Credit: Stan Rosenberg

 

Three English majors, an art historian, a psychologist, and a theologian walk into a pub…

– Nathan Tudor –

Michaelmas Term, 2018

 

Buildings in Oxford are old, often shaped over centuries as necessity demands. This gives rise to architecture that is unique, intricate, and—for a group of hungry SCIO students in search of the kitchen—baffling.

As we climb the stairs, we encounter another wayward pilgrim, empty mug in hand. So, bound together by a collective dependence on desire for caffeine, we join forces. Perhaps by divine aid, we stumble into the kitchen and find new life in scrambled eggs and black coffee.

And then, on that first full day in Oxford, we began to know one another, and our fates were sealed together.

We had come from California and Japan, from Texas and Hong Kong. Our home schools were by the seas and under the snows. And somehow—perhaps by the same divine aid that led us to the kitchen—we had all found our way to live in the North Wing of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

Whenever someone asks how I’ve been at Oxford, I always say I love it here. From the bold majesty of the Radcliffe Camera to the time-spanning treasures in the Ashmolean Museum, from the soft birdsong in the University Parks to the divine swell of Evensong at Christ Church—I have found a home in Oxford.

Living a few minutes’ walk from the city center is a consistent benefit for matters practical and pleasurable. Whether I’m headed to a tutorial, coffee shop, or food truck (Hassan’s garlic cheesy chips will change your life), the ability to get there on my feet makes life remarkably straightforward. Nowhere in Oxford ever feels out of reach. So, location-wise, living at Wycliffe Hall is invaluable. But more important than the places are the people.

Before I arrived in Oxford, I had been uncertain whether I could put down roots somewhere I would live for only a semester. I also felt uneasy about whether I would be able to make friends here. Thankfully, the residents of the North Wing quickly bonded together, and our camaraderie fills the glories of Oxford with ever greater meaning.

Scholarship at Oxford is, by nature of the curriculum, a largely solitary endeavor. The independence this allows for is wonderful, but it also means you often have to make an effort to cultivate friendships. I was surprised to realize that after only a month here, I had come to count some of fellow North Wingers as dear as friends back home I’ve known for years. As eclectic as we are, we inhabit common lifestreams.

We were stricken with wonder when we first explored the RadCam together. We’ve gone on 1AM food runs to stay cheered during late nights writing essays.

We’ve also been reduced to tearful laughter by moth memes, but maybe that’s just a manifestation of the sleep deprivation.

We cook together and eat together; we go out on the town and stay in from the rain. We live in the beating heart of one of the world’s greatest university cities, and this city is ever more our home because we dwell here together.

Nathan, MT18