks) and i have literally fallen down the youtube hole of watching these videos as research, but also in a sad way... prepare myself for rejection. the worst part i think is that i'm super self-aware and i know that i am attaching my identity to closely to my application, yet i'm doing it anyway. people around me also try to give me advice, but i push them all away telling myself that "they don't get it", but your experience and your wisdom really really makes me feel that i'm not alone. so thank you.

    • Alisha Ma
      Alisha Ma Month ago

      @Poppy Lochland thank you! i'm applying for history and politics/international relations

  • Kathleen L
    Kathleen L Month ago +10

    Rejected by Oxford, accepted to Princeton, decided to move to New Zealand instead and now working in a completely different field from the one I’d originally chosen and planned for. Who knows where life will take you!

  • Malcolm Doss
    Malcolm Doss Month ago

    she was just 17
    u know what I mean
    and the way she looked
    was waay beyond compareee

  • Mary Joan
    Mary Joan Month ago +1

    I was interviewed for Cambridge for BioNatSci almost exactly a year ago, and honestly, I had such a similar experience! The first academic interview was a mathematic one, and it went HORRIBLE. I screw up a task of a kind that I've been doing since middle school (like, a REALLY simple one), and my brain just shut down - I was completely incapable of thinking stategically and actually trying to solve the problems given to me. After I walked out, I literally thought "wow, now they must think I'm stupid". But the second interview (a biological one) was SO interesting! I mean, I'm now painfully aware of the mistakes that I've made, but I truly enjoyed just talking about the subject with people who were also passionate about it. I obviously got rejected.
    I now think that I probably should've chosen a different college, and read more about atypical maths questions. But oh well, life happens, I enjoy where I am now, so it's cool ^^
    *Also, a piece of advice for people whose friends are applying to places like Oxford or Cambridge: if they're saying that the interview went badly, don't be like "oh you're just saying that, I'm sure it went fine", because sometimes it doesn't go well - and it's ok, and it's much better to process it rather than deny it and fool yourself :")
    And good luck to anyone applying to uni this year!

  • Saga Ljungblad
    Saga Ljungblad Month ago

    Where are the beautiful curtains from? P.S. I just love your videos. I am getting inspired to go to school and do my best to get the best grades ever!!!

  • Jemima Dawson
    Jemima Dawson Month ago

    tbh schools/ppl should have been better at recognising and diagnosing mental health issues, and taught you strategies for coping with anxiety - nobody can blame themself for having it

  • Anastasia Brajovic
    Anastasia Brajovic Month ago +1

    Dear Ruby! I've been watching you for many years and it has been amazing to see you grow. Even more so to see how your advice and videos is always relevant.
    Today I was rejected from my dream school, Brown. Not deferred but rejected, which hit me really hard. I was expecting to be deferred instead of accepted but the rejection hurt incredibly much because I wasn't expecting it. It felt like not only was I not the right fit but I just simply was not good enough, and that hurt. Especially seeing nearly all my good friends getting into these schools. Your video really really helped. We are so lucky to have your advice and wisdom to get us through hard times.
    So now I need to go and write 10 essays to apply to schools in hope of one accepting me and am channeling my inner ruby. I'll not let this rejection define me. Just wanted to thank you for inspiring me. XXX

  • Karolitah B
    Karolitah B Month ago

    I can't see this kind of education system helpfull to form people, it's seriously weird and ridiculous. How did people let the education not free for everyone ? I am really happy to live in a country where universities is free, of course there's a lot of problems that we need to solve to make it more accessible to everyone, because people who can pay for better education can have more acess to the public universities than people who can't. But I always think if we were like this other countries where you have to pay even the universities... Would be much hard to someone who lives in a poor condition to acess universities.

  • Cecily Haag
    Cecily Haag Month ago

    I was diagnosed as low gifted at the age of 7, which was a false diagnoses, in reality I turned out to be autistic, but it hurt me extremely hard eventhough I didn't know that as a child and I placed part of my identity in proving myself that I wasn't stupid. Which is a stupid thing to do, but it took me years to get of this mindset.

  • Celine Wang
    Celine Wang Month ago +3

    Thank you so much for posting this video. I was rejected by my dream school today and I got so upset. I couldn't focus on other interviews and applications I had. But after watching this video, I thought maybe rejection isn't the end of the world. Life goes on and we always have a chance to redesign our future. Maybe I would be happier if I got in the right university for me.Hope that I will have a chance to study in England for my master's degree .I really want to see Ruby in person and bring gifts from China to thank you for all the positive thoughts and encouragement you convey through your videos!

