Making an ‘open college’ application

Poppy Baverstock

Welcome to my story! My initial choice of college wasn’t Trevs, in fact, it wasn’t any college at all. I applied to Durham through the process of an open college application. This meant I would be assigned a college automatically. It is usually recommended that students make a preference of which college they’d like to live in, but when I was completing my UCAS form early on in year 13, I was hesitant about moving too far away from home and so Durham wasn’t one of my top considerations at that point as it was over 300 miles away!

My bedroom at Trevelyan College

Trevelyan College

So instead, Durham automatically assigned me to Trevs in early February. At about the same time, I began to think perhaps moving far away from home wouldn’t be so hard, a decision I have certainly never regretted. I thought I might get homesick but this year I have lived in college for the entirety of each term and catch the train home for the holidays. It works out much cheaper and life is simply too busy and fun to worry about being at home in term time.

As I began to consider Durham more strongly, I started to look into my assigned college. I felt pretty content with what I found out. The small nature of the college felt less daunting, and I liked that it was up on ‘the hill’ with lots of outside space. It’s very central on the hill and lots of other colleges are also located there so I made friends with people from the other hill colleges throughout the year.

Working outside at Trevelyan College

Arriving at Trevs was a very exciting day. The ‘Freps’ were all super helpful and friendly. My room was plenty big enough with great wardrobe space. The rooms all gather in circles so there’s loads of social space on the landings, unlike some of the other colleges. Trevs is all one building, so getting to and from your friends’ rooms, the canteen and the library can all be done in slippers!

Making friends

Being catered at Trevs was very beneficial. I was a bit unsure about being catered as I was excited about the university experience of cooking for myself. However, mealtimes were a wonderful place to make plans with new friends and a great way of structuring a busy new lifestyle. Mealtimes brought us all together three times a day and spared us many hours of food shopping and cooking a week which we used for other fun activities. Furthermore, there is the chance to cook for yourself in second, third or maybe even fourth year.

Socialising with our ‘household’

Making friends in Trevs was a really exciting time. Everyone was equally keen to start new conversations and it was fun to meet so many interesting people. Taking the opportunity to walk into town when anyone offered was certainly a good chance to get to know people better. Being open to get to know everyone I found was the best way to finding the people with who I got on the best.

Lots of oppotunities

Once settled in and having found my bearings in a new place, the opportunities presented by Trevs became apparent. I took up a variety of college-level sports including netball, running, rowing, lacrosse, tennis, rounders, and I swam in my own time at the local leisure centre. Some of these sports I had tried before, others were brand new, but there was coaching and space in every sport to start at any level of ability. Everything is run by students, and I was inspired to apply for some leadership roles in college sports for my second year.

I couldn’t have had a better experience in Trevs, being assigned to this college turned out to be the best thing for me, whichever route leads you to your college it will undoubtedly help you have a wonderful time at university.

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Poppy Baverstock

Hello, my name is Poppy, I am a first year BSc Anthropology student, also known as Biological Anthropology, and a member of Trevelyan College. I enjoy getting involved in a wide variety of college level sports as well as spending time with my friends and exploring what Durham has to offer.

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