A-Z of Cambridge, Part 1
So we have been here for longer than than you. Which, naturally, means that we know everything.
In reality, you only need to have a very short conversation with us to appreciate that we do in fact know almost nothing. Well, you cry, that’s quite unhelpful if you’re supposed to be writing a guide.
We would reply that while this might not be the most informative piece of literature you will read in the next 3 years, hopefully you’ll pick up at least a little knowledge that you can take with you as you precariously weave your way through freshers – making new BFFLs and dodging mathmos.
A – ADC & Agora
The main theatre in Cambridge. But it’s not just any theatre – oh no. It’s churned out the likes of Stephen Fry, Emma Thomson and David Mitchell and don’t you forget it fresher! Needless to say, most of the people who proudly boast of these ACD alumni and indeed, their own personal involvement in this illustrious institution are of course destined for no greater things than you or I. Generally, you’d do well to avoid them.
Agora, on the other hand, is entirely different. It’s the leading student website where you can find out all about what is happening at Cambridge, every day, every week. Check it out here and drop their Facebook page a like here.
B – Boaties & Bops
Rowing is a big deal in Cambridge, and a lot of you will probably give it a whirl early on in your Cantab careers. As far as we can see, the downside of getting up at 5 to sit on a boat in the cold doesn’t actually have an elusive hidden benefit and is quite simply as shit as it sounds, but the people who do continue with it seem to really love it. And they also really love talking about it. These people are boaties.
And there are bops. These are basically our version of a high school disco party. Bops are fun. You will might get very drunk and end up getting with a complete stranger on your first one but it’ll get better. Probably. Just stay away from Churchill PAV. There are some things that are best left undiscovered.
C – Cindies
You’ve almost certainly heard of this one by now. If you haven’t then I can only offer you hearty congratulations at managing to dodge Cambridge’s laziest and most worn-out complaint. Cindies is not a cool club. But you will go there. And you will probably go there a lot. Now we’ve established that let’s just put it behind us, and stop sighing when the Lion King remix inevitably blisters through the sweaty air in the early hours of Thursday morning.
D – Drinking societies
Again, a classic Cambridge complaint for those who seem to have exhausted any ability for original thought. On the Mail Online, probably on the Tab, and across much of the media you will hear people vehemently oppose their existence and also you will hear people proudly trumpet their involvement in them – but what you won’t hear as much is the reality: that most people just don’t really give a damn anymore. Don’t get me wrong, they do still exist, and they do still produce some of Cambridge’s finest wankers – but for the most part, acts of outlandish debauchery are met with apathetic sighs of mild distain.
E – Exams and Essays
First year doesn’t count. And for most, neither does second year. But you’re unlikely to happen upon any real indication that this is the case. Exams are serious shit in Cambridge and people like, care. The only words of advice I can offer you is that at the end of the day, if you get a 2:2 in first year (which you probs won’t) the world will not end. No-one will die and you will be able to move on with your Cambridge life under the weak pretense that you will place greater priority on your degree in the coming year. You might even be able to lol at the fact that you had a great time chilling in the April sunshine during Easter Term while everyone else poured blood sweat and tears over achieving a mid 2:1 in exams that mean approximately nothing.
E is also for essays, and in a similar manner, these will only stress you out as much as you let them. Sometimes you will quite enjoy writing them, and sometimes you will feel like you would rather turn your organs inside out. But either way, you will have to write lots and lots – and the best thing you can do is just get on with it, accept that it’s part of Cambridge, and avoid sheltering yourself in a caccoon of duvet and denial until you suddenly become inordinately stressed at the lack of academic endeavour that you have engaged in for the last 6 days.
F – Fresher
Fresher – Japanese slang for a rookie, or a new employee. According to urban dictionary. According to everyone else, fresher is, as I’m sure you’re acutely aware by now, someone who is in their first year at university. First year is widely regarded as the most fun of all the university years. You won’t do any work, will become remarkably competent at procrastination and generally feel like your life is a complete mess. Get excited.
G – Gardies
Gardies is a vendor of fast food, on the same road as McDonalds. The reason it enjoys such great custom is because the McDonalds isn’t open 24 hours other than on Friday and Saturday. And who goes out on Friday and Saturday in Cambridge amirite?!?!? (see: Townie)
While really quite expensive for your average drunk food, Gardies is actually quite nice – if you’re the kind of person who quite fancies halloumi and calamari at 3 in the morning. It is a restaurant in the day, so you can actually go there sober with your family. This is as much of a bad idea as it sounds.
H – Homerton
It’s far away. Sufficiently far that when Alice had a supervision there she got the bus. (Uni 4 from outside Queens’ for 90p in case you were wondering.) Insufficiently far however, to render it the butt of distance based jokes, an honour which falls resoundingly in the lap of Girton. Making said distance based jokes gets old very quickly, but in Cambridge this in no way means that people won’t make them all the time. Haha. Cambridge.
Keeping up so far? Come back tomorrow for part 2 and don’t forget to like us on Facebook