  • Mariana
    Mariana Month ago

    the greatest teacher failure is

  • AlohaMia
    AlohaMia Month ago +2

    I absolutely love this video. I was rejected for my national netball squad where as my friend was taken for the squad. We’ve always been compared to each other since we were very young and it was awful being the "less performant" one. It took me forever to get over the pain of being rejected

  • Joe Q
    Joe Q Month ago +3

    all that Christmas Day revision must’nt of payed off then

  • Melina Giagiozis
    Melina Giagiozis Month ago

    I think you would've done really well at Oxford but it probably wasn't meant to be... definitely don't be put off applying for a masters there though! xx

  • Rosie Burrows
    Rosie Burrows Month ago +2

    currentlu at oxford during interviews - should i be watching this?😂

    • Rosie Burrows
      Rosie Burrows Month ago +1

      Poppy Lochland yeah (i had 3) i think they all went okay actually - such a stressful week tho!

    • Rosie Burrows
      Rosie Burrows Month ago

      Poppy Lochland How were they? And thank you !

  • Ece
    Ece Month ago

    i was rejected by the best art school in my country and got into the second best instead. after trying every year, at my 4th try i finally got accepted by the best fine arts university in the country. i dont know why i constantly tried, im not even happy and the second best school was just enough. i thought being the best would make me happier

  • Laura Beatriz
    Laura Beatriz Month ago +3

    It’s so remarkable how life goes sometimes.
    I was accepted into my dream university, after a lot of work and pressure. I thought everything would be perfect after that - the hard part was over. Boy, was I completely blindsided.
    Second term and I was just beginning to lose it, mentally and physically. The extremely long hours and the extracurricular demands were getting the best of me. I was hanging by a very fragile thread, and terrified of what would happen once it snapped.
    It did snap, of course.
    Long story short, I had to leave. There was no other choice: I needed to focus on focus on getting treatment, and that was never going to happen with the pace I was required to keep. My “dream University” was responsible for making me extremely ill, and now I had to figure out how to glue the pieces back together.
    I’ve been having to rebuild my life. I don’t think I can ever put myself through that again, and it’s quite a scary process to completely reroute your future. But that’s life for you - what you want the most may end up being completely wrong for you, and failure often leads to surprisingly rewarding places.

    • Laura Beatriz
      Laura Beatriz Month ago

      Mehlsuppe Thank you!

    • Mehlsuppe
      Mehlsuppe Month ago +2

      I wish you the best and good luck with everything ❤🍀

  • clover scrobens
    clover scrobens Month ago

    In my University, when a student thinks he/she is failing he/she can apply for a withdrawal that can erase a failing grade in his/her record. When someone does this though, you have to do a bit of a process which includes falling in line with other people who wants to withdraw. That line is apparent in the grand opening hallway of my university as the administration is the one that handles these rendering. This line is noticeably, you can say, a "Failures line" and every student knows that if you fall in line eith the marked yellow paper, you're definitely failing something. This line might have just been created coincidentally in such an obvious place, but it is pretty devastating if you have ever been in it. I was a good student for 1 year until Instarted failing math and then I had to go into this embarassing line. I felt like I was being melted by all the stares of other students. I myelf felt like I was in a parade of indecent worthless group. But then I started noticing how every student have actually done this. And every person has failed more than once. I got over it.
    Funny enough, that line is also created when graduates try to get their black toga. I was one of them too, and the best part about it is that some student yelled whilst walking pass by us, "I'll get there someday!!!"
    The amount of pressure academics put on the students are just top inhumane. I started opening my eyes at how this system of education is truly damaging and a bore. I now believe that education is not supposed to be this way. It should focus on fun learning, in an accepting environment. Like the old days where masters teach under a tree or beside a river.

  • Sophie Blokland
    Sophie Blokland Month ago +1

    Doesn’t it matter more where you do your masters? And in what field. Do you know yet? I don’t really get all this pressure on where you do your bachelors. It’s quite different in the Netherlands. Most people that go to university actually mean a masters degree. Not all ofcourse. You also don’t ( necessarily) switch schools.
    You finish you high school at 18 or so( the top level we have here) and then you try to get in a university with the outcome of a masters. In 4 years, or some 5 or 6.
    Ofcourse it also possible to only do your bachelor degree and then stop. But it is one course a lot of the time.

