The charity helping northern state students reach our best universities

Kayden Xie: 2016 cohort

January 2018

First year at Cambridge reading Natural Sciences.

“I’m Kayden, and I’m a first year Cambridge BioNatSci and ex-Linacre student.

It’s well into the first term now, and I can’t think of anywhere else where I would rather be studying. It’s a beautiful place, with so many things to be involved in. From seeing Sir David Attenborough in the flesh after the premier of Blue Planet II, to watching the stars of Love Island, 2017, getting their debating hats on, I’ve found that there really is something for everyone. Whilst the workload is challenging, I’m enjoying every part of my course. In the time between essays, map work, and more essays, I do try my best to get in on the music scene here, try to visit the college orchard every now and then, and try not to get assassinated by the people hunting me down in the Cambridge Assassins’ Guild Society. This place really is every bit as good as the taster that Linacre gave me during one of the summer residentials. I think things could be very different now, had it not been for Linacre.

Over the years, I’ve been involved in a handful of summer schools, and I can say that no programme quite had the same impact on me as Linacre had. The residentials felt tailored perfectly towards me, and the personal aspect is so rare to find elsewhere. I was taught by people who genuinely cared about me as a person, and the lasting relationships that I’ve built with fellow Linacre students in my year makes everything all the more amazing!

Linacre isn’t just for one summer. The memories of getting a taste of what it’s like to live in London during the stay at Westminster and the memories of trying not to capsize the punt on the River Cam definitely last. Since then, all my tutors have remained in contact with me, having been there to hear about how I was finding my A levels and later about how I was finding university life. As someone who wishes that everyone in my position at sixth form could experience what I did last summer, it’s been so great to chat to a couple of the new Linacre students in the year below about everything. I look forward to meeting new faces and catching up with everyone else at a meetup early December!”

Kayden Xie: 2016 cohort: First year at Cambridge reading Natural Sciences