Vic Sautter: Week 8

In her final column, VIC bids a fond farewell to Cambridge and imparts some words of wisdom.

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I confess, I’ve been putting writing this column off. Not because I’ve been busy – in fact, the last week has been relatively quiet – but because the thought of writing this final column has actually made me a little sad.

It’s a hell of a lot different to how I thought I’d go out. I’d thought, from the beginning, that this would be some kind of final “screw you” to The Tab and its commenters. But I have to admit that I’ve loved writing for The Tab this term, and the comments have been unexpectedly gentle.

Or maybe I’m just getting sentimental in my old age.

And I do feel old. Really old, despite the fact I’m only twenty and will graduate at twenty (summer babies are the best) but three years on and I’m starting to feel a little big for an institution which totally dwarfed me when I first turned up, and while that’s kind of a depressing thought, it’s also a rather wonderful one. Because no matter what happens next term, being ready to leave Cambridge, and I am ready… I think, feels like winning. Time for the Bubble to burst.

I know the nostalgia is probably setting in too soon. I mean, technically the road ends way down the line in June, but there is something about the final week of my final Lent Term that feels, well, final. This is the last of the normal terms. The last term of regular supervisions, less regular Cindies trips, and lectures…apparently, I wouldn’t know. Exam Term isn’t quite the same, so normal Cambridge life (if there is such thing as ‘normal’ Cambridge life) is coming to a close, and I’ve been left feeling rather philosophical about the whole thing.

This term, the ‘lasts’ have been coming thick and fast, my last stint as Props Mistress of the college musical was the first significant one. Having done it for three years, my dear Stage Manager and I got quite emotional at the after party upon realising that the thing that had defined Lent for us for our entire time here had come to an end. Metaphorical tears were shed, literal wine was drunk. Approaching this Friday is my last Bop. I don’t own any waterproof mascara but I think it might be worth buying some because when the opening chords of New York New York play for the last time I’m going to be struggling to hold it together. I even got a little choked up in my last dsissertation supervision, although that was mostly out of gratitude to my absolutely awesome supervisor who deserves a mention here because she’s great. And now, here I am, writing my last column, at the last minute, on one of the last days of term.

That’s a lot of lasts.

I can’t really offer any advice going out as a third year. I don’t think anyone would listen, so I guess I just want to talk about a simple truth that I think has got a bit lost in the endless tirade of popular culture references and complaints this column has become, and that truth is: I was damn lucky to be here.

We all are, I know we worked hard and all that, but the chance to be in Cambridge is amazing, and though I think we all know it, I think we’re also prone to forget it, and it’s only in the face of all these lasts that I’ve really remembered it.

My Grandma told me, before I came here, “don’t forget how beautiful Cambridge is while you’re there, because you’ll certainly miss it when you leave.” It was the best advice I got about coming here, and it’s absolutely true. Even in the rain and the snow and all the crazy weather we’ve been having, Cambridge remains one of the most beautiful places in England, and however much they annoy us, it’s worth remembering that tourists go out of their way to visit the place we get to live in.

Admittedly, that happens in my hometown too, but that’s TOWIE bus tours…

So that would be the parting message of my column. Not telling you stop throwing around the word OCD, not telling you to stop being nerd elitists, not telling you to watch Community (although you should totally watch Community), but just reminding you that these aren’t the best years of our lives – I’m sure they are to come – but if they were, well, we wouldn’t be doing too badly.

Thanks for reading this column, for putting up with me, for not throwing things at me; overall, I think it’s been a success.

Time for the final push to Mordor, and then off to the Grey Havens.


“Farewell, my brave Hobbits, my work is now finished. Here at last, on the shores of sea, comes the end of our Fellowship.”