Holly Lunt – Don’t take Cambridge for granted

In her second column, HOLLY LUNT reflects on being desensitised to the beauty of Cambridge.

Cambridge Column 2 exam term holly lunt jazz at johns Pizza Sainsbury's special group spotted tim squirrell

Hello to everyone reading my second column!

This week I want to discuss how easy it is to take Cambridge for granted.

When I first got to Cambridge I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everything was so old and beautiful: the buildings, the people, the colleges. But now, in my third term at the university, I walk past King’s Chapel without batting an eyelid.

I’m made aware of how habituated I have become to the beauty of Cambridge when I’m visited by a friend or relative. Because they haven’t spent much time here the buildings and colleges still have an impact. I chuckle as they gasp when walking past Emma or scream with delight at Trinity’s gate.

So pretty!

I desperately want to be able to feel what they feel. I want to go back to when Cambridge was still so overwhelmingly pretty and overwhelming. In order to achieve this I have tried a number of techniques: travelling somewhere ugly like Milton Keynes then coming back (this worked, but only for the first few weeks of being back in Cambridge), going on walks to find beautiful areas of Cambridge that I haven’t seen before, and using the special group that I’m part of to help me see things differently.

But there are other aspects of Cambridge that are easy to take for granted: living so near to a bus station, never having to pay for loo-roll or food, having the chance to interact with world-class professors while studying for a world-class degree, – the list goes on! – having a variety of societies and clubs to join and take part in, and being surrounded by so many ambitious and fun people.

Sometimes I forget what normal people are like. Then, when I go back to my home in London, I’m reminded of just how lucky we are in Cambridge. Some of the people I know back home are simply vile.

Sometimes you wonder whether Cambridge has changed you.

I think I’m a similar person to when I arrived here, but the other day someone pointed out that I’ve become much more disorganised over the past few months. With exams looming I’m really going to have to pull things together if I want to come back next year. It’s funny how, in some ways, I took my A-levels more seriously than I’m taking my degree. But then failure is no laughing matter.

Finding out that you’ve failed can ruin your concentration even if you’re in the middle of a game of sport

Last week I ended my column with an anecdote. This proved pretty popular so I thought I’d end this week by telling you about a number of things that have happened to me over the last six days:

1. I found my old college card. This was the one I originally lost in Michaelmas and thought was gone forever. But no, classic Holly, it was tucked behind my mini-fridge.

2. Went to [email protected]’s. Now I know I’m not supposed to promote events on The Tab, but I can’t resist mentioning [email protected]’s.

3. Really moved things to the next stage with my special group!

4. Bought Sainsbury’s Pizza. Sainsbury’s Pizza is to regular pizza what Sainsbury’s bread is to regular bread. It’s good value but perhaps not the highest quality.

5. Got ‘spotted’ outside my college. Someone called Louis said they recognised me and then asked me if I was Tim Squirrel. (I can assure you I’m not! In fact I find the idea pretty disgusting!)

6. Got my toe caught under the door of my room (For. The. THIRD. Time).

That’s it from me for this week.

Hope you’re all well x