Students in Oxford University are subject to something called ‘the Oxford Bubble’. This may sound like a nice thing – after all, who doesn’t like bubbles, right? – but really it’s more of a state of ignorance. You get so absorbed in university life and your work that you kind of have no idea what’s going on in the rest of the world.
Now, when what’s happening in the rest of the world is terrible – Trump, war, etc. – this can be a much-needed, relieving experience. But when term finishes and you are forced back into the real world, it can be quite a shock – so here are some signs that you’ve been absorbed by the Oxford bubble that you should look out for.
- You can no longer think in terms of dates. If someone says to you that there’s an event on the 14th of February, you have no idea when they are talking about; you need to translate it to Tuesday of 4th week.
- You can’t remember the last time you travelled by bus or car. One of the great things about studying in Oxford is that (for all except students at St Hugh’s) everything is really close to you. Lectures, shops, other colleges, the ice rink – they’re all at most a 30 minute walk or a 15 minute bike ride.
- You haven’t had more than 8 hours sleep for a longgg time. 1am has become the new 7pm for you, and late night essay crises combined with Thursday Night Bridge seshes mean that sleep is low priority.. and that it’s always very unlikely you’ll make it to the 9am lecture on a Friday morning.
- You have no idea what’s been on TV – but Netflix is life. Because students overwhelmingly live in college accommodation and are only in Oxford during term time, nobody really has a TV in their room. iPlayer and 4oD used to be the method of choice for combatting this, but ever since you’ve had to have a TV license to use them, very few students have been keeping up with TV. Netflix definitely makes up for that though – and is one of the best ways to relax after frying your brain over an essay or a problem sheet all day.
- You think a 6 week holiday is way too short. Oxford terms are intense. They last 8 weeks, and in that time you will do more work than some of your friends at other universities do during the entire academic year. If you’re studying languages like I am, for example, you will write at least one essay a week on top of translations, speaking classes, grammar classes, and learning vocabulary. Needless to say, it can be quite exhausting, and the holidays are a much needed opportunity to catch up on sleep and to slow down.. but you also need to revise, and when there’s so much material to cover, what you used to think of as being a really long Summer Holiday when you were in school now seems like too short a time to get everything done.
So those were 5 signs that you’re stuck in the Oxford Bubble – would you add any? Let me know in the comments below!
Hope you have a great week, reader.