The Cambridge Effect: Uni is twisting the core of your being

It’s turning us into monsters!


The typical Cambridge graduate tends emerge with their fair share of university-inflicted baggage.

Every year, freshers enter its system, only to be spewed out in the direction of the job market and the cruel cruel real world several years later. In this time a precarious balance of good and bad traits are fostered, and collectively, this can be known as ‘the Cambridge Effect.’

And how does this manifest itself? What can we make of this strange creature, the Cambridge Student?

Could this have been the culprit?

Our artist’s interpretation

1) The Cambridge student will come across as ostensibly self-righteous and egotistical. It is important not to be fooled by a tough exterior however, as below this shell one is likely to find a core of crippling insecurity, which has been slowly brewed after realisation upon realisation that everyone here is better than you. At everything.


Success written all over their faces

2) The Cambridge Student will develop the unmatched inability to walk anywhere for longer than 15 minutes. Recent studies have shown direct correlations between stiflingly close proximity of university buildings and leg muscle wastage. Cambridge is the world leader in promotion of leg muscle wastage.


No, dancing in Fez does not count as excursive. Not even if you dance like a dad.

3) They will develop an unshakeable distain for buildings constructed within the last 5 centuries, as a result of the high level of architectural complacency fostered among those whose bi-weekly trip to Sainsbury’s takes them past some of the world’s most beautiful buildings.

bow down to the building that looks like an upside-down pig

Fucking King’s, am I right?

4) The Cambridge student is taught during their degree to consistently be critical, and no way is this cynicism is confined to an academic context. You may instead be surprised to hear that it tends to permeate social interaction on a more general level –  the Cambridge Student is an expert at complaining, and the extent to which they have actual reason to complain is magnificently irrelevant. This skill is most intensively refined during a number of given periods – those worth particular mention include: exam term, week 5, January, February, Thursday mornings, all mornings, term.

Deep down, they’re all complaining about something…


Cambridge is a crucible and it can turn you into a writhing mess of stress induced panic with a propensity to curl up in an eternal foetal position and relinquish any acknowledgement that a world exists beyond the soft confines of your duvet. And sometimes it succeeds in doing this, but often it doesn’t, and Kelly Clarkson would argue that you’re all the better for it.

Indeed, the Cambridge student’s most prominent attribute is their tolerance for motion sickness – cultivated after 9 rides on the sadistically polarised yet unnervingly majestical roller coaster that constitutes a Cambridge term.

And that has got to count for something.