Illustrations by Ben Beechener
With a New Year comes a fresh new Global Affairs team. They’re excited, stressed and ready to go. The question is, which one of them are you?
You’re a poor geography/colouring-in student excited for their second-year fieldwork. With your trip due to start imminently are you going to virtual Berlin, virtual Tenerife or virtual Amsterdam?
- Berlin AND Amsterdam. I’m just that good at multitasking. (I’ll take Berghain over Tenerife’s good weather!)
- Berlin. The best city in the world. Good food, good music, good people and honestly the weather isn’t that bad!
- Tenerife. Hot weather and the beach trumps everything and always makes my problems go away.
- I missed the deadline to sign up for a course and am now frantically sending emails hoping I don’t get kicked off my degree.
- Amsterdam. Unlike Tenerife, I’m fairly confident that I know where it is (promising for a Global Affairs editor I know,) and seeing virtual tulips and canals would be great stress relief.
Summer vac’s finally arrived, you survived your virtual fieldwork and successfully bribed your college for a travel grant! Where are you going?
- Japan. Loads of natural beauty, yummy food, and amazing rural and urban culture.
- Can I say Berlin again? Otherwise I’d love to go around China.
- Istanbul. As a history nerd, it’s the best place to hang out.
- Anywhere with dramatic mountains and copious amounts of adventure… definitely avoiding Brits-abroad hotspots.
- Rail trip around India anyone? I’d love to see Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and then maybe travel down the coast to Mumbai and Bengaluru.
You’re packing your bags to go away… What essential items are you taking with you?
- A camera, books, and a deck of playing cards.
- Headphones, notebook, crocs, and running shoes.
- A large bar of chocolate, a hoodie (planes are kinda cold), sunglasses (for the aesthetic of course,) and headphones.
- I’ll be taking my hiking boots, wetsuit and tent, mixed up with at least two-years worth of snacks and a teddy-bear.
- A phrase book of the appropriate language, a paper and pen, and whichever pretentious book (bonus points if it’s poetry) I’ve chosen to carry around and not read.
On that note, just how late have you left your last-minute packing?
- Definitely a job for the night before.
- The hour before I have to leave my house. I hate packing, and don’t even get me started on unpacking!
- Picking the right clothes and shoes takes time, so probably at least 2-3 days before.
- All the best work is done at night. Just like my essays, reading and social life, I begin at 3am.
- Most likely the day before, but only after days of ‘eh well I’ll do it this evening I’m sure’ procrastination.
Oh no! The borders are closed! You’ve been turned away and sent back to Oxford. You make your way to your college bar to drown your sorrows. What are you drinking?
- Blue V³… Brasenose’s unofficial official college drink, consisting of a double vodka shot and a blue VK.
- A pint of lager makes me happiest.
- I only ever go there for the sociaisiling part, but if I did get a drink, I would keep it simple with a bottle of coca cola.
- A true cheapskate, I sneak my Tesco vodka and orange juice down the bar in my water bottle.
- The largest glass of orange juice they have – or if I’m feeling fancy, lemonade.
Dismayed, you find your college bar is just as shut as the borders. You make your way to your favourite Oxford hangout to hide from your problems, still dragging your three suitcases from your failed trip behind you. Where are you going?
- Queen’s Lane Cafe
- Port meadow: worth the trek, especially in summer.
- Hot chocolate in hand, I head straight to university parks.
You arrive at your favourite spot only to realise that you’ve lost a suitcase en route. Where’s it likely to be?
- In the toilet.
- I fell asleep on the bus from Heathrow to Oxford and almost missed the stop. Rushing out of the bus just in time, I forgot my suitcase which continued the journey on its own.
- Sitting all alone on Cornmarket street where I stopped to take a break.
- One suitcase?! Ha I’ve lost all three, and managed to accidentally pick someone else’s case up in the process. Time to call for help on Oxtickets…
- Wherever I put it down so I could jump over the bollards in the street. Surely someone else must find that irresistible each time?
It’s 9pm. You’ve given up. Your suitcase is a lost cause (rip your passport, your clothes and your dignity). You slowly make your way to Tesco and towards the sparsely populated meal deal section. What’s going straight in your basket?
- Hoisin duck wrap (I hate mayo), sweet chilli sensations, and the most expensive smoothie on offer – even if you don’t like the smoothie, it’s a crime not to.
- I’m a boring dude so a BLT sandwich, salt and vinegar crisps, and probably some sort of ice coffee.
- Southern fried chicken pasta, any crisps and a mango smoothie, because who actually goes for the healthy options?
- The sad vegan falafel wrap (whilst staring longingly at the feta and tomato pasta), chocolate flapjack, and whichever drink is highest in caffeine.
