When I started my UCAS application, I quickly realised that I could find what I wanted from a university experience at Durham. The main thing that attracted me was the college system. However, due to working and going travelling during my gap year, I missed both opportunities to visit Durham, so when it came to choosing a college, I really was going in blind.
I looked on the website, to find out about each college, including the numbers of students in each one, whether you could be self-catered, and the probability of having to share a room.
My first choice was St Chad’s…
I grew up in a rural Devon community, where everyone knows everyone, so the thought of going into a larger college didn’t appeal to me. I also knew I would prefer a single room. So looking at the smaller colleges, I decided to choose St Chad’s.
In the summer, when my college allocation came through, I was a bit disappointed to find that I had been allocated the third largest college in Durham. The thought of it was daunting to me, but I decided to trust the system and came to St. Cuthbert’s Society anyway.
… but Cuth’s was just right!
It was the best decision I could have made. Being thrust into a community of over 1,000 students means that I have met people from all walks of life, and a huge variety of personalities. It meant that my circle of friends was larger, and there was always someone around to go to whatever event I wanted to go to. Admittedly, I found the number and enthusiasm of Cuth’s students slightly daunting at first. They all seemed to know so much more about the college, the societies, the sports, and the Junior Common Room (JCR) than me. But once I plucked up the courage to get involved, Cuth’s has made my student experience.
My Cuth’s life
I have represented Cuth’s on Open Days and in Freshers’ Week. I have been the treasurer of the drama society, appearing in and helping to produce multiple productions for Cuth’s. I managed the organisation of one of our college balls and a budget. I have played sport (and got injured playing rounders) for Cuth’s. Now, in my final year, I am more involved than ever, being the first Communications Officer for Cuth’s JCR, which means managing the social media and website.
College is key to creating your student experience
For everyone here, your college becomes your university experience, and everyone will find their own place in the college they are allocated. Everyone is so welcoming, and every college has something to offer every single student. If you’re worried about not being allocated your preferred college – don’t. Your degree may be why you come to Durham, but your college will be why you stay.