Which Oxford college is the most sociable?

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Pollypocket04
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#1
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I'm quite overwhelmed by how many colleges there are.. if you were to generalise, which college would you say has the best social scene?
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Martins1
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As I mentioned (I answered your post about Oxford in general in another thread), it really depends on what you mean by "social scene". Naturally, I'm biased towards my college.

For clubbing: Worcester, New, St. Hildas, St. Hughs, LMH spring to mind. For warm and friendly colleges, I've heard particularly good things about Jesus, Univ, LMH, Worcester.

But, to be frank - they're all very similar. No college has one "social scene" - at every college different groups of people are into different things, so you'll find all types of people at every college. At all colleges there are people who don't go out and mostly work and also people who mostly go out and don't work - no matter what, you'll find your niche in each college.

When choosing college I'd suggest choosing on the basis of: its resources (how much dolla...), accommodation, location, reputation for your subject/tutors and how it looks.
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Espançais
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It's very difficult to generalise. I think all the colleges have a thriving social scene, because this is part of the point of the college. If you're thinking about clubbing and going out in particular (and socialising is so much more than that at uni) then you will find groups in every college who like to go out regularly, as well as people who go out for birthdays and so on and people who aren't into nights out at all. And the stereotypes aren't necessarily true! They say my college (Merton) is where fun goes to die, but plenty of people go out every week and lots of other fun stuff happens too. The best way to pick a college is to choose what sort of facilities you want (kitchens available / fully catered, music rooms, gym etc) and visit a few on an open day. You get the feel for a college you like that way 🙂 and I wasn't expecting to like Merton but it's amazing!
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Pollypocket04
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(Original post by Espançais)
It's very difficult to generalise. I think all the colleges have a thriving social scene, because this is part of the point of the college. If you're thinking about clubbing and going out in particular (and socialising is so much more than that at uni) then you will find groups in every college who like to go out regularly, as well as people who go out for birthdays and so on and people who aren't into nights out at all. And the stereotypes aren't necessarily true! They say my college (Merton) is where fun goes to die, but plenty of people go out every week and lots of other fun stuff happens too. The best way to pick a college is to choose what sort of facilities you want (kitchens available / fully catered, music rooms, gym etc) and visit a few on an open day. You get the feel for a college you like that way 🙂 and I wasn't expecting to like Merton but it's amazing!
Thank you! Very silly question but are colleges split into "flats" as halls at other universities are? You mentioned looking more at facilities, I like the idea of sharing a kitchen/living area for some reason hahaha (I know it would be a nightmare at times!)
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Espançais
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That's not a silly question at all! It depends on the college and the type of accommodation. Rooms within the college precinct tend to be divided into "staircases", which are essentially like flats arranged around a stairwell. If you are in a college with decent kitchens, then these or the kitchenette or whatever might be in the staircase, or they might be bigger kitchens shared between several staircases. At Merton in first year and third year most people live in one of three main areas, with a kitchen in each area which is shared between people in different accommodation houses. In second year there are houses about 10 minutes from college, which you choose to live in with a group of friends, and who have their own kitchens which also function as social areas. (Another thing to consider when looking at colleges is whether they provide accommodation for all years of your course, most do). In addition, the junior Common room (JCR) is a social space in colleges shared by all the students, where people hang out, play ping pong, have parties and so on. Most colleges also have a bar where people go to socialise.
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Also worth mentioning Hall, which is where catered food is eaten. All colleges have a Hall, at some everyone eats there most days as there isnt much kitchen provision, at others some people eat in Hall and some cook, most people will do a mixture of both. It's a great way to meet people especially in the beginning, and it's usually pretty cheap (think £3-6 for a main course and a dessert depending on the college)
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Martins1
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(Original post by Pollypocket04)
Thank you! Very silly question but are colleges split into "flats" as halls at other universities are? You mentioned looking more at facilities, I like the idea of sharing a kitchen/living area for some reason hahaha (I know it would be a nightmare at times!)
Colleges tend to get their students to live together. There are three forms of accommodation:

1) Staying in college: living in college means living on the central college site. This means that (i) you don't have to deal with external landlords etc.; (ii) your accommodation will probably be subsidised; and (iii) it is likely to be close to the centre - or closer than it would otherwise be. It's also typically pretty fancy - this is where the super beautiful old buildings come in! But this might also mean shared toilets/rooms and limited/no kitchen facilities.
2) Living in a college annex: this means that your living in property owned by college, but it's not the central site. So you don't have to deal with external landlords and it might be subsidised, but it's less likely to be close to the centre. This can allow you to get out the bubble and also is more likely to mean nice, modern accommodation.
3) Living 'out': this means finding external accommodation owned by landlords rather than college. Typically further from the centre, more pain and sometimes more expensive - but the independence can be freeing!

Colleges tend to group students by years. For example, at my College all first years stay in college (1), and all second years live in an annex to the north (2) and all the third/fourth years live in an annex (2) to the south-east. Some colleges are able to provide three years of accommodation all in college (1); many (like my college) are able to guarantee college accommodation (1 or 2) for all three years. Some still make you live out for a year or two. Normally first years live in college (1), sometimes in a college annex (2). You always have the option to live out if you want. Pricing differs from college to college, from year to year and even from accommodation to accommodation! Oxford's not a cheap place to live but Colleges subsidise heavily so it's not too bad - a lot cheaper than London or Durham.

So we don't really have "halls" as it were. But we have something similar: e.g. all second year students at my college (like me) live in one building, slightly outside the centre of Oxford, in flats of 3 - pretty similar to halls.
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