How to make Cambridge life more like La La Land

Would rather have 14 Oscar nominations than essays due please

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Remember when Cambridge used to be a symbol of hope, optimism and “I can achieve anything!”

Yeah, me neither. But to avoid the risk of sounding too much like a nihilistic Memebridge post, let’s look at a film which reminds us just how bleak things in Cambridge really are.

I liked La La Land… along with every other person ever. Does that make me generic? Probably, but show me a Cambridge student who isn’t. And, like most of the many people who watched it, I suffered from a slight comedown when I left the cinema.

Why isn’t my life as beautifully lit (af)? Why can’t I sing? Why can’t I wear fifties style floaty dresses and skip around Hollywood? Why can’t I just be a waitress but still somehow afford a brand new Prias? And where is my Ryan Gosling? These are the big questions of our time.

I thought about how I could apply La La Land to the largely freezing, stressful and gloomy Cambridge life. Filled with work, disappointing club nights, and an always somewhat dysfunctional love life, Cambridge could certainly do with a La La Land(Ec) make-over.

Wear more colour

I was taken aback by the film’s obsession with primary colours, and thought that Cambridge could learn a thing or two. And that’s coming from a devout head-to-toe-black outfit wearer.

So whether this means wearing those red trousers Cantabs seem to love so much, a bright yellow Mac in the rain, or something light blue to show-off just how much you love Cambridge, go back to basics and embrace the colours that feel the most innocent and youthful.

2 out of 3 primary colours isn’t bad for one outfit

Create your own City of Stars

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, walking is great. And at night, on a rare non-cloudy evening, the stars are beautiful. Find a bench or a college roof and enjoy. For those of you who really can’t be bothered, bring the night sky into your room with excessive fairy lights. I have them zig-zagging all over the ceiling and walls of my room. Feeling like you’re inside a light-bulb ribcage aside, it’s relaxing and atmospheric. And at least that way, you can have your own city of stars anytime of the day.

Chapel of stars

Listen to more uplifting music

While it can be a little dampening to listen to ‘Another Day of Sun’, and look out of the window and see another day of drizzle, listening to happy music in the morning can set up your day. Whether you really love musicals, classical music, or 2007 club hits, find whatever gives you the most energy. Then invest in some speakers and play it as loud as you can.

Go out more

Would Emma Stone have walked into the random bar and heard Ryan Gosling playing the piano, if she hadn’t been dragged out by her three super attractive and colourfully dressed roommates? No. I’m not sure that Cindies or Life are getting a piano player anytime soon, but Life has just re-furbished their floors – so it’s basically the same…

As colourful as Cambridge gets (any excuse for a sunset pic)

Find yourself a Ryan Gosling

Judging by the dating scene in Cambridge, finding your own Cantab-Gosling is as likely as someone wearing Stan Smiths not having an off-shore trust fund. So, I have absolutely no advice for this. If somebody on their way to Sidgwick swore at me like Ryan does to Emma at the beginning of the film, I would think them more likely a dick than the love of my life.

Maybe write that you’re a La La Land fanatic in your Tinder bio, and then at least you have one topic of conversation for any potential first dates.

The film’s idealisation of hope and optimism might be a bit of a stretch for Cambridge, but then again, Cambridge life is essentially a performance. But if you surround yourself with a great cast, and a splash of colour, then I’m on board.