Which Deadly Sin is your Society?
Because, let’s be honest, we’re all going to hell
Ah, the Cambridge bubble. Dear fresher, take a brisk walk around the Freshers’ Fair and you’ll quickly realise that the strange university we populate mirrors the outside world, which we all too easily forget for eight long weeks every term.
Cambridge is a little stomping ground for wannabe politicians, thespians, journalists and visionaries, all hoping to take the world by storm. The Union’s our Parliament, where future safe-seat Labour MPs prance around in formal attire, entertaining the loud jeers of a wood-panelled chamber. Surely any parliament wouldn’t be complete without a host of unaccountable, bureaucratic civil servants? We can thank CUSU for that.
Heck, even our own self-serving Tab journos wouldn’t exactly look out of place at any future Leveson-esque inquiry.
A lot of Cantabs will arrive here, eagerly adding their Hermes details to those signup sheets, with all the confidence needed to match such lofty ambitions. And sure, a healthy dose of self-esteem never hurt anyone. But take a quick visit to any ADC show, Law Soc dinner or Union debate and you might easily be caught making a slip of the tongue when referring to your fellow ‘C*ntabs’.
We fiercely compete with one another, argue about free speech, make national news, have a referendum every five minutes, argue about free speech, write scathingly about each other’s theatrical performances, and heckle each other at debates. Oh, and did I mention we sometimes argue about free speech?
You see, young fresher, we’ll all be going to hell sooner than we graduate to become future politicians and solicitors. But remember, all of our crimes are different. So, as you make your way round the stalls, choosing what to sign up to, just make sure you know what sin you’re going down for:
Union – Greed
Let’s begin with the crème de la crème of Cambridge extra-curricular goals. It won’t even matter if you’ve produced any sets at the Corpus playroom or guided a few six-formers around Summer schools. If you’ve had a union position, it’ll take pride of place at the top of your LinkedIn page. But, be warned, you ignorant fresher. To get this prestigious accolade, as a union insider, you’ll have to single-handedly embody every port-guzzling, black-tie-by-night, red-chino-by-day walking access problem that the Daily Mail’s warned us about time and time again.
Oh, and you might even end up screwing over your ‘friends’ for a chance to sit next to Stephen Fry or Robert Downey Jr. You’re basically Augustus Gloop, if, you know, the chocolate river was like CV points and celebrity Facebook profile pictures. And you won’t stop until you’re president of the whole chocolate factory, will you? Greedy fucker.
ADC – Pride
The only thing that’ll stop Narcissus from staring at his own reflection in the pool of his audiences’ tears from his ‘audacious’ portrayal of which ever Shakespeare character he’s massacred in that week’s main-show will be the ever-so-slightly imperfect Tab review of the his show. Take a trip down memory lane and witness the vitriol that thesps have left in our comments section under our reviews. It seems Narcissus cannot handle anything less than the beautiful profile picture he’s just put up on Facebook to promote the show.
And then there’s the ‘ADC eyes’. For every fresher out there, that’s basically the looks over your shoulder you’ll get whenever that ADC actor you’re humouring spots someone in the crowd of the ADC bar he’ll need to schmooze to star their play. It’s not your fault, he’ll need to nurse his fragile little ego in every way he can. The incessant pride may eventually falter upon leaving the bubble, and receiving the first of many two-star reviews, as he performs amateur ‘comedy’ skits in the basement of a warehouse-turned-pub in Shoreditch.
CUSU – Sloth
Lol, they’re sloths because they don’t really ever do anything, amirite?
Ask the average Cantab what CUSU’s mission statement is, or how it can assist them and the chances are they’d be clueless. “I can get condoms from my own college, can’t I?”. They’d be right. CUSU’s sadly become known in the last few years for fighting for the abolishment of Class Lists, which a lot of students don’t even know if they want, rather than providing and publicising the essential services they offer.
And then again, they can’t even do that quickly, with their plans facing numerous hurdles from academics and the student body alike. CUSU’s famous slothfulness can be seen at their bi-termly CUSU council meetings, where one can wade through jargon in a parlour-game of CUSU bingo and see less accomplished than at a Department for Exiting the European Union meeting on a bank holiday.
Cambridge University Law Society (CULS) – Gluttony
Lawyer’s definitely know how to celebrate, when their not cramming for 14 hours a day to in a desperate bid to achieve a low 2.1. And even then, if you’re going to be locked in the confines of a library for your whole day, what better place to do it than the corporate shrine that is the law department at Sidgewick. And when you’re not being treated to lavish banquets by commercial chambers or Magic Circle firms, you’ll be treated to the finest parties and balls, by none other than LawSoc.
They’ll lure you in with their promises of cheap cocktails, but what they won’t tell you was how many thousands of pounds Linklaters contributed to their garden party last June. At a LawSoc careers’ event you’ll eat and drink to excess. This will culminate in their annual LawSoc ball: an outlandish, expensive piss-up that’ll no doubt end in a bang.
Or a coach crash. We could go on, but we don’t want to be sued.
Varsity – Envy
Don’t hate us cuz you ain’t us. It must be hard for a Varsity writer. It’s bad enough when the only career ambitions you’re trying to satisfy are filling up the under-apprecaited pages of a pretentious Observer supplement your old supervisor might browse through before it becomes a coaster for their morning coffee. It’s even worse when you consider that no one reads what you’re writing now.
And why bother writing wannabe Guardian riffs anyway when you can write something fun that at a University student might actually want to read? They like to think that they’re classy, sophisticated, or deal in real news. Anything to make themselves feel better, we suppose. We do love the petty rivalry though. #badblood
The Tab – Wrath
And finally, the most despicable sin of them all. All of Cambridge’s societies are guilty of feeble crimes by comparison, but they are, alas, all united in their hatred of yours truly. Forget about the societies, and just mention in passing to any fellow student in Market Square that you write for The Tab and you’ll immediately be greeted with confused mix of pity and disgust.
Whether we’re lying to Cantabs about Taylor Swift May-Ball appearances, making a limp comparison between your college and a forgotten ’90s TV show, revealing petty squabbles at the Union or even feeling the wrath of a whole host of CUSU sabbatical officers, we’ve sure angered a sizeable proportion of Cambridge in our time.
We could apologise for all of this, but, you see, love and hate are basically the same emotion. Haters gonna hate and all.
See you in hell, Fresher. Just make sure you get there in style.