SHIT COLLEGE: the central ones

What you’ve all been waiting for – vote now!

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Tired of hearing about how impressive King’s chapel is? Do you sigh whenever the Bridge of Sighs is mentioned? It’s time these central colleges were brought down a peg or two. Because behind the pretty exterior lies some ugly truths…

Let’s be honest, we all think that within the central colleges there are quite a few egos that could do with being punctured. The endless stream of tourists and aspiring sixth form students gaping in wide-eyed wonder have reinforced a sense of superiority. But we all know that these central colleges are just all style and no substance, as opposed to their far-away counterparts that have neither.

Read on to decide out of these top 10, which is unequivocally the shittest central college.


A special snowflake college. Take all the worst, most irritating traits of the millennial generation, distill it into one over-sensitive concentrate and voilà, we have Pembroke. They like to think they are work hard, play hard, but when it comes to the crunch, they just can’t hack it. I would say the brunch is the only redeeming factor, but even that is overrated. These guys will lose their shit over anything, like a resident temperamental teen of Cambridge, they are always crying out for attention. Cue the numerous Times articles. Just grow up, Pembroke.

Pembroke = Katie Hopkins’ worst nightmare

St John’s

They like to think they’re the cream of the crop – and they are the cream of Cambridge – thick and rich. The dickish stereotype propagated for this college sadly holds true for many of their students. John’s takes the superiority complex to a whole new level, always trying to justify their heightened sense of self-worth. Whereas other colleges sell mugs, John’s offers its privileged students the option of a gift-boxed signet ring or a £75 bottle of gin. Seriously, if you don’t own a Rolex, do you even belong here? Oh and your May Ball better be mind-blowingly spectacular, after the unwarranted exclusivity over this probably overhyped and overpriced event.

John’s toff starter pack


‘Ooh I’m so edgy I’m from Clare’. No. Just stop. Everyone at Clare seems to think they’re so hipster and embody some airy ethereal being floating through Cambridge. People make such a big deal about how sick Clare Ents is, when in reality it’s just sitting in a dingy cellar whilst listening to some grade 4 guitarist screech at you. You cling to the prestige of being a riverside college when all you have are two tiny courts and banish your first years to Memorial Court to live under the watchful eye of the UL. And just to reinforce that it’s an exclusive club, Clare has shut its gates to everyone else this term. Get over yourselves, you’re not that great.

Just because you feel inadequate because you’re constantly in the shadow of King’s chapel


Just fucking boring really. This is the type of college where when you go on to The Student Room, all you find are comments of ‘there’s a Nando’s next door’ or ‘everyone’s so nice’, because there really is nothing else to say. Emma has never produced anyone famous, unless you count Sebastian Faulks (sorry, who?) or the boy from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All you will ever hear from Emma students is how they have a lake and a free laundry service.

Corpus Christi

Big Brother is actually watching you here. Corpus is one of the oldest colleges, founded in 1352, and it seems like it’s retained its medieval attitudes. Its porters and bedders are actually encouraged to spy on the students. If your Corpus you suffer a double humiliation, not only from seeing the face of your one night stand who you thought was a solid 9 but is actually more of a 4.5, you will also have to face cleaning duty or some other form of medieval punishment. So be wary Corpus students, about who you select on your Sunday life prowl – because Big Marlowe knows all.

These eyes have seen it all


Only known for its sporting jocks and contentious cock. This college is just plain vanilla. Isolated in a corner, its like the Girton of the central colleges. Not quite deficient enough to be completely irrelevant, but too dull to be remembered. What’s the solution? Jesus has decided the answer is more money, through building snazzy, new accommodation and rooms for conference guests, whilst squeezing its own students. Sadly, they have forgotten that money cannot buy you personality. Truly this is a case of forgive me Father for I have sinned…


Large. Arrogant. Obnoxious. Since there are 50 Mathmos per year here, probably 1 in 4 of the students don’t know how to make eye-contact with someone whilst talking to them. You like to think you’re the intellectual powerhouse of Cambridge, and yes we know you produced Newton and consistently top the Tompkins Table. But since every action has an equal and opposite reaction, your lack of social skills must be equal to your good grades. Be careful that things don’t get trapped in the gravitational field around your big heads and overinflated egos.

The original Trinmo


Everything about you is dysfunctional and depressing. Dysfunctional in that you’re split across a road, with gates that are stupidly designed for bikes. Depressing in that dining at Magdalene formal has an atmosphere reminiscent of a funeral. And perhaps even more depressing is that its filled with private school wankers, trying desperately to pretend they aren’t posh. Your whole college is pretentious as fuck, insisting on pronouncing the name of the college as ‘Mawd-lin’ instead of ‘Mag-da-lene’, when anyone with eyes can see that that’s how it’s actually spelt.


A dilemma born out of white, middle-class privilege. This is a bastion for champagne socialists desperate to prove that they have actual communist convictions. You cry out against the evils of capitalism, when your college is just one big money-churning machine, taking advantage of the gullible tourists. As a result your porters are the worst, who think that every BME student is a tourist trying to cheat their way into King’s. Are you so desperate to make money that it blinds you to common sense, which is that people rushing with 10 books from the UL didn’t come to stare at a pretty chapel?

Overcompensating for something?


Downing, the new of the old or the old of the new, what even are you? Downing’s accommodation is basically just copied and pasted from a Holiday Inn brochure. The whole college is just pathetically careerist, nothing of interest ever happens because people are too busy throwing themselves at summer vacation schemes whilst trying dress up their nonexistent personalities for a high-salary, low-interest life in corporate law. Yes, there might be a nice theatre there, but since there are only ever corporate events and not shows, just go ahead and take that PwC job as Downing is just a stage for ‘Selling your Soul: The Musical’.

Vote now below.