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Postgraduate students – What is the social life like?

By Chloe Cassaro

Going back to a year ago, I got into my program (Interdisciplinary Biosciences DTP : after spending a really stressful summer. I was determined to fully embrace the Oxford way of life when I got offered a place at Linacre College, a postgraduate-only college, with no idea of what it corresponded to at first. Then came the time to move into this new life…

Social life in Oxford started almost as soon as I arrived at the beginning of the term, in October, with the return to classes for undergrads, Fresher’s Fair, College Induction, College fresher’s week, and then Matriculation.

My advice is to make the most of all of the college events and the fresher’s fair at first. I have discovered a bunch of nice societies and so many interesting people at both. This year the fair will be held online but I would still encourage everyone to have a look! There is something for everyone, be it sports club, subject-specific societies, or societies about different countries.

As for freshers’ week, we have already planned a lot of super fun events – mostly online and some in person - including typical wine and cheese or quiz nights in my college and we cannot wait for these to take place!

Unfortunately, in these troubled times, we have also had to cancel a few of the very nice events that usually happen yearly, including balls, garden parties, or most importantly the SSF (sexy sub fusc, the biggest student bop – party -, which actually happens in my college Linacre). But fear not! You will probably have the chance to experience these or other events throughout your time here.

In addition to college life, I was lucky enough as a graduate student to have a cohort of almost 50 people starting the same program as me, so I have spent a lot of time with my cohort, and I very quickly became a social secretary for my programme, organising events for everyone. Other than that, sports club are also a great place to meet new people, often from your college, but not always. I have taken up rowing when I arrived in Oxford, which was a great way to exercise and meet people studying diverse subjects.

My social life also includes now the many societies I am a part of, as a standard member or committee member, and I am a social secretary for my college too – operating behind the scenes to make the magic happen. I have noticed that people postgraduates are very active in Oxford, between meet-ups in bars, restaurants, talks by really great speakers, picnics in summer, or bops, so that I very quickly had no time to get bored… Add to that the time I spend working on my thesis in the lab, and that’s the recipe for a great and busy postgrad life!


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