Here’s everyone you’ll ever meet at Cambridge

It ain’t a pretty picture

| UPDATED cambridge students Drinking Societies library hermits sports societies

It’s Week 2, and already I feel my spirit has been broken.

I don’t know if it’s just the weather (har did i MENTION i was in Dubai for 2 months just this autumn? har har), the impending doom of job application deadlines, or that time of the month, but  is it just me or have the idiots of Cambridge emerged en masse this week?

Or maybe it’s cos I’m a third year. In first year everyone’s so cute and anxious and identically keen that obnoxiousness seems at an all-time low. But the older you get, the more societies people join, and the more self-discovering adventures to the depths of the Amazonian jungle they go on, the more it seems people want to stand out.

The irony is such: these attempts at idiosyncrasy can, in 95% of cases, be categorised into an irritating handful of types. There’s pros and cons to each, but ultimately they’re all just bloody awful.

The Hawks and Ospreys

Cambridge slang for sports jocks basically. This lot don’t fall into the ordinary Cambridge-offer-holder mould of having done about 4 sports per week since Year 7; they are Blues/Half Blues, i.e. semi-pro, i.e. a fucking big deal.

Pros: After 72 hours in the library surviving off Pot Noodle and Red Bull, just being in their sweaty, ruddy presence feels like it has health benefits.

Cons: Very little chat outside the sphere of their gruelling training schedule, various injuries and sick socials.

Just look at that warm healthy glow

The Daves

I don’t need to go too far into detail about this elusive, edgy typecast – Finn pretty much nailed it earlier this week.

Pros: Always have a rollie for you, so long as you can cope with the accompanying lecture about nihilism/their flat in Shoreditch/the Junction.

Cons: Consistent attempts at Saath Landan speak coming out via a posh Midlands accent is enough to make you wince.

‘Got a filter mate?’

The drinking society luds/oppressed females

Characterised by obnoxious ties/blazers and a it’s-fine-we’ll-pay-damages attitude, these ones spend most of their days trying to climb the rungs of the social ladder they’re convinced they’re at the top of because they allowed older students to pump 4 litres of wine into their mouths whilst naked and vomiting continuously.

Pros: Usually have a table full of VKs/Grey Goose at Kuda, if you can cope with the ‘banter’.

Cons: Prolonged exposure may lead to brain-death and/or coke addiction.

Image of empowerment

People at John’s

Need I say more?

Pros: The most Hogwartsy of the colleges makes for a lovely home base.

Cons: Even higher chances of brain-death and/or coke addiction. Or just any addiction, really. Anything to drown out the sound of their bigotism/ daddy issues.

‘And then he said, ‘Why don’t you give the profits to charity?” (Credit: Sophie Buck)

The hermits

You saw them briefly during Freshers Week, and now they’re gone. Poof. 20% dropped out due to the shock of not being top of the class anymore, 80% will re-emerge only to pick up their First Class honours come graduation.

Pros: Handy to befriend if you’re bad at your degree.

Cons: Get used to leading conversation as their social skills are about as good as my writing skills.

“Just think of the salary, Susan. Think of the salary”

The beings of wrath

Generally the people in charge of/heavily involved with CDE, Women’s Campaign, WU?, etc.  I’m sure there’s valid reasons for their continuous stream of hatred at the rich/white males/their own colleges, but I fell asleep far too early on in their diatribe to hear them.

Pros: Kind of like being at a football match in a pub, after a few pints you start to see the hype and feel quite emotionally involved.

Cons: If your brief period of begrudging agreement does not extend to you joining their society/coming to all the meetings/making an impassioned status, however, you become a traitor to your own kind.

Clearly you’ve never tried a fine Merlot

The thespies

Almost as elusive as the Daves, they wear vintage clothing, smoke lots of rollies/Marlboros, drink exclusively at the ADC and are incredibly incestuous.

Pros: Tend to have interesting views on the world and make you feel better at doing nothing for your degree.

Cons: You will literally never see them as they’re always at rehearsals.

The photo’s blurry cos they move so fast between rehearsals no one’s really sure what they look like

The international cliques

Like the hermits, you spoke to this lot at the start of the year and now you only see them travelling in packs of three whilst conversing in a language you feel vaguely sad about not understanding.

Pros: Their society socials have amazing food.

Cons: They’re too cool for us. But like, legitimately too cool, since they have talents and experiences above and beyond alcoholism. Resultant massive fomo for being boring and monolingual.

I was part of the clique for a while. A short while. Turns out knowing what kimchi is doesn’t get you in with the Cambridge K-crowd tho

The bewildered quota-fillers

Originating generally from the slums (read: state schools) of suburban London, they’re doing some stupidly difficult subject and spend their days in the library not for want of social skills, but want of knowledge. You feel kinda bad cos for them Cambridge is just as those intro speeches said it would be: fucking hard.

Pros: Unlike the rest of Cambridge, these ones are pretty down to earth and normal.

Cons: You’ll feel awful in exam term when you revised for 2 weeks and got a 2:i whilst they shed blood, sweat and tears for months and scraped a Third.

“I have absolutely no idea what is going on on this screen”

Disclaimer: I went to a state school in suburban London that just ‘happened’ to suddenly get 15 people in after years of single digits, and I have absolutely no idea what is going on, ever.

But if you can’t laugh at yourself, what else is there?