Lent Term in Numbers

LVJ breaks down all the key statistics from the past 8 weeks.

As you are all well aware it’s the end of term. We’re all dying, cursing Cambridge and looking forward to going home so that mummy can look after us like she used to when we were little and you could stick crayons up your nose without anyone judging you.

You’re about to be rudely confronted with revision and painful amounts of work to catch up on shortly, but we’ve survived eight weeks, so let’s have a look at the term, in an utterly pointless yet really quite fun statistics based way. Mathmos, you will enjoy.

This data was complied using surveys, exploiting friends and guestimating just a little bit. However, brace yourself, for the term of the average Cambridge undergraduate, in facts, figures and the harsh light of day.



This term 20 hours of your short lives have been spent having an older man staring you in the eye, while an uneasy silence lingers in the room. Yep, that’s your supervision hours. These are compulsory, whilst officially so are lectures; clearly a lot of you don’t feel that way. Ideally you scientists spend 10 hours a week in lectures this term and you did quite well, attending 90%. I’m impressed. Now before we get to the artists; a confession. In my utter ignorance I helpfully forgot to mention labs when collecting data, so the lecture hours for scientists don’t include a lot of extra hours. One engineer brutally pointed this out to me in a full capitals reply to my email. Not going to name names, but I winced. Anyway, for the artists, 8 hours of your life should have been spent at Sidgwick. However, on average you only attend 50% of these lectures. Poor guys, very poor. In fact, I almost hope there’s a DoS out there reading this, ready to bollock the next student who comes in for an end of term meeting.

In my impartial social sciences category, I feel able to judge both the artists and the scientists without guilt, but before judging on contact hours alone, we have to pay attention to the essay situation. There always seems to be an ‘essay situation’ doesn’t there? Like global warming, it’s a perennial problem in our sad little lives. Artists have written (supposedly) 16 essays this term. At around 2000 words a piece that is 32,000 words of beautifully spelt and grammatically lovely script from you, future drainers of the economy because really, what exactly are you planning on doing with an English degree? For scientists, surprisingly enough, it’s 24 essays. I KNOW. Shocking indeed. However, worry not as I am reliably informed that an average medic essay is 1200 words only, so that’s only 28,800 words for their term. Not far off the arts student, but still losing.

Now I never said any of these were on time. Some inevitably (hopefully) were, but as an artist you should have handed in 4 late essays; a scientist only 2. So apparently they really do work harder.



Over the term you average a respectable 7 hours of sleep. Now that’s probably the artists artificially raising the number there, seeing as they seem to sleep rather than attend lectures, but still, taking the government recommended 8 hour per night this left you with a deficit of 56 hours over the term. That’s probably what led to the 168 cups of coffee you drank this term. Now that’s a lot of brown liquid. 302g to be exact, based on the serving size recommended by my good friends at Nescafe Gold Blend. If you like to make your coffee extra-strong to the point where it has the consistency of gravy (warning: this may make you vom if you’re downing it before a 10am after a night out), then you’ll get less out of your Kenco Rich Roast. The empty jars make great vases though, definite top tip. If you take away nothing from this article, please, remember that one fact.

I wanted to give a shocking statistic about money spent on laundry, but frankly, you’re a bit lax on that front. If you’re about as clean as the majority of our sample, then you’ve spent only £5.60 on laundry, based on the Clare cost of £1.40 for a wash. Everyone from Emma, go fuck yourselves and your overly plush existence.

Lastly, I thought it would be nice to go back to basics a little bit. No, not the overly tangy ‘wine for the table, not for the cellar’ but those everyday items we all need. You’ve drank 16 pints of milk, 8 packs of excellent value pitta bread, used 4 jars of pasta sauce and eaten 42 apples. I wanted to do toiletries too, but you’ve only used 2 bottles of shampoo and one and a half of conditioner and that just doesn’t sound very impressive.



But that’s not to say all you so is work. You’re not a big fan of formal, only going to 4 this term. Swaps however, proved popular and over the course of a single term you have overpaid for shit curry and cheap wine 12 times. For a second year student who has been on the swap circuit a while this is an average of 45 swaps over the course of the 18 months you’ve been here. Let’s do the maths. Say you drink a bottle of wine, a double and mixer, then 2 VKs (not a ridiculous amount), that equals 14 units of alcohol. On one swap. On a term basis, with 12 swaps, that’s 168 units of alcohol from swaps alone. That doesn’t count bops, ents, birthdays or normal nights out. Just to be really mean, that’s 1050 calories on alcohol alone in a single night. Ouch. Also as Tom Cruise so eloquently says, let’s show you the money. At say £15 for a meal and wine, plus £5 Cindies entry (let’s not count drinks costs this time, it’s too depressing), then that means swaps have cost you £240 this term. You could have flown to Barcelona with Easyjet in April and spent 3 nights at the Hotel Altovento for that, with spending money left over.

Now there is no drunken debauchery without sex. But you’ve been quite good, pulling only 3 people in Cindies this term. How many of them you saw again and it was really awkward, I don’t know. But I think quite a few. Now, people are allowed to get together a) sober and b) outside Cindies (as in properly outside, not just the smoking area or the little alley bit near the steps in). If you’re a fully functional reasonably attractive human being you’ve pulled 4 people this term in total, wherever and whenever you succeeded. You’ve also slept with an average of 2 people this term but let’s not dwell too much on the sex, we have just done a gargantum survey on the subject and don’t want us to think that The Tab is all about sex (we’re not. We also like drinking. And ‘tits’ as one senior member of the team so eloquently put it at a meeting the other week. You know who you are).


So there you go. Your eight weeks of blood, sweat and panic attacks summed up through your material waste, academic failings and sexual success. Now wasn’t that fun. I did tell you at the start this didn’t have a profound meaning, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Sorry if it made you feel inadequate or a bit weird. That’s probably because you are, so try harder next time.