The types of housemates you’ll have to live with in second year

Choose them wisely

2nd year house party cambridge stereotypes housemates second year

Two terms in and you’re smitten with your new squad. Your Facebook has now become a glistening shrine to copious Gardies photos and birthday collages of their morning snapchats you still can’t believe you’ve amassed in the six months you’ve known them. 

The time will come when a seemingly inconspicuous email arrives from your housing officer. It’s time to christen your squad.

But be warned, you ignorant fresher. The light-hearted bestie who’s been generously dispensing his Jäger and cajoling you into believing he’s a functioning human being with all of the right centre-left opinions is waiting to reveal the irritable morning behemoth that’s been festering within.

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The most important email you’ll ever receive

I have lived through these housing decisions so you don’t have to. Go and live with Jane from down the hall who demarcates every last receptacle of milk because you’ll regret it if you don’t:

The couple 

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl both do medicine at Cambridge. Boy and girl receive their lecture schedule for Michaelmas and decide to effectively get married to facilitate ANY social interaction. The couple turn out to be good value in a game of Cards Against Humanity deploying their knowledge of the human anatomy with a surprising degree of perversion, and even contribute whole-heartedly to the #haussquad Facebook chat.

However, Lent mocks have arrived and the mood in the house has soured to that of a North Korean dictatorship. One rogue misstep or overly-audiable round of Cards Against Humanity and you may just be subjected to the twisted inner thoughts of those future medical professionals.

The neighbour

Time passes more slowly with the neighbour. Any Cambridge hopes of conversations revolving around Nietzschean existentialism have devolved into passive aggressive post-it notes on the Warburton’s bread and Nutella you’ve been stealing. You see red and retort that you’ve come to realise it’s too much for your ‘gluten intolerance’ anyway.

This means warfare, so any artisanal wheat-germ loaves you procure from M&S will be stowed away in your room with immediate effect. The neighbour  should begin to realise that as such, he entered a social contract in which you stealing the odd banana or Jacob’s cracker becomes perfectly acceptable.

Fair game

Fair game

The overly-competent one who’s killing you slowly

She’s gunning for a first, dominates her JCR, has a healthy relationship, manages to go out a lot, oh, and has just announced she’s due a half-blue by the end of the year if she can keep up her game in University Polo. In the meantime you’ve scraped a desmond in your last neoliberalism essay because you spent the last few library sessions watching old episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on Youtube. Hopefully your seething resentment bubbling will turn into schadenfreude when you see her relegated to a lonely, empty exam-term hermit, oscillating only between the kitchen, bathroom and her desk.


Achieving nothing since 1995

The one who goes missing for weeks on end

Another medic, or Nat-Sci, or lawyer. Be prepared for a real-life edition for Where’s Wally because beyond week two, any citing of this elusive housemate will be a rarity. It’s not entirely his fault: he lives in the basement and doesn’t get the network effects of sharing medicine notes like the couple. It’s dawned upon you that this latest edition of Where’s Wally is a few weeks overdue. Anything could have happened.

But he’s OK down there isn’t he? He is a medic after all. You’ll knock on his door to check occasionally, but he’ll become something of a Schrödinger’s cat, both dead and alive at the same time.

Keep it to yourself

The irony of death by Medicine at Cambridge

The sex addict 

Noticing strange noises and the laptop flittering between the desk and the bed become common-place when living with the sex addict. You kind of had sympathy at first because he’s European, and you figured they were a bit less repressed over there. It’ll get pathological when you discover a compromising toy in the sex dungeon that’s become of the top floor of the house where he sleeps. You begin to feel bad when his Rag Blind Date is a no-show because of the artistic impression the house sent in on his behalf. All the sex addict wants is a girlfriend.

The architecture student 

Quiet, aloof and shy, the architecture student only ever truly comes out of his shell when surrounded by his course mates in the studio. He’ll get home every night and regale long conversations of Tame Impala and Cambridge vintage fair buys. These people sound great, so you finally head down to the studio to meet them. In a darkened room, the cult of architecture modelling ensues. You see the way they fondle pipe-cleaners and ice-lolly sticks while erecting vast sculptures, obscuring deep,  psycho-sexual phallic fascinations far, far worse than that of the sex addict. Suddenly, you begin to realise why the architecture student is so quiet and shy.

Either that, or they’re out at Turf.


Decent squad, failed house

The one who doesn’t really do anything… ever 

Waking up around 12:30 pm, he’ll saunter down to the library, but only to socialise. Perpetually lazy, and a walking Cambridge arts stereotype, he’ll hand in a his weekly essays and even manage to string together a few sentences for The Tab to suspend the illusion he actually knows what he’s talking about. You might eventually realise he never, ever actually does anything, but he won’t care, sitting sipping port while he feigns an understanding of the precarious position of Jeremy Corbyn in the labour party.

Live with yourself. Leave Cambridge. Never make friends with anyone else again.