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St John's - yay or nay?

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    Hey guys,
    I was soooooo happy when I got an offer from Durham (for sociology), but then a bit disappointed that I didn't get into the college I wanted.

    I applied to Josephine Butler but got put into St John's. In this college I don't get to be self-catered, I'd have to wear a gown to formal dinners, I may have to share a room (which is the biggest problem for me) and I'm less likely to have an en suite. Oh, and just as I have recently become agnostic, I have been put into the most Christian college, awkward at all ?

    If I'd have understood the pooling system back when I applied I probably would have been more strategic but at the time I simply applied for the college I liked the best.

    I'm still truly grateful to have an offer from Durham but I'm just wondering if anyone's in a similar position? Or if anyone has chosen to be in St. John's and can tell me the advantages of that college ?
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    I was allocated St. John's having made an open application. My circumstances are very different to your's, which is why my application was open. But am pleased that it is one of the smaller colleges. I had a slight preference for a college not requiring gowns for formals, I am hoping I can find a gown that goes around me and yet does not drag on the floor I am not religious at all so you will not be alone.

    Good luck, you might see me in the bar........I will be easy to spot.....lots of grey hair yet obviously a student.
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    (Original post by evening sunrise)
    I was allocated....
    Ah thank you, hearing from someone so relaxed about it has helped me to remember it's not the end of the world and to stop worrying about it so much :')

    Although I'm still dreading possibly having to share a room aha Do you know if it costs the same to share as it does to have a single room?

    Haha, will you be going to the open day in March?
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    I am afraid I do not. My circumstances are very different. I will be starting at Durham and my wife will be starting at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, we still have 2 of our four kids at home, our plan is to sell down here and buy in Durham, we like the area, and we will be significantly nearer the Highlands too If we do not sell we will rent out down here and rent up there.

    I can understand the concerns regarding the sharing of rooms, bathrooms less so, because I camp a lot when doing my photography, hence that is the ultimate in bathroom share. I have shared hotel rooms on a regular basis with mates, but with each mate there was a first time when they were "less of a mate", but only for a week or two at a time, say during a fishing trip to the highlands or abroad. However in my view that concern is relevant to any college and most Unis, and nothing specific to Durham, and especially St John's and its perceived religious flavour.

    Sorry I could not help out more in regard to this particular aspect. What I can say is it will only be for around 30 weeks of the first 12 months before they "kick you out" to fend for your self I believe the probability for getting a single room in year 3 is much greater, for those that move back in, many do not once they have experienced year two.
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    Ah well thanks a lot and good luck with everything !
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    (Original post by A.B!)
    Ah thank you, hearing from someone so relaxed about it has helped me to remember it's not the end of the world and to stop worrying about it so much :')

    Although I'm still dreading possibly having to share a room aha Do you know if it costs the same to share as it does to have a single room?

    Haha, will you be going to the open day in March?
    It does cost the same, all catered rooms cost the same whether they are ensuite or not, single or shared.

    If you go on the university website, they have the prices listed in the collegs and accommodation section.
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    Ah okay, thanks
    Well it doesn't seem fair to pay the same for a shared room as a single room, but i'll have a proper look on the website
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    (Original post by A.B!)
    Ah okay, thanks
    Well it doesn't seem fair to pay the same for a shared room as a single room, but i'll have a proper look on the website
    If I was staying Halls/college I would share with a baboon of it meant the price was halved.
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    Sorry to revive a slightly older thread... I don't know if you guys are still around TSR?

    I've been allocated to St Johns as-well and I'm also slightly worried about the Christian ethos as I've never been one to attend church regularly bla bla bla... I'm sure it'll be fine though, I mean, I've watched the videos and read the website and everything seems really nice.

    I think it'll be pretty cool wearing gowns and stuff to formal hall - The amount of culture and heritage that Johns seems to have, makes it look like a fascinating place to live and study. Plus, it's right in the city centre on the bailey... So in the event the worst should happen, the pubs/bars are close enough for us to crawl our way towards. :P

    Have any of you been to visit yet?
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    (Original post by Mod Calm)
    Sorry to revive a slightly older thread... I don't know if you guys are still around TSR?

    I've been allocated to St Johns as-well and I'm also slightly worried about the Christian ethos as I've never been one to attend church regularly bla bla bla... I'm sure it'll be fine though, I mean, I've watched the videos and read the website and everything seems really nice.

    I think it'll be pretty cool wearing gowns and stuff to formal hall - The amount of culture and heritage that Johns seems to have, makes it look like a fascinating place to live and study. Plus, it's right in the city centre on the bailey... So in the event the worst should happen, the pubs/bars are close enough for us to crawl our way towards. :P

    Have any of you been to visit yet?
    I am visiting the college (St John's) and the department in early June.
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    (Original post by A.B!)
    Ah okay, thanks
    Well it doesn't seem fair to pay the same for a shared room as a single room, but i'll have a proper look on the website
    Though would you really want an obvious money/class divide according to what room you're in? It's not fair, but it's better that way.
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    (Original post by Mod Calm)
    Sorry to revive a slightly older thread... I don't know if you guys are still around TSR?

