Lent to be: what to expect this term

It’s going to be shit

Exams funny haha Lent


The unloved middle child of the Cambridge year. The squeezed middle, plagued with liberal guilt and unchecked privilege. The overwhelming pesto filling in your Sainsbury’s meal deal sandwich.

Given only 6 out of 10 stars on Trip Advisor, it lacks both the novelty of Michaelmas and the hope for a brighter summer of Easter.

Yes, Lent term is almost upon us, and we’re here to tell you just what to expect:

It will be fucking freezing

It’s England; It’s January. What’s more, Cambridge is in a land dip, meaning it is just a little bit colder here than in surrounding areas. In my first year, I was diagnosed with asthma caused by my move to a colder climate. I’m from London.

During this dire month, the only heat source in all of Cambridge emanated from the bodies of sweaty students grinding in Lola’s. And if it snows:

“Oh Cambridge looks so beautiful in the snow.” (It’s freezing)

“Oh, it looks just like that book, don’t it? ‘Arry Potter” (It’s fucking freezing and my bike wheels have frozen onto the tourists on Orgasm Bridge)

Cambridge in January will freeze your balls off

CUSU Elections 

Here’s hoping you actually hear about them this year! [https://thetab.com/uk/cambridge/2014/03/05/cusu-elections-liveblog/]

Oh for the days of student radicalism and bra burning…

One for the Freshers: Self-Realisation

The free love of fresher’s term is over. After Facebook-friending every person you meet at every bop never to interact again (save for awkward eye contact in the self-check-out line of Sainsbury’s), the time has come for you to declare your extra-curricular plans.

That time of year

What this looks like: Those intent on a political career will flood to the Union to insert stale and pre-scripted jokes into their floor points. Those desperate to be in Theatre rush to the ADC. Stephen Fry tribute acts appear on every corner and haunt your nightmares. Cliques form, in-jokes arise, and you’ll probably see them all on the BBC in 10 years’ time.

What it actually means: Your friends will start spamming you a lot on Facebook, whether it be articles they’ve written, obscure Union speaker events, or a Corpus Lateshow they’re stage managing. Meanwhile you will bum around being junior treasurer of the Cambridge University Potted Plant Appreciation Society because that’s quite enough to be getting on with, thanks.

They’re not going to Treasure themselves!

One for the Rest: Dissertation

It is written that Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, and during this Almighty all-nighter he was tempted by the devil and Internet procrastination. He returned on the fortieth day enlightened with the final draft of his dissertation, bibliography attached. In honour of this, Cambridge students spend Lent term avoiding, ‘forgetting’ and plagiarising their very own dissertation. It’s big; it’s ugly; it’s footnoted. May the devil take us all.

Recovering from 40 Days in the Wilderness

Future Plans

Whether it’s a job after graduation, a teach-abroad program or a research grant, students everywhere will begin sending in applications to find themselves some plans for the summer and post-university. Fearful of spending but one minute of their time relaxing, come the end of Lent term they will carefully schedule in every spontaneous activity.

For the rest of us:

Glastonbury? Yeah, I forgot to get a ticket for that. Internship? Not with these grades. Graduate job? Still need to find myself. I’m going to start by looking in my parent’s fridge.

Fuck it, just relax this summer. Have a bowl of cereal. No shame.

Not today, thanks

‘The Talk’

Towards the end of Lent, as you crawl inch by cm to the finish line, it will be time for the talk.

That’s right: the birds, the bees, the rigorously timed conditions, senate house. 2.2. It’s that time of term when you supervisor decides to ‘gently’ remind you that when you come back, it will be exam term. This may take the form of a firm reminder to not to spend all of your holiday stressing, a stern reminder to only take weekends off, or an overly perky pep talk. Be assured, it will come.

English exam question from last year. It is a poem describing a student’s brain when they think about exams

But it’s all gravy because on the horizon, there’s…


Late March. The days are getting longer. The punts are out. You may be able to swap those red chinos for red shorts. You think maybe if you just spend your holiday napping revising outside, it’ll still be bliss.

As emails about Buttery opening times and college bills flood in, and Sainsbury’s alcohol prices shoot-up, Lent Term is here.