A Quick Look Back on (virtual) Trinity
|A screenshot of a Zoom call with me and some friends, pretty much |
sums up the online term
Well, Trinity term was not as expected. At the end of Hilary as I packed up all my things and me and my dad sped off down the road towards Cardiff, I was under the impression that we might be back in April for a new term. I thought COVID-19 was something confined to Europe (but then again I thought it was going to be confined to just China initially) but that was certainly not the case. Quite quickly university communications layed out the provisions for remote learning for the whole term, libraries were moved online and tutorials were done through Microsoft Teams- not ideal.
Virtual trinity has been ... different but I've still enjoyed my work and my extra curricular and having this time away has ignited a new desire to really explore and fall in love with oxford all over again in October.
So after a break for Easter and a well needed rest, I opened up my laptop on the first day of 1st week and began to wade through the online content. Quickly I fell into a routine: classes on Thursday, tutorials on Friday, reading for the classes Saturday to Monday then transition to essay reading as I tried to juggle the creation of class presentations and an essay plan with varying success rates.
I had chosen for my Optional Subject a new paper on the Mongols which really excited me as it was the first step towards branching outside of European history. I found the course endlessly interesting and I just didn't have enough time in the week to read everything I wanted no matter how many hours of reading I crammed in. Even though I was really enjoying the course I did find working from home really difficult especially because I don't have a desk or study room in my house so I work generally on my dining room table which is the epicentre of the home. As you can imagine it was quite noisy and messy, especially with my other family members all having to work from home as well, have online meetings and just generally function on top of each other day in and day out.
I did get into a rhythm with work but as it got towards the end of term I began to feel strain; I was struggling to concentrate and not really being allowed out meant there was no where to escape to. I ended up writing my essays sat in the car because it was the only place I could find any peace and quiet! (I would recommend, it's oddly like a vacuum).
Overall I found the term quite disorientating and I severely missed oxford and everything that went with it. I wasn't able to experience Trinity which is supposed to be the best Oxford term which meant no punting, no Port Meadow sunsets, no bops or balls and no end of exam trashings. Whilst this was a real kick in the teeth the lockdown was necessary and it just means I have all those things to look forward to next year! I still made sure to catch up with my friends over social media and had fairly regular video calls which provided some really nice down time.
In terms of extras, I wasn't able to carry on with nay college sports or exploring but my first term as president of the JCR kept me busy to say the least with organising and communicating with the college and the JCR about provisions and updates as well as trying to plan Freshers Week (more on that to come!). I also took advantage of the wealth of online opportunities including the History Society talks and the Oxford Union podcasts as well as sneakily checking out the Cambridge Union videos as well. I've also started getting through the BBC Sounds 'In Our Time' podcasts with Melvin Bragg which are excellent and talk about topics you might never have considered like the evolutionary history of horse!
What I'm looking forward to next term:
|When I went back to Oxford|
to collect some my things I
bumped into Ishwa - always
- The Christmas Markets again
- Living out of college with my friends in our own house
- Visiting at least one unexplored cafe a week and taking the time to read a book over a cup of tea
- Start going to all the libraries even if it juts to look and not work
- Meeting the new Freshers
- Carrying on with the JCR presidency in person