    I've been allocated to St Johns as-well and I'm also slightly worried about the Christian ethos as I've never been one to attend church regularly bla bla bla... I'm sure it'll be fine though, I mean, I've watched the videos and read the website and everything seems really nice.

    I think it'll be pretty cool wearing gowns and stuff to formal hall - The amount of culture and heritage that Johns seems to have, makes it look like a fascinating place to live and study. Plus, it's right in the city centre on the bailey... So in the event the worst should happen, the pubs/bars are close enough for us to crawl our way towards. :P

    Have any of you been to visit yet?
    I visited the college in March and fell in love with it
    Obviously I was worried about it as I started this post about it haha, but when I got there it was really nice with a brilliant sense of community When I was there they took us out for the night and I realised just how good the location is. I was also pleasantly surprised with the nightlife.
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    (Original post by spocckka)
    Though would you really want an obvious money/class divide according to what room you're in? It's not fair, but it's better that way.
    I never really imagined it like that to be honest. Obviously you don't get to choose what type of room you get so I just would have preferred to think that if I get put in a shared room, I'd at least be saving money

    Ideally though if we did get the choice and there were differences in prices, I would like to think that people wouldn't care who was in what type of room. Maybe I'm just a bit naive though
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    Hi! I thought I'd check out posts related to St John's, Durham, because I know that this time last year I wanted to know a little about the place I'd be studying at for three years before I came. I'm a student here now, just finishing my first year, and I have to say my time at St John's has been great and that the friends I've made have been some of the best I've ever had.

    To address some concerns about the college:

    1) Religion. Yes, the college does have a Christian ethos, but don't forget this is not uncommon for an educational establishment and plenty of schools have Christian backgrounds. Yes, there are probably more Christians per square meter in this college compared to the others (because of its image and because of the fact that a priest-training centre is tied to the college), but it's certainly not overbearing. I'm not religious in any way, yet this has never affected my time here. Furthermore, I'd have thought that only about 40% of the students are particularly Christian, and even then only a small minority will ever strike up a conversation about their faith without you leading them there mischievously in the first place! The Christians here are certainly not dogmatic; most of them are funny, intelligent, and able to see both sides of an argument. They're also really nice people in general. Being joint with Cranmer (the priest training centre) is a real benefit of this college as you're able to chat with 'real' adults who have often had very interesting careers before deciding to become priests, and who are able to provide useful information about careers if you ask them. Plus, there's never a time when you have to attend a Christian ceremony, so if it really isn't your cup of tea, you're not going to be forced into doing anything you don't want to. You're definitely not going to feel left out, as most Christians go off to various different churches, not to some secret room in college, and 95% of the things average Johnians do in college have nothing to do with religion. So, DON'T PANIC!

    2) Gowns. Oh my gosh, without meaning to seem unsympathetic, I really don't understand your concerns! They're basically really fun capes similar to the sort Harry Potter would wear. By wearing one, you're not being initiated into a cult! They're just part of a tradition that all universities have, only instead of wearing them just for graduation, we wear them at (optional!) formals and a few other times a term. I personally feel proud to wear mine as it's a symbol of the achievement of getting into Durham, and looks snazzy at the same time. Formals, by the way, are really fun, and are similar to normal tea except you wear smart clothes and get some better nosh. You're not expected to recite a Latin grace or comment on the vintage of the wine or the size of your country estate. Much more likely, you'll get progressively drunker (or not, nobody cares if you don't drink and there are no drinking games at formal), talk about the inter-college football match, and complain about the profound boredom and tiredness your felt in your morning lecture! John's is one of the least intimidating environments you'll ever inhabit in your life, far less so than the real world, as everybody is happy to talk to anybody else, and you're going to love it! And for God's sake, no, the college is not full of 'posh' people, nor are formals compulsory examinations in etiquette! They're optional, once a week or less, and apart from the clothes, very informal! Think of them as like going out to a fairly cheap restaurant on a school trip.

    3) Sharing a room. Cannot really comment on this as I had a single. As far as I know, John's has the best system out of any college for allocating shared rooms, and so few people ever have problems with their roommates. If you really don't want to share, explain this on the form you get sent, and if you have a legitimate reason, you'll get a single. Shared rooms are bigger and more sociable, though if you want to work at 3am, you probably will have to go to the library. A new accommodation block has just been built with ensuite, though I'm not sure whether freshers will live there. I personally don't feel the need for an ensuite: I don't have one at home, so how is this any different? Also, shared bathrooms contain copies of 'Loo News', the infamous college gossip mag, which is hilarious, harmless, and almost entirely fictitious!

    4) Catering. College meals are pretty good. At the very least, you'll never go hungry, because the amount you get given is huge. The quality is meant to be the best in Durham, and I'd say there have only ever been one or two times I haven't found something at least fairly reasonable. If you're really desperate for self-catering, wait until your second year, when you'll live out of college in a house or flat. The Catering Staff are also very friendly and do great themed nights on Fridays.

    5) Location. Great. Central but quiet.

    Hope that helps. Email me at Your email has been removed for privacy reasons - if you wish to exchange contact details, please use the Private Messaging system. if you have any more questions about SJ, and don't listen to people who don't know what they're talking about!

    Cheers
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    I went, I saw, I am happy.

    Ditto for the department.
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    wow, thanks jamesbu

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Updated: June 14, 2012
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