Many people worry that coming to Oxford means they'll have no social life because all they'll be doing is working - but that simply isn't true! Katie, for example, joined OUWAFC - the University Women's Football club - when she started Oxford!
I had no intention of playing a sport at a competitive level at university. I had done that for six years during high school and I knew that it would be even harder to accomplish alongside the famous Oxford workload. However, I didn’t realize how much I would miss the team environment or the feeling of competing for something.
The Saturday after Freshers’ week, my friend and I walked twenty minutes in freezing rain to the football field and by the time we got there, we already wanted to turn around. There was no way that we were going to spend 2 hours playing football in shorts in the cold at 9 AM on Saturday! But the current team members were so friendly and everyone bonded over being miserable together - and that made it worthwhile to play! Once we started playing, we quickly forgot about how cold it was and were completely focused on trying to score. For me, it really helped me to focus more on just playing the game that I knew so well, but hadn’t played in so long, rather than remembering that we were here for trials.
I ended up making the team and haven’t regretted it since. The practices are only two times a week for the second team and three times a week for the Blues, which isn’t really that bad compared to high school sports in the US. Additionally, I found that having a scheduled extracurricular also helped with my workload by forcing me to actually sit down and do work and by giving me an outlet when I needed it. One returning player said that athletes and other students get the same amount of work done, we just get it done more efficiently.
It’s also a great way to meet new people outside of college and to widen your social bubble. Personally, I’m not a big fan of clubbing, but going with my team members dressed in 'Garbage and Glitter' made it much more fun! Even better, there was no pressure within the team to drink or even go out, which is often a big concern. Additionally, the team environment carries over to clubbing, so that no one felt left out or alone when we went out and we were supporting each other the whole night.
If you have any experience with any sport at all, there really is no harm in trying out and even if you don’t think you will, you might end up loving it and realizing just how many great benefits there are!