Hey! I'm David, a second-year (approaching third-year) chemist at Corpus.
Going to university is an unnerving enough choice for anybody in any situation, regardless of going local or - as is the case for most of you reading this – going to a relatively distant part of the country (or world!), knowing you'll be unfamiliar with the people there. And I'm confident in saying I was more nervous than many! But settling in was an astonishingly quick process and the college helped with that. It is among the smallest colleges and oddly this makes it easier to get to know more people, as there isn't an overwhelming wall of people to meet. I don't know a person at Corpus who doesn't love it here. That said, I don't know a person at any other college who doesn't love theirs too!
Chemistry is among the more daunting subjects to take and your first look at your schedule will do nothing to help with that. The course is primarily driven by lectures (two each weekday morning), labs, and tutorials (academic discussion sessions usually with one or two other students and a tutor). The labs in particular can seem to take up a lot of time: twice a week (for about three out of every four weeks) you will be in the lab performing some new experiment, followed by some results analysis. Tutorials are weekly (at Corpus - other colleges may vary) and involve being given a subject to read up on and some problems to solve and hand in, before going over them in detail in a small meeting with your tutor. There are other aspects including a maths segment with associated classes in first year, but such further details can be read about on the Chemistry departmental website.
But - I cannot stress this enough - it is a course I enjoy doing! I chose it since it interested me most out of my A-level courses, and it continues to interest me. Obviously not every topic can be fascinating but there are various sections which strongly interest me, and which may vary wildly to the parts that would interest you. You will quickly learn how to manage your time and tackle the different learning style, and once you get into the swing of things you will find yourself with a good amount of spare time on your hands.
As for what you might want to do with that time, well, it's up to you. All first years live incredibly close to one another, in a small selection of buildings just across the road from Corpus itself, so there are plenty of opportunities to socialise in the college's common areas (such as the common room and the bar), as well as hang out in one another's rooms in the evenings once you get to know one another. And that's not to mention the myriad societies within Corpus and the University covering all sorts of areas of interest: from sports (which you are free to join just for fun or to become part of an immensely competitive team) to the societies for board games, debating, cheese, Doctor Who, Lego, the list goes on! You're sure to find plenty of ways to enjoy yourself and spend your time, regardless of the way you prefer to do it.
Any questions about anything that you may have, whether Corpus or Chemistry or Oxford or so on, even if you think it's silly or trivial, feel more than free to send an email to the address in the top right. I'll respond as quickly as I can!