Oxford University, the dream institution. A storybook “campus”, Harry Potter classrooms, and home to all the essentials of being a cute little town just outside of London. Amazing right? Well yea, it is. But there are some not-so-charming parts, too. How about I start with the bad, and end with the good?
I had the opportunity to study at Oxford; I was participating in the normal tutorials (what they call classes, only two or three students meeting with the professors) and I was also working one on one under the head of the English department (that’s right, I feel so cool every time I say those words). She was incredible, and I learnt so much, however I constantly felt defeated. It reminded me of when I attended Boston University, though I loved the people around me, it was like a war zone of combatting achievements and spots.
I feel as though this can be found in any University, but as I have now studied at three, I feel like I can say I am pretty well rounded in the Uni world. There are certain mindsets that exist within the likes of Oxford students and professors that makes me realize some just do not want to find joy in life (okay, an exaggeration, but still). They focus so much on their research and beating those around them and when they finally let loose and get distracted you wonder if they’re even having fun at all?
Yes, I loved waking up and walking down the cobblestone streets to my classes that were held in buildings older than my own country, but I also walked to classes that were in ugly buildings built in the 1970s. While the charm of the University outweighs the few ugly buildings, the grass is not always greener.
NOW for the good parts. Living in Oxford, England was a dream. I got to walk everywhere, do my homework in little coffee shops, wake up with a large garden outside my window. I had British friends, went on dates with British guys, and got to travel all over Europe. I only had to take two classes at a time since their terms are set up differently than ours, so my days were spent exploring botanical gardens, drinking tea, going to antique bookshops, and reading books for fun.
Oxford is such a picturesque town; one day I literally stumbled upon a meadow full of roaming horses and cows and I sat and started writing a novel. I know, I am the millennial Jane Austen. Being able to see first hand a culture like that of the British is so fascinating; I learnt so much outside of the classroom that I truly could not learn anywhere else. No, this is not an advertisement for UGA study abroad, but it is my own story of how I fell in love with myself in a meadow.