Everywhere you turn in Worcester, you see Chanel. And no, I’m not talking about thousand pound skirt suits, but the Provost’s West Highland Terrier.
It’s a strange Sunday morning when I don’t run into Coco Chanel, out for her morning stroll round the lake, on my way to brunch. There’s nothing like a tiny white bundle of enthusiastic yelping and friendly tail wagging for a hangover cure. And the anticipation of the meal ahead isn’t bad either. Sunday brunch at Worcester comes to about £1.40 for a plate heaped with a fry-up and pastries and, if you’re suave and subtle like me, you can usually nick a couple of bowls of cereal as a bonus. If the bursar is reading this, may I amicably suggest that you consider installing CCTV at the self-service bar?
Worcester isn’t generally considered one of the superlative colleges—it isn’t the richest, or the smallest, or even the sportiest. Occasionally it gets called the prettiest, and I wouldn’t disagree. But the label I really think Worcester deserves is the keenest. I cannot imagine another college where a girl’s Cupper’s football match, at 10am on a freezing cold Sunday morning in January, would gather a crowd of ten to fifteen people, from across year groups. Sure, we may have pitches on-site, but last term’s building works meant that getting to them involved a bit of a trek—it wasn’t just a matter of rolling out of bed. We take it pretty seriously, and it’s something I would sacrifice a lot to remain part of.
But let’s be clear, Worcester isn’t some kind of pastry-filled paradise, peopled only by fluffy dogs and supportive friends. It’s a college like any other, and of course, it has its problems. For example, my first year room inhabits a concrete block about half a mile away from main quad. A tactical befriending of someone living on main quad is the answer: many a night I have crashed on a certain friend’s beanbag for a box of Brannos’ finest and a quick power nap, before heading back to my room.
With Trinity beginning, the inevitable approach of the post-prelim lake swim is beginning to cost me sleep. The prospect of emerging from a grueling set of essays, only to be doused in whipped cream and bubbles, and then forcibly dunked in ice-cold, swan shit strewn waters is not exactly the stuff of daydreams. But, a Worcester challenge is a Worcester challenge, and who I am to fight tradition?