So right now I’m sitting in the Radcliffe Camera (check it out), also known as the ‘Rad Cam’, doing homework. That’s right. I’m sitting in this monumentally famous and stunning piece of history and architecture, reading and annotating a book for my Vladimir Nabokov tutorial. This is definitely going to take some getting used to.
So Fresher’s Week at Mansfield is wrapping up. The big she-bang was on Thursday with the institution-wide Fresher’s Fair in the Examination School building. It was definitely overwhelming- I’m talking at least 4 massive rooms with hundreds and hundreds of organizations and probably a thousand people mingling and signing up. I don’t do very well with crowds but I loved the experience. Not only do we get cool freebies at the fair (planners, pens, coupons) but it was incredible to see something of this magnitude. Holy Cross is amazing in its own right, but the amount and variety of the clubs, socities, organizations, and activities offered at Oxford is unfathomable.
This is what I ended up signing up for (a lot of stuff, but I figured it’s better to get too many emails than too few!) : a tutoring program for primary school students in Oxford, a literarcy program that promotes creative writing and literacy for small children and culminates with a published children’s magazine, a community service group that works with people of mental disabilities of all ages, a charity organization that hosts balls and other funs activities (like bungee jumping!) to suppot charity, two printed student newspapers, a literary review, an online newspaper, literary magazine, creative writing society, drama club, and – believe it or not – many more. I can’t even keep track!
I also impulsively put my name down for Mansfield women’s football (soccer). Now, what I really want to do is row but I’m on surgeon’s orders to lay off the intensive ab work/ physical exercise until mid-November. Considering everyone I know here is trying out for rowing as we speak, I’m a little depressed about the whole thing. So I made a last-minute decision persuaded by a few 2nd years to try out for women’s soccer. Let’s keep in mind here people – soccer is probably my least favorite sport (sorry soccer fans). I played for a season when I was 8 and the only time I ever scored a goal was in my own… yeah. Not so hot. I hate running, I always kick the air in my attempt to the kick the ball, and it doesn’t entertain me. Great combo? Not so much. But in order to fit in, essenitally, I signed up. But I think I made the right decision when I woke up this morning.
As I put on my sneakers (or ‘trainers’, as they say here), it didn’t feel right to go try out for women’s club soccer. I’m so intent on meeting people and making friends and challenging myself, I think I got a little too wrapped up and forgot what that really means. My mom reminded me (as I made a spastic 5 AM her-time phone call earlier this morning in need of some motherly advice) you don’t have to do something you simply don’t want to do just to meet people. That’s not the right way to do it. So although I’m absolutely dying to row and I hear doing a sport is one of the best ways to meet people, I’m keeping my head up high. I opted out of soccer for the right reasons and I have to keep faith that the other activities I signed up for will help me meet people. I’ll be rowing eventually and I can challenge myself in much more meaningful ways.
For instance? I met with my creative writing fiction secondary tutor yesterday and he told me I’ll be starting my very own novel this term. And I have to propse a few book synposes in a week to get started. HOLY. CRAP. I have a lot in store for me this term!