In this month’s edition of ‘Editors Try’, we focused on what Royal Holloway had to offer outside of Sports and Societies. This was inspired by my love of fruit and houseplants; the latter not being particularly enamoured with me. In my defence, not that Owen would believe me, it was not solely my fault that the chilli plant bit the dust – these things are a team effort. Regardless, as editors we tried; Market Day, the Plant Sale, Virtual Yoga and the Outdoor Cinema. Although Campus has a lot on offer in terms of alcoholic events, we felt that as keen drinkers ourselves, that deserved its own edition.
So, lets kick things off with ‘Market Day’. For those of you that haven’t been, market day is held every Tuesday in the SU main hall with fresh fruit and veg stalls, a fresh bakery, a Chinese market stall and outside food trucks serving an array of international dishes. It’s fair to say I was in my element, Owen less so. Whilst I like to cram in as much fruit and veg into my day as possible, he will pick out the lettuce in any burger he is served. Ultimately, you may be wondering whether the prices, convenience and taste make it worth a visit. In terms of price, seasonal fruit and veg are a lot cheaper than the out of season items, but that is to be expected. The convenience of getting your fruit and veg from this market is equal to that of South West Rail on a Sunday. Not only can you not rely on them to stock everything you need, it only takes place one day a week and there’s no delivery service for those living in the back of Englefield. Something we deeply regretted when we got caught in heavy rain on the walk home. Nevertheless, the taste of the fresh fruit and veg with the added delight of a fresh bakery and the choice of international cuisine before or after your shop, is what makes market day an event we repeatedly go back to and highly recommend for anyone in need of an enjoyable way to food shop.
On to the ‘Plant Sale’. I love having plants in my room, and I am one of those people that names everything; my cactus is called Eric, my car is Percy and unoriginally (I was a toddler) my teddy bear is called Ted. I realised they were all male names, never intentional but my new plants would be different. The houseplant sale happens at the start of each term, spanning a few days every year, outside the SU and it is always widely popular. The sale is good fun and is a chance to purchase a ‘Grow your own Christmas Tree’. Although some may argue that October is far too early for this, I would disagree, and one was purchased. My two plants; Sydney and Matilda sit proudly in my room, although, for how long, no one is sure. Although a rare occurrence at the SU, this sale is worth a visit when its on and the prices charged are affordable, with a wide range of items on offer. The “difficulty to look after scale” that each plant is rated on, makes finding a plant for the less green fingered, like myself, easy and straightforward. For anyone who’s tenancy agreement specifies ‘no pets’; and as a result a house hamster called ‘Miso’, is not allowed, a houseplant is a close compromise, and the sale is worth a visit.
Next up is Virtual Yoga. Having attempted to get into Yoga together during lockdown, we thought we’d give the Campus’ virtual class a go. By no means are either of us acrobats; Owen cannot even touch his toes, but this class did cater for people like us. If following an exercise video is your cup of tea, these types of events are great for that. Free of charge and accessible from your own home, these classes are designed to cater for all abilities. However, as someone who is used to group exercise (particularly being a hockey player) I found it was easy to get distracted and unfocussed. You need a lot of self-discipline for classes like this and trying to do this with a boyfriend who loves joking around is not easy. I would recommend trying classes like this for those who have to isolate or those not comfortable in group settings. However, if you feel confident or healthy enough to attend in person classes, I would look towards the Sports Centre’s Active Sessions or Gym Classes.
Finally, the outdoor cinema. This was the second outdoor cinema that we have ever attended and although well organised in terms of Covid, it was not the most comfortable. After a while, you certainly got cold and numb sat on the ground – lots of blankets is a must, even if your boyfriend is comparable to a portable heater. It is a cute date idea and the backdrop of founders adds a nice atmosphere to the event. I would recommend going as it was something different to our usual Netflix movie night but make sure you are prepared with snacks, hot drinks and lots of layers.
In conclusion, Campus has a wide variety of events on offer, most of which were not explored in this article. Making the most of your university experience includes going to as many events as you can, you do not have to be a fresher. Things are so uncertain currently so make the most of the little pleasures in life. Buy a Christmas tree in October, make a stir fry from market bought ingredients, try an active or wellbeing session or freeze your arse off at an SU event. The extra-curricular activities you get involved in will be cherished once you leave university,; go and explore.