There’s No Place Like Home…

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After two months in Oxford, returning home gives you the welcome opportunity to let your hair down and relax. Here are some of the best things about going home:

1) Escaping the ‘bubble’.

It’s easy to forget that the world outside Oxford doesn’t go on hold for 8 weeks, patiently awaiting your return to ‘reality’. A serious current affairs catch up is required; even if a copy of Heat is the closest thing you get to ‘current affairs’.

2) 40,000 winks.

The perpetual business of college life takes its toll on the nocturnal habits of the average Oxonian. Whoever said students spent the majority of their time asleep obviously didn’t go here. Now’s the time to catch up on all those precious hours missed, made all the more pleasurable by the inevitable ‘bed upgrade’; yes, you really do need that double bed.

3) The never-ending stream of daytime TV.
Here less is more. That is, the less intellectually stimulating the better. Trawl the channels for Sheldon, Stewie, Scrubs et al., anything to purge the Chaucer, Foucault and Gladstone from your mind.

4)Unpacking’.   

Definition: cover your bedroom floor with the contents of your room at college- piles of books, boxes of goodness-knows-what, random articles of clothing, that tie you stole on that crew date weeks ago (it’s red and from St. Peter’s – any taker’s?) and a tiny little foot-width pathway for visitors to walk on. The likelihood is that it’ll either stay that way until October or your Mum will ‘tidy’, and everything unsightly will mysteriously disappear. 

5) Food, glorious food.
Banish the Value and Basics ranges from your mind, replace with the glorious ‘Finest’ and ‘Taste the Difference’. The weekly shop suddenly becomes a lot more fun when it’s delivered to your door and someone else is footing the bill; there’s no such thing as a milk rota here! Cooking is infinitely more enjoyable when you can be more adventurous than what can be concocted with just a kettle and a microwave (if you’re lucky). The knives are sharp, the pans really are non-stick and if you want to have lunch at 3pm, you can have lunch at 3pm.

6) Empty your mind, at least for a week or two.
This is the long-yearned for ‘holiday’ that tutors are determined to deny us. Collections seem a thousand miles away, it’s time to hang up your thinking cap, give that gnarled writing hand a rest and let your mind wander aimlessly.

7) Happy Hour.
When your liver’s finally recovered from the end of term ball, bop and binge combination it’s time to venture out again. If you’re from the North a pint is nearly as cheap as water, and it’s no longer necessary to take out a mortgage just to buy five Jagerbombs. If you’re from London you’ll find that the club quality improves exponentially the further in from the M25 you go. That said, you’re not the only one who starts to yearn for Park End after a few Fubar-less weeks.

8) No small talk
Funnily enough your family know where you live, where you went to school and even better they know what college you go to and what you study (because you never shut up about it). Your home friends could write a pretty comprehensive biography on you and so approximately twenty minutes out of every day is saved from this most inane of activities.

On the flip side; returning home makes you realise you do actually like Oxford.

1) Parental home truths.
At the dinner table- “I don’t think you should have seconds dear. All those late night Hassan’s have taken their toll”. At 9am – “Stop lying in bed you lazy so-and-so!” After one day of being back- “If you’re living under my roof you need to do some chores. Get the hoover out!”

2) Pet problems.
At first your dog is adorable as he bounds towards you to welcome you home. You’re still fairly flattered as the over-enthusiastic “playing” begins; you always were his favourite. But it’s not long before your patience fades as his slobbery tongue makes a beeline for your face. By the time the shoe theft and clothes chewing commences you’ve had enough; the college tortoise wouldn’t do this to you.

3) Your friends have all gone.
Gone where!? They might not be at university but they’re certainly not at home. You’re coming late to the party (‘eight week terms’ my arse) and they’ve either burnt themselves out and run out of money, left the country or started an internship that renders them unavailable for much of the week. On to Facebook and Nexus it is then; refresh, refresh, refresh.

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