How To Survive Outside of The Cambridge Bubble

Christmas fast approaching, the sturdy haven of Cambridge will again soon shatter into the horrors of The Real World. Here’s how to shake off those red trousers and survive outside the bubble…

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Sick and tired of being sneered at in the pub because of your excellent grasp of the Queen’s English and penchant for red-trousers?

Although being posh has definite advantages, especially when invited for drinks at the Pitt, in the real world a loyalty card for Fortnum and Mason and that Old Boys tie you seem to be surgically attached to can be more of a hindrance than a help. Week 7 is upon us, the term is drawing to a close. And as unfortunate as it is, soon we must all set aside our gowns and venture out beyond the bubble.

Never fear, in five easy steps you can leave your mincing mannerisms far behind.

First things first, avoid talking about your Blue (Half Blues are also included in this blanket ban, I can practically see the cogs turning). Blues in Polo, Blues in Fencing are absolutely off-limits, and don’t even think about mentioning Fives. Where I’m from there’s only one Blues Team and they play at Goodison Park. If that reference is beyond you, do your homework. Football is a surefire way to that laid-back chat you’ve been craving with the bartender, so put those research skills to good use.

Next up, celebrity culture. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is a world beyond the endless circuit of college to Sidgewick/Downing to Sainsburies to Cindies. All that economics you’ve been swotting up on in the Torygraph for your assessment days is 100% not a legitimate topic of conversation. Try broadening your horizons by swapping the broadsheets for Heat, or at the very least try to keep abreast of events on TOWIE. I mean are you completely detached from the real world?

He's not an idiot, he has a degree in economics...

He’s not an idiot, he has a degree in economics…

As a linguist, I find that nothing flags a trust fund quite like well-to-do waffle so its time to expand your vocabulary. Succinct Scouse phrases that have always served me well are “sound” to express approval, “swerve” for the opposite and “fair one” when conceding a point. However individuality and regional variation is key, so get chatting to people at home (yes, outside of your school reunion) and find what works for you.

Let’s talk about alcohol. Sometimes people get carried away, we’re all aware of people having one too many and deciding to get the Moët in at Cindies. Just to be clear, conversing about your favourite grape or ordering port (but only if its tawny) is a fairly equivalent to announcing to all present that your lineage can be traced back to the Queen. I’d like to take this opportunity to plug some of my local produce, my personal favourite pre-drink fodder being a combination of Lambrini and Glens Vodka, both created in sunny Liverpool. If you feel like pushing the boat out I suppose Peach Schnapps is just about acceptable.


Get real about your tipple…

Finally, you’ve done your background reading and chosen the appropriate lexical field, but there’s still one huge stumbling block on the horizon: the summer. Three glorious months of volunteering in Malawi, family trips to Barbados and maybe a Canary Wharf internship squeezed in for good measure… Stop right there.

Nobody wants to be introduced to you only to have to listen to you reeling off far-flung destinations like some sort of demented Thomas Cooke brochure. Building schools in Lagos does NOT count as a lad’s holiday, nor is it bonding material should you happen to meet a bricklayer when out and about.