After a break for a couple of weeks, I finally feel I can now look back and attempt to remember what happened in Hilary term. Amid a sea of revision and exams, at the time it seemed to end as soon as it had begun.
Prelims were a stressful affair, but I must admit to having been rather taken by the tradition of wearing subfusc and carnations. The Examination Halls have such beautiful rooms, too; at first all the portraits and panelling were a little distracting when trying to work through an exam! It seems my friends, who have their exams next term, also enjoyed my prelims: they certainly seemed to relish the excuse to swamp me in Cava and tiramisu once I was finished. At the time it was tough having to face prelims so much earlier than the other Oriental Studies students, but I can now see that doing well in my degree and making the most of my time at Oxford is well within my capabilities. It is, however, scary to think my first year is almost over.
Thankfully, much of the hard work I’ve put in seems to have been worth it — I scored well in my prelims — which means this Trinity term I can focus on exploring Oxford, taking part more in college and university life, and generally having a little more fun. During Hilary term I made a conscious effort to take advantage of the opportunities and grants on offer from the university and my college, and doing so has paid off: this summer vacation, with the help of the Alister Sutherland Award, I will be directing an expedition in Georgia, in the region of Svaneti, to record folk tales and other oral traditions in the local language, Lushnu. So, I’m really very excited about the break between first year and second year — and hope directing the expedition leads to other exciting prospects, too.
In Trinity term I hope to approach other funds to support my expedition, but there’s plenty more I need to do, too: I want to enter some essay and poetry competitions, go to Avestan classes, start training to be a college Peer Supporter, and, work-wise, get back to studying Classical Greek again in preparation for next year. I might be able to take it a bit easier this term since my next set of exams is still a way off — but I’m not going to let time go to waste.