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Staying Connected to Oxford from Home

By Amy Leung @amy_wy_leung

After a socially distanced Michaelmas term, it was an unwelcome but not entirely unexpected announcement that the first few weeks of Hilary would be taking place from home. But for many of us, Oxford isn’t the place, it’s the people! There are lots of ways to feel connected to Oxford even if college is a little further away than we would like right now.

  1. Stay in touch!

You should be well practiced using Zoom/Teams after a term’s worth of online tutorials so use those screens to connect with friends! Call your household and go through your camera rolls together to review the term gone by and finally send over the videos you’ve been hoarding. Explore a whole host of online games to play over the computer together such as Skribbl, Among Us, or even stream a movie together!

2. Join a new society

If you found last term too hectic to join all the clubs you wanted, now is a great time to sign up to some mailing lists and follow societies you’re interested in on their socials. Many have shifted to online meetings with guest speakers, easily accessible from home and often open to questions or discussion at the end.

3. Write for a student magazine

New term means a new chance to pitch for many of the Oxford magazines! Join the contributors Facebook group and keep an eye out for commissions or pitch your own ideas to the editors. Not only is this a good chance to get involved with something new, get experience, and connect with more people, but it gives you a chance to research a topic of interest outside of your degree. There’s everything from film reviews to recipes to write up, put that lockdown baking expertise to use!

4. Continue Oxford habits

Give your day structure during term, whether that means setting an alarm to wake up on time or scheduling in a run. Plan lots of breaks and time to connect with friends to avoid sitting in front of the computer all day. Although home is a little too far for that walk in Christ Church Meadows or a wander around the Covered Market, keep exercising at and around home to maintain those healthy habits!

5. Get involved in access work

While interviews finished last year, there’s always time to get more involved in access work whether through your JCR or other organisations. This is the perfect way to give a little something back and help others aim for Oxford. You can either tutor in specific subjects or provide overall mentoring and university admissions support, and gain some great experience too!

6. Remember you’ll get back eventually!

It’s been a tough academic year so far, we’ll all admit that, and there is still a great deal of uncertainty ahead. But as cheesy as it sounds, we really are all in this together. Reach out to friends, contact your college and tutors if you’re struggling, take breaks and recognise you’re doing incredibly well for coping in such an unusual situation. Focus on getting through this period of time and we’ll all arrive back at Oxford eventually!


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