I have been in Oxford a little over a week now and boy have I learned a lot. Yes I am learning a lot in my classes but I’m talking social norms. This is what I’ve learned.
1) All pubs close by 11.
This one was shocker to me. I’m from a college town and most bars and pubs are open until 1. Here all the pubs serve their last drink at 11 and push people out by 11:15. Good for the bartenders, not good for the consumers. The only exceptions would be the bar/club scenes that have far too many tourists there.
2) Students do not use backpacks.
The biggest no in the book at Oxford, is not using a backpack. Use a messenger bag or don’t use any bag at all. I guess backpacks cramp the Oxonian style?
3) Shorts must be worn with tights
The first sunny day I had here it was about 70 degrees, which in New England means the shorts and sandals are broken out. That is not the case here. Everyone will be in pants and if they wear shorts, black tights will be worn under them. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the color black and tights but its a little too dark to wear on a sunny day.
4) Cars, Buses and Bikes do not stop for pedestrians.
The one really known thing about the United Kingdom is that they drive on the other side of the road. I knew that coming in. I did not know that cars, buses, and bikes have the right away over humans. Yes that means that a car can/will continue driving if you try to cross the street and you will potentially get hit if thats the case.
5) People can just tell your American
I’m not quite sure how they can tell, I try to blend in as much as possible but still they find me and boy do they make it known that they know I’m an American. I’ve gotten screamed American out a car window while driving by. My personal favorite would be when a group of boys chanted USA! USA! while I walked to class.