Ms Jenni Butler
My name’s Jenni Butler, and I’m a second year Classics Student at Somerville. I came from a fairly good independent secondary school in Southampton and originally applied to Oxford because it was something I had always wanted to do, despite pressure from my school that I wasn’t good enough. The first time I saw Somerville was when I came for interview, but it was already dark when I arrived. However, the student helpers were really lovely and showed me the legendary friendliness of Somerville students! I first saw the college properly after I’d received my offer and knew immediately that I would love it (mainly because we’re allowed to walk on the grass!) and since I arrived last October I’ve never regretted my choice for a second.
The great thing about Classics is the flexibility of the course. Even in your first year you have options about what you study, which isn’t that common in Oxford. It’s also really great because you cover a huge breadth of topics throughout the 4 years, while being taught language skills to help you cope with the original languages. It’s a tough subject but incredibly rewarding, with choices in your 2-4th years ranging across around 30 different options.
Outside of work, I still have time to do plenty of extra-curricular activities. I’m the Captain of the college Boat Club (having only started rowing a year ago) I’m the Admissions and Equal Opportunities Officer for the JCR, which means I help run Open Days, Access Events, and Undergraduate Admissions Interviews throughout the year, as well as organising the college parenting scheme and running tours of the college for school groups and visitors. I also sing in the Chapel Choir, which is great fun. We tour every summer and are doing our first recording next July! Last year we spent a week around Milan, in Italy, which was really good fun. Outside of college, I’m also learning Russian at the University language centre, so there’s plenty of time here to do the things you want to outside your course.
The best thing about Somerville is its openness and friendliness. We’re one of the most diverse colleges and have a history of being extremely open and liberal. We also have great facilities and one of the biggest and prettiest quads in Oxford.