Oxford Shenanigans

“Oh, so you blog?”

“Yeah, I do! Well, kind of.”

That murky wave of guilt laps at my conscience and I remember that it’s literally been months since I last posted. Sitting across a new friend at a beautiful coffee shop in Oxford, I begin to recall why I started blogging in the first place. Meeting new people, getting to know them over a cup of coffee – that’s when you really start to get to understand yourself, and you know, get a sense of what makes you you. Kind of like writing and blogging I guess – or any form of personal expression that allows for self-introspection. Apologies for being a little rusty; I haven’t had much time to myself lately!

It’s been a hectic few months (apologies for being MIA!), what with IB examinations (sorry Lady IB, we’re breaking up, and we’re never getting back together again – cue Taylor Swift), interview preparation, and post-high school celebrations… Finally found my oasis of calm here in Oxford.

Rather paradoxical considering that I’m here for interviews (stress, stress, stress!), but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all my discussions with my tutors. I interviewed at Oriel College and my tutors were absolutely amazing and astoundingly friendly. This probably varies across colleges, but none of my interviews required any prior knowledge so that really put everyone on an equal footing.

It’s been a year since the last time I visited Oxford, but it really hasn’t changed at all – it’s still a city stuck in Harry Potter-esque times, complete with Gothic structures and primitive technology (even the computing systems don’t seem to be quite up to date!) and brimming with an antique charm. Sitting at the little pop-up coffee store Jericho’s Coffee Traders right outside Oriel on King Edward Street, I could envisage myself studying there, immersed in Kant’s categorical imperatives (yes, it was a categorical imperative for me to have a morning coffee to beat the jet lag – my moral duty, in fact – although the problem with Kant’s theories is that they tell me what is not my moral duty and not what is… I’ll shut up now…) and picking apart the deceitfully arbitrary mathematics used in Akerlof’s “Market for Lemons”… I love that feeling of intellectual immersion, that itch to figure that something out. I finally felt like I was in my happy place, you know – that I was free to be myself again (funny how intellectual pursuit is my idea of relaxation… Strange by anybody’s standards.) I guess I was just a little stifled by the supposed stress of exams, although I’m not one to fall prey to exam stress, it was more the lack of stress that stressed me out. I’m fairly ambivalent about my last half of year in high school to be honest – on the one hand, I love SJII and would never leave if I had the choice; on the other, all the memorization and exam-practice and petty drama made me feel like I couldn’t wait to move on – to get my face out of that mess called high school and into a new pie – college.

And so here I am, at the crossroads between high school and college. With nine months to boot as well. Probably the only time in my pre-retirement life that I’ll have so much time on my hands, so I intend to relish the moment.

Unfortunately it seems that it is customary of humans to never do the things that they want when time permits, but to only strive to do so when time doesn’t. Let’s strive to overcome that human tendency and make the most of our time now, no?

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[Written on December 10]

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