  • Shy Bitch
    Shy Bitch Month ago

    Me too

  • Lizzytheepiclizard Gibb

    I have my Cambridge interviews in two days and I’m absolutely terrified. I really don’t think it’s going to go well at all. But this video has put it in perspective for me- all I can do is try my best and enjoy the experience and that’s all the matters in the end

    • Lizzytheepiclizard Gibb
      Lizzytheepiclizard Gibb Month ago

      Poppy Lochland I’m not allowed to say too much because I signed an NDA but I had lots of fun in the end and I found it really enjoyable. I don’t think there was anything I could really have done to do better so I think I’ve done my very best and I’m really happy with that! I hope yours went well x

  • SelfReferencingName
    SelfReferencingName Month ago +4

    I used to watch her when I was younger and I thought it very likely she wouldn’t get in. She just seemed like one of those girls who manically revises and is obsessed with grades and getting unto Oxford “because it’s Oxford”, and she never struck me as particularly intelligent or interesting. The interviewers can spot that type of dull over-achiever a mile off. Doesn’t mean you can come up with interesting and original thought in your tutorials, just that you’re anxious about attainment.

  • SelfReferencingName
    SelfReferencingName Month ago +2

    Because you weren’t good enough?

  • little red riding heart

    Plot twist: you are the younger sister of Hermione granger and were not born a wizard, and were rejected from "oxford" being a code word for "Hogwarts". Right?

  • Darko
    Darko Month ago

    Do they tell you why you get rejected? Some feedback? Sorry I don't live in England / America the system here is different.

  • Jade Lauren
    Jade Lauren Month ago

    Thank you for being so open and honest about this. I remember being so gutted for you when you told us the news at the time, must’ve been so hard especially with the pressure of having a large following who were waiting to hear the news. I’m pleased that you’re back on the English Literature path again, seems like the perfect subject for you 💕

  • Annie
    Annie Month ago


  • KLYY
    KLYY Month ago

    okay this is really irrelevant, but your voice is so relaxing and soothing. I had a lofi mix on in another tab, and this tab was on autoplay (without me even realising). for a good 11 minutes, i genuinely believed that your voice was part of the backdrop of the lofi mix! ( thexvid.com/video/cMai6ZxVgYo/video.html , for anyone who would like to mix these two as i have hehe) and i still recall myself thinking "ooh, this is a really really chill and genuine mix... wait why is there another tab of an actual human talking playing" o.o

  • ifihadfriends
    ifihadfriends Month ago +1

    My dream since I was 12 years old was to go back to the UK (where I spent my formative years) and study history. I've spent my last year of high school paralysed because I finally realised I couldn't afford it even though I'm a UK citizen thanks to the three year residency rule, while I've watched a friend with an EU passport be able to apply with normal funding. I still haven't been able to get past the fact I can't fulfil my dream and have no idea what to do about university.

    • Anja Samuel
      Anja Samuel Month ago

      ifihadfriends Scottish Universities offer free tuition for EU students!!! There are some fantastic universities in Scotland! Look into it!

  • Jess T
    Jess T Month ago

    You should definitely apply for postgrad

  • Kerrington Curtis
    Kerrington Curtis Month ago

    This video is amazing. I got into my dream school but only lasted for 4 months before I got extremely mentally ill. I had never failed at anything before and it completely changed my life and my goals. In the end I didn't regret any of it because it taught me empathy and like you mentioned, gratitude. Thank you for sharing this!!!

    EMILY STONER Month ago +1

    we totally need to go through the lows in our lives in order to learn more about ourselves and the world and have bit more compassion when things don't go the way we imagined, love this video!

  • KungZoo
    KungZoo Month ago

    Well done for accepting the rejection. You'll also view things quite differently again 10 years, 20 years, 30 years later. Rejection is something that everyone will have to deal with in life, whether it's not getting a job, or not getting into a certain clique. The important thing is always to have a plan B. If you can't excel academically, you can still carve a great career path and personal life for yourself. And if you do excel academically, just think of the pressure and the expectations from everyone around you - it's actually more stressful than you think.

  • Arushi Gupta
    Arushi Gupta Month ago

    This was so useful. I can’t even emphasise how much. I have been miserable about college and just what’s going to come next. And this really helped. What you said about caring too much made so much sense. I think I have been doing that the past semester and taken away my chance to be happy. Last night, I resolved to care less and love myself more. So, thank you.