Frequently asked questions

Hi there!

Every year, we get loads (really, loads!) of questions from freshers about almost every aspect of College life. We understand! We were there once too. Keep your questions coming in – we’re happy to answer almost anything under the sun. Contact us using the form below, or by emailing You can also post your question to this years’ college-run Facebook freshers’ group here, or by sending your queries through to the JCR Facebook page here.

This new FAQ page has been added this year to answer some of the most common queries we hear. It’ll start off empty, and we’ll add in your queries and our best answers as term nears, so hopefully this will become a useful reference by next year! Check back soon for more questions below…

Q: What if I’m near the bottom of the room ballot?

A: I wouldn’t let your first year ballot position worry you in the slightest. All first year rooms are absolutely incredible, and you really cannot go wrong with whichever you choose. They all look better in person than that do on the rooms system too!

When I was a fresher, for example, the rooms left over at the end of the ballot were just as good as those available half way through. While it may seem annoying at first, you’ll probably (depending on what other people pick, of course, so it does change year on year) still be able to choose from rooms in Cripps and North Court.
Don’t worry. Whatever happens you’ll get a great room, and being near the bottom of the ballot will not change this. All fresher rooms at John’s are MUCH nicer than those at other Colleges/Universities, so it’s nothing to worry about!

Q: Should I consider buying a bike?

A: (annoying answer) but I really can’t answer this one for you. This is totally dependent on a few factors, namely: (1) which course you’re going to study, (2) how confident you are with a bike, (3) whether you want to walk to lectures with a tea/coffee etc. To address these in turn:
(1) So if you study a subject which is likely to have a lot of lectures/practicals (mainly sciences/medicine/veterinary medicine etc) then a bike is usually a good idea. It helps you get there quicker & easier, and gives you a longer lunch break (as you don’t have to walk back to & from lectures several times!). If, however, you study a less lecture-intensive course (I won’t name them here, but these do exist) then perhaps you might consider holding off for the first few weeks to see if you think you’ll use it. A lot of people buy one and never use it, and you don’t want to spend your money on a big lump of metal you’ll never need!
(2) Self explanatory really. You don’t want to make yourself unsafe, and so if you’re not the most confident cyclist, walking is always possible: It’s a small city, so you’ll manage without a bike. Better slower and safer if you’re in doubt here.
(3) I know a couple of people who would consider their morning tea/coffee walk essential, so it’s worth considering that it’s basically circus-worthy to manage this on a bike!

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