Ten things to do in Trinity

From someone who's actually had one

Your tutors will say that Trinity is for exams, hard work, and rounding off the year academically strong… this is a lie. The summer is finally here and for the first time since 2019 it might be normal! If you follow this concise but definitive list, then the ultimate Oxford term awaits you.


  1. Be Aesthetic – You have seen the influencers, scrolled through the pictures of iced lattes, browsed crochet tops on Depop all in preparation for this moment. Trinity means Instagram aesthetics. Why else did you try so hard to get into the best university in the world? Trinity brings with it your license to lounge on college lawns and remind the world you go to Oxford with a strategically placed copy of Beowulf on your Instagram story. In with long tanning sessions rationalised as working lunches, out with long hours in the library. Hello Port Meadow, goodbye lectures.Trinity is the time to be your best, most aggressively aesthetic self … by this point in the year someone might have forgotten about the five different matriculation posts on your feed and thought you went to Durham.

Trinity should exude the energy of sixth form when the DVD collection is brought out

  1. Get ‘Beach Body’ ready – No, I do not mean Trinity is for intensive gyming, long runs, or plenty of protein. The ideal Trinity physique comes in an ability to actually survive what might be the worst term of the academic calendar. There is no point getting to the only decent vac we have, not having seen a glimmer of sunshine and looking like the 8th Cullen (Twilight apparently – ed.). Trinity should exude the energy of sixth form when the DVD collection is brought out, it should be punctuated by training sessions of doing absolutely nothing to mentally prepare yourself for 3 months of idleness, it should make you question if today might be the day you contract the mystery illness from the questionable contents of the Cherwell. Don’t let Trinity be anything other than the pre-rest before the vac.


  1. Alienate Oxford residents – Trashing, the yearly tradition that alienates more Oxford residents than almost any other. Yes, nightly public intoxication is also up there. Taking up the entire pavement as we saunter from Pret to the Rad Cam is also not so strong from the collective student body. But, we stoop to our lowest as Trinity draws to a close and this rite of examination passage occurs. Trashing – for a student just finished with exams – is the perfect end to a hellishly long stint in Exam Schools (or more recently in front of their laptop). Yet, for those either having to clear it up in the streets, or those preventing their dog eating the shaving foam littering The Kidneys, it is maybe not so pleasant. When tackling Trinity do what you can to avoid annoying every local you come across.


  1. Revive your superiority complex – This one may be somewhat year applicable but by the time your second or third summer comes around I assure you there is nothing more satisfying than an afternoon spent observing the chaos that is punting. No activity has ever made such a reasonably bright group look quite so inept. As far as spectators’ sports go, leave rowing at the boat houses and head down Christ Church Meadow for an afternoon of the purest form of entertainment.

condescension towards those taking Prelims in Trinity is of course a requirement for any summer term schedule.

  1. Anti-Prelims Propaganda – a worthy extension of the above, condescension towards those taking Prelims in Trinity is of course a requirement for any summer term schedule. Privately, I will acknowledge that to many Prelims are really taxing, and my deepest sympathies go out to those having to struggle through such important and life changing examinations. So, when looking for a solution to ease the burden of stress that is placed on first year shoulders, I find it is always nice to do your civic duty and remind them that maybe they don’t need to take up an entire desk in the library, or print off every past paper ever written thus breaking the only college printer.


  1. Find your inner supersaver – The Oxford student, particularly when it comes to buying drinks, is often a little mean when it comes to expenditure. So, lucky you… I have a summer money saving tip for you. The exorbitantly priced drinks offered up at the likes of the King’s Arms or Isis Farmhouse do not help your student budget. Yet, if you were looking for that ever so basic drink epitomising everything about Britain between May and September look no further than The Bear. Within this gem can be found possibly the cheapest jug of Pimm’s in the County. Don’t be a fool and shell out £25 for what is possibly the most underwhelming drink of the summer season, go to The Bear and live out all your British Summer dreams for a price that is almost reasonable – don’t forget you’ve got that unpaid working experience to fund.


  1. Take Mamma Mia! too far – Universal Pictures did a terrible thing when they released Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Not only did they reignite the urge to immediately go Greek Island hopping, but they also validated every Oxford Students dream that one day they might be spontaneous and fun, that they have not sold their soul to a life of academia, banking, or law. Trinity is a term for promising yourself you will go away, discussing all the holidays you will book when you’ve finished your essay, and ultimately not booking anything at all. My only advice to combat this inevitable failure is to book something the moment the feeling strikes, actually be spontaneous and hopefully with all the money you have saved going to The Bear you might be able to afford your flights (who needs an internship anyway?)!


  1. Crisis over internships – Picture the scene, you’re enjoying the end of Hilary (actually knowing some people this crushing moment may occur for a few of you as early as Michaelmas) and discussing your summer plans. The holidays you’re definitely (without a doubt) booking, the road trips you’re planning, and the festivals you’ve got tickets for only seem moments away. However, your summer’s inadequacy (because we all know you never booked the holidays you had been so sure of) will unfailingly be highlighted by the ever present ‘intern’. The friend who got their Magic Circle work experience gifted to them as a Christening gift. The friend who just has ‘something small in the city’ to do for 8 weeks at twice the salary of the London Living Wage. We all know them, and I can almost completely assuredly say that all of us have smiled, said ‘oh that’s cool’, and afterwards rushed to our laptops to search in vain for internship applications that are still available. Of course, by the time Trinity comes around the realisation that you’ve missed the deadline has dawned on you and the probability that is will be another summer of explaining to your parent’s friends how competitive the pre-job market is seems likely.

Rowing is fine if you enjoy predawn wake ups, catching crabs (in the non-Wells-next-the-Sea sense), and having angry small people shouting at you… but no one has the time for the unisuit tan line.

  1. Partake in some serious sporting activity – What would Oxford be without those sporting idols among us who cannot resist a sporting profile picture change for every match? ‘Come down to Uni Parks’ is a regular clogger of Facebook feeds. Similarly, JCR meetings are flooded with rowing clubs begging for money to buy the new boat they couldn’t possibly race without in Summer 8s. It’s enough to put you off sport forever. However, what with the free time and tanning possibilities created by the great sporting outdoors, Trinity is the perfect time to take up some new extracurriculars. Rowing is fine if you enjoy predawn wake ups, catching crabs (in the non-Wells-next-the-Sea sense), and having angry small people shouting at you… but no one has the time for the unisuit tan line. Far safer to stay on land and participate in the strenuous social side that can be found among the Trinity sporting crowd. Summer 8s is made more bearable by the BBQs, just as a box of tinnies livens up many a Uni Parks cricket match.


  1. May Day – Finally, and possibly most importantly, is May Day, the annual celebration during which students get even less sleep than they normally would. However, unlike your caffeine fuelled burning of the library’s midnight oil on most other occasions this nocturnal turn is filled with arguably more interest. Of course, by interest I mean the Latin hymn sung from Magdalen Tower at 6 am and watching the sunrise. Although, don’t blame me if you find yourself otherwise engaged or diverted when the dawn finally comes around. If celebrations are done properly, who knows where you might end up.


There you have it, the conclusive guide to how to spend your Trinity. The main takeaways? Get to the summer having done all of your work, planned back to back internships and got a blue… obviously.

Image credit: Hungry Hungry Panda Flickr

Image description: A jug and two glasses full of Pimms on a sunny table outside a pub. Orange slices, limes and mint stick out of the glasses. On the jug ‘PIMMS’ is emblazoned in red.