When it’s Week 11, and you’re still in Cambridge.
Walking in a wretched wonderland
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, the 2nd year history coursework deadline was looming, and so a wee young lass was banished to her ivory tower, and held captive in the Bridge of Cam until she had finished her dreaded task.
So here we are, Cambridge is officially Dead, yet you remain alive, a flesh-eating zombie, wandering the barren lands that are the UL.
And just like any extremophile, you have learned to adapt to your harsh environment; you grow a winter blubber layer of hat/scarf/gloves, your only sustenance is mince pies, and the permanent white noise of Michael Bublé continuously blasts through your headphones.
As you walk through Plodge, you’re met with pitiful and sympathetic nods, the ubiquitous ‘aw your parents don’t love you’, as you are STILL in Cam and its the 14th of December. You wince every morning as you ritually open your advent calendar, a ceremony that once filled you with so much joy, is now just a painful reminder that the b-day of Jesus’ is so very soon, and you are not home [Bethlehem].
The Varsity skiiers have been and gone, only returning for a brief 24 hours to boast about how awesome their trip was and then piss off back to Surrey.
You nostalgically reminisce about the good old days of Week 5, yes they were morbid and filled with stress-induced dreams, but at least you had safety in numbers. The Squad is well and truly depleted, just like your energy, motivation and self-respect.
Each day is now filled with severe emotional turmoil as another one bites the dust; each pal is lovingly collected from the trauma that is Cambridge Post-Term, by their doting parents. After a quick rendition of ‘so long farewell auf wiedersehen goodbye’ you wave each friend off into the distance, the promised land that is the Motor-way, as you trudge back to your abandoned staircase.
The once thriving Squad Group Chat is now well and truly deceased, except for the occasional shouts into the void; your desperate cries for a tin-opener or to be let into the block as you’ve misplaced your keys, will have to be ignored once more, or 6 hours later followed up with 'So sorry I've left Hunni', as you sit in a puddle of your own tears after continual attempts at stabbing open a tin of tuna with a knife.
Like Father Christmas on his sleigh, you arrive at Sidgwick, bloated and freezing cold with a red face. And just like Santa, this is pretty much an annual appearance, at Seeley. To nobody’s surprise the library is as dead as it always is, & yet somehow even colder.
Since it’s just you and the librarian, it would feel weird to remain silent. So you decide on having long and loud phone-calls with your Mother as you browse the stacks, you cultivate your very own 'Mission Impossible' moment as you sneak through the laser doors with rare books just for the laffs, and bring out your speakers to create the true 'Seeley Sesh'. The luscious tones of Grime blare into the walls, as in this freezing prison, 'Man is [definitely] Not Hot'!!
And obvi the universal ‘Snow Day’ still applies post-school; work will always be cancelled at the slightest hint of sleet, even if you are 20 years old. It is practically common law that one must ask the randomer left in your building, 'Do you wanna build a snowman?'
Your accommodation is utterly deserted. A glass-half-empty kinda gal would view this as a time of abject isolation, yet the optimist in you begins to grasp the positives. Since everyone on your corridor has evacuated this war-torn land, surely all the food left in the fridge is Free Game!
It would simply be disrespectful to leave a chunk of mature cheddar all on its lonesome, really, you’re doing a public service by finishing off all these goodies. No more ventures down to Sainsbury's for you!!
Really, you're saving the environment from the mounting waste of Global Capitalism and you're also saving your Santander bank account from its near extinction!!
And now that all your neighbours have evacuated this hellhole, you can resume your wild activities of loud sex and hosting a heaving bedroom pres. Or slightly more likely… going to the toilet with the door open, running to the bathroom without a towel and prepping your dinner with commentary as if you're Nigella Lawson. REAL ANARCHY MY FRIENDS.
And now, for the question on everybody's lips, is Wednesday’s Cindies extinct? Gather around, my young kiddiwinkles.
Like a true Dora the Explorer, I bravely ventured down to this dangerous habitat to check out the scene. Sadly, due to the mass exodus, Wednesday’s Cindies is NO LONGER A THING [RIP], but magically there is still a queue. A Christmas miracle after all.
And on the bright side, there is now no need to even pretend that you're vaguely enjoying your night-out before escaping for some precious cheesy treats from Van; you can causally trot down to the Van of Life at 9:30pm, collect your chips and retreat home without a shred of humiliation; a successful night.
Yet, despite all else, you're still plagued with the ethical conundrum that mires your existence in this desolate region. You ponder, “If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is there, does it still make a sound?” and extend this to your own deserted and depressive reality as you wail into the abyss that is Sidgwick.