Two Weeks to Go

Lauren Kelly Hertford College,University of Oxford, England


November 23, 2020

Wow, that was weird to write. I have felt a lot of things throughout my time at Oxford, mainly fascination with how cool this place is, stress, and eagerness to go home (sometimes all at the same time!), but the thought of only having two weeks left is strange. It makes me wonder if I have truly used my time to the fullest, and a little sad that I may have missed opportunities or wasted my time with all of the TV I watched or the homesickness I felt. Though I am eager to get back home and get a break from all this work, I do wish that I could take parts of Oxford back to Wisconsin with me (Simpkin, some of the friends I have made, the libraries, Hassan’s, G&Ds, the Thames, steak pie, unlimited stroopwaffels, the greenery, hot chocolate Milano....) or stay here longer. At the very least, I hope to come back someday and introduce some of my loved ones to Oxford! I also want to get to see some of the places I couldn’t visit, like Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace, or Stonehenge. In the end, I know that I have had a pandemic experience, but it was not a bad experience at all—coming to Oxford was vital to both my growth as a student and as a person.

Of course, it’s not over yet! There’s still time left. But I’ve always been sentimental, and pretty skilled in preemptively mourning what I currently have, just because it will end soon. Knowing this, I have been trying to appreciate the little things, like walks along the Thames, turning down a random alleyway and seeing where I end up, grocery shopping, and even just going to libraries again. I am also trying to take more pictures so I can show my loved ones at home and remember what Oxford was like. I obviously can’t do everything with a national lockdown, but I can make the little things that I now take for granted count. I have even noticed that it makes Oxford feel new again, which is really cool. Writing this does still make me sad, so I’ll end with a list of advice.

  1. Try something new every day or visit a new place (so you don’t make a cool city seem boring)
  2. Go outside for walks
  3. Let yourself buy something random at the grocery store (like clotted cream rice pudding!)
  4. Write in your journal! (so you don’t forget this time in your life)
  5. Try to get lost or find a new route to the library
  6. Balance your excited energy due to going home in two weeks with your sadness for having to say goodbye to Oxford in two weeks
  7. Start packing now, probably
  8. Watch British TV so you can see how much you’ve learned culturally, socially, and politically here (at The Crown)
  9. Write thank you cards
  10. Reflect on how impactful this time in your life was