A Guide To Returning Home For The Vac

It’s almost that sad, sad time of term again – the end of it. Work is nearly done, but unfortunately, so is the fun and independence you have at uni, and before you know it you’re back in your childhood bedroom begging the one home friend who’s actually still in your hometown to hang out every day so that you don’t lose your mind entirely before the rest of them return from other unis/jobs. Luckily for you, I have some tips on how to make the most of returning home from Oxford.

1. Enter hibernation for at least a week

Everyone jokes about this, but it’s actually a necessary part of any Oxford degree. Think of it as putting yourself on charge. And make sure you mention to everyone you meet in your few waking hours of this week that you’re so tired, because, did they know, you just got back from Oxford (yes, you go to Oxford, did they know?) and the only thing getting you through the workload is the superiority complex you have about it.

2. Exclusively wear stash

Once you’ve left your hibernation period and you resemble something more like a normal human than a 12-year-old who listens to My Chemical Romance and has just discovered black kohl eyeliner (read: the dark circles under your eyes have started to at least fade a little), now is the most important phase of returning from Oxford: reminding everyone that you go to Oxford. The easiest way to do this is to wear stash around your hometown – think college puffers, sweatshirts from the Varsity Shop, tote bags you got on the open day in 2019 (even if they’re the wrong college – no one’s going to know that), and essentially anything with the word Oxford slapped across the front. Even if no one in your hometown ever goes to Oxford and therefore thinks Merton is a London borough rather than an Oxford college, the feeling of smug superiority will override any of this ridiculous “logic”.

3. Wait for your home friends to return

The hardest period of the vac – other unis don’t care about your silly eight-week terms and the fact you have to move back home at the end of every one of them. Your friends who go to other unis will not return for another two weeks at least. You spend every day doing very little and complaining about the fact they haven’t come home yet until they do.

4. Cave and go visit your Oxford friends instead

It’s hard being separated from the people you see (read: trauma bond with) everyday for so long, especially when you’re still on step 3 and there’s no one at home to remind you that your social life does exist outside of this tiny historic city. This is achievable enough though – make one trip to London and you’ll be able to cover at least half of the people from your college.

5. Spend the whole vac complaining about how badly you want to go back to Oxford

This one’s easy. As your mental health declines by an extra .5% every day you’re at home, spend every waking hour reminding everyone that, not only do you go to Oxford (see step 2) but you desperately want to be back there and, although you have some cultural pride about your hometown, the 1960s brutalist office blocks just don’t quite compare to the glowing golden limestone of your Oxford college (unless you go to Catz, in which case you can skip this step altogether – just walk past your local comprehensive secondary school instead and you’ll feel right at home!).

6. Come back to Oxford

Finally, the day you have circled dramatically on your calendar has arrived – the day you return to Oxford. As you drive through the golden streets, you feel your mental health being restored, the birds are singing, the sun is shining – until you get set your first essay, and you’re desperate for term to end again. The grass is always greener…


Image description: An aerial shot of Oxford