GOING to university is an incredible achievement for anyone, but one A-level student from Clacton is hoping to study at one of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Evie Croll has had her sights set on studying English at the University of Cambridge since she was a youngster.

And with her first written A-level exam in the diary for next week, the 18-year-old has spent countless hours getting her head down and revising to help make her dreams a reality.

Evie, who studies at Sigma Sixth, the sixth form college at Clacton County High School, was one of a small handful of students at the college who applied for places at Oxford and Cambridge this year.

Gazette: Proud - Evie is a student at Sigma Sixth at Clacton County High SchoolProud - Evie is a student at Sigma Sixth at Clacton County High School (Image: Evie Croll)

Alongside her twin brother, Jamie, the siblings hope to be the first in their immediate family to go to university.

But her ambition to get to Cambridge was inspired by her Year 7 form tutor, Miss Page, a Cambridge graduate herself.

“She had a little meeting with me and my parents and she said she could see me going there and that I could potentially get there one day,” she says.

“Since then I’ve just had that in the back of my mind and I’ve been wanting to see if it’s possible.”

Gazette: University - Evie is hoping to achieve the grades she needs to get into Murray Edwards College at CambridgeUniversity - Evie is hoping to achieve the grades she needs to get into Murray Edwards College at Cambridge (Image: Paul Harrop)

Evie says she was blown away the first time she visited the city to take part in a summer school programme which made her realise her love of English.

“My parents drove me up there and I just remember thinking ‘this is just amazing’,” she recalls. “It basically felt like Hogwarts. It was really pretty.

“In some of the academic sessions there must have been about ten of us with a PhD student and I was having conversations I’d never had before. They were really interesting and I just thought that I really want to get there.”

After a rigorous application process supported by a mentor from the online mentoring platform Zero Gravity, including an admissions test and two interviews, Evie, who is interested in a career in theatre and scriptwriting, cried when she was offered a place at Cambridge – subject to her achieving an A* and two As in her A-levels.

A study by the University of Exeter earlier this year revealed young people from seaside towns were less likely to have attended university by the age of 25 than people who grew up inland.

“I don’t know anyone who lives in Clacton who has applied to Oxbridge and I don’t really know anyone here apart from my teachers who have got a degree,” she adds.

But for now, the bright spark is looking forward to getting exam season out of the way before enjoying a family holiday at Center Parcs.