Forget Week 5 blues, it’s all about Week 7 hysteria
Before coming to Cambridge, I expect everyone received the whole, "Oh, eight week terms?! You've got it so easy!" and I'll be the first to admit that I was quite thrilled at the prospect of having short terms and longer holidays, but though these terms be little, they are fierce (I do an English module, can you tell?).
Eight weeks in the Cambridge "bubble" feels like eight years. Literally, I'm convinced that I found a grey hair the other day. And the bags I've acquired under my eyes aren't like the 5p ones you get from the self-checkout in Mainsbury's – they are heavy duty, bio hazard bin liners that are used to cart around nuclear waste. I am by no means complaining, or moaning, or intentionally disregarding my privilege here, but I'm tired. So bloody tired. And my course isn't as heavy in comparison to the six days a week that the NatSci's are subjected to.
The work load of this scale is something I never really anticipated. I mean obviously I knew it would be tough but I just thought it would be a case of going to lectures, doing an hour of work and then doing whatever I please. That was just one of several things I was wrong about. I wasn't a stressy person before uni, and to a certain extent I'm still pretty horizontal (in the sense I'm laid back) but stress is contagious in Cambridge. One person starts to panic and then another remembers that they have a deadline and another and another and then it's like a domino effect of essay stress.
I'm quite a lazy person by nature: I like sleep. Nine hours of it if possible. But Cambridge has taught me that nine hours of sleep is more of a luxury than a given. For example, a mate of mine has taken to eating coffee granuals (because making a cup is far too much effort) to give him enough sustenance to write an overdue essay, pre-drink, stagger to and from Cindies and still be awake enough to not need sleep for a 9am lecture.
Mind you, it's not hard work which is the cause of my lack of sleep. Oh no, its down to the combination of my accommodation being set out like a really shit Premier Inn with very thin walls and people choosing to have drunken conversations outside my door at 3 am. Hahaha it's so funny hahaha this isn't passive aggressive I promise hahaha lol no seriously its the worst.
Move over "week five blues", I'm on to "week seven hysteria".
Striking a balance here is hard, too. There is a need to work hard and do well in your degree, but you also want to do all the extra-curricular stuff you possibly can, and on top of that you also want to maintain a social life IN 'Life', or Cindies, and not experience chronic FOMO. Although, if you're DOS is a certain physicist from Queen's, you shouldn't be going out anywhere. Shame on you.
All joking aside, studying at Cambridge and trying to do other stuff is like trying to juggle. Knives. And they are on fire, and you're on fire and everything is burning and then you drop everything and begin to cry into your microwaved mashed potato – which is in a dirty bowl that isn't even yours because everything in your kitchen has gone bloody missing – about how you're glad you don't have a boyfriend, really because you're so busy. So busy. Really, I am- I mean, you are. I haven't done that.
Week seven is a weird one; the end is just in sight yet seems to be ages away. On one hand, you're excited to see your family, have your clothes cleaned for you and a solid nights sleep on your own, yet on the other hand there is the feeling of you maybe not wanting to leave behind the new friends you've made. Especially when you're Welsh, they live hundreds of miles away and train ticket prices take the piss even when you have a railcard.
It's a weird thought, *cue violins* that people I didn't even know existed two months ago I now can't imagine living without. Mainly because they have an ever increasing collection of photos that I'd rather people didn't see, but also because they are fundamentally nice people who now know how I like my tea.
My main piece of advice for week seven: don't panic, surround yourself with good vibes and good people and before you know it, you'll be overeating in your nan's kitchen in your sleepy hometown wishing for maybe a tiny bit of stress. Or not.