Was Cambridge Worth It?

With Lent around the corner, Fucked Up Fresher TONY HARCOURT evaluates your Michaelmas for you.

Birmingham Cambridge cloisters durham Leeds LSD Oxford patrick brooks Tab UCL university warwrick york

So, Freshers (if you’re a second or third year this isn’t for you – go cry cynically into the half-baked afterbirth of your dissertation or something), you did it it. You survived your first term at Cambridge University. You penned essays, skirted insomnia, battled Week 5, bullshitted through supervisions, gained valuable experiences, friends and weight.

Lent term is days away, but the question remains, niggling like a rabid beaver at the back of your bruised mind; was it all worth it? Were those eight weeks of horrific stress and scratchy gowns (with the promise of sixty-four more like them to come) worth all the years of hard study, of pent up aspiration and ambition, of frenzied revision and the self-administered lethal injection into your teenaged social life?

Like the intrepid Lois Lane that I am, I decided to find out for you by interviewing several of my friends who went to universities other than Cambridge this autumn.


“Warwick is amazing. The worst thing is that we have lectures sometimes in the mornings, but those are usually good times to nap actually. The best thing about Warwick is the social scene, definitely; my flat is amazing, we’re like a family now, and we have flat parties on every Tuesday. Haha no they’re not boring parties, a ‘flat’ is just a type of accommodation, we don’t have cloisters here- Yeah there are 31 flats in our block, and each of them has a party on a different weekday, so there are like always at least four or five different parties every- Essays? Do you mean essay? Yeah we had that, nightmare.”


Scott – UCL

 “LSD, man, you have to try LSD. You wanna come down to London sometime we can go see some Brecht or something and do LSD? Yeah.”

Rachel – DURHAM

“God, the workload here is in-fucking-tense, you would not believe, but the collegiate system is great, we have such inter-college bantz, Hatfield LOL. Yeah, probably the worst thing is how much free time I have, though that’s kinda useful as I lose hours every day to having to translate the locals’ dialects. But yeah, overall I’m so glad I got into Doxbridge.”

Oliver – GAP YEAR


None  to be found at the UL, although recent sightings  suggest potential


“The night life here is quite simply phenomenal. There’s only forty or so clubs, but there’s a nice complimenting sub-fringe of cheap bars too. My term? To be honest, I can’t remember much of it. I think it involved pineapple costumes and enjoying myself more than I thought was humanly possible.. I vomited in my sleep worryingly often, though.

If this is their library, imagine their club

Connor – OXFORD

“Why are you messaging me, Tony, we’re not friends anymore :)”

Jennie – YORK

“Did you know we have ducks in our lake?! They’re so cute! What drinking games do you play in Cambridge? Haha. Yeah I’m not sure we even have a library in York. Haha yeah reading week, misnomer of the century am I right?!! There’s this awesome bar where you can get 90p shots if you flash the bouncers. We go there most nights. I’m so good at drinking games now, and I have sex all the time. It’s basically just sleeping, drinking, eating and fucking for me these days. How much sex did you have in Cambridge, Tony? Oh. Well don’t worry, I’m sure… yeah oh that sounds embarrassing. I’m sure everyone will forget about it soon.”

So, in summary, would you have had more fun going to a slightly less prestigious university?

The short, sad and truthful answer is yes, probably. But don’t forget that you’ll come out of it with a degree that is guaranteed to get you a job. Just ask any recent Cantabrigian graduate – though don’t expect to get a quick reply, they’re all too busy being employed!