The Cantabulous Quintet – the Cambridge stereotypes you know and love
The life of the most classique Cam students evaa
In a perfectly pompous college, surrounded by a mix of privileged and deserving brainiacs, there is always a classic clique. The Cantabulous Quintet, kinda like the Famous 5, yet only more tragically true for the ever-relatable lives of a Cam student.
Simply everyone knows a Gap-Yah-Gabi, a Meltdown-Maria, a Totally-Together-Tina, a Lance-the-Lad and a Harry-the-Hack. And If you can’t recognise one of them, then that’s you !![scientifically] !!
Gap-Yah Gabi waves goodbye to Daddy as he drives off into the distance in the down-sized Porsche. She marches into All St’s College, with her one box of possessions, as didn’t you know, she lived out of a rucksack for 45 months, helping the children of Tibet, and now no longer relies on ‘material goods’. All she needs is a scented candle and an ‘oriental’ draping tapestry, [which she actually purchased at Camden], and her ‘zen’ is complete.
Gap-Yah Gabi unpacks her one pair of harems, and puts away her handwoven basket of quinoa, tofu and kale to a melody of pure drum and bass, blasting through the walls. Over the winter vacay she was super-super busy at a wildlife coastal reserve just off of Alaska, looking after the mental well-being of some severely endangered walruses, which are almost going extinct! So… obvi Gap-Yah Gabi was infinitely too spiritually unavailable for something as mediocre & socially constructed as mocks, and she still wishes she was at Bristol.
Trudging up the stairs, with her doting parents closely behind her, it's Meltdown-Maria. She has already had 4 meltdowns, just on the M25. With packets of kleenex stuffed into every crevice, and a lifetime supply of stress-balls, she is ready for the day. Not only did Meltdown-Maria manage to only submit 3 essays in Michaelmas, and turn up to a grand-total of 0.5 lectures, she mastered the subtle art of falling desperately in love with her College Husband, Nate. She decks out her walls with the encouraging mottos of, ‘you can’t appreciate the sunshine, without a little rain’, as she slowly devours her sharer bag of chocolate stars, and weeps along to the comforting words of Miss Whitney Houston.
As he proudly stomps up the stairs, Lance-the-Lad could hear some unusual sounds, permeating from the communal kitchen. He peeked in through the door, and observed the carnage that was Maria, she had just burnt her toast and was now sitting on the floor, scraping off the carbonated soot, and mopping up her mascara-lake of a face with her blankie. Lance-the-Lad puffed out this chest and joined Meltdown-Maria on the tiles.
As Lance patted Maria on the head, he recounted his inspirational tale of woe, and how he managed to overcome. You see, Lance wasn’t accepted straight away into the College Drinking Soc, he had to attend many a night at Cindies without the special badge of honour [the tie knotted round his ears], he had to ‘pre’ without the aid of a pack of 30 males, all convinced that after they left Eton they were super ‘ard. He relayed the trials and tribulations of being a Land-Ec, and having nobody take his subject seriously; of course he can trace back his family lineage of males attending Cambridge since biblical times, and he just happens to be semi-decent at rugby, but these are all happy coincidences, managing the family estate is his pure and true calling!
And to show Maria that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, he whips out his ‘GDBO’ tattoo on his lower back; all is well, he is a true lad, with the potential to maybe even become a BNOC someday! Maria nods politely and enthusiastically at all the appropriate moments of Lance’s motivational monologue, and then snivels into Lance’s flexed muscles, ‘did Nate really spend Christmas break with that girl he met at ArcSoc?’
Galloping up the corridor, past the emotional bloodbath in the kitchen, oh yes, it’s Totally-Together-Tina. ‘Who’s ready for Lent? Woooo!’ she screeches, over Maria’s muffled sobs, as she pulls along her suitcase and tightly gripped her colour-coordinated, alphabetised, brimming A4 Lever arch revision folder. Totally-Together-Tina actually walked all the way to Cam from her white-picket fence home in Kent, because she really is that capable. She is totes ready for Lent Term babyyy, and if she hasn’t told you this, don’t worry, you can see it first hand on her live-feed of 6 instagrams a day.
Totally-Together-Tina is no ‘work snake’, she doesn’t post on the group chat that she has ‘barely touched her holiday reading’. There is no deception at all, instead, she will shove it everybody's face on snapchat, that her day started at 6AM with a veggie smoothie post-run, followed by motivational photos of her at her bedroom desk. Tina decides to start meal-planning for the week, and grabs her tupperwares as she strolls into the kitchen.
Gap-Yah-Gabi was on the hunt for some tofu related delights, and trudged into the kitchen where she found Tina and Lance comforting Maria on the floor. Offering tissues, words of advice, cuppa-soups and the best excuses to get out of the week 1 essay, the Cantabulous Quintet was nearly back together… just missing one.
Lance-the-Lad mumbled, ‘Is Harry arriving today?’
Tina quipped, ‘Well after he has made his rounds of shmoozing with the Porters, and networking with the JCR Prez, he should be on his way over to us.’
And just like magic, in walked Harry-The-Hack.
He swiftly motions ‘hello’ to his pals, as he ever-so-sincerely ends his conversation with his PA, over at the union. Harry-The-Hack gives each friend a kiss on the cheek, as he asks each of them in turn how their ‘holls’ were, only so that they would return the question, and he could wax lyrical about his days interning at every possible corporate institution, going for drinks with the College Master, and writing another play for the ADC which he will direct, produce, assist and star in.
Meltdown-Maria, was now in full cataclysm mode, as she remembers she didn’t garner any work experience over the vacation. Gap-Yah-Gabi consoled her, stroking her hair, as she comfortingly mentioned that any such involvement with capitalist institutions will eventually deplete your karmic reservoir. Tina chimes in, and suggests a meal out at the pub, to celebrate the start of Lent Term. Lance checks his schedule with the Lads and nods that he is available.
‘Oh sorry amigos, I promised Goldman-Sachs they could take me out tonight for burritos, another time?’ Harry-the-Hack offered.
** Tune in next week, to experience the Cantabulous Quintet at Formal Hall **