The Five People You Meet in Freshers’ Week

 The Evangelical Christian

 Offering toasties, pancakes and even an eternal afterlife, the evangelical Christian won’t hesitate to share the Good News with incoming freshers. Although there have been no reports of Saul-like conversions on finding a flyer in a pigeon hole, this won’t stop the Christian from fighting the good fight to reclaim your soul for Jesus. The Christian will regularly advertise CU events by using free food as a tempting carrot – the carrot, fortunately, is proverbial, for these spreads are renowned for their provision of tremendous amounts of junk food.

Clothes: Sensible.

Habitat: Up in your grille.

Catchphrase: “Hi everyone – I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine. Goes by the name of JC. And he’s your friend too.”


Free food, with a brief talk. PHOTO//hectorthebeat


The Hipster

Leaning nonchalantly against the St Cross building, smoking a roll-up cigarette while listening to something you wouldn’t have heard of: it can only be the Hipster. Oxford hipsters make a point of frequenting Babylove, a small King Edward Street club known for its eclectic music, and are likely to be English Literature students.

Clothes: Michaelmas chills provide the perfect opportunity for large and hideous knitwear.

Habitat: Failing Babylove, the lower floor of the Rad Cam is always full of Mac-wielding hipsters.

Catchphrase: “If we had a catchphrase, it’d be ‘catchphrases are mainstream’. God, that’s so meta!”


Just one gear on his fixie-bike. PHOTO/Racingmix

The Top Lad

Never wavering from a quest to score on the pitch by day and in the club by night, the Top Lad sees life as a matter of getting his sweaty hands on as much cash, lash, and gash as he can manage. Top Lads tend to cleave to each other within days of term starting, united by their love of sport. Although this can manifest itself in trying out for college football and rugby teams, participation is often a stepping stone to involvement in club socials and crew dates. Expect the Top Lad to heartily pledge allegiance to his new-found tribe through lustily singing its songs at Jamal’s, before heading off, hopelessly inebriated, to Park End. Top Lads do not mix with women when sober, but nevertheless find homosexuality ‘fucking weird.’

Clothes: K-Swiss and jeans form a solid defence, with a fluid forward line alternating between a replica United top and a shirt for clubbing.

Hangout: The JCR, in front of Sky Sports.

Catchphrase: (addressed to the television) “Carroll, how can you fucking miss that?!”



The Rower

 What could be better than messing about in boats? Lots of things, actually, but that’s not what the rowers will tell you when they urge you to sign up for the boat club. Gratifying the boatie succubus will consign you to a living hell of early starts on freezing rivers. Perhaps rowing is an activity best viewed from the outside in, with sunny regattas in the warmer months, and infamously degenerate Boatie Cocktails events taking place over the year.

Clothes: Any excuse for a Lycra nutsack.

Hangout: The Cherwell. Need we say more?

Catchphrase: “Just whacked out a new PB split on the erg! Bosh!”


Look like your cup of tea? PHOTO/Annie Mole


The JCR President-in-Waiting

Even before they are college born in October, the JCR Presidents-in-Waiting can be observed in the college womb that is the Freshers’ Facebook page. They are extraordinarily well-informed on JCR constitutional matters and will even correct current undergraduates on points of college administration. By the time the President-in-Waiting arrives at Oxford, they will be prepared to assume office, eagerly networking as they vow to implement a new system of printer credits across their college.

Clothes: “Hustings day? Power tie it is!”

Habitat: By the ballot box.

Catchphrase: “I think you’ll find that Article 4a, subclause 1, has a rather different definition of ‘laundry.’”



…and the one you don’t

 “And some say,” intones a wizened Porter, “that, very occasionally, it can be seen walking down this very corridor at the dead of night.” Don’t expect anything approaching this level of interaction with the Reclusive International Student: every college has one. Marked only by his inconspicuous absence from every college social event, the light under the locked door of the international student is often the only clue as to his occupancy.


What goes on behind closed doors? PHOTO/philippeleroyer