Is Oxford university fun?

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lalala301
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#1
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#1
Hi, I just got my offer to do geography at oxford today! I am excited and pleased to have got the offer but am not 100% sure whether to go (my other choice would be Exeter). I am worried that I will struggle with the workload and the social scene will not be very good which is very important to me. For anyone at Oxford, what would you say the social scene is like, how often do you go out, what're your nights like? Thank you
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eeeli
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#2
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#2
Social scene at Oxford is better than the stereotypes would suggest - there’s quite a few decent clubs in the city (Atik/Plush if you’re LGBTQ+/Bridge spring to mind as the studenty ones), regular themed club nights at the O2 and the Bullingdon (no relation to posh private members club of the same name) plus college/society stuff like bops and crewdates - if you like a night out you deffo have options. General mentality of work hard play hard - perhaps not the liveliest city in the UK because of workloads and stuff keeping people busy but by no means dead. Disclaimer that I am not a massive night out person but most people I know who are go out several times a week and seem to be happy enough! Also a bonus that bc the city is quite small and a lot of college accom is pretty central it’s quite walkable/lots of night buses so you won’t be spending loads on taxis. If you drink alcohol pres are a must tho bc the drinks at bars and clubs are really expensive. If you’re looking to go to a uni specifically for the social scene I wouldn’t necessarily pick Oxford as the best one but you aren’t going to be missing out either. One thing I will say re workload is that it is basically like having a full time job in terms of time requirement so it doesn’t take over your whole life but you won’t have as much free time as you would at other unis with longer terms and fewer deadlines.
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lalala301
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#3
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(Original post by eeeli)
Social scene at Oxford is better than the stereotypes would suggest - there’s quite a few decent clubs in the city (Atik/Plush if you’re LGBTQ+/Bridge spring to mind as the studenty ones), regular themed club nights at the O2 and the Bullingdon (no relation to posh private members club of the same name) plus college/society stuff like bops and crewdates - if you like a night out you deffo have options. General mentality of work hard play hard - perhaps not the liveliest city in the UK because of workloads and stuff keeping people busy but by no means dead. Disclaimer that I am not a massive night out person but most people I know who are go out several times a week and seem to be happy enough! Also a bonus that bc the city is quite small and a lot of college accom is pretty central it’s quite walkable/lots of night buses so you won’t be spending loads on taxis. If you drink alcohol pres are a must tho bc the drinks at bars and clubs are really expensive. If you’re looking to go to a uni specifically for the social scene I wouldn’t necessarily pick Oxford as the best one but you aren’t going to be missing out either. One thing I will say re workload is that it is basically like having a full time job in terms of time requirement so it doesn’t take over your whole life but you won’t have as much free time as you would at other unis with longer terms and fewer deadlines.
Thank you, that's super helpful! Would you say the experience and benefits of Oxford make up for the potentially quieter social life, do people ever regret going?
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BoorishAmoeba
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#4
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#4
Nights out shouldn't be weighted too heavily when factoring where to go to university. To be upfront, I wouldn't be going to Exeter over Oxford because of a concern about social life. (If Exeter have a better Geography course or a better sports team or something maybe its different)

Besides, I think a proactive person can have a great social life and fun nights out at any university. At Oxford, you have the college system and great sports teams and societies. Also, Oxford Uni share the city with Oxford Brookes - so plenty of social people around. My $2.
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artful_lounger
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#5
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To be fair I would also point out Exeter isn't exactly renowned for having a thriving nightlife - while their students certainly do go out (often), there are like 3.5 clubs total in Exeter so not a whole lot of choice (and I get the impression most of them are a bit crap in various ways).

The other factor is that at any university people can and will go out and make the most of such student frivolities. Having worked in Cambridge for several years previously I can say with absolute certainty the students can and do get shitfaced regularly if they're into that. I've had to avoid puddles of vomit (and other bodily excretions...) on my way to work on Saturday morning there more times than I would've liked...

Obviously you have to balance that with your academic workload but that is true at any uni. If you want to do that kind of stuff a) there will be venues catering to your desires and b) there will be others wanting to also do so, at literally any university city in the UK.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 months ago
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Muttley79
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#6
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#6
(Original post by lalala301)
Hi, I just got my offer to do geography at oxford today! I am excited and pleased to have got the offer but am not 100% sure whether to go (my other choice would be Exeter). I am worried that I will struggle with the workload and the social scene will not be very good which is very important to me. For anyone at Oxford, what would you say the social scene is like, how often do you go out, what're your nights like? Thank you
Take time to make a decision - you do not have to decide for a while. Have you visited both? Look at the modules and don't be swayed by parents, people on here or school - YOU are the one that's going to be studying.

