Reflections on Week 5

A few thoughts

#week5blues cambridge fresher Cambridge week 5 dealing with stress first term Fresher fresher term Liv Darby stress week 5 week 5 blues

The second Week 5 of the year has passed, and with it has come the happy realisation we are more than half way through.

This is reason enough to celebrate (if we ignore that it also means exams are much closer). I’ve only had two experiences of Week 5, being a fresher, but I’ve definitely noticed a drastic difference between them.

During my first term at Cambridge, everything was terrifying for pretty much the whole 8 weeks. Admittedly, I stopped ambling around like a lost idiot after a few days, once I’d worked out where lectures were held, what a supervision really is and that ‘trough’ is actually the place we go to eat (I had imagined it was some weird Cambridge tradition I would one day be subjected to. Turns out Pembroke is actually pretty normal).

A sheep watering trough

But there was still a continuous feeling of mild panic in Michaelmas. I constantly worried that something would go wrong and ruin my fresh start at Uni before it had really begun.

On my first family night, I was warned about the notorious ‘Week 5 blues’ which I was destined to suffer from. There were horror stories of 2 hours sleep, 5 essay deadlines and tonsillitis epidemics.

Sure enough, I woke up on the first day of fifth week feeling like crap. Admittedly, I do Land Ec, so the essay situation wasn’t such an issue for me. But I had for so long expected to feel overwhelmed as soon as Week 5 hit that it almost felt like I ought to feel this way. I spent the week feeling sorry for myself, with conjunctivitis and a bad mood. It was such a waste of energy. Who knew self-pity could be so tiring.


This term things are different. Obviously there have still been work stresses, but I’ve dealt with them in a different way. I’ve made numerous trips to Sainsbury’s, Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and Van of Life (shamelessly while sober) for all things sugary, chocolatey and cheesy. Consuming calories with friends helps, I promise. I’ve also spent far too much on clothes. Retail therapy always works and what else, after all, could student loans be intended for…

Without trying to sound all deep and philosophical  (I will do anyway), a particular Students of Cambridge quote has always stood out to me:

…we never think about what we’ve achieved, we just think about what we haven’t.

This has motivated me to spend less time stressing about supervision work, and more time promoting self-love. Most likely annoying everyone else to death in the process.

Wise and dangerous words

I’m intrigued to see what my last Week 5 will be like this year. Thinking that far ahead reminds me about exams and the disturbing lack of work I seem to have managed this term- which I blame entirely on the above quote.

There’s always going to be those irritating people who’ve somehow got their life together and mastered the whole “managing your time efficiently’” thing, but most normal people feel stressed too. It seems to be part of life here. In terms of managing Week 5 blues, I suggest grabbing a punnet of cheesy chips and powering through.

We can do this