- Sweet chilli chicken wrap, whatever fruit is on offer, and the drink with most apple in. At this point I’m pretty sure I have an apple addiction.
Nourishment acquired, you beg college for access to your room. Permission is denied, but you never returned your key so, feeling smug, you go back to your room anyway. What’s your room normally like?
- Full of weird miscellaneous objects scattered everywhere and lots of elephant-related items. I really like elephants.
- The floor is never to be seen. Clothes, books, sheet music and other various items are always there instead. I do however always look forward to the box of chocolate I keep in my cupboard next to the sink.
- Everything is kept relatively tidy, one of the few places where I will ever appear organised.
- The room is full of illicit candles, fairylights and blue-tacked photos slowly falling off the wall. Enough to make any JCR domestic rep cry.
- Wait, the desk is for working, not just for use as a storage table? Getting across the room without stepping on the bewildering mess of stuff requires intense parkour skills.
Having broken back in, you hear a knock on your door and there stand thirty of your closest friends, who quickly tell you that half of college are in the same situation as you. You decide to round off the day by going out out… where are you headed?
- I don’t go to the actual college, but it has to be St Peter’s College bar (for the £1 jäger bombs), or the Four Candles.
- Parkend. Best music, best people, best vibes! The cheese floor is the place to be!
- Spoons, only place one can truly go to forget such an ‘eventful’ day.
- Ha ha I lost my passport with my suitcase and that’s my only ID! Time to take the club to someone’s room…
- Late night trip to the Ashmolean guys? I’d say the four candles but realistically it would be a five minute stop there and then an unnecessarily long walk around the centre of Oxford.
If you’re a super organised human you probably aren’t any of us, having said that it’s time to find out who your Global Affairs soul-mate is… If you got…
Mostly 1’s: Ace! You’re Ezra!
You have really odd and niche preferences. You love elephants, coffee shops with specifically foggy windows, and you can only write an essay when you have a candle lit next to your laptop. You also enjoy playing or watching football, and spending too many hours of the day watching TikTok on the toilet. You go out more than your degree would like you to, but spending time with friends is all worth the sacrifice. You are usually described by others as ‘a fun nerd’.
Mostly B’s: Nice one! You’re Johannes!
You’re obsessed with Berlin and will make sure everyone knows about it! You can’t keep a place tidy for more than a few hours, but you see your method as one of ‘organised mess’. Your approach to work is similar and you’ll be obsessed with one particular aspect of any piece of work, neglecting the rest until you have to complete it. You find great comfort in food (noodles especially), music, and outdoor activities, and somehow combining all three seems to be your way to cope with any crisis! Last but not least, you severely lack any knowledge of pop culture. You haven’t watched the films people talk about and you constantly find yourself asking questions like: ‘who is Tom Holland? Is he at my college?’
Mostly C’s: Aaaand… You got Sara!
There is a mix of basic and chaos to you, elements that tend to define how you go about your day. Though the perfectionist in you comes out every now and then and makes a great plan for something, your passion for distracting yourself with any and everything else often means that you often don’t get any further. Socialising is an exciting aspect of uni for you, and so giving in to peer pressure and going out is common, except when you decide you’ve run out of social energy and become confined to your room with a bar of chocolate, popcorn and a good movie (hate to admit it, but RomComs are a go-to). Through all this, you somehow muddle your way through your degree, admittedly with a few essay crises (maybe more than a few,) but muddle your way through nonetheless.
Mostly D’s: Woohoo! You’re Sofia!
Good luck to you…Somehow people who don’t know you think you’ve got your life together, when actually your friends (and tutors) know you’re a bit of a chaotic mess. Always buzzing/crashing on caffeine and hyper music, you can’t function without high levels of adrenaline and sugar in your system. You love all things active and adventurous (hiking, dancing, climbing etc.) and people know they shouldn’t start conversations about politics with you if they’ve got somewhere to be within the next three hours.
Mostly E’s: Congratulations! You’re Thomas!
You are the master of getting as little work done as possible and still, somehow, managing to cling on to the fraying threads of all the academic, extracurricular and social activities that you keep madly signing yourself up for. Your biggest weakness is being up for anything at any time – whether that’s going for a walk, doing sport, playing board games or going on a night out, with the end result that very rarely are you actually doing what you need to. You are obnoxiously political and have unnecessarily strong opinions on often irrelevant issues, which is barely offset by your treasure-trove of equally random and useless history facts, which you pray will be enough to one day secure you a job… hopefully.
We can’t wait to work with you all this term! If you have any questions or want to write for the section please get in touch with any of us – we’d love to hear from you.