Obviously Oxford terms are only 8 weeks so it is intense. Some students go out but others find they have to work -

There is plenty to do at Exeter - both on campus and off and you would have more free time.
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booklover1313
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#7
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#7
(Original post by lalala301)
Hi, I just got my offer to do geography at oxford today! I am excited and pleased to have got the offer but am not 100% sure whether to go (my other choice would be Exeter). I am worried that I will struggle with the workload and the social scene will not be very good which is very important to me. For anyone at Oxford, what would you say the social scene is like, how often do you go out, what're your nights like? Thank you
I think you would regret turning down Oxford, you have been offered such a wonderful opportunity that will benefit you hugely over the years. Don't give that up just for a few nights of partying. The workload is heavy, but that doesn't mean that people don't have time to have a social life. Also you will eat in college and there will also be the common rooms - you will be able to socialise in that way as well! In terms of you being worried about coping with the workload, trust that they wouldn't have given you an offer if they didn't think you were more than capable of it. It's natural to suddenly feel a bit of pressure that suddenly you have an offer, it's going to be lots of work, but everyone feels that and if you have received an offer, you absolutely will be able to do it!!
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Muttley79
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#8
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#8
(Original post by booklover1313)
I think you would regret turning down Oxford, you have been offered such a wonderful opportunity that will benefit you hugely over the years. Don't give that up just for a few nights of partying. The workload is heavy, but that doesn't mean that people don't have time to have a social life. Also you will eat in college and there will also be the common rooms - you will be able to socialise in that way as well! In terms of you being worried about coping with the workload, trust that they wouldn't have given you an offer if they didn't think you were more than capable of it. It's natural to suddenly feel a bit of pressure that suddenly you have an offer, it's going to be lots of work, but everyone feels that and if you have received an offer, you absolutely will be able to do it!!
People do turn down Oxford offers every year - I've never known anyone regret it. Sometimes you just know it's not right for you.
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skylark2
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#9
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#9
Exeter's lovely, but I don't think anyone would claim that its social scene is busier than Oxford, even without considering that Oxford is a 1hr bus or train ride from London while Exeter is a long way from anywhere bigger.

All other things being equal, where do you want to live for the next 3-4 years?

Edit to add that you have several months to make up your mind about this. Don't panic and make any imposter syndrome-fuelled decisions right now.
Last edited by skylark2; 4 months ago
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eeeli
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#10
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#10
(Original post by lalala301)
Thank you, that's super helpful! Would you say the experience and benefits of Oxford make up for the potentially quieter social life, do people ever regret going?
People choose Oxford because of passion for their subject - if you see uni as a means to have fun and the degree as secondary then you might regret choosing Oxford, and I’d imagine some people do! It is a lot of work and while there is a lot of stuff to do to have fun you do end up having to say no to things because you’ve got work to finish/need to save money. The 8 week terms aren’t right for everyone either because if you live in college you won’t be able to stay in the city much outside of term (but there is nothing stopping you from private renting and that’s what I decided to do for second and third year). Ultimately if you enjoy your degree subject I don’t think you’ll regret Oxford even if you don’t get to go out as much as you might have done because it is quite a unique and rewarding way of learning, even if it can get intense at times. But the idea that Oxford is quiet or dead is a myth for sure! Take your time to think about what your priorities with uni are, compare the courses and teaching at Oxford and Exeter as well as the social life, and you will figure out where is the best fit. Social life is an important part of uni but you are paying 9k a year for a degree as well so pick the place you think you personally will be able to find the best balance between studying and fun.
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skylark2
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#11
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#11
I was a working class state schooler at Oxford Uni. Wasn't particularly scary, in fact basically nobody cared where anyone had gone to school. And that was in the days when private school students still outnumbered state school students. (The very last days, i.e. the 1990s.)
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Muttley79
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#12
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(Original post by skylark2)
I was a working class state schooler at Oxford Uni. Wasn't particularly scary, in fact basically nobody cared where anyone had gone to school. And that was in the days when private school students still outnumbered state school students. (The very last days, i.e. the 1990s.)
Not always true - my boyfriend at the time was ridiculed for his accent as it wasn't 'cut-glass' -
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skylark2
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Not always true - my boyfriend at the time was ridiculed for his accent as it wasn't 'cut-glass' -
Nothing's always true. There were unpleasant snobs at almost every university then and there are unpleasant snobs at almost every university now. (I was tempted to leave off the "almost" but there are probably some universities which no snob would be seen dead at to the extent that literally none go there). I actually did have someone make fun of my non-posh accent once when I was at university. The university in question was Manchester.

My mother does tell the tale of being asked "what part of the north are you from?" at Oxford in the early 1960s.
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lalala301
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#14
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#14
Thank you so much for all your replies, your advice is super helpful! After thinking about it, i will go to oxford (grades depending of course!) however now the only thing holding me back is the course. I want to study geography and the course at oxford is mixed human & physical whereas Exeter is just human which i think i would prefer. If anyone has any advice about what the geography course at oxford/exeter is like that would be amazing. Also, exeter seems to do more modules a year whereas Oxford seems to do less but in more detail, what is better? Thank you!
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