By Olivia McQuaid
After saving up all summer, waking up at 7am to log onto the booking platform, and battling other Oxbridge students for places on the highly-sought after trip, I managed to secure a place on the annual Oxbridge ski trip - Varsity Trip. I’d never skied before, or even seen snow deeper than the measly little bit of icing sugar that stays on the ground in London, but I thought there was no better time than the present to start living my Chalet Girl dreams…
We left Oxford at 8pm, and after an exhausting term I crashed on the coach pretty much the whole way to Val Thorens. I later learned that going straight from term to an intense mix of partying and skiing was not the best for your sleep, but armed with overpriced coffees from the little chalet restaurants on the slopes I managed to power my way through the trip!
Having never skied before, my friends and I embarked on lessons, surrounded by thousands of other students who looked like Bambi on their rented skis. Don’t get me wrong, I loved these lessons and I am proud to say I can now successfully ski a blue run and only fall over twice, but there is something mildly humiliating about decking it at the ripe old age of 19 on the nursery slopes in front of 4-year-olds who can ski like professionals.
The views were amazing - a world away from the ‘dreaming spires’ - and it was so great to be able to hang out with friends in an environment so different to the one I’m used to in Oxford. The trip really felt like they’d just picked up Oxford and plonked it on the top of a mountain in the Alps. Oxford’s traditional club nights followed us, and people went off to ‘Park End’ wrapped up in layers to avoid the -15°C cold - a very different experience to clubbing while in Oxford!
The trip was amazing, and I’m so glad that I ended up going - I made memories to last a lifetime, and by the time I arrived home after the week I genuinely slept for 2 days straight. I would recommend it to anyone - yes, it is a little bit pricey, but definitely worth every penny. Roll on Varsity 2022!