So, you’ve spent the last 18 years of your life carefully preparing for this moment but here’s what to expect once you get to Cambridge University…
10 Moments Every Cambridge Fresher Remembers
1. The ‘recommended’ pre-reading list
It may be a common stereotype, but we do love a good book here in Cambridge. Getting started on the reading before the start of the term will help you review your A level knowledge and lessen the workload during term though if you can sacrifice your last summer of freedom…
2. Your first supervision
The first few lectures can be rather overwhelming, particularly if you’re still recovering from a busy fresher’s week. Perfect the technique of agreeing with your (hopefully) over-prepared supervision partner’s points and making vague philosophical comments to become the master at bluffing your way through such awkward situations.
3. The moment you successfully memorised the lion king lyrics in Cindy’s…
Because reliving your childhood memories whilst drunk is the perfect method of training your brain to recall facts under pressure. The Cambridge nightlife is definitely something to be experienced at least once during your time here, you’ll never experience/ suffer it’s like again.
4. …And how unimpressed your supervisor was the next morning
But secretly they admire your prowess, or perhaps simply miss their student days. Top tip: explain your intensive morning rowing schedule and love of 9 am lectures to get out of those dreaded early morning supervision slots.
5. Your first ‘week 5 blues’ moment
For the unprepared, week 5 can seem like a crazy time – with CUSU and colleges only exacerbating the situation with their welfare teas and free cake. Don’t let this fool you into a false sense of security though – supervisors will take advantage of any lessened workload and fitting in essay deadlines around puppy hugging schedules can get messy.
6. Casually flashing your uni card as you stride past the tourists into college
Because even when you’re drowning in the work and considering phoning up Durham, don’t forget that we’re essentially living in Hogwarts. Sitting back and appreciating the architecture or taking an afternoon off to do all those touristy things will help you remember why on Earth you wanted to come here in the first place.
7. Getting your head around table manners at formal
No Cambridge student’s life is complete without experiencing formal at least once – but if you’re trying to cross every college off your list you’re going to have to brush up on your table manners first! Remember, with the cutlery work from the outside in and then just copy what the guy with the poshest voice does.
8. Gleefully zipping around the tourists on your bike in Michaelmas…
Don’t forget, we own this place…
9. …And angrily running them over in exam term
Why do exams have to be scheduled in peak tourist season??? Show those tourists who’s boss with a loud bell/ horn if you want any chance of surviving unscathed/ alive.
10. That feeling when exams are over
Whether you’ve managed to secure dining tickets at John’s or are a ‘recycling assistant’ at the Medwards garden party, there’s something so unique and special about May week that somehow makes all those exams worth it.
Above all, enjoy the frivolities and eccentricities of Cambridge life, keep your supervisors at least vaguely satisfied (someone has to write you references), and look forward to celebrating your success/ survival in style!