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Reflections on my first term at Durham

As my first Christmas holidays as a student draw to a close and the train speeds towards Durham, I find myself reflecting on my first term and its most memorable moments. The term itself can be summarised in one word… Busy! Even with having only an average of 8 contact hours a week, I found that I hardly had a moment where I wasn’t doing something! How do science undergrads, with many more lectures per week, fit everything in?! The term was full of amazing experiences; it really was a very special start to university life.

You’ll find that the moments I’ve chosen are not literal moments in time but more general things, but, due to the immersive way of life at Durham, it would be impossible to pick out a top 20 best moments, let alone a top 3! And isn’t it everyday things that really define your experience of uni, anyway?

The people I have met and the time I have spent with them

This, of course, has to come at the top of the list. It is the people surrounding you that define many of life’s experiences and the people I’ve met are the main reason that the term was so special.

Meeting so many new people was daunting at first and remembering everyone’s names was a challenge, but it is these people that I spent over 2 months with 24/7. From breakfasts in the dining room in pyjamas to getting dressed up for formals. From helping each other put together last minute fancy dress costumes to watching the Bake Off with tea and biscuits. From all the nights out to all the times spent just chilling.

Sport, sport and more sport

At the end of my first term, I find myself playing 4 different sports – 2 for college and 2 for Team DU. And of course, this takes up a lot of time – both training sessions and matches. But I really couldn’t ask for better teams across the sports. It continues to astound me the huge depth of talent and commitment that we find across all sports at Durham! I have met some truly amazing people through sport.

The intercollegiate sports have to be the most special. They are such great ways of meeting new people from your college as well as taking part in something that you enjoy, even if you’re not the best! Netball has never been my sport but it has been so much fun to play with the Collingwood girls in such a relaxed and fun way.

Not very formal Formals!

While Collingwood is not a ‘formal’ college with biweekly gowned dinners that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to throw a fantastic formal. Themes ranged from black tie with a hint of Wonderland for The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to Iconic Duos with full-on fancy dress! Because formals aren’t a regular feature in The Wood’s calendar, they’re always big events with lots of anticipation and excitement surrounding them and with all years groups attending. So while they weren’t a regular feature to my first term, the formals we did have definitely created a lot of special moments for my first term.

I have to say that it is the very special collegiate system at Durham that has really made the biggest impression on me. The people around you, the sport and societies you are a part of and the formals you go to are all defined by your college. So, in fact, it is Collingwood I have to thank for such a special first term at Durham.

Here’s to Term 2 and Happy New Year!


Georgia Kirkham

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