I don’t have exams but I’m still stressed

I’ve already finished my exams. There, I said it. That’s not to say I didn’t have exams. I did – prelims, in week one. They’re not even graded. And yet, […]

Cambridge complaining English exam term Exams lonely prelims sad stress study work

I’ve already finished my exams. There, I said it. That’s not to say I didn’t have exams. I did – prelims, in week one. They’re not even graded.

And yet, my life is not the paradise of drifting around Cambridge on a punt, wearing a huge sun hat and reading Shakespeare to my intellectual, floppy-haired lover that you might imagine. I’ve never been to Granchester Meadows and I haven’t visited the Maypole once this term. Unfortunately, I too am spending the majority of my time sitting in a darkened room, rather than basking in the spring sunshine.

Living la vida loca

Yes, I might be at liberty to pop into town for a pint of milk and maybe spend some time browsing in TopShop, or watch an episode of Made in Chelsea without feeling the crippling guilt that becomes your constant companion throughout exam season, following you to the toilet, the buttery, and anywhere else that isn’t your desk, or the library.

The issue is, YOU ALL have exams, and I have no one to play with. Sad Face.

So alone

No longer can I pop into my friend’s room for a chat about how Cambridge is shit and how we’re constantly stressed but omg what are you going to wear for that ball in May Week. I am not welcome. Hopeful knocks on the doors of people I used to call my friends are greeted with stony silence, the room’s inhabitant either so engrossed in the world of revision that they are now oblivious to distractions i.e. the sound of knocking, or in the library.

It’s actually really lonely, and it doesn’t feel like Cambridge at all.

Also, I don’t know if you’ve realised, but we still have a full term to do, ON TOP of our prelims, and we can’t even moan about it without being glared at and reminded of how lucky we are that our exams have already finished. Imagine that- Cambridge, without moaning. Unthinkable.

The thing is, I’m still really, really stressed. The work is no less constant, and I still feel like my brain is inside a pressure cooker, except now, we examless outcasts have no one to share those feelings with.

“I just have a lot of feelings”

The mutual experience of stress is actually one of the most special things about Cambridge – lying on your bedroom floor with a friend, listening to Sam Smith and crying about how you’re a failure because your supervisor hates you is a unique way of creating a very special and lasting bond.

Sometimes, we need to go to the pub, or to Cindies, to remind ourselves that there is a world beyond supervisions and seminars. I therefore urge you, even if you are in the midst of revision hell, to take a break, chat to a friend (preferably me, I’m so lonely), maybe even go for a pint. It will not kill you and it (probably) will not harm your degree. In fact, it might be quite nice.


Basically, what I’m trying to say is, I miss my friends. Come back to me brave soldiers, once you’ve fought The Battle of the Cambridge Exam.

I will still be here.