Returning to 'normal'

18th November 2021

News, Student news, Home Feed

One year on from a freshers’ experience which involved isolating, face covering, remote teaching and hand sanitiser, Wadham undergraduates Eva and Dani report on a more normal Michaelmas term.

  • Wadham crews are back on the river

    Wadham crews are back on the river

  • Girls drinking in the College bar

    Wadham Bar re-opens it's doors in the new William Doo Undergraduate Centre

  • Graduation ceremony at Wadham college

    Graduation ceremonies are among the many activities to recommence this term following the pandemic.

This year I’ve found out what student life is really all about: it’s new, exciting and fairly chaotic, but I’m definitely loving it!”

Eva Hayward (Classics, 2020)

Eva Hayward (Classics 2020)

“This term at Oxford has been completely different to last year in more ways than one. I counted myself so lucky in first year compared to my friends in other unis. While they were in some cases confined to one flat for the whole year and didn’t meet anyone from their course at all, I had some classes online, was able to meet people around college and joined some societies which even held a few socially distanced in-person events.

“One of the best things (often underrated when you don’t want to get up for a 9am) has been having all my classes in-person. I really struggle with focusing in an online setting, and there were times last year where I would just zone out from a pre-recorded lecture or even a tutorial for minutes at a time – Zoom fatigue was definitely real!

“Another real bonus has been clubs and societies starting up again. The Wadham Orchestra has been the first classical ensemble I’ve played in since the pandemic, and it’s so special to be able to get back to things you love. Even just being able to do ‘normal’ student things - going to the pub, heading into town for some shopping, having a birthday party – without worrying about it or even thinking twice is so amazing.

There’s been an unexpected consequence to this. Since I can now actually go places and do things, I’ve had a few problems balancing my workload with all my other commitments…apparently, it’s much easier to let things slip when you fill up your day with other things.

"Last year, a visit to Wadhbar was a great night out; now the standards are higher, so keeping everything ticking over can get tricky. But being able to meet up with friends, go to classes in ‘real life’, see people in other colleges and join any and every music group I could wish to is more than compensation. 

"I am in such a privileged position to be able to go to Oxford at all - I’ve felt that ever since I was accepted to my course - but this year I’ve found out what student life is really all about: it’s new, exciting and fairly chaotic, but I’m definitely loving it!”

Dani Kovacs (History, 2020) and Wadham SU Chair

“This year, for many of us, resembles a lot more of what we thought university life would be like, especially with so many more events that can now take place that couldn't last year, and the general freedom of being able to gather and socialize without restrictions.

"We've had the glorious return of Wadham College bops, which have been held to great success. College sports have also returned, with Wadham teams competing in intercollegiate leagues and cuppers in sports such as football, netball, chess and more.

SU meetings have seen increased attendance and engagement, motions passed recently include providing funding for events such as queer week and our Diwali celebration. Arts are restarting as well; life drawing classes have already begun and there are plans to have some oil painting classes too. Liberation officers in the SU committee have begun organizing a number of events, including a series of rights-based, sex-positive and trauma-informed workshops run by the School of Sex Ed, organised by the Womens' Officers; a bi-weekly men's mental health talking group, organised by the Women's Officers; queer week, to be organised by the LGBTQIA and Trans Officers; events for Black History Month, organised by the PoCRE Officers

The Wadham SU has also been engaging with broader university matters, such as a uni-wide 'Green collegiate' ranking table and a protest condemning spiking in nightclubs.”

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