In with the new

19 January 2017


By Kay Carson

Kay Carson is a Kellogg scholar and DPhil student in Architectural History. Here, Kay considers the ways in which college life might provide inspiration in 2017.

Happy New Year!

Do you consider the post-Christmas period to be something of an anti-climax, or are you just glad that the festive hustle and bustle is over for another year? Either way, January means more than simply opening a new desk calendar; for many of us, it presents an opportunity to start afresh. It normally involves some degree of introspection, self-criticism and evaluation, and an attempt to keep a promise to oneself to implement change. Yes, I am talking about New Year Resolutions.

In the UK (and elsewhere), the most common resolutions have, by and large, remained the same for decades. I thought it might be fun to look at the ways in which we could turn to our college for possible solutions to our resolutions!

Eat healthily

It is no secret that the food at Kellogg College is among the best across the entire university. What is more, we are fortunate to have termly allowances for lunch and dinner so that we can enjoy a hearty, wholesome meal from time to time. On the occasions that my sister has visited she has requested a vegan menu and always says it’s the best she has ever tasted. I also believe that dining together is a ‘healthy option’ as it is always good to talk and exchange ideas.

Get fit

Whether you are a fan of energetic gym workouts, or prefer a more contemplative Yoga session, our college has a good range of sporting activities. Rugby and rowing play a major role, of course – and it is wonderful to hear that Kelloggian rowers Paul Bennett and Grace Clough have just been awarded MBEs for their achievements. I love sport, but tend to spectate nowadays rather than participate. One thing I would like to do this year, however, is book the College Punt. All part of the Oxford experience!

Take up a new hobby

It takes a degree of commitment – and bravery – to learn a new skill or nurture a new interest, but the rewards might just exceed your expectations. Why not sample the Short Book Book Club’s termly get-togethers, or a movie night, or pit your wits at a quiz night? You might even want to try out for BBC2’s University Challenge, representing the College on this iconic TV panel game. Better still, why not start your own group?

Meet new people

That’s an easy one. Kellogg College is the ideal place to make new friends and associates – and if you want to meet people from outside Kellogg (although, in my biased opinion, I don’t know why you would) you might be interested in signing up to the Exchange Dinners. Also, Kellogg’s new Passivhaus-design College Hub is set to be the go-to place for coffee and a chat.

Step outside your comfort zone

Part of what makes Kellogg an interesting and diverse college is the wide range of disciplines being studied by its members. This is reflected in the variety of lectures and seminars held each term, which provides us with an opportunity to broaden our research horizons. If you are an arts and humanities student, why not go along to a science-themed lecture, and vice versa?

So, if you are still working hard to keep your New Year Resolutions, these are just some of the ways in which Kellogg could play a part. As with all goals, they must be realistic and achievable or you will just end up feeling as though you have failed; remember to be kind to yourself.

Another great aspect of our college is the quantity of mature students in attendance. To me at least, age is just a number, and I have friends ranging from 20 to 80 years old who never fail to inspire me. As Oxford’s own C.S. Lewis wrote: ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’

Very best wishes for a peaceful and productive 2017.