As we all now know, Cambridge is a special kind of hell, but an easy place to idealise if you’re not currently studying there.

Hoping for a cheap laugh, I took some offer holders aside and quizzed them on their universtiy-based hopes and dreams.

I was expecting to smile smugly at the starry-eyed impressions of the latest set of newbies. However, class of 2015 seems particularly pessimistic, which will stand them in good stead.

They also all pointed out my various spelling and grammar mistakes, which was annoying.

Describe Cambridge in three words:

*anticipates cliches*

*anticipates cliches*

“Academia, Privilege, Bubble” – Jonathan
“So terribly English” – Max
“Fancy, Old, and Nerdy” – Lia
“Sik, kl, edgy” – Ben, who was taking the piss.

If Cambridge was a facebook sticker which one would it be?

Left, Lia. Right, Max - because Cam is a "city of perspiring dreams"

Left, Lia. Right, Max – because Cam is a “city of perspiring dreams”

“Effort” – Jonathan, and most of the others apparently, who just left the question blank in what must have been the email equivalent of an awkward silence. In my day freshers were keen.

What would the archetypal Cambridge student be like?
“NERD AF” – Lei
“Posh, English. Was probably the smartest person in their year at school, or at least the best at exams. Also, they probably chortle instead of laughing.” – Lia
“White, wearing tweed and never without a waistcoat” – Max
“Sik, kl, edgy” – Ben, who was taking the piss.

What would his/her/their name be?
“John Emmanuel Fitzwilliams”- Lei
“Harry” – Jonathan
“First name would be something like Rupert. Second name would be something like Snobwell or Stuffington” – Max

How would they react if you tried to steal their wallet?

fair enough, this was a stupid question

fair enough, this was a stupid question

“‘What the fuck are you doing?’” – Jonathan
“Badly, as anyone would.” – Lia
“Stop giving me ideas on how to finance my uni education…” – Lei
“Pull out a shank and murk me” – Ben

Do you think you’re going to fit in?
“Absolutely not.” – Lei
“No, but I’ll spend the first trying to fit the mould” – Max
“If the doorways exceed 6’3 then yes.” – Ben

Have you heard any rumours which you think are too weird to be true?

formal hall, showcase of the miserable class divide between the two universities of this fair city, according to something Max heard on the grapevine

formal hall, showcase of the miserable class divide between the two universities of this fair city according to something Max heard on the grapevine.

“Orgies on top of St Catharine’s” – Lei
“Lectures on Saturdays? Please tell me that isn’t true….” – Lia
It’s true Lia, but only if you do one of those horrible subjects that requires a calculator.
“Probably some of the drinking society initiations, also the trashing at the end of exam term is pretty weird.” – Jonathan
It is pretty weird, so we don’t do that. It’s Oxford who do that. Spraying each other with cava is definitely the more down-to-earth way to celebrate.
“Heard a rumour from a student at Caius that at formals the food is served by students from Anglia Ruskin” – Max

How do you think the next year is going to change you?

expectations

Expectations, and not an unreasonable depiction of reality

“I’ll start living my life in post-colonial guilt.” –Lei
“Probably make me a lot more book-smart and a lot less tanned.” – Jonathan
“I think I will be a better Law student” – Ben
“I will probably be better read than I am now, and also probably even drunker.” – Lia

What one thing would you most like to know about what’s going to happen to you in the following year?

“I’d like to know how many times I resort to begging my mum for money” – Ben
“What the date will be when, at 3 in the morning, buried under books and with 2 essays due the next morning, I’ll wish I’d gone to Durham.” – Jonathan
“This sentence is really not grammatical.” – Lei
Fuck off, Lei.

How do you think being at Cambridge is going to affect your sex life?

“negatively” – Jonathan
“It’s going to ruin it.”- Lei
Damn straight.
“Saying you went to Cambridge helps you pick up girls I assume” – Max
“It can only get better from here.” – Lia

Boringly, most of the offer holders have a fairly accurate picture of what to expect from their time at this uni, but some of them indulged in some good old-fashioned stereotyping to placate my obviously leading questions.

 

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