Hey! I’ve technically/officially been at Oxford, England with my study abroad program for 2 days now! To clear this up, I’ll tell you about my fake first day and my real first day at Oxford.
Fake first day
When I got to the London-Heathrow airport, I was horribly jet lagged and feeling gross. After a nice smoothie, I felt better, but got progressively more exhausted until I was functioning, but in a half lucid state.
I knew I had to stay awake until AT LEAST 6pm England time in order to fully adjust, but I was just so tried that I kept dozing off on the 1.5 hour bus journey.
Once we got to our dorm at Oxford, they handed us our room keys and a bagged lunch. Just a few minutes later, we were slapped with a quick orientation followed by a walking tour. The tour took us through the Christ Church Meadow path, which followed along the river Thames. I know the Thames is a huge river in London, but here in Oxford, its a serene little creek full of punting boats and rowing teams. We even saw the start of a rowing competition!
What was most strange to me, though, was that I knew this little hike was objectively fun, but exhaustion had me feeling so grumpy and angry to be on it. The cognitive dissonance there was startling, and guilt-inducing too. Thankfully, I felt better and thus different about the experience the following day. The point is, it’s okay to not feel great sometimes, especially after an exhausting day, and it doesn’t make you a bad person or traveler.
After the walk, we had dinner in the dining hall, which was an incredibly fancy 3-course meal. Soup, entree, followed by dessert. I think I’m going to like it here 🙂
After dinner, I went upstairs to my dorm, had a glorious shower, and passed out for 12 hours.
Real First Day
I call this the real first day because I was barely conscious for the first day, but today, I was jet lag free and in a great mood!
The day started out with a brief history lesson on the university, where we learned that the university is called Oxford because when it was first settled, the oxen had to cross the Thames to bring supplies, thereby providing the name, Ox’s Ford= Oxford.
After the lesson, we had a tea break in the dining hall, where tea, coffee, cookies, and biscuits are provided. We then set off on a huge walking tour of Oxford.
The walk covered all the big, iconic landmarks, like Radcliffe’s Camera, Church of Christ, and the Divinity School (where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed) just to name a few.
I also learned that there are 39 colleges that make up Oxford University, and I’ve made it my personal mission to visit them all! I would guess that on our huge tour, we’ve seen six, and I live in one, so that makes seven so far!
We ended the tour in the Covered Market, which has been open since the 1700’s. They have a lot of different stores there, and my favorite one made specialty cakes.
Dinner was just as good, and afterwards, some friends and I went into town to visit the Tufted Tavern. It was so nice to be able to order my own drink here, and I wasn’t even carded! What a world. I got a Tufted Tavern draft, which was darker than I’m used to, but not bad at all! Hopefully here in Europe I’ll learn what the term ‘hoppy’ means.
I realized that that probably sounded dumb, but I’m all about being myself here on WTB.
You’ll also notice that I didn’t add photos, but that’s because I’ve just gotten back from the aforementioned tavern and I need to go to bed. I’ll probably add them in later.
And… that was my first day at Oxford! I know this post wasn’t informative or insightful at all, but I hope it was at least a little bit entertaining for you.