It really is an incredible privilege to attend a school in a city like Oxford. Off-campus walkability and High Street’s local economy make uptown the perfect place to observe different cultures and run into friends. We found that it’s all about relationships. Between students, locals, cars, bikes, businesses, and the unexpected. Every year the visitors of uptown get a little wiser, the history more complex, and the traditions—different.
So what’s on people’s minds? This semester we set out to capture a portrait of relationships across different campus spaces, especially at night. The videos below were recorded at a tent that we set up on High Street over a few Friday nights in Uptown.
We heard from people who claimed no expertise, but provided us with honest and thoughtful reflections about their time here. We believe that they are unequivocally themselves, and we are grateful for the insights they were willing to share with us.
We learned that Miami students used to meet under a water tower uptown. We learned that international students are not bored by the size of Oxford. We learned that some seniors eschew dating to avoid that graduation panic. We learned that the dating pool for interracial couples is very small. We learned that fraternity parties are safer than bars, though creepy dads can show up anywhere. The biggest thing we learned is that there are a lot of expectations to going uptown, but also an incredible number of people who see its complexities and navigate it independently.
Not all roads lead uptown, though it is the perfect place to people watch. We hope that this project encourages more open discussion about friendship, desire, and fulfillment. If you are interested in contributing to this ongoing project, read more here.