EricaNuamah copyA review of my first term at Brasenose College - by Erica Nuamah (First Year Fine Art student)

Introduction: Overall experience of first term:
Oxford has given me so many unique experiences. I’m struggling to decide where to begin. I remember when I first arrived. Walking past the Radcliffe Camera to get to my new home. It was all so surreal. Everyone was very welcoming and Freshers Week was jam packed with fun. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I knew I was settled in at Brasenose when I finally understood the Brasenose language, which a huge range of abbreviations. What’s nice about Brasenose is that it’s not too big nor too small, because of this everyone knows one another either by face or name. Freshers week was a great time to socialise and make new friends, and now those friends I made make up a big part of my everyday experience here. I’m grateful to have connected with them as I have. There’s never a dull moment at Brasenose, there are constantly events and places to go. The most memorable activity to take place at Brasenose was the Oxmas Pantomime. It was hilarious and it was nice to see a range of students participating.

Experience of the Ruskin:
Studying Fine Art has been very exciting. As a Fine Art student I’m taught at the Ruskin amongst Artists from other colleges, and it always interesting to compare and contrast our colleges. The most exciting thing to happen in regards to the Ruskin was the reveal of my allocated studio space, which I love. Having a space to call my own where I can work with free reign is a huge improvement from my bedroom floor in London. The Ruskin are constantly providing opportunities and are extremely supportive. I’ve learnt so many new things from my tutors and my peers. Everyone is so creative and open to help and advise. One of my two lovely college 'Mothers' [second year student mentors] studies Fine Art and she helped me so much with all of my questions. One thing I was very nervous about was my first 'group critical'. Group criticals are where you present your artwork to a large group of people. This groups made up of Tutors, post-grad students and Undergraduates, and they all comment on the strengths and weaknesses of your art. When mine came around the corner I was crazy nervous but by the end it was a very enjoyable experience. I received loads of amazing ideas and great feedback. I felt inspired and really proud of myself.

Things I’ve achieved this term:
Naturally, during my time here I missed the comforts of home. Which resulted in expensive coach journeys to get me home for the weekends during the first three weeks. But then I decided to get involved in some societies. As I am of African descent I joined the African Caribbean Society. Not only did they provide great events and club nights, they previously held great access events. I admire what they stand for which is encouraging people of African and Caribbean descent to apply to Oxford, and break common misconceptions. So inspired by this I applied for a role within their committee and I am now a Junior Publicity Officer! This achievement it up there in my highlights of the term. Also I participated in giving prospective students a tour of Brasenose, little did they know I was touring as well. Finding out things I never knew about Brasenose was very interesting.

Before arriving, my main worry was that I might not feel like I belong. And after having conversations with my Ruskin tutor and a Brasenose tutor they successfully restored my faith in myself and I haven’t looked back since!

Overall my term has been eventful and amazing. I’m extremely excited to find out what the next term holds as I plan to be more sociable and active. I’ve planned to begin volunteering with at the Oxford Hub, I will be officially beginning my Junior Publications Role and I’ve brought a new sketchbook to unfold all of my ideas onto. It’s only upwards and forwards from here and I can’t wait.

Erica attended Ark Putney Academy and The Brit School, London before coming to Brasenose College