Was such a whirlwind of a week, that two years on I have very little memory of it. Being in the same boat in a new city with so many others just had such an electric vibe which is a feeling I do remember.

Victoria Walls, Third Year, Christ Church
Source: Sarina Chandaria

My Freshers Week was an emotional rollercoaster and a half. I think people imagine that this is the time (and the only time) where you meet your friends for life. But friendships don’t work like that. You need time and shared experiences and building trust before something can be a friendship. So having fun in Freshers Week is important, but if you don’t spend 24/7 socialising or have a cry because you’re missing home, that’s all normal. You have the next three years (minimum) to make memories.

Gabriella Emery, Second Year, Wadham
Source: Sarina Chandaria

I don’t remember much of my freshers as was pretty smashed for most of it. Pemb JCR took us ice skating which I thought was cool.

Anon, Third Year, Pembroke
Source: Sarina Chandaria

I don’t think I’ll ever forget our first formal dinner in college. The enormity of the hall we were eating in just felt completely mental and I spent at least half of the evening terrified that my tutor (sitting opposite to me) would hate me forever because I said I hadn’t liked Margaret Atwood’s new book ‘The Testaments’. On the positive side though, I was seated next to some of my now-best friends which was a big plus. And there was free unlimited wine, which was also a decent highlight.

Gaia Clark Nevola, Second Year, St Catz
Source: Sarina Chandaria

Freshers Week was a bit of blur- I definitely had a lot of fun from subject drinks to ice skating but those highs were punctuated with weird moments of stillness where I didn’t really know what to do (I often took naps on my window seat). When it got to Sunday, I was officially overwhelmed – I felt I was having the same conversation over and over, not sleeping well and was more than a little nervous about what it would be like to start academic work again after almost a year and half off.

While it’s important to try and put yourself out there as much as you can (even though its awkward and hard), I knew I needed a day by myself to chill out. So I went on a long walk around Oxford, saw Crazy Rich Asians in the weird Odeon at the back of the Costa near Fever and took myself out for lunch. I returned feeling much more at home and ready for the weeks to come.

Sarina Chandaria, Third Year, Christ Church
Source: Sarina Chandaria

Probably the best thing I did to get myself out of wallowing in self-consciousness was saying yes to things that other people invited me to even if I didn’t think it was up my street – I went to an audition, went to socials for clubs I’ve never been to since, but it was like breaking the ice for me vs Oxford

Vicky Stone, Second Year, Teddy Hall
Source: Sarina Chandaria

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