Other things I could complain about

A recent, anonymous member of my college mentioned to me in passing that my column was getting a bit tiresome because “it’s a bit dull to listen to you complain all the time”.

cafe Cambridge Cambridge University food Life Pembroke Pembroke College the tab washing whining

Well, Lent is already winding down, and I will be out of your lovely and soft hair soon enough, but before that, let’s take a look at all the other things I could complain about, giving the chance. 

The cold

I am entirely over winter as something that exists, guys. I catch myself day dreaming in the English Faculty Library of days when I will be able to work without four layers on. Halfway through supervisions I suddenly zone out from the conversation on readership in renaissance England to think about sunny days spent eating ice cream along the Cam, and voluntary ventures outside the warmth of my heated room. Yes, I could definitely fill an entire column of complaints with how little I am enjoying the cold.

Cambridge's Ninth Biggest Name also disapproves

Cambridge’s Ninth Biggest Name also disapproves.

My reading list

Oh readers, how I could complain about my reading list. I could sit you all down and talk about how most of it isn’t available online, and about how half the time I get to the UL too late to pick up the only copy in Cambridge or indeed the world, and then I have to spend the rest of the week resorting to sacrificing my dignity so I can borrow it from whoever woke up at 7:30 in the morning to get it for long enough to at least read one chapter and sound like I vaguely know what I’m talking about.

Bro, do you even lift (very large anthologies of Renaissance poetry)?

Bro, do you even lift (very large anthologies of Renaissance poetry)?

People who don’t clear up after themselves when they leave the college cafe, and then I have to stand there for a while trying to see whether the table has been vacated or whether the person sitting there has only left temporarily, and then I have to throw their rubbish away when all I wanted was to have some soup in one of the less dreary parts of college

It’s fine, really. I understand that people are fed up of hearing me complain. But seriously, can we stop doing this? Can we be considerate? Is it really so difficult?

Doing my washing

I am passionate enough about how little I enjoy doing my washing that last term I wrote a sonnet about it. I hate it. I hate that it’s expensive, I hate that the washer only takes 20ps or pound coins, and I hate that after I’m done I have to creatively strew my clothes around my room so that they can dry, because I’m an international student who can’t buy a clothes horse because it wouldn’t fit in my storage, but I’m also too cheap to spend another pound on a dryer that’s just going to shrink my clothes anyway. Oh, how I could complain about doing my washing.

My own procrastination

“Why can’t I ever get anything done!” You’ll hear me wail from the top of King’s Chapel, until the distinctly nasal tone of my voice becomes one with the incessant wind so that my complaints are forever imbued into the environment, and generations of Cantabs after me will listen to the wind and hear that distinctive sound that has tortured so many before them: my incessant complaints.

When you decorate for Valentine's Day but then bae doesn't want to see you because you complain too much. #relatable

When you decorate for Valentine’s Day but then bae doesn’t want to see you because you complain too much. #relatable

People who think it’s okay to come up to me just to insult me

Bro, what is your damage? More than anything, this interaction left me confused and yeah, a little hurt. I don’t understand the logic behind doing this to anyone, and yes, maybe the fact that I choose to get annoyed on a student newspaper is a little bit less innocuous than those who complain amongst their tightly knit group of friends, presumably in caves where no one might hear them, because god knows that is The Very Worst Thing that could happen.

Honestly though, without complaints, and admittedly, this is about slightly larger scale complaints then my petty ones, change can’t happen. What are strikes, and petitions, and debates, and lobbies, if not organised complaints? Are we all going to meekly accept things as they are all the time, because someone out there might be a bit fed up with hearing us complain all the time? I hope not.

But the truth is, I whine because it means that once the thing’s that’s been bothering me has been publicly shamed, I can move on with my life.

I suggest you do the same.