With the rigorous academic reputation Oxford has, it’s easy to think that coming here automatically means you’re doomed to have no social life and spend every waking hour in your room or the library. That was definitely a fear of mine before coming here, but I’ve been surprised at the scope of social/night life here at Oxford.
Yes, you do get set a lot of work here, but it’s definitely possible to meet up with friends regularly, and if you organise your work efficiently, you could go out most nights a week (although waking up for your 9ams might be a bit tricky…). I personally prefer to have small gatherings or go to the pub than a club, but in the 5 weeks since being here I’ve been to three different clubs (which is nowhere near the amount of clubs Oxford has to offer) and not only are they all within walking distance of college (meaning you can just slump straight into bed afterwards), but every time I’ve gone out I’ve had a great time. One thing I found weird to start with is how common it is for people to go out during the week, but that’s partly down to the student nights clubs have throughout the week, often including reduced admission or drinks. Clubs here also tend to close pretty early (not the 5am closes I was used to in London) so you can go out on a weekday without having to worry too much about losing that all-important beauty sleep.
There are also loads of pubs dotted all over the place. Not all of them are affordable, but don’t worry – there are Wetherspoons, so you won’t have to pay £5 a pint everywhere you go, and after all, you can always get drinks from supermarkets and make your own fun back in college with friends. And, of course, there are college bops fairly regularly, which are parties hosted in your college (or at a local club which is hired out). These tend to have a theme and involve a very funny, last-minute hurry to throw together a costume, and are just generally a really great way to ‘go out’ with friends from college.
If you’re not a big drinker then you’re definitely not alone – there’s a pretty great mix here of people who love to go out, people who don’t go out at all and people like me who try and find a bit of a balance. Whilst it’s a pretty typical student activity, not all social life revolves around drinking either. The amount of societies and college-run activities that are organised, from sports training/matches to film nights to quizzes, means you’ll very rarely be looking for something to do, and will probably have to choose between different events!