How to boast about your first now that class lists have been abolished

Worried your friends won’t realise just how great you are? The Tab is here to help

2.1 annoying friends class lists Exams finals first class grade Grade shaming second class tripos

What do a twenty-something land-ec rower from Hughes Hall, a hypothermic Girton theologian, still recovering from a torturous stint in the January pool and a smug Tab hack, hammering away at his keyboard all have in common?

The answer is freedom, my dear reader. Freedom from falling prey to vulturous course mates, who can no longer congregate to dissect and compare their equally subpar Tripos performances. 

Yes, grade shaming is no more. While Cantabs can now bask in the sun, idly reclining in the back of a punt, aimlessly drifting down the river (and unknowingly providing a rather apt visual metaphor for their future careers),  the spectre of the disgruntled, VK deprived scholar is looming.

A first counts for nothing when you can’t flaunt it. Soon, you’ll be sick and tired that your friends don’t know just how great you really are. Here are the Tab’s top tips to remind them. You’ll be insufferable with our foolproof guide:

“Sorry guys, wrong chat!”

Let’s begin with a classic. Don’t opt for leaving your MacBook unattended, leaving Camsis or even a Newton search showing your flawless dissertation immortalised in the UL open on the screen, because subtlety here is key. A simple run-down of paper scores, your top-ten position in the year group and college accolades your revolutionary commentary on Sovereignty has landed you will suffice, sent straight to your subject group chat and best friends over Messenger.

A “sorry guys, wrong chat! That was meant for my parents lol” will seal the deal.

Nailed it

“You can’t sit with us… while I say grace”

So you’ve smashed your penultimate year exams and you’re well on your way to that double first. In the meantime, your Catering manager has informed you that next Sunday’s formal will be your time to shine, and utter those immutable words: “Benedic, Domine, nos et dona tua, quae de largitate tua sumus sumpturi…”.

Simply become a twisted, Cambridge parallel to Regina George, only allowing members of your squad scoring above a threshold of 70 to sit with you up near high table to really hammer home your success to lesser peers. There’ll you stand, babbling away in latin, but only scholars will be able to comprehend your true words:

If Regina George were at Cambridge

Offer all your friends free books

After your success, your college will no doubt make it rain. Although don’t get too excited, they’ll only provide you with vouchers for Heffers or Waterstones. Vouchers galore. You’ll be swimming in book tokens up to your eyeballs. But scholars are the select few who’ve actually begun to understand the UL’s cataloguing system, and thus don’t need book tokens.

Simply dispense them to your friends on the down-low, because you don’t have “that many” and you want to give them to a “good friend”. You’ll get the moral kudos of being Mother Teresa while subliminally cementing your first class performance in all your friends’ subconsciouses.

Make your room the centre of all pre-drinks

A scholar deserves a palace. Or a high balloting position for accommodation at the very least. When you’ve landed your John’s penthouse or your room in that one tower at Gonville and Caius which saves it from complete architectural mundanity, make sure EVERYONE on your course knows about it. “You guys want to watch a film or revise? How about mine?” Nailed it. “You guys want to have pre-drinks in my room tonight? The view of King’s Parade is amazing!” Nailed it.

Did I tell you about my view? I came 3rd in the ballot

Make a detour to your scholars’ garden on every route

Topping the Tripos effectively makes you a VIP. In Trinity, only scholars are allowed to walk on the grass. Deliberately do so in a large group of people on your way to formal hall, callously “forgetting” that this is a luxury not afforded to everyone else present.

And as you guide your humble, averagely performing course buddies through the confines of Clare, simply remark as you pass over the bridge, approaching the scholar’s garden that you’ve visited with your first-class friends at Clare, and that it’s “great for picnics…”. They’ll offer a polite subdued smile, restraining the urge to throw you in to the River Cam on the spot.

The Master’s garden party for scholars was OK I guess. Don’t worry, though, they give out free champagne at lots of other events…

Devote an entire Facebook album to your scholars’ dinner

And finally, refining your Instagram and Facebook feeds is key for ensuring envy among all of your friends. Remember that time you read grace in hall? New profile picture. That view from your stunning set? New cover photo. That time you went for a Master’s *scholars only* garden party? Every fucking throwback Thursday on Instagram for the next five years after you graduate.

The centrepiece of your social media presence, however, will be your scholars’ dinner photo album. Feature pictures of fine-wines, chocolates college only gets out on special occasions, and laughing, high-achieving chums captioned with “it’s so refreshing to be having such intellectual conversations, I’m so lucky to be at Cambridge”.

Just got back from my Scholars’ Dinner! So lucky to be studying at Cambridge! #nofilter

“Did you hear about my grad scheme offer?”

“I had to turn down the UN… because Goldman Sachs just got back to me”.

Okay stop it. Now you’re just being gratuitous. By now the Tab should have taught you to gloat about your first with tact. If your friends aren’t a group of quivering, insecure, underachieving messes by now, then I’ll eat my (scholar’s) hat.

N.B. The irony of a Tab contributor speculating wildly about the life of someone who actually achieves academically is not lost on me, if anyone’s been wondering.