First Term vs. Second Term – The honeymoon period is over
It was fun while it lasted…
Michaelmas term is officially over and, for those freshers among us (myself included) the honeymoon period is finished. Gone are the days of congratulations for fantastic A level results and getting into Cambridge, of meeting new people and all getting along with no animosity whatsoever, of looking at least half-decent on a day-to-day basis, of posh dinners and gowns. It's over.
For most of us, the honeymoon period probably ended in about week two after we had just been set our fifth essay, despite not even having fully unpacked yet as we sat desperately wishing that we had taken that gap ‘yar’ after all.
It's safe to say that living in such close quarters and seeing people all the time makes time in Cambridge feel very strange. A week can feel like a month and a term can feel like forever.
In Michaelmas, we were constantly discovering new things about each other, and friendships and relationships changed drastically on a day-to-day basis. (kudos to those of you still hiding from that weird flatmate you befriended in week one. The struggle is real).
However, the real reason that Lent term is the official end of the honeymoon is because we have now all been home for our first vacation. Leaving Cambridge at the end of November was the saddest part of my whole term. Michaelmas term had been great . Not perfect, but certainly eight of the best weeks of my life.
On arriving home, despite having missed my family and old friends, I was like a broken record constantly saying how I couldn’t wait to go back (much to my family and friends’ offence (soz not soz guys).
The truth is that, perhaps without even realising it, living with people so intimately does automatically make you feel like family and you all become very close (despite minor domestic disputes about washing up and stolen milk. That can get personal).
However, now the vacation is over, reality has dawned on us once more and the perfect bubble of the 'ideal' Cambridge has been popped as we prepare to go back. The long vacation tricks us into settling back in, making us feel like we never even left home and, worst of all, giving us time to remember and over-analyse all of the not-so-perfect memories from last term and mistakes you wish you hadn't made.
The holidays also allow for Cambridge students to realise that, if they thought that they were living their best lives going clubbing once a fortnight and only having ten essays a term, you quickly realise that your other friends are living a slightly different life at their other unis.
Of course, Oxbridge and other universities cannot be placed in the same category in terms of workload and general demands however, when your best friends at home complain about their two essