When you first start Oxford, there will no doubt be so many questions running through your head. Now Freshers' Week is in full swing, I'm going to try my best to answer some of the ones you've asked:
What if my college family don’t like me?
Your college family are there to support you at the beginning of term. You're often randomly matched with them, so you're not necessarily going to end up being best friends (though that does certainly happen) but they should be a point of contact for any worries, questions, concerns you have throughout your first year. Their job is to welcome you; they should certainly do this but if you find they're not living up to expectations, you'll find plenty of other college parents willing to take you on!
Are big colleges easy to get lost in?
There's no doubt that at the beginning large colleges can seem really confusing but there will always be a student or member of staff wandering around the grounds to help you if you get lost. You'll be surprised how in a few weeks time, you'll have it all sussed!
How serious is sharking?
First of all, this isn't a term condoned by the University but however controversial, the term 'sharking' is still banded around by students. It basically refers to the year above being excited to meet the year below (and new potential love interests). However, at no point should you EVER be made to feel uncomfortable. If you do ever feel like this, you must talk to someone, be it the Welfare Team, other students, your Freshers' Committee or a member of staff; there will always be someone on hand to listen and help.
Is it difficult to talk to people at first? Do you end up trying to make lots of small talk?
You guys may have noticed, Freshers' Week involves a lot of small talk and that can at times feel awkward. Have a few questions up your sleeve which you can ask to anyone you meet:
Where are you from? What subject are you doing? What's your room like? What are you dressing up as for the Bop? Did you go away this summer? - all of these questions will instantly make conversation easier.
Do people talk about scholarships / bursaries they have openly, or not?
This varies from student to student; some openly discuss them and others don't but ultimately it comes down to what you feel comfortable with. Regardless of background, everyone has been offered a place for a reason, everyone has their own story but everyone deserves to be there, how much of your story you choose to tell is up to you!
Is there an easy way to find out about all of the clubs and societies?
Yes, attend Freshers' Fair which is on today, if you missed it yesterday! It's full of stalls detailing all of the clubs and societies on offer.
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