A Letter From The President

Alfie Mowse

Dear Queen’s freshers 2020,

The first thing to say is a huge well done! All your hard work has paid off, and you should be very excited. The next few years are likely to be a greatly enjoyable and important chapter of your life; Queen’s is a very friendly and social college and I have no doubt you will have a fantastic time here.

You are probably being inundated with information and admin at the moment. My advice would be to try and get on top of this early to make sure all the forms you have to fill out are sent in on time and you avoid a stressful rush towards the deadlines. If you are unsure of anything there are lots of places to find information – look to the college website, your letter from your college parents, and the freshers’ guide will all be very helpful resources. Also, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re unsure of anything! The college office is on hand to provide you with any information you may need, and if your college parents have indicated that you can add them on fb or similar I’m sure they will also be willing to help. No question is too small or too big!

At the time of writing, there is still much uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Starting university can be a daunting prospect at the best of times, and I’m sure this added uncertainty will have been stressful for many of you. I hope that things will be slightly clearer by the time this letter reaches you, but you can rest assured that there are lots of people working behind the scenes to try and deliver the upcoming term in the best way possible. Whilst freshers’ week and other aspects of the term may not work as usual, what I can say for sure is that you are moving into a fantastic community with lovely people. You are certain to find people who share your interests as well as many opportunities to engage with new things.

In whatever form it comes, this will start with freshers’ week. There will be variety of social events put on by the JCR exec, these are non-compulsory but we strongly advise coming to as many as you can, they will be a good opportunity to start meeting people and making friends. Freshers’ week at Oxford differs from many other unis in that you will probably have work you are expected to complete alongside the other activities. However, balancing work with your social life in a healthy way will be essential to cope with the workload throughout your time in Oxford, and freshers’ week is a good opportunity to begin to do this.

Freshers can be a hectic and exhausting time. Make sure you look after yourself: go for a walk around Oxford to start to familiarise yourself with the city, make sure you eat well – work out how meal booking works early on, and learn how the laundry system works. There will always be people around to ask if you are unsure about how these things function.

You should be looking forward to a brilliant few years. You’ll be able to really get into your subject and make some friends for life. Queen’s a fantastic place; I know I speak for the whole JCR when I say we hope you are as excited to come here as we are to meet you all and welcome you into the Queen’s community!

The college staff, the JCR exec, and I will all be in Oxford when you arrive to help you unpack and settle in. In the meantime, enjoy your summer – you’ve all earnt it – and if you have any other questions do get in touch at jcr.president@queens.ox.ac.uk or add me on Facebook.

All the best,

Alfie Mowse

Queen’s JCR President 2020-21