Far Out: Life at the Hill Colleges
Distance is just a number
Although Sainsbury's, might not be a 2 minute stroll away and I cannot simply rush out of my room at 10:30 and be in Cindies' queue for 10:33, I love being further out of town.
When I've voiced what college I go to before, the usual response is a sympathetic grimace and nod of acknowledgement to the Winter Pool.
"You poor, poor thing" their face seems to say, but what usually comes out is usually a reference to just how far away from civilisation you are and how on earth you can bear your trek into town/lectures every day. In reality, what those central collegers don't realise is that they are missing out in so many ways.
Think open space, peace, no ghosts, beautiful 60's architecture and lots of good wholesome fun.
For a start, I can wake up in the morning, thrust open my curtains and know that there will be no prying crowd of selfie-stick bearing tourists or good, innocent Cambridge commuters walking past who should be unfortunate enough to catch a glimpse of me in the early hours of the morning amidst the 9am essay crisis.
I can then leave college to the pleasure of actual, real life space and fresh air, not the constant ringing of bike bells, shouts of agitated pedestrians and I won't get hassled once by an eager punter on King's Parade.
Okay, no notable site is 'around the corner' but really nothing at all is too far away as Cambridge is so bloody small. Ironically, I leave my college at the same time as some central collegers sans bike and usually taking my sweet time to catch up with friends, whack on the tunes and enjoy my walk (not frantic weaving through town) down.
Agreed, on a night out it would be fantastic to just crash in bed but the walk (stumble…) home, is part of the fun filled with tons of memorable shenanigans and it makes the perfect bonding activity as you all stagger home up the 'hill', clutching those sweet cheesy children which you were bestowed with from the Van of Life recounting your night's antics to whoever is still willing/able to hear them.
You'll no doubt also be approached by someone the next morning who will remind you that indeed someone did chunder on the Magdalene Bridge and swore fruitlessly at the doors of Medwards which turns out to just not be your college at all.
And lets be honest, a 10 minute walk is actually about 5 when your sense of time is warped by ritual intoxication.
I wouldn't really speak of the beauty of our college architecture, I do have a time of explaining to my friends back home that I do not live in some castle turret in a room with a fireplace and view of some pretty quads but did you actually choose your college on sole basis of its architectural prowess?
Quite frankly, its crucially whats on the inside that counts. Being out of the centre brings people together which means that we're usually a pretty integrated and close group. I've learnt to love our college's edges for what they are. Oh, and you can generally walk on the grass out here without fear, that's pretty cool.
It's homey, down-to-earth and doesn't look like it's haunted; a real danger of some of the older colleges, just saying.
You also have the freedom to get some space too which means that it's not such a suffocating experience surrounded constantly by people when you'd rather just have a sulk about how shit you are on the way to Aldi alone.
But importantly, we're all very lovely and a really good bunch; a testament to the chilled-out vibe you can find further away from the centre of what we can all agree is a pressure-cooker of a town.
Even though walking through King's Parade does serve as some serious architecture porn, I wouldn't trade my college out, as for me the vibe and having the best of both world, being close but far away enough from town for a release is just perfect.
You can enjoy all the fun of being in the town centre and also be far enough out to be away from it. Colleges which are slightly further afield get so much of this unneccessary stick for being 'too far' but that has nothing at all to do with the student experience you will have as that's ultimately down to you.
Whether or not you were pooled or applied to one, you will inevitably have a great time and will be so bloody thankful you did end up out here and you'll probably, like me, come to realise that it is truly underrated being slightly further afield. Trust me.