The transition back into life at home

How long before we start to miss the bubble?

As yet another term comes to a close in Cambridge, most of us are reflecting on how we’ve changed as people and whether we’ve actually taken a step closer to adulthood. After nearly 8 difficult weeks of coping with deadlines, breakdowns and life in general, we’d like to think we’ve matured slightly. So here are all the things you’ll notice as you prepare to transition back into life at home.

Shock to the system

The first thing you’ll notice is the eerie feeling of having considerably less work, and you’ll probably still be waking up at midnight reciting Ronsard and listing the irregular subjunctives of French verbs or, you know, whatever else Cambridge has been assaulting you with all term. Either way, it will definitely feel very strange not going to bed every night with some form of essay crisis.

For the first couple weeks at home you’ll probably still be waking up thinking you have a 9am and wondering where Sidgwick has vanished to. The whole concept of free time seemed to completely disappear at Cambridge, and yet when you get home you’ll be spending it all worrying about why you’re not doing anything. Constantly doing something at Cambridge and still feeling like you’re failing can only get worse when you’re back home doing nothing.

Whether you enjoyed your time at Cambridge this term or not, you’ll most definitely feel like a small part of you is missing when you make the journey back home.

You may or may not start to miss group breakdowns with your friends…

Withdrawal symptoms

Depending on where you come from, when you get home you will most likely start to miss all the little things about studying at Cambridge. You’ll probably even start to miss having 9AMs, the only thing that could get you up early enough to take lovely walks along Cambridge’s beautiful cobbled streets.

Although the thought of being in the Cambridge bubble is sometimes quite isolating, there’s just something about it that makes the world turn just a little more slowly. Sure you’ve always got deadlines that make you feel like there are never enough hours in the day, but just taking a minute to quietly appreciate everything can make you feel a million miles away from the real world.

A million miles away…

Cambridge students come here to study from some of the most famous cities in the world, whether it be London, Paris or New York etc, but there’s something about leaving here that makes all those other places seem inferior.

College friends and family

You might be extremely excited to be reunited with your entire family and to tell your friends about all the Cambridge-specific experiences you’ve had, but you’ll also have to leave behind your new friends (and new family, of course). Perhaps the biggest shock will be telling your friends all the Cambridge things you’ve been doing, only to find out that they have no idea what you’re talking about – ‘pidge’, ‘plodge’, ‘supo’?

Your college cat is enough reason to miss Cambridge

It will also be very interesting to see the contrast in parenting style between your college family and real family. It’s only in Cambridge where you can say that your parents drop pennies into your glass to make you down your wine. At least now you’ve got some interesting drinking games to spice up those dull family dinners back home. RIP Granny…


It sometimes doesn’t seem like we have too much of it at Cambridge, but you may feel that the little independence we do have diminishes when we go back home. Yes, previous articles have mentioned how life at Cambridge isn’t too different from life at home, with bedders cleaning your room and not having to rely on yourself to stay alive. But we should give ourselves some credit for the ‘adult’ things we do actually have to deal with.

Alongside mountains of work and a hectic timetable, we have to manage a budget in one of the country’s most expensive cities, find time to build a CV so we don’t appear as incompetent on paper as in reality, and all while trying to find the time to fit in your weekly breakdown.

The pressure will still be there when you’re back at home, but you might start to miss that feeling which comes every once in a while which makes you think you have your life together.

But of course it never lasts