Lots of people know about Oxford’s intense eight-week terms. The academic year is characterised by the waves of term-time bustle that contrasts with the relative emptiness of the vac. The city empties of lots of students, but not everyone leaves. At this time of year, students are often revising for their exams in Trinity term, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t try and step outside our usual term-time routines a little!
As the weather gets better, there’s more of a chance to go outside for a wander during breaks - to the parks or the meadows, or even just across the quad. A lot of work needs to happen before now and the start of term, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t do other things too. A lack of lectures and tutorials means we have a bit more extra time during the week to explore the city, even if that means taking the time to work in a different library or café. Fewer students mean more chances for seats - even in the Missing Bean! With fewer organised activities going on in the university, we now have time to explore the things the city has to offer: going for walks in lots of lovely green spaces, seeing concerts and plays (with student prices!), taking the time to cook for ourselves and friends without just eating whatever hall offers, and making more time for hobbies.
It can be really difficult to get out of the mindset that we should be working all the time, but we have vacations for a reason, and you can’t work at your best if you’ve tired and run down. It’s worth investing in yourself, and taking the time to relax, recover, and gain distance from your work, and take a slightly slower pace. While the vac can be a bit more solitary if lots of our friends have gone home, travelling or working for the vac, it’s a great time to look back and reflect on what we’d like for the next term, taking time for ourselves and to hopefully rest, or at least take a break from academic work for a little bit.