They say that your college is like your second home. A place to see your friends, attend formals, balls and concerts. Before coming to Durham, I didn’t realise just how big of an impact my college would have on my university experience. I am especially happy that I was allocated Trevelyan – infamously known for its love of hexagons!
What is the JCR?
The cornerstone of every college is its JCR, the junior common room. The JCR consists of students who play a key role in the college, such as organising events, promoting the college, and holding elections for key issues within the college system. By getting involved in the JCR, you can gain experience in a role you are interested in, such as being a charity representative or part of the welfare team. This can give you some key skills needed in any job, such as time management, communication skills and managing finances.
Lots of oppotunities
The main reason I love the college experience is because of the opportunities I get. I can socialise with others, especially people in different years, who I wouldn’t typically talk to. It also means I get to enjoy events that I never would’ve expected; recently, my college (Trevelyan or Trevs) had an informal formal, where we ate pizza! Some other events that colleges might have are guest speaker events, balls, and themed nights in the bar, which are all a lot of fun to get involved with. As someone who loves live music and dressing up, I’ve been really making the most of all the opportunities that Trevs has to offer.
This year I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to get involved with the college sports club. I am a member of Trevs Cheer, despite never having done cheer before. This has been a great experience as I would have never considered it before coming to Durham. Taking part in extra-curricular activities with members of your college is a really fun time, as it means that you can hang out with new people when it comes to college events, or even make new friends that you already have something in common with.
Another benefit of the college system is the welfare system; this allows all students to have their thoughts and feelings heard by either their peers or more senior welfare officers. I believe that this makes Durham different from other universities; from the first day in college, I was greeted by the support of my Freps (Freshers Representatives), who saved me from having to carry heavy suitcases up the stairs. The support that you get from your peers in college is essential to having a good time at university because it means that you are never alone and there is always someone to talk to and just have a friendly chat with. College events, such as balls, are not for everyone and can be a bit overwhelming, so the welfare room is open all night if anyone needs some space!
A key room in every college is its library, which means that you have easy access to books and a quiet room to do work in whilst you’re living in college. Last year I definitely benefitted from this, as it meant I didn’t have to walk to the main university library to do smaller pieces of work. The great thing about college libraries is that they are less busy, so there is always somewhere to sit, and if you need to grab a quick snack, you can always nip back to your room.
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