first week at oxford

Today began with a fire drill. It went off at eight, just at the same moment that my own alarm clock turned on, and for a few bleary moments I thought that the blaring sound was being emitted by my crappy little thing. Soon as I cottoned on, I grabbed keys, flip flops and a dressing gown and was out of the door, joining the mass of people who were crowding the corridor stairs. It wasn’t too early, really, but many people had been caught unawares, not having been warned as I had the night before. But more than woozy expressions, one lad caught my eye – no, not in that way. He had just been in the bath, and had only had time to pull on a towel around his waist. Poor bloke looked so cold that I gave him my dressing gown!
After that, the day got off to a slow and lethargic start. I obtained earmuffs from Primark which are now constantly around my neck, and went to the rather disappointing poster fair, where I was accosted by people giving away free Chinese food. In the afternoon I tried to work out some noes which I have to make for my first seminar next Tuesday, but didn’t get much done. The translation I’ve been set was something I really enjoyed and knocked out in a good half hour, but I’ve always felt very insecure in analysing literature. I really am a linguist, but this course is an honest-to-gods English degree which is conducted in German so I need to learn how to approach literary analytical work as well as the fun stuff, which is finding matching idioms and checking tense endings! Yes, I consider that the fun stuff.
In the evening, as every night this week, we had an organised event, and tonight it was dinner at our college parents’ houses. In Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and various other universities there is a system of incoming freshers being allocated a second year who have ‘married’, one or two of which are usually related to your degree. My mother is really motherly which I love because I really feel like I can talk to her about anything. Oddly enough, she’s actually two months younger than me! We played hidden word games (which I recommend you look up online as they‘re very entertaining) and at the end of the evening, I had a long conversation with a bio-medical scientist and a physicist, discussing the merits of intelligence and science versus art. I don’t have a very linear or restricted way of looking at things; scientists seem to see that as fluffy! It may well be, I’m not really bothered. It was an interesting discussion. I’m more selfish than I realised (as in, I care more about myself and my family than I do about the thousands which might benefit from scientific advancements some time down the line) and it bothers me less than you’d think. I’m also apparently quite socialist, or egalitarian…? I don’t know, I just don’t believe in some people being better than others.
End of the boring philosophy! I too found it a little dull. I think there are far better ways of spending time than debating abstract concepts… Like camping. I don’t know – now for the good stuff! Photos!



  1. Glad to hear you've settled in, and your room is really lovely! I've quite enjoyed observing freshers week this year, so weird watching everyone meet new people (and weird also to have so many new people to meet!) Also, one of my college sons is a bit older than me as well and that was a bit strange. Hope all is going well 🙂 x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s