As clichéd as it might sound, my first term at Brasenose has flown by, and I can’t believe I’m already one third of the way through my first year. Coming from my local comprehensive school in North Yorkshire, one of the things I was most worried about when getting to Oxford was that I wouldn’t fit in to the stereotypes that are portrayed in the media. Thankfully as it turns out this couldn’t be further from the truth, with everyone at Brasenose being incredibly warm and welcoming.
One of my concerns before arriving in Oxford was whether the workload would be as stressful as it is made out to be. As it turns out, my average week of six lectures, a practical class and a tutorial mean that writing one essay a week is entirely manageable. Tutorials are probably the best part of my working week. They are a great opportunity to push yourself and challenge any views upon a topic, as well as a time when I can express my opinions and delve into interesting subject areas. The breadth of the geography course at Oxford was of a big appeal to me, being able to cover both human and physical geography equally rather than having to choose one as I would have had to do at other universities. In addition to my regular work, I went on a fieldtrip to Swanage in Dorset with the other 80 first year geographers for four days. This was a very enjoyable experience and allowed me to meet people outside of my college as well as visiting a part of the country that I’d never had the chance to go to before.
Here in Oxford it is incredibly easy to throw yourself into any kind of activity, with what feels like endless numbers of different societies and sports teams. Despite my lack of previous experience, I have had the opportunity to play for the Brasenose squash team against other colleges, which is a great way to let off some steam and meet people from a range of other colleges that I otherwise would be unlikely to encounter. I have also tried my best to attend the yoga sessions that are run in College twice a week, which are perfect to wind down after a busy day as well as being held a 30 second walk away from my room. The abundance of scenic spaces in Oxford also makes it a great place to run, with green areas such as Christ Church meadow right on our doorstep.
The access and outreach programme that Brasenose runs played a big part in making me consider applying to Oxford, so that’s been a part of university life I’ve been eager to give back to. I’ve taken part in tours around our College to show school students what life is like at Brasenose, and I’m currently helping out with this year’s round of interviews. Since my interviews were only a year ago, I remember them well and really wanted to be one of the student helpers that makes the experience less daunting for applicants and also makes Brasenose the welcoming and lively place that it’s known for being. As well as being an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable two weeks, being a student helper has also allowed me to make good friends in different year groups.
Whilst I’m looking forward to going back home for Christmas, I am already excited to return to Oxford next term. Even though I’ve only been here for two and a half months, I’ve made friends that it seems like I have known forever, and I feel incredibly lucky that I’m able to live and study in such an amazing place.
By Anna Wright - Geography (former of Outwood Academy Easingwold, North Yorkshire)