The collegiate system makes Oxford, along with Cambridge and Durham, unique. Rather than just being part of the University, students are also affiliated to a college where they often live, eat and socialise. Your college really does become your everything!
Due to the pooling system, students often get allocated a different college to the one they applied to but the saying goes 'students love whichever college they end up at' and, for the most part, it seems to be true.
I remember inviting some friends from other colleges over for dinner during my first year and whilst I went on and on about how Jesus was so friendly, my friend Lucy was in awe of the food in Worcester College's hall; 'you literally won't believe it...we even have a steak night!'. Another friend, James from Magdalen, couldn't believe his new home 'actually had a deer park!' and my friend Beth from Balliol told us that their tutor was giving them a week in the year without set work 'to read whatever they wanted!'.
The evening turned into a bit of a college-off, as it seems everyone thinks their college is the best and that is exactly how it should be. Loving your college is a fundamental part of your Oxford experience and, for most students, it's a love which lasts a life-time ❤️️❤️️❤️️
Collegiate – A university comprised of different colleges. There are over 30 colleges within Oxford University, all spread around the city.
Oxford College – Communities within the University where students usually have their tutorials and often live at some point during their degree.
Pooling system – When you are interviewing at Oxford and your first choice of college sends you to be interviewed by another college. If no college has accepted you at the end of the interviews but it is felt that you are Oxford material, you could be put in a 'pool'. A college which still has places remaining may then offer you a place based on recommendations from other colleges, along with other parts of your application