Pros and Cons of going back to Cambridge
A rational decision making process
Term is fast approaching and existentialism is surfacing in the form of soul-searching questions like; ‘Is Cambridge really worth it?’ ‘What is truly so great about endless library time, punctuated only by the small pleasures of a bizarre night in Lola’s?’ While at the start of the holiday all I wanted was to go back to Cambridge, I soon realised that it’s actually quite nice to have the home comforts of a well stocked fridge and the option to literally not leave your house for several days (that weird non-week between Christmas and New Year was possibly a record low for hours spent outside).
Increasingly, the attractive option seems to not go back to Cambridge at all, instead spending the next few years sat in the warmth of my comforting home, immersed in self reflection and personal growth. (Let’s ignore the logistical impossibility of my parents letting me leech off them for a further 3 years).
So that you too can rationally consider whether there’s any point in going back to Cambridge, I’ve compiled a sensible list of pros and cons (as you should when making any major life choice), which will hopefully clarify this complex situation.
– It just has to be said: the food. As acceptable as your college’s hall food may be, can it ever compare to home-cooked food and the ability to actually choose what you want to eat? The prospect of going back to my microwave only cooking situation is not particularly thrilling.
– Laundry – It is so satisfying to have your laundry done for you (not that I advocate not doing it yourself at home people, parents are not your personal serfs!!!). Then again, you could always do as I do and go to Emma, where it will still be done for you.
– The big one: work – Yes we have work over Christmas (‘you only vacate your rooms, the work doesn’t stop!!!'), but the deadline is far enough in the future that we can comfortably put it off and avoid the late nights and heavy library days that come with Cambridge existence. My sleep pattern has never been better, and the absence of essay deadlines is a blessing.
– The food – on the flipside, the instant gratification of turning up to hall and getting a plate off food, without the task of actually doing any cooking or washing up, is a luxury. Speaking of luxuries, for some reason my mum doesn’t fancy cooking 3 course meals and serving them to me??? Formal hall, I’m ready for you. (Also, I’m now hungry at 2 hours before my family’s normal dinner time, no thanks to the ridiculously early hall times.)
– Social life – Yes, its lovely spending time with your family, but only so much time. If, like me, you live in London, or anywhere else where your friends are not concentrated within a 10-minute radius as in Cambridge, you soon begin to crave social contact. Any social interaction requires a 45-minute tube journey and commitment of at least half a day, when really I just want to be able to cross the corridor for a 5-minute chat.
– Self indulgence: This is the serious one. At what other point in your life to you get to exist in this weird semi adult state, where you get to be independent and live on your own, but can still come home to Mum and Dad every 8 weeks for a re-feed and some love and affection. You get to study a self-indulgent course (slightly more applicable to humanities) and, despite the undeniable hard work, basically have fun for 3 years without worrying about work or the real world.
Ultimately, our university years are some of the most comfortable of our lives, and some hard work in exchange is probably worth it. Yes, we may miss the ease of being at home, but realistically, we’re massive part-timers and only have another 8 weeks before we can crawl back into our comfortable beds (did I mention Cambridge mattresses in the cons…) Having presented my argument in a balanced way (I'm so ready for the first essay back), I conclude that going back to Cambridge isn't actually a bad idea.