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The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

The Oxford Blog: Week 4

Almost nothing is as meaningful in travel for me as meeting new people. My love for the world stems from my love for people. I am obsessed with collecting stories, with trying to make sense of how different lives can simultaneously exist, how all of our histories and stories, which are all equally rich and real, can take up space in the universe at the same time. 
Truth be told, I’m a closed-off person. As much as I crave openness, I am deathly afraid of sharing information about myself. It’s exactly what I dread and what I want more than anything, especially when experiencing something as spectacular as traveling in Europe.
The 50 students on the trip this year are mostly UMass Amherst students who know one another in some way, or at the very least, can connect over similar campus experiences and professors. Another handful of students are from Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges, two of the Seven Sister all-women’s colleges, also in the same area. I happen to be the only student from UMass Boston. Although it was pretty nerve-wracking at first, it’s been incredible getting to know students who are similar to me in many ways, but have adapted to relatively different environments.
I can already tell that some of the people I’ve met so far on this trip are people I want to keep close to me when I come back home. Don’t get me wrong—I love experiencing parts of England on my own. There is something so crucial and real about giving yourself to a foreign city without others to interfere. Oxford is full of private experiences that call out to you. History, sometimes, is better observed intimately, one-on-one.
Some of the best nights of my life have been in the company of people who continue to surprise me with their fullness. I can’t take a bite of scones dipped in clotted cream without smiling at Amy’s claps of delight on our first failed movie night (conversation and food were way more pressing than the film). Nights in Oxford can’t be recalled without thinking of friends scrambling for the bar under the campus chapel after our first weekly formal dinner. The laxness that surrounds drinking in the UK seems to permeate throughout the culture. 
I came to Oxford with warnings of strict etiquette rules. Instead, I find myself among professors who drink Prosecco on the first day of class and make us feel like people worth listening to.
I’m definitely experiencing a little bit of an overload. Hopefully I can slow down and continue to absorb everything that’s going on as classes continue. I can’t believe everything I’ve experienced—and it’s only the first week! 
Life is full and good here.