Reflection: Hilary Term | Uni Diaries

If you haven’t read my reflection on my first term at university then head over here first before you continue reading.

hilary term

Hilary term (the fancy name given to second term at Oxford) flew by; it was gone almost in the blink of an eye. And that scares me. This past term has been both good and bad and, as I’m sure most of my friends would agree, better and worse less good than Michaelmas term.

Work-wise, I had an okay term: we finished the intensive Latin textbook we had been using and even got on to translating some Ovid in our classes at the faculty; I’ve written seven entire 2500+ word essays in eight weeks; I’ve translated sections from eight books of the Aeneid; I finished working through Cicero’s In Catilinam I; and I’ve read a little bit of Petronius. The intensity certainly ramped up, with my contact hours increasing by five hours a week in comparison to last term’s, and getting accustomed to the weekly essay definitely took some time. I’m both happy and unhappy with how my work progressed this time round. I’m incredibly proud of myself for pushing through with my essays and finally getting to grips with the whole concept of cobbling together an essay with a coherent argument in just as little as 6 days (and I even started to enjoy the last few I wrote!), but I ended the term having done the bare minimum for my Latin classes at the faculty. Since we had the Aeneid reading classes this term (which I hadn’t had last term) along with the essay and my separate preparation for my language tutorial reading Cicero, my weeks were dedicated to focusing on the language work my college had set me rather than consolidating the last few bits of grammar. Now the holidays have started, I’m left somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer amount of catching up I’ve got to do, along with learning all of the vocabulary.

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Socially? I’m happy with the friendships I’ve got and I’ve become closer with a couple more people this term. I love the people I spend time with but I’ve found myself feeling slightly disconnected this term. It wasn’t until I came back and had time to reflect that I’ve realised just how much things have changed in one short term. I’m not saying that things are completely different from first term, but there’s definitely been a slight shift in friendships and friendship groups (felt by the majority of the year, I’m sure). It’s strange that I’m feeling this way but, after speaking to Jack about it (hi Jack, I know you’re reading this), I was reassured that this is a common feeling once you’re back home with the Oxford bubble having abruptly been popped. It’s not that I’m unhappy socially, but I think it’s rather the fact that this term I didn’t go out nearly as much as before and there haven’t been a whole load of college-based events either. I also didn’t go to many things outside of college – something I think you should do just to keep you sane. All things aside, I love that I’ve come into contact with some incredibly talented people and am fortunate enough to call them my friends.

Time works in very strange ways at Oxford. Though the term felt as though it whizzed by, looking back at just how much I’ve accomplished, just how many things I’ve done and just how many events I went to makes me realise that term was actually a pretty good one.

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Here are some highlights:

  • Charithra’s birthday in the first week! She turned the big 2-0 and, despite having my very first Oxford essay due that day, we had a fabulous time.
  • Formal swapping across Oxford – we’ve hosted Hertford, Christ Church, St. Benet’s Hall and Queen’s and we’ve been to Christ Church, St Benet’s Hall and Merton. I’ve got loads lined up/planned for next term so hopefully they get done. It’s always fun dining in other colleges and meeting new people!
  • Turning 20! My birthday was one of the best I’ve had this year and that’s thank you to all of my incredible friends for making it so special. Priya also came up to visit which was amazing and the whole week was just a pretty good one. I also completed my list of 20 things to do before 20 😉
  • Celebrating Chinese New Year in college with some friends and also being invited to the Warden’s Chinese New Year meal.
  • The Law Society Ball at The Roman Baths – need I say more?
  • Going for afternoon tea not once, but twice! Read all about it here and here.
  • Exploring more of Oxford and eating at new places: George Street Social is slowly becoming my new favourite working brunch café; Gloucester Green pizza has become our go-to when we’re not quite feeling Hassan’s; and I love the lunch deal at Buongiorno e Buonasera.
  • Doing the lighting for two different plays in two different weeks: shoutout to Dying Light and The Homecoming!
  • Hitting over 1,000 subscribers on YouTube and just vlogging daily life – I’m so happy that I can look back on lots of memories so easily as well as inspire lots of you!
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On that note, have you seen the latest vlog?

How has your past term at university/school/work been? Let me know in the comments section below!

If you’re not following my uni adventures so far…

Instagram📷 & Twitter🐥 – @violahelen_
Snapchat👻 – violahelen

Peace and love,
Viola xo


20 years old | bit of a nerd | thoughts about life | travel, fitness, fashion + student blog |
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