Congratulations on getting into Cambridge… now what?
Much clever, very prestige.
Hello there lil’ Cambridge student-in-waiting. Take a moment to cast your mind back to this time last year when you puffed up your chest, gathered all the AS-Level intellect you could muster and set your eyes on the spires of Cambridge.
If you’re reading this, then it probably means that you managed to get in. If you didn’t, a moment in silence for your “I’m happy I didn’t get into Cambridge anyway, my interviewer just didn’t get me” years at Durham or Bristol.
Now, returning to the more ego-swollen among you (hi, I write for The Tab and I use patronising sarcasm as a defence mechanism because self-awareness is the new black/kale) – CONGRATS! Through the abyss of stress and crippling doubt of self-worth, you’ve managed to make it into the best University in the UK.
You’re the wheat from the chaff, the diamonds from the rough, or as you’ll come to learn, one bunch of intellectually privileged twats from a group of less-so intellectually privileged twats.
Unless you’re blessed with a real arrogance, you’re probably in a state of shock right now. A cocktail of one part pride, ten part ‘oh fuck. How did I get in? How have UCAS not noticed this mistake? How can I check my privilege when I’m so busy checking my bank balance?’ Alas my friends (comrades if you’re going to King’s) such questions are yet to be answered.
Even when you’re three years in, Cambridge is just a test of how convincingly you can stumble from one awkward situation to the next. There’s no trick to it. None of us know what we’re doing, we’re just masters at convincing everyone else that we do.
So before we release our mega-epic-brilliant Freshers A-Z upon your arrival in October, here’s a tease of just a few bits and bobs Cambridge has in stall for you…
Over your first few days you’ll quickly realise that every college has its own reputation.
To save you from the oh-so-much-detail we could go into, allow me to sum up: King’s is for those with a hammer to raise and sickle to grind, John’s is for twats wearing daddy’s signet ring, Trinity’s for kids that add up well, Girton is for pool-victims and good walkers (lol), the hill colleges are for lesbians or EdGeY drug takers, and all the others hardly bear mentioning. Think you got all that?
Each reputation is as cliched as the next, and you’ll soon realise that they are as useful indicators for your peers as the NUS is for representing students’ needs. That said, you won’t be able to stop yourself indulging in them once a while.
As you leave one family you’ll be welcomed with open arms by another. Your college parents are your guardians from the higher years and your siblings will be other freshers in your college. Your college parents are there to help you settle in, show you a good time, and if Freud gets his way – sleep with you! It happens. A lot a lot.
The trick to nailing Cambridge, whether you’re in your room or out on the town, is: drink, dance, regret, repeat. Cambridge is in fact so antiestablishment that we don’t even call two of the three main clubs by their official names. You’ll spend your Sundays and Wednesdays there in glorious fashion. (Oh yeh, the Cambridge week starts on a Thursday. Don’t ask…) You’ll be able to stumble from one VK swigging socialite to the next as the Cambridge night scene, though utterly terrible, can be ridiculously fun.
Supervisions and Lectures yay
You kinda just gotta bite the £9000 a year bullet with this one. As long as you’re sober(ish) and don’t make advances on your supervisor. Then again, you wouldn’t be the first.
An Overburdening sense of General Inadequacy:
You’re probably getting the drift by now.
Regretting your application already? Only time will tell! Just get caught up in the whirlwind of it all and you’ll love every second of it. See you in Freshers Week.
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