CAMBRIDGE’S SHITTEST FAR AWAY COLLEGES: Vote now
Nothing wrong with a bit of negativity.
In between understanding Tutors, equality of academic provision, relaxed timetables and great weather everyday, it’s hard not to be positive most of the time in Cambridge.
But sometimes it’s worth reflecting on the fact that people at other colleges aren’t always as lucky as you are. Sometimes, it’s worth taking a look at exactly what makes other colleges truly shit. And voting on it.
1. Churchill College
Churchill is known for its gender imbalance and low proportion of women. If you’ve ever bothered walking into Cambridge’s answer to Azkaban – which you probably haven’t – you can see both weeping in a brick alcove, and trying to forget the fact they chose a college that was male-dominated, ugly and far away. The man after whom it was named was a colonialist thug who thought “the Aryan stock is bound to triumph”. In 2002, the country voted him the UK’s greatest Briton. You can make up for that by voting Churchill as Cambridge’s worst college.
2. Homerton College
Often confused with Peterborough, Homerton is known less for its college site – a reworking of the Education Faculty – and more for its diaspora of theatrical types to the ADC, roughly a day’s journey by foot. Hamlet, Equus, The Footlight’s Pantomime and Some Badly Translated Piece of Wank – Homerton students take to the stage to escape reality in droves. Frighteningly thespy, Hom is a little try-hardy with its aspirations – an attitude which stems from an inferiority complex borne out of being next to the train station.
3. Darwin College
Okay, it’s just across the river, but in everybody’s minds it might as well be the farther reaches of the Amazon. Darwin students, despite their name, are probably the least evolved Cantabs out there. Once a live pheasant flew through the dining hall window and was left “mortally wounded”. That’s a pretty good analogy for the college on the whole – a floundering bird desperately trying to flap its way into recognition, only to hurtle through the Cambridge window and find itself wounded and twitching in the shadow of tradition. Maybe one-day natural selection will get the better of it. Who knows?
4. Fitzwilliam College
The college is as ugly as it is inconvenient to get to. It doesn’t even attempt to embrace its ugliness. At least Churchill and Medwards accept it with open arms and go all out brutalist. Fitz is shit at being shit. Climbing the hill to get there is an effort, you have to pay for Internet, and the hall is owned by Trinity. Fitz is the heart (well, left kidney) of Cambridge’s edgiest, waviest, and try-hard students. Until the college accepts what it is, it’ll never be accepted by the colleges it so desperately aspires to.
5. Hughes Hall
Hughes Hall is like St Edmund’s in that its primary demographic is wealthy Americans who were gulled by the Admissions Office into thinking buying an MPhil for £30,000 would be a sage financial move. A small but sizeable proportion of the people who get in your fucking way while you’re trying to cycle over Orgasm Bridge are actually Hughes Hall students taking photos. It’s telling that Hughes Hall is located past Reality Checkpoint on Parker’s Piece. It’s not really part of the Cambridge bubble, which is why if you go to it you’re never there, and if you don’t go to it you actually have a chance in life.
6. Murray Edwards College
Mudwards is best known for competing with Churchill each year in a two-horse race for Biggest Prison on Campus. It’s common knowledge the architectural design was borrowed from the leftover plans of someone too kind to actually want to inflict his horrific ideas on living, breathing prisoners. Mudwards students will usually be found either watching Loose Women or lounging around in John’s bedrooms in an attempt to delude themselves into thinking they’re real Cambridge students.
7. Robinson College
Robinson is the Anglia Ruskin of Cambridge University: overly modern and not particularly convincing at being what it says it is. Lacking any kind of assets – intellectual or financial – Robinson gets most of its income from lying to its own students about “supervision” buildings that actually cater to the corporate elite, as well as overcharging its students with extortionate rent. It’s also inexplicably jam-pack full of public school kids.
8. Lucy Cavendish
Lucy Cav, where to begin? To our understanding – and to be fair, no one really understands Lucy Cav – Lucy Cav is a glorified cottage that houses a tiny number of people studying for degrees they have an even tinier chance of passing. The college has nothing to its name. No reputation. No money. No talented students. No history. Possibly no college site. We’ve never checked.
9. Newnham College
Eerily similar to a nineteenth-century public school, Newnham is famed for its Queen Anne style exterior and clinical convent-like interior. Right next to Sidgwick, studying shouldn’t be a problem for Newnham students, but their miserable twenty-first place in the Tompkins Table suggests otherwise. The so-called “Virgin megastore” might have a drinking society called the Newnham Nuns, but the women who make it up don’t appear to be particularly God-fearing.
10. Wolfson College
Wolfson is actually quite nice. Sure, the average age is a little bit higher but actually Wolfsonites are great to chill with and we can attest to the buzzing atmosphere of their MCR. Also, they’re holding a hip-hop conference. Cool, right!
Just joking, we are a democracy here at The Tab. Wolfson is in such an awkward place it may as well not even be there. If you’re ever meant to have a supervision there, don’t go. You will probably never return. Half the buildings are old and soulless and the other half are new and soulless, resembling an old people’s home in looks, smell and student body.
Note to any sixth formers reading this. Don’t take this too seriously. Instead, take the advice of the Alternative Prospectus: “At the end of the day, everyone loves the College they end up at: as students guide you through their own experiences of their College, you’ll soon start to realise that every College and subject is ‘the best’.” It’s 100% true!
Apologies to Girton and St Ed’s, who didn’t quite make the cut for Cambridge’s shittest shit far away college. That may or may not be a good thing.