Make your own bed

Are Bedders really good for us?


When I tell people at home about Bedders I get met with a wave of scoffs about how protected life at Cambridge is, followed by them adding how jealous they are. Bedders truly are a Cambridge institution and we're lucky that we have these fab women coming everyday to empty our bins and clean the bathroom among a long list. They put up with all sorts of crap. It doesn't seem unfair to call them modern day saints when they empty bins full of beer cans and ready meals on a daily basis without judgement.

However, I've lost count of the amount of times that I've been cuddled up in bed at 10 am having a cheeky scroll on instagram (yes I'm a humanities student) and having to dive under the covers as they unlock my door so they can empty my bins. And that isn't fun for either of us. I was enjoying an indulgent phone binge before a day of reading. And they probably would rather have not seen another groggy student wasting their morning.

Image may contain: Portrait, Face, Person, People, Human

Insider footage of a humanities student pretending to sleep at 11am

The thing is as well that it goes past the awkward mornings. It's kind of a weird infringement of privacy. Someone literally has keys to go into your room 5 days out of 7 and often, if you're like me, end up seeing you asleep or in some state where you're not ready for the outside world.

Of course, the argument for this is that this is the price that we pay for what they do for us. And it's arguably a small price – especially if you're a student who has lots of contact hours so rarely bumps into them anyway. And when I weigh it up, me having to think about whether or not I'm dressed enough to not have to hide from my bedder in the morning isn't massive sacrifice when it means they will clear my bins, hoover my cracker crumbs up and even, one occasion, clean my scummy sink.

But I have more than one conversation with my friends where we've moaned about the bedder's visits in the morning. And it didn't take us long that come to the conclusion that in some ways we'd rather empty out our own bins and have the bedders just cleaning the communal spaces.

Image may contain: Oven, Washer, Electrical Device, Appliance, Person, People, Human

We can do all sorts of chores!! (even laundry at emma)

On top of that there's definitely an argument that maybe we shouldn't have bedders at all. Cambridge is stressful, sure, but I'm sure we could all deal just as well if we had to empty out our own bins or perhaps even hoover once a term. It would definitely bring some level of the real world to a place that often feels anything but. It would also show a next level of trust between the college and its students. After all we all know the bedders are partially there to check we're not doing anything in our room we shouldn't be. Wouldn't be surprised if they're the porters' number one port of call for extra college gossip.

But, this conversation is perhaps useless. Cambridge is not going to be removing bedders from their long list of institutions. So, all we can do is appreciate our bedders for all of their work and think about about how we can make their lives a little bit nicer. I'm talking making 9 AMs so that they don't have to see you in a half dressed hungover state or perhaps picking up your clothes so they don't have to hoover around an obstacle course of socks.