Advice to my fresher self


At this time each year, student media is flooded with advice for your first year at university. The advice applied to Oxford is particularly cliché and often misleading. While making half the mistakes you’re told to avoid is a crucial part of any fresher experience, in hindsight we all wish there had been someone to tell us how much it is socially acceptable to drink at formal, or how seriously the tutors take their love of niche research subjects (despite the apparent irrelevance to your course). With this in mind, and Freshers Week upon us, the OxStu team have swallowed their pride and unearthed a collection of embarrassing memories and cumulative wisdom to bring you the very best advice they wish they’d known a year (or two) ago.


“The first night in college, after hyperventilating in the toilet of Bella Italia that afternoon, will be spent in a panic during dinner in hall. There are candles, wine lists, and silver spoons that must have been custom made for people with mouths the size of aircraft carriers (try eating soup delicately off them). But it won’t be too posh for you to handle. You end up sitting next to your future (college) husband, who loves your lamb impression to explain vegetarianism. And laughs REALLY loudly. Oh, and everyone hates the spoons.”

Rheanna-Marie Hall
Features Editor


“Do EVERYTHING. No one ever left Oxford regretting not getting more sleep.”

James Waddell
Deputy Editor-in-Chief


“Dear fresher self,
Although you’re finding the first night out of freshers to be a new and very special level of awkward, don’t respond to this by drinking a whole lot of shots from a whole lot of second years. This will most likely result in you having to subtly dash out of the IT induction the next day to throw up in some public toilets. Power through in a more mature fashion – it gets so much better.”

Member of the Oxstu team


“Losing everyone you go out with on the first night of freshers isn’t always a bad thing. You can end up stumbling down Cornmarket, being hit by a t*** on a bike and gain sympathy from people who turn out to be the friends you spend the year with, and you might even live with some of them in 2nd year!”

Jake Hurfurt
Deputy Comment Editor


“It’s the ultimate cliché, but just get involved. Starting Oxford is understandably overwhelming, but don’t let panics about the workload and a desperation to impress terrifying tutors get in the way of anything you want to try out. You have all of Trinity to worry about prelims (which you only need to pass anyway), so for now, take advantage of the amazing opportunities and give something a go. And remember your keys. Having to run to the lodge at 2am because you’re locked out of your room for the third time that week is really never fun.”

Elizabeth Freeman
Features Editor


“Don’t bother befriending any visiting students. Yes, they’re unbelievably exotic, but too late will you realise that they aren’t in it for the long haul and before you know it they’ll have abandoned you for their ‘real’ friends back home.”

Natalie Harney
Creative Director


“In all likelihood, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of socials, clubs and traditions of Freshers Week. Two things though that you should definitely avoid rushing into:. Firstly, getting college married within 24 hours of arriving comes with the great risk of divorce come Trinity; secondly, good mates don’t necessarily make good housemates – choose elections reps, avoid entz reps.”

Jack and Jess


“ALWAYS save your work. Losing that essay on Barthes in the ether is more painful than a Cheese Floor scrum. It takes a lot of alcohol to wash away essay crisis sorrows anyway, don’t let temperamental and vindictive IT aggravate things.”

Alys Key
Deputy Editor-in-Chief


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