As a trade union representative, Ruskin College was very much on my radar due to its deep roots and rich history on the left wing of the political spectrum. My ties with the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn and my beliefs, I feel, are very much in line with the College’s ethos. Ruskin's history is a well woven tapestry with many working-class heroes studying here from all across the globe. This was very alluring for someone like me, and with the new reawakening of socialist consciousness; I think many more will follow me, like others before me. After much deliberation I decided to come here and study the Applied Social Science BA (Hons) Degree, and upon writing this I am very happy with the course so far. As a resident of the College, I find the area surrounding it tastefully picturesque, with an orchard at the back and often you may see wild deer roaming around.
There are a number of things to do outside of the lectures, like attending talks featuring many exciting guest speakers. I have attended a talk on Steven Biko by the radical lawyer Brian Richardson, which one of the College’s residential blocks is named after. With the socialist party, I travelled to London to attend the National Conference for Standing up to Racism where Diane Abbott MP and rapper Lowkey were speaking. Also, a newly created group discussion about Karl Marx and Marxism has started where members of the College are invited to attend, to learn about the fascinating insights of the revolutionary philosopher, some of which are still very much relevant to this day. There is also the Chris Wilkes garden, where you can help out with the gardening duties if you don't mind getting a bit muddy and if like me you enjoy old stuff you can gaze at the 18th century grade II listed crinkle crankle wall!
All of this and I haven't even got into the beautiful City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford! What a wonderful city it is, a bustling cosmopolitan town with a backdrop of old buildings mixed with modern. The city itself has seen many famous and infamous scholars and royalty, so it is hard not to feel inspired. To take your inspiration even further, if you are on a degree-level course then you will have the wonderful opportunity to study in the esteemed Bodleian Library, it is genuinely a once in a life time experience.
I feel very lucky to be here, after meeting so many like-minded people, with similar interests, I feel at home at Ruskin College. I cannot wait to see what the future will have in store for me, after fully realising my potential, being surrounded by so much knowledge, history and culture. I recommend anyone to come here, if like me, they have a similar interest in helping others, and making the world a better place or if they are worried they have left it too late to go back into Higher Education. Ruskin will be your stepping stone to a greater future.
Written by Owain Davies, Applied Social Science student at Ruskin College.