Last week Jess and I jumped on a bus headed for the renowned university town of Oxford. As it turns out, we weren't prepared for how overwhelmingly beautiful this place was, nor were we prepared for how underwhelmingly average we felt in comparison to all the Oxford students who were finishing exams that were probably harder than anything I'll ever do in my life.
Oxford seems to be completely made up of old, intricately detailed, gorgeous buildings. Where as many other cities I've seen usually have some sort of a modern edge to them, Oxford, for the most part, has completely preserved the atsmosphere of its time. Our tour guide actually mentioned that the town is an incredibly popular set for period films, as its cobblestone streets and well-mainted buildings make it very easy to accurately depict this point in history.
The university actually provided the inspiration for certain aspects of rye Harry Potter films. Walking around the streets and inside the buildings, any fan would be reminded of Hogwarts' winding corridors or classrooms. Although we just missed out on seeing the place where Harry Potter was supposedly filmed (we were 3 minutes late, to be exact. Still slightly bitter on that one) we stumbled upon another wizarding world treasure. The dining hall in one of the Oxford buildings was the model for the Great Hall in Harry Potter. Although they didn't actually film here, the hall was so similar to the one in the movies that Jess and I actually recognised it before being told that it was used by the set designers as inspiration.
Something that we were told on our tour and which I found quite funny was that several times during the building of the campus, construction was forced to stop because they ran out of money. Walking in and around that campus now- one which belongs to the oldest surviving English speaking university in the world- it's surreal to think that such a significant and highly-regarded place was once hindered by something as common as money.
I can't even begin to imagine how much of a fairy tale life would seem to those who study at Oxford. I was just constantly in awe every time I turned a corner that day and found myself desperately wishing that I was smart enough to get into one of the best universities in the world. Unfortunately, out of roughly 20.000 students, only 300 of them are Australian and I'm guessing none of them chose to stop studying maths in year 10 like I did. But, hey, at least now I have a cool Oxford jumper to wear during the uni semester whilst I'm watching YouTube videos and not studying.