Eve dressed in 'sub fusc' on Matriculation day
Eve dressed in 'sub fusc' on Matriculation day

Oxford undergraduates reflect on their first term

As the Michaelmas term comes to a close, three first-year undergraduates - Lloyd, Eve, and Freya - share their thoughts on their academic year so far.

What were your first impressions when you arrived in Oxford?

Freya at The Queen's College on matriculation dayFreya at The Queen's College on matriculation day

Lloyd: My first impressions of Oxford were great, I met nice people and got used to the area quickly. The workload is a lot, but it is what I expected from one of the best universities in the world.

Eve: I think I initially gained my first impressions from exploring the city itself, walking around streets and colleges steeped in such history is quite intimidating at first! But having lived here now for 8 weeks and getting into my studies I have come to love the city so much and getting to know people from around all of the different colleges has got rid of any intimidatory feelings I might have felt!

Freya: The city is even more gorgeous than I expected, I felt like I was walking around a green screen for a good few days!

What’s it like living and studying at an Oxford college?

Lloyd: Exeter is very nice, all the people are friendly and it's very easy to meet new people.

Eve: Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) is such a lovely environment to be in, both to live and study. The grounds are so beautiful and spacious, it is lovely to take a quick study break and take a walk to admire the gardens which are always so pretty and peaceful.

Everyone is so friendly at LMH it has been lovely getting to know my peers and socialising, with bops always being great fun. Studying at LMH has similarly been a brilliant experience so far, with all of my tutors and academic staff within college being immensely supportive and the friendly culture plays into this greatly too with everyone creating a supportive environment that has made settling in very easy.

Freya: I’m studying at Queen’s and I really love it! It has the perfect combination of looking very much “like an Oxford college” but also being a really friendly and close-knit community. The Upper Library is absolutely gorgeous and the hall food is really good!

Lloyd outside the Sheldonian, where new students take part in the matriculation ceremonyLloyd outside the Sheldonian, where new students take part in the matriculation ceremony

How are your studies going?

Lloyd: I am studying Maths and the course so far is not bad. There are ups and downs, some harder topics than others. The workload is a challenge but there is still time for yourself. Learning new things will always be enjoyable for me.

Eve: I am studying Music. The course so far has been fascinatingly varied so far. I have studied topics from ‘Music and Protest’ to ‘What is Music?’ and each has been captivating to explore and get stuck into. I have particularly enjoyed studying some of the topic modules, and getting to explore the history, politics and the people behind the music has been so interesting!

Freya: I’m studying Medicine and it’s going surprisingly well so far - the workload was really intense around the middle-end of term and it was quite tricky to balance everything but I’m enjoying what I’m learning so much!

Have you got involved in anything outside of your studies?

Lloyd: For me personally, it is hard to fit in multiple activities throughout my week, but I do try to join the ACS (African and Caribbean Society) activities when there is time.

Eve: All of the things I am involved in outside of my main course studies are all quite music-related! I play in OUPhil (Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra) which is a lovely way to spend an evening of my week . I also sing in the chapel choirs of LMH and Jesus College - having never sung in an evensong service before both choirs have been welcoming and great fun to participate in. Having done so many services I now know it inside out!

Freya: I’ve really enjoyed getting involved with OICCU (the University-wide Christian Union) and am especially looking forward to the carols at the Sheldonian!

Eve on her first day at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH), OxfordEve on her first day at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH), Oxford

What’s been the highlight of the term?

Lloyd: My highlight of the term was definitely freshers' week, it was the most fun and had no work to think about.

Eve: The highlight of my term was undoubtedly performing Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with OUPhil and OUChorus at the Sheldonian. It is such an awe-inspiringly historic venue and having the opportunity to perform such a staggering piece of music in such a space alongside friends was amazing and a firm memory I won't forget any time soon!

Freya: Matriculation! Dressing up in sub fusc & taking photos with my friends, followed by the ceremony in the Sheldonian and then punting was really fun and made me feel like I was “truly” at Oxford.

Can you sum up your Oxford experience so far in three words?

Lloyd: Challenging, different, enjoyable.

Eve: Inspiring, thought-provoking, enjoyable.

Freya: Hectic, memorable and exciting!