Reflection: Trinity Term & First Year | Uni Diaries

It’s been exactly a month since my first year at the University of Oxford finished. I don’t really know how to feel about it, if I’m perfectly honest. It doesn’t feel like one quarter of my degree is over; it doesn’t feel like first year is over.

Trinity Term & First Year Reflection

I think not having exams at the end of the year means that I’m currently in some limbo state. I know that I’m about to start my second year in October, but first year just doesn’t feel “finished”. Do you know what I mean?

The final term at Oxford was a strange one. We were blessed with some gorgeous weather for most of it (think sunbathing on the grass, studying in the gardens and picnic-ing outdoors) which probably made it my favourite term. We also had our annual Garden Party and BBQ in our college, complete with zorb football, inflatable laser tag and a rodeo bull. Not to mention free G&D’s ice-cream and sweets – what’s not to love?! However, people were far, far less social this term simply because most people in first year had their Preliminary Exams at the end of the term. Even before they had gone into hibernation, the thought of their exams was always looming over them like a dark cloud that wouldn’t go away.

Trinity Term Reflection

So, since I didn’t have exams, what did I think of the term academically? Well, this was probably the second most intense term. The daily Latin faculty classes had stopped (yay for no 9ams anymore!) since we were now supposedly A level standard, and I had started my Philosophy module within college. Unlike most of the boys at New College, I chose Logic (which is actually a ‘modern’ Philosophy paper), whereas they opted for Plato’s Meno. I couldn’t wait to start Logic because I could tap back into the mathematical side of my brain. And, Logic doesn’t have anything to do with Latin or Classics! It really was a nice break to be focusing on something new.

Saying that, we still had weekly Latin reading classes within college (Juvenal and Cicero), along with faculty grammar revision classes and Aeneid reading classes. There was no escaping the Latin! Alongside this, we also had to write three essays during the term (so three weeks of term were basically hell, what with my Logic problem sheet and language work already) and we had several seminars covering our Texts & Contexts paper. This included a lot of archaeology study and reading a lot about Roman theatres and Greek statues.

We also all had collections at the beginning of term (again) which I didn’t do too greatly in. As a result, I offered to sit another exam to show that I wanted to improve. After taking this second test (it was the afternoon after the Law Society Ball…) I was very pleased with my 75%, although I still have a long way to go with the Aeneid translation. Keeping up with my Latin grammar and vocabulary over the summer is something I must do, or I’ll forget everything. I have four collections when I go back in October, and I need to get 2:1s in them – The Aeneid, Logic, Texts & Contexts Translation and one from the faculty.

As I mentioned before, this past term hasn’t been the best socially because exams were on everybody’s mind. I spent a lot of time with my second year friends and out-of-college friends. Looking back, I should have spent more time and effort within college because I did miss out on certain events and occasions. We did, however, manage to get a lot of Formal Swaps in. I dined at Trinity College, University College, Hertford College, Mansfield College & Brasenose College! I also worked a lot harder this term which meant I wasn’t as social as the past two terms.

Here are some highlights:

First Year Reflections

As for my First Year Reflections? I had a pretty good year. There are things that I would change, yes, but I think that everyone wishes they could improve something. I’m happy with the amount of societies/clubs I’m in (though I should’ve stuck with Athletics or Kickboxing!). I’m also more-or-less happy with the work I’ve produced. I think that I can work a lot harder than I have been (and that’s something I’m looking to do for next year). But overall, since I had no exams, I’m satisfied with my work-life balance. Another thing I’m incredibly pleased and proud of is my YouTube channel. I’ve managed to inspire and show people exactly what Oxford life is like, and I’ve recently hit 2,000 subscribers. That’s insane!

Next year will bring many more opportunities and many more memories. I can’t wait!

You can read my Michaelmas reflection here, and my Hilary Term reflection here.

How have you found the past year, whether that’s academically or in the working world?

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

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

Peace and love,


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20 years old | bit of a nerd | thoughts about life | travel, fitness, fashion + student blog |
Posts created 152

31 thoughts on “Reflection: Trinity Term & First Year | Uni Diaries

    1. It’s so great not having to wake up every morning (especially after a night out!) but it was so disorienting at first haha. Thanks for commenting Courtney 🙂

    1. Haha it’s so pretty and I’m so grateful to be able to call it home! Thanks for commenting x

  1. You’re right- you’re a quarter of the way done and missing a few social functions won’t matter in the future anyway. I’m glad you spent time studying and wish you the best in your university experience!

  2. Such a beautiful campus. Enjoy yourself. As you said, you’ll always wish you did things a little differently, but I absolutely loved my college years.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting Sara! I’m so lucky that my college is so beautiful. I can’t wait to go back (though I’m enjoying my time off haha!)

  3. After 6 years in college I can’t imagine what it would feel like to finish a semester and not have finals. The campus is beautiful, it’s great that your sharing this with people.

    1. It was actually pretty amazing, although my work did definitely ramp up in the last few weeks despite not having exams! Thanks for commenting Chellbee x

    1. I did so much and learnt so much in just one year. I can’t wait to see what the next three bring! Thank you Bee

  4. Well done for finishing:) Sounds like you’re having a great time, especially sunbathing:) I took Latin in high school, but I didn’t enjoy it and couldn’t wait to drop it! So I’m definitely impressed with your curriculum. Keep going!

    1. Thank you Helene! Haha, I have a love/hate relationship with Latin at the moment 😉

  5. Oh my! Are those lavander flowers at your back? They look amazing, so with all your pics. Sure you are enjoyin’ your days in college. Have a great time.

    1. Yes that’s a section of the garden, aren’t they gorgeous?! Thanks Margarette 🙂

  6. good moments enjoyed with nature, captured and shared keeps ones mind relaxed, clearly this is relaxed as you fun up. big hugs as you enjoy this moment.

  7. I love these summaries. I am only in year 10 but they motivate me to continue to work hard so that i feel like i could in the future apply to oxbridge or other top unis. so thank you x.

  8. I enjoy sooo much when you describe your time in Oxford, it’s like we’re here with you, and it’s so great. I’ve been to Oxford once and I miss the atmosphere, and your articles here and your vlogs are such a good thing to remember it, as I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to it. Anyway, as you’re on holiday we’ll have to wait a bit before reading about Oxford, won’t we?
    Lots of love and thank you again for all the things you’re sharing with us, it’s incredible.

  9. Ahhhh Oxford! I’m so pleased I have found your blog and youtube! I have literally just moved here to go to Magdalen College School for sixth form – first day tomorrow 🙂

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