How to find a college spouse

University is like a rom-com, only shitter. And weirder.

Cambridge cambridge students children college marriage Freshers Life love

College marriage is yet another weird Cambridge tradition that is a nightmare to explain to the muggles outside the bubble.

Essentially, you “marry” one of your peers in your year group with whom you go on to have “children” with once you’re a second year, as a means of providing some extra pastoral care for the scared shitless freshers  upon their arrival in Michaelmas.

In order to choose your college spouse successfully, you’ll need to find a partner who shares the same commitment to ignoring the next batch of fresh-faced freshers as you do.  For most, this involves simply finding someone to split the bill for the first Family Superhall, but your relationship with your college partner can mean many things. If you play your cards right, you may end up with exactly what your pre-twenties social awkwardness desires…


I’m glad I crashed the wedding

It’s fair to say that the worst way to choose or be selected is to do nothing until the very last minute. Often the dregs at the bottom of the social barrel are left for each other, so if you don’t fancy befriending that weird Phys NatSci who keeps coming into your corridor uninvited for prinks, you better act fast. In short, stop worrying about whether you can complete your course and make an action plan from day one or you’ll regret it. Love’s a gamble my friends. If you don’t roll, you’ll miss your turn.

A decidedly less lame way, but a way which demonstrates your complete lack of effort to your peers, is to marry a friend. I can just hear it now, all the ‘hilarious’ jokes about a couple of guys getting married. It’s not original, it’s not alternative – it’s lazy. But to be fair, this is the method which will provide the most fun as let’s face it, the ideal real world marriage would be to raise some kids with your bros, a three men and a baby sitch if you will. Most will be doomed to this fate.

The dream

The most rewarding outcome, perhaps, is to aim for your crush. Now when I say crush, I just mean the person you like around college because of their strong facial symmetry and statistically high fertility rates. Perhaps it’s their WHR or their BMI – regardless, you already know your target, especially if you’ve Facebook stalked them before arriving.

I joke, partly, but it is something ingrained into the minds of the scared freshers to choose partners in such a superficial way. The way to pick a proper good partner is based on clear tell-tale signs which are actually very ambiguous and subtle. The beauty of the college marriage is that it’s a way of auditioning real world candidates for the role of your love interest, with the excuse of a half-platonic, fun and fake marriage.

The signs you should look out for are very similar to choosing a real life partner. Can they cook? Do they blush pointlessly at everything you say? Do they call the police every time you go round to their house to get your stuff back, but in a fit of rage you start burning the lawn crying out “Debbie!”, then it’s too late and you’re keeping her hostage and your life is ruined forever?

If not, it’s probably a bad sign, and you should move on to your second choice. Or let’s face it, fourth choice. Most of you won’t even get the partner you think you desire, you might not even get one of your friends if they all prefer each other to you and you have an odd number in your group.

The reality

The last option is something I’m sure all of you have thought about. The single greatest taboo of marriage: college incest. Now I’m not gonna lie, this is probably my favourite option. Why not marry one of your brothers or sisters? You already know and have held a conversation with them. You’re probably already in, and we all know your subconscious would love how freaky but acceptable it is. And it’ll be a great story to tell your incest-babies.


In sickness and in health, ’til death do us part

So in review, college marriage, like real love, is only worth what you put in. If you put in a lot, it can actually end up being a very rewarding experience for both you and your future partner.

In short, effort is key, and anything about how to actually woo your partner, hold a conversation with your partner or how you pluck up the courage to ask them is beyond me. But still, I hope I’ve helped…