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Freshers round up

Two freshers reflect on what they’ve learnt over their first term at Cambridge

By Alice B and Alex B

Eight weeks ago, two keen freshers arrived in Cambridge, fresh-faced, well-rested and ready to take on the first term of uni life. Now, 692 reading lists, 108 portions of cheesy chips and multiple early morning fire alarms later, we feel like we have come a long way. Here are some of the things we’ve learnt over our first term here:

Cam Lingo

We’ve discovered that the phrase "Cambridge bubble" couldn’t be more true. After initial confusion, we soon found ourselves throwing around words like "plodge", "buttery" and "thesp" like there was no tomorrow. It’s only when you find yourself on the phone to your mum eagerly describing your plans for an inventive microwave meal in the "gyp" that you realise that half your vocabulary is irrelevant beyond a mile of King’s Parade.


On that topic, we’ve found that it’s very easy to lose complete track of any real-life news, with Crushbridge and Camfess soon replacing the BBC and Buzzfeed. World politics, who is she?!

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Spending our time going through Crushbridge in hope that one of them could be us is way more important than the actual news xx

The get-up

"Haven’t you worn that jumper every day this week?" Your friend inquires, as you look down and realise that your much anticipated stash has become an integral part of your personality. If it doesn’t have a crest, how will we know which uni we go to?! Also we no longer bat an eyelid when someone cycles past in a full black tie and gown. Gone are the days where you would have been dumbstruck by the very Harry-Potter-esque nature of it all, but now you salute the fine gentleman on the way to formal. In fact, one of the authors remarked that she felt "strange" wearing a formal dress without a gown over it. Have we become everything we promised ourselves we wouldn’t?

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Alice has now thrown out all of her clothes that don't fit the college theme

The town

We’ve essentially come to exist within three streets, hopping between the library, Sidgwick and Sainsbury’s. Our lack of venturing past the road by Sainsbury’s means that just a trip to town involves seeing multiple coursemates and about half the freshers from your college. The fact that everything is so nearby means that a ten minute walk to the Grand Arcade is practically equivalent to a Bronze DofE trek.


Cambridge nights out are sort of like a box of chocolates. You never really know which one you’re going to get – except that it’s always going to be questionable. We’ve soon come to the realisation that as fun as standing on a sticky floor is, swaying to High School Musical, the secret to a good night out is leaving early and consuming your body weight in the varied delicacies available at Van of Life or maybe even Gardies (if you’re feeling rogue).

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Hello darkness my old friend

If you can look past the bags under our eyes and the hacking cough we’ve developed from a lack of proper nutrition, we’ve had a great first term. We can’t wait to do it all over again in Lent!

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Cover image licensed from Wikimedia Commons, author: Cmglee