Weird crushes you’ll get at Cambridge
Your mum was married at this age.
Sexual frustration is to Cambridge students what fanny packs are to American tourists. Not technically obligatory, but accepted by most to be a necessary and ugly part of the daily baggage.
A stock Grandma statement is to tell you you’ll find the lover of their dreams at Cambridge, a being in whom the quad of Grandma-appeasing attributes is united. Brains, money, beauty and tweed.
However, unbelievably, if you put a generation of arrogant nerds into a competitive environment, stir in a heaping helping of money and squeeze out all of the free time, the fruit of love doth not blossom freely.
“Weirdly attractive” is the name of the game here. When the Cambridge goggles are on, all previous ideas about who is crushworthy are adapted to meet reasonable expectations. Are they not a tory? Do they have a face?
Anyone you knew from home
Science says that familiarity can be confused with crushy feelings when you’re in a hostile place. But, you know, she’s really blossomed since she got her braces off, hasn’t she? And she’s an athletics blue now. I sat next to her in year nine geography though and you just can’t buy those kinds of memories.
They were really friendly and then tried to get you drunk! That’s a come on in any other situation. No one can blame you for feeling confused.
People in the fudge shop
This is mostly for those sweet-toothed amongst us hailing from a central college. For the uninitiated, the people in the fudge shop on Kings’ parade give out free samples daily. No, not the short guy in the hat! The rest of them. Fudge men tend to be young and bearded, albeit decked out in skinny jeans and aprons.
These vendors of sweetened milk products are terrifyingly chirpy due to what can only be assumed is a particularly long customer service training course. Nothing says love like an artificially warm sales patter.
Deserve their own article. If you haven’t had an inappropriate crush on a supervisor, you probably don’t go to Cambridge.
Since the beginning of the supervision system, people have pondered why this is the case. Perhaps there’s some Freudian voodoo in the power dynamic of needing to please someone older. Perhaps it’s engineered by the institution to make us all begrudge that bi-weekly essay less. Perhaps it’s just that supervisors seem to have their shit together more than us confused undergrads.
Or maybe it’s the fact that many of these people are just about in the age bracket that you could legitimately crush on them, if this was the real world and you met in a pub. (Although, objectively, look at them, you’d never fancy them in the real world if you met in a pub.)
People who sell punting tours
Their douchebaggery is common knowledge, they all wear fake raybans to hide the sleaze beaming out from their eyes. As they spin their little cardboard signs, their arrogance is so tangible you can almost flick it.
But tell me you aren’t attracted to that chiselled jawline.
Anyone who’s in a play
We’ve all gone to and ADC play and questioned, how can anyone be charismatic enough to pull off the whole shakepeary thing as well as nerdy enough to study here? It’s almost not fair. This is partly a tactical crush. You might be eating your avocado on toast in front of The One Show in ten years’ time only to drop the plate as you realise they are the ones on Matt and Alex’s sofa; it’s definitely a good idea to get to know them whilst they are still young and not famous.
Whoever’s been sitting opposite you in the library for more than two hours
You sit down in the library, minding your own business, when along comes a fellow nerd. After half an hour, you accidently made eye contact a few times. Their presence was annoying, now you tolerate each other. They have become a comfortable part of the library furniture. In fact, you’re fairly sure it’s a sign of flirtation that she hasnt moved. You sneeze. She says ‘bless you’. The silence which follows is imbued with profound sexual tension.
People who work in college who are about your age
They are a legitimate crush, it is only the institution making it feel wrong. How can Cambridge mess with your mind so much that it feels like violating a social norm to fancy the person who works in the canteen. Ditch the Victorian values and ask him his name already.
People cycling around
How can one city contain so many very attractive people cycling around, and yet so few attractive people at any events? Who are these beautiful people and where are they going? Are they Truman show-style paid actors employed to generate a nice atmosphere for the toursits? Spike their tires and ask them their secrets.
Also worthy of an honourable mention: porters under fifty, BNOCS, townies, tourists, bartenders, Stephen hawking, portraits of fellows, the Queen’s face on postage stamps… thank you, Cambridge.