Before I launch into this article, I should probably apply a disclaimer – this post may be a little biased. Worcester has been my home for the past three months, and will continue to be so for the next two and a half years, and it’s grown on me more than I ever thought that it could. I am so, so happy that I applied to this college in particular, even though I probably let the Norrington and Veggie Norrington tables influence my decision a little too much! (Worcester was 4th on the most recent Norrington table and 2nd on the Veggie Norrington table – all that great food clearly fuels our great results! #humblebrag).
Honestly, posts exalting the virtues of a particular college were bound to make an appearance at some point – what kind of lawyer would I be if I didn’t make sure to get in there first?! 😉 That said, Worcester is only one of about 40-odd colleges. If you guys want to see a post like this about another college, please do comment and let us know.
So without further ado, here are five reasons why you should apply to Worcester College!
Walking into Worcester for the first time, I had to stifle a gasp. Well – I didn’t actually stifle it, so just imagine me inhaling very sharply and then choking on said inhale for about thirty seconds, and you’ll get an accurate impression of how awe-struck I was by the Worcester grounds. When you enter, you’re greeted by our award-winning quad, framed by gorgeous buildings (where most people have their tutorials, and some lucky people live), and if you’ve timed things well you may even hear evensong being performed in our chapel by the college choir. Turn to the left, and there’s hall – currently under refurbishment, so it’ll be brand new for those of you joining us in October this year or looking to join us next year.
Worcester’s grounds are pretty big – one of the biggest, actually, in Oxford. This means that we have a lot of extra space, and the groundskeepers do a fantastic job in making sure that this space is put to good use. Worcester has the Nuffield Lawn, home of summer picnics, an Orchard, boasting apple trees that produce some really tasty apples, as well as a sports field, complete with its own tennis courts. I think we’re the only college to have sports facilities on site (we also have a gym), but don’t quote me on that! Late-night essay crises can be solved with a walk around the lake, and although we’re only allowed in on special occasions, the sight of the Provost’s Gardens provokes a tantalising daydream of Trinity term and all the garden parties it entails. TripAdvisor calls Worcester’s grounds the best in Oxford, and I really don’t see how any other college can compare.
2. The Animals
“Ruchika,” I hear you frown, one eyebrow raised and mouth slanted in minor disapproval, “I’m not applying to Oxford to mess around with animals.” Well, I’d like to point out that messing around with your fellow homo sapiens makes up the bulk of what you’ll be doing here, but the furry friends at Worcester really do make life better.
With our lake comes a large number of ducks – friendly, quacking, curious ducks that swarm the Orchard at various points during the day. Somehow I always feel most like an Oxonian when I’m waiting for the ducks to cross the path between my accommodation and the Orchard so I can get to main quad – there’s really nothing quite as surreal! On top of the ducks we also have many very friendly, very cute squirrels. Now, I’m not saying you should exploit animals for Instagram likes. But they’re adorable and if they happen to rack up the likes on Instagram then hey, that’s just a side benefit!
The real stars of the show, however, are the Provost’s dogs – Coco Chanel and Zelda Fitzgerald (the Provost and his wife are English scholars, which explains at least one of the names). These small bundles of joy can often be found around college being walked by a member of the Provost’s family, and will always stop to say hello – the perfect antidote to a stressful day! I could spend at least another three paragraphs declaring my love for these dogs – they’re practically a welfare function in and of themselves – so instead I’m going to hastily move on and end this section by saying that Worcester is an absolutely fantastic place for animal lovers.
3. The Accommodation
The accommodation at Worcester was one of the main reasons I applied here – it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have a room on-site for all three years of a degree, meaning that I knew I wouldn’t have to deal with being assigned a room miles away from city centre. On top of that, the buildings are fantastic – most accommodation is in new-builds, meaning that they come with en-suites, and, more importantly, dishwashers.
I know dishwashers may not seem that important but just wait until you’re dealing with a sink full of dirty dishes and don’t have any saucepans to warm up your sub-standard, sodium-riddled 90p soup from Tesco at 4am after an essay crisis, okay? Then you’ll appreciate the true value of dishwashers.
My love of kitchen appliances aside, I really lucked out with the accommodation here. My room is about a five-minute walk from main quad, and is right next to the back gate – this makes wheeling my bike out super convenient, and I live right by one of my friends! Sadly, a college this big means that another friend lives a gruelling seven-minute (!!) walk away on the other side of college, but we’re coping, somehow. At least the walk means that I’m getting some exercise in, I suppose….
Ruchika's Worcester love will be continued later in the week....