St. Olaf College, Spring 2015

As a long-time reader of British literature, I’d always dreamed of coming to Oxford and seeing where many of my favorite poets and writers—Auden, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot—lived, studied, and wrote. My semester at M-CMRS has been my best college semester for many of the reasons I’d dreamed about—being surrounded by traditions and history, studying in the renowned Bodleian libraries, and attending service in the 13th-century University Church. But Oxford is more than its postcard image. It’s a vibrant city with an active student population. It’s a place where I was able to work one-on-one with and learn from encouraging and incredible tutors, take the bus to London or stroll on Hampstead Heath with new friends, play fiddle in the Oxford University Ceilidh Band, and find out just how many essays I could write in a week!  Even the little things, like shopping in surprisingly different grocery stores or trying to make sense of the English Prime Ministerial campaign, reminded me that even in another English-speaking country, I would encounter unique experiences that made me look differently at England, college, and myself.