It was now time for our students to enjoy one of Oxford’s most traditional and popular pastimes, punting and picnicking! Throughout the summer, especially on nice days, the river attracts students and townspeople alike to leisurely float down the river in the sun. With the British heatwave still ongoing, the day dawned beautiful and sunny, and after their lunch it was time for our students to try their hand at punting, heading down to the Cherwell Boathouse for the first time!
After an initially shaky start by some of our staff members, the students took over and many of them proved to be very talented. While Ammar was initially scared, and not too keen to be on the water, he ended up punting his boat along for the last half an hour and steering them back into the boathouse – definitely the quickest learner of the group! Elsewhere, Robert, Srishti, and Myke Angelo also turned out to be great at steering their boats along, with Robert even managing to teach some other students. Punt Four, made up of Ella, India, Srishti, Tessa, Edward, and Kevin, took Gareth’s “punting is a race” comment very seriously, and were the first to make it back to the boathouse – mostly thanks to the girls!
After their successful time punting it was essential for our students to refuel in the traditional Oxonian way, with a tasty picnic! Everyone headed down to the nearby Wolfson College and were treated to an incredible barbecue, and lots of ice-cream, which was enthusiastically consumed by our hungry punters. As the students lay in the park they shared their many wide ranging punting experiences with their friends as laughs were heard between mouthfuls of food!
Once everyone had recovered from the first exertion of the day, it was time for some more, for some energetic students! A group headed to the sports field to enjoy touch rugby, football, and frisbee, while some of their more tired friends remained by the barbecue to play some very enthusiastic games of Mafia and Werewolf – ably led by AC Ugo, who passed on his own experiences of playing the games last year as an OSA student!
The final event of the evening was an amazing Happiness masterclass, led by PhD candidate Michael Plant. This encouraged the students to think about different philosophies of happiness, what it means to be truly happy, and what things they think make them happy in life. The students were wonderfully engaged with Michael, and asked plenty of insightful questions at the end of the talk – we hope they’ll go on to use their newfound knowledge to maximise their happiness for years to come!