Coming back to Oxford, it feels like I never left in the first place. I was very anxious about returning to university - would the friends I thought I'd clicked with still feel the same about me, having had 6 weeks to re-consider their friendship? Would I be able to cope with collections (Oxford's versions of mocks, which you sit at the start of each term)? Would I feel as confident coming back as I did leaving at the end of last term?
As always, I worry too much! I greeted my friends with hugs and cheerful inquiries about how they'd spent their holidays - not that I needed too many updates, since we'd had chatted pretty frequently over Facebook. I felt sick to my stomach the night before collections (so nervous that I literally couldn't sleep, and yet couldn't get anything productive done either - the worst state to be in!), but I sat them and although I haven't received my marks yet I think they went okay - and I see why the second years told me they weren't worth fretting over.
The third worry did have some real implications - it took me about a week to feel like I knew what I was doing again, and to get some sort of handle on the workload, and whilst it wasn’t an awful week, it wasn’t fantastic either. This hasn't been helped by the fact that we've been given about three weeks' worth of work to do in a week - good old Oxford, always pushing you to achieve more than you ever thought was humanly possible!!! I'm sure I'll be grateful for my increased work capacity later. For now, I'm just grateful that I managed to get through the work, however haphazardly it was done.
This term is definitely very different to Michaelmas. For one, I don't feel like a "fresher" any more. I'm still certainly not completely accustomed to Oxford life - I don't think I will be until I sit my moderations at the end of this term (the public exams all first year law students have to take) - but it doesn't feel new, either. I know, sort of, what to do to get my work done and although I'm still taking far longer than I'd like to do some things, I don't have that soul-gripping terror that accompanied the first few weeks of last term. Over the holidays, I was able to get some clarity and form a plan of attack, so to speak - so now I have an almost-functional work schedule and an almost-healthy sleep schedule, and I guess that's all any student can ask for?
...yeah I totally slept in until 11am today, let's be real. But still, I'm getting my 8 hours! And eating less takeout than I did last term! So we're counting it as a victory!
I'm nervous but excited to get stuck in to this term and the challenges and opportunities it will doubtlessly bring - and to hopefully write a few more of these articles ;).