TAB TRIES: Exam term clubbing

It is ten times more depressing than you think it would be.

Alcohol Cambridge Cambridge University Cindies Clubbing dancing Drinking exam term exam term clubbing Fez Life romancing

Since I am but a lowly prelim student and have nothing better to do with my evenings, I didn’t have a reasonable excuse when my friends tried to escape the monotony of exam term by going clubbing on a Tuesday .   

Not going out, or doing anything in the evenings apart from watching films and drinking tea can get to you after a while. I have had the same half empty bottle of wine looking forlornly from my shelf since Caesarean Sunday, which was the last time any of us went out.

Cue four brave prelim students (and one heroic Tripos student), venturing out into the land of Cambridge exam term clubbing. It’s not like I haven’t been out all term, but two trips to an unbelievably dead Friday Night Life,  where I was surrounded by men who were way too old to be there had taught me to avoid it.

Said pathetic bottle of wine

With all of the decent (and I say this with some trepidation) clubs closed because Cambridge is beyond weird and even the town shuts down as the students lock themselves in the library in despair, we ventured to the terror of Tuesday Night Fez.

The promise of free entry before 11:30, ‘free shots’ and ‘free bubbly’ on the events page gave us some indication of just how desperate the poor club that risked staying open in exam term was for customers. But even just stepping out of college was a bad sign. The standard gaggle of drunk students staggering outside Cindies was gone. No dubstep version of the Lion King, no Flo Rida, not even S-Club 7. The streets were dead. We should have taken this as our warning.

Sober clubbing anywhere is bad. Sober clubbing in Cambridge is worse. Sober clubbing in exam term… just be glad The Tab tried it for you so you don’t have to.

The bottle of ‘bubbly’ that coerced us into making the two minute trek to Fez was, in fact, Lambrini. Now I am no wine snob – Sainsbury’s House Wine will do me just fine. But there is something about the sickly sweet taste of Lambrini that sends me right back to the traumatic memories of house parties at the age of 16. From then on the night could only get worse.

In the literal sense, Lambrini is ‘bubbly’, but we could not help but feel deceived

The smoke machines on the dance floor were on full blast to disguise that we were the only ones in here. A few older people, most definitely not Cambridge students, as they had actually made an effort for the night out (come on who wears heels in Cambridge? You will break your ankle on the cobbles) stood stoically at the bar and around the tables. Their faces smiled for the camera but their despondent eyes were as dead as the Cambridge nightlife.

We lasted all of 40 minutes. After taking advantage of the ‘bubbly’ and the free shot of what seemed to peach schnapps (we didn’t want to ask), we abandoned the night and wandered, worse for wear, back to Christ’s. The sad thing was, the music playing was actually good for Fez – I am proud to admit I even danced on the deserted floor when Beyonce came on.

Smoke machines and edgy filters let you seem like you’re having a great time, when really you’re the only ones there…

But, the shadow of exams still loomed dark. Poor prelim students, heed our advice. Do not try to go out mid-week during exam term. There is a reason all the clubs close.

Instead, celebrate May Week just as hard as all those who have had their nose to the grindstone for eight weeks in the Library. Pretend that writing one essay a week and going on picnics and walks to Grantchester has been seriously mentally taxing and you need to blow off steam. You will save money, and have a better time.