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Get that Work-Life Balance!

'Do Oxford students ever find time to have fun?’

This was the question buzzing around in my head before I started Oxford.

I was absolutely freaking out that I was going to be tied to my desk for the next few years, as Oxford students work, not play, right?


Drama, choir, bands, orchestra, netball, hockey, acapella, lacrosse, football, rugby, writing, art, dance, journalism, photography, charity, cadets, gymnastics, trampolining, rowing…

These were just a few of the stalls at the University Freshers Fair. As I walked around, overwhelmed by choice, I realised that Oxford wouldn’t promote this many clubs and societies if students found no time to fit them in.

Oxford students do work a lot, it has to be said, but over time I was relieved to see that most people find time to have fun too.

So here’s a breakdown of the main clubs and societies:


Drama is huge at Oxford. Numerous productions are put on each term and once you sign up to the Drama Society you will receive weekly newsletters informing you about new plays, musicals and films which you can audition for. Some big names have come from Oxford within the world of showbiz and the Drama Society continues to thrive.


Oxford doesn’t just produce top academics but also sports stars. So many Olympians and rowers have attended the Uni and somehow managed to fit in the gruelling training alongside their degree. Students who play for the Uni sports teams often strive to get an ‘Oxford Blue’, a sign of success within the university sporting world. If this level of commitment doesn’t take your fancy, you can sign up for the college sports teams which aren’t taken too seriously.


Each college also has their own choir who regularly sing in chapel. If something more contemporary appeals to you, in more recent years Oxford have become known for their acapella groups, some of which have gone on country-wide tours. Music is big with numerous orchestras/bands and singing groups performing at various university events throughout the year.


Have you always dreamed of seeing yourself in print? If so, you get involved in one of the student-run newspapers such as The Cherwell, The OxStu and The Tab, with opportunities to apply for editorial, photography and writing roles throughout the year.

A bit more out there!

If none of these are for you, there are other, slightly more unusual societies, such as Battle Re-enactment, Quidditch and wine tasting to name but a few, proving that Oxford really does have something for everyone.

Top Tips

  • Clubs and Societies are a great way to de-stress, the work load can seem overwhelming at times but it’s important to strike the work/life balance.

  • Societies are a brilliant way of widening your social circle across the University and ensuring college life never gets too claustrophobic.

  • Freshers Fair is key if you are interested in finding out about all of the extra-curricular activities.

  • If you choose to play sport for the University rather than your college, you have to be sure you can manage your work load as university sport requires a large time commitment.

  • If none of the societies take your fancy you can set up your own!


Clubs and Societies – the extra-curricular activities students partake in outside of their studies.

Freshers Fair – A fair to promote the clubs and societies, usually held in the Exam Schools.

Oxford Blue – An award given by the University to athletes for competing in sport at the highest level.

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