Actually, Week Two is the worst Cambridge week.
Taking down the Week Five myth, one day procrastinated away at a time.
We’ve got it wrong. I came to Cambridge having been warned about Week 5.
They assured me that it was the worst bit, that the Week 5 blues would hit and it would be the most unbearable low known to man. I, fond of complaining that I am, saved my whining up for that moment. But – and hold on to your hair because I am about to suggest something so disruptive it may shake the foundations that this university is built on – Week 2 is the worst week of term.
Yes, Week 2 is infinitely worse than Week 5, worse than any other week in the Cambridge term. Why? I’ll tell you.
You had too much fun in Week 1. It’s almost a necessity to be at your most outgoing during the first week of term. During Michaelmas, it was freshers’ week, which is, as we all know, The Week Where Your Friends For Life Are Decided, You Will Meet No-One Else In The Three Years You Are Here So You Better Pick Good Ones.
That kind of pressure doesn’t dissipate easily, and so you find yourself going to every single freshers week event and missing the GBBO final for the chance at organised fun and small talk. In Lent, it’s you convincing yourself that you’re still fun, that the zombie you became during Week 7 of last term was just a temporary state of being, and that you are still the keen eyed and hopeful person you were in October.
The consequence of this? Inevitably you will get ill during Week 2, or spend it nursing a week long hangover, being miserable. It doesn’t matter how much the work gets on top of you during week 5- you are never more miserable then when you have (re)fresher’s flu.
Or maybe, you didn’t have too much fun during Week 1, but instead took your New Year’s Resolution really seriously and spent 6 hours in the UL every day of the week. Your supervisor was impressed with your first piece of work, and this week’s will inevitably be a disappointment. If you are nursing the hangover of a lifetime, you’ll be too busy regretting your life choices to even think about subjecting yourself to the dust and dark of the UL. (Why is the lighting so poor in that building? Like it’s not depressing enough already.)
And if you were diligent last week, you will be too busy basking in the glow of your own academic abilities to actually start this week’s work. “Look at my supervisor’s comments” you’ll crow to your course friends, letting their jealous seething energize you, all too aware that now it’s a new week and you haven’t even started the reading. It probably hit you like a ton of bricks, and you spent the rest of the week curled up in a ball cursing your own poor decisions, whilst Anonymous NatSci berates you for not even doing real work in the first place.
At least in Week 5 you can direct your pitiful plaints to the universe and get understanding in return. There’s nothing but self-hate for you during Week 2.