Life at John Snow

Sam Worthington

John Snow College has a reputation for being one of the most friendly and inclusive colleges in Durham with a student body that contains the most welcoming people. I am so glad I got my first choice of college and am forever proud to ‘Bleed Blue’!

Why I chose John Snow

I chose John Snow College primarily because I wanted to be self-catered. While all colleges cater to all dietary requirements, it was important to me that I had lots of vegan meal choices each day. I am somebody that loves food and wants to be able to experiment with new cuisines. Also, forcing yourself to learn to cook in the first year is a virtue when it comes to the second year as you’ll likely live out of college. Being able to cook and eat whatever you want and whenever you want and actually have the facilities to do so is also extremally useful come summative or exam season when a normal routine goes out of the window!

My own bathroom

As someone who was apprehensive about sharing a bathroom, I wanted a college that had a high proportion of students with an en-suite. Although in hindsight, as your flatmates become your friends it doesn’t really matter if you have to share, it definitely settled some pre-arrival nerves knowing I had my own space! Snow also has small-double beds which is a luxury given that most other colleges don’t!

Great facilities

One thing I didn’t think about when coming to Durham was the on-site facilities but luckily Snow has some of the best. The gym membership, I found, was relatively inexpensive compared to my gym at home and the equipment was really good and there always seemed to be enough to go around.

Gowned formals

Attending formals is part of the Durham experience and John Snow is no different. Although not the most traditional of colleges, we have at least one gowned formal per term. Wearing our Harry Potter-like gowns is one of my favourite things because they make for the best pictures and really elevate having dinner in The Hub.

Lots of support

When asked about Durham University, I always say the best thing is the tripartite level of support: college, course and university. It provides three opportunities to make friends and receive support whether that be informally from your peers or the more professional services. Snow has a dedicated student welfare team who offer drop-in sessions to go and talk about any issues you are having as well as their own Instagram account which you can message at any time. I think just knowing that these services are available with a knowledgeable team on hand can make settling in just that little bit easier!

Sports and societies

College societies and sporting clubs are part of the quintessential Durham experience. There are sports teams for everyone whether you excel in sport or just want to try something new, from football and rugby to ultimate frisbee. These are great ways to make friends and get more involved in college life. There are also college societies which contain all the weird and wonderful. There is a baking society, F1 society and my friends and I started the John Snow True Crime and Horror Society. If you think your college is missing something, you can always create one yourself!

Snow, the best college IMO

Although naturally biased, I truly believe John Snow College has the best accommodation and atmosphere in Durham! Being a newly built college with en-suites, double beds and a sense of modernity in a historic city, it really is the best of both worlds.

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Sam Worthington

Hi – I’m Sam. I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at John Snow College, but I am currently embarking on my Industrial Placement in Birmingham with HSBC UK in the Agricultural Business Banking sector. Outside studying and working, I really enjoy community work and getting involved with local politics. 

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