One year in China. Let's do this!

Mental Inadequacy Highlighted in Oxford

I try to not be a complete idiot.

I made it through college – a pure miracle considering the special scored I received on some of my Chinese language exams – and walked across the stage at Radio City Music Hall to receive my diploma from NYU in May.

However, as I walked through the hallowed halls of Oxford University this past weekend, there was a overwhelming sense of intimidation as I passed by the students.  They were like brains with bodies attached to them.  Walking, talking, massive BRAINS.  You could sense their ridiculous intelligence from miles away.

If you take the picture, does that make you a student?

If you take the picture, does that make you a student?

I bought an Oxford University hoodie.  I stood in the quads of some of the colleges and peered in to take a look.  Some of the students would walk by in gaggles and you could tell that they were assessing you.  OUTSIDER.

After I got over the fact that I was pottering (pun INTENDED since they filmed the Harry Potter movies in Oxford a lot!) around a city of geniuses and was able to look away from the “walking and talking brains” and see what the city itself had to offer, I discovered a truly spectacular little town.  And it was absolutely swarming with Chinese tourists.  Suddenly, I felt at home.

Not too bad of a view.

Not too bad of a view.

The town of Oxford is filled with spires, cathedrals, quads, and towers.  Every corner is Instagram worthy (#nofilter) and the scenery was just amazing.  We had a lovely wander around the top of University Church of St. Marys (4 pounds entry fee to climb to the top) and saw the city from a unique angle.  We then head to QUOD, a cute little restaurant on High Street, and enjoyed some quality people watching.

The view from the top of the tower.  Quite a unique perspective on Oxford as a whole.

The view from the top of the tower. Quite a unique perspective on Oxford as a whole.

For those heading to Oxford, there are several different ways to break up your day: looking at pretty buildings, eating good meals at famous restaurants, and taking advantage of the outdoors.  Oxford is filled with historical buildings: Christ Church, Bodlein Library, the Radcliffe Camera, and Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History are at the top of my list.

Billyboy would have seen this sign every day during his stint as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

Billyboy would have seen this sign every day during his stint as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

For activities, nothing beats a stroll through the Oxford University Parks to see where Bill Clinton used to run when he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, followed by a trip to the water for some punting on the River Thames.  And for a dining experience filled with history, visit The Eagle and Child (known as “The Bird and Baby” by Oxford locals) where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien would gather for a meal.

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3 Responses »

  1. This was a great article about Oxford! I totally know the feeling when you know other people can tell you’re an outsider off the bat! I feel for you! Nonetheless, its great that you visited so many cool places around Oxford, and I’m SURE people watching around the university was phenomenal!

    • Glad you enjoyed it. Absolutely loved visiting the city, and it was a great way to conclude my whirlwind England tour for sure. And yes – people watching in this place was good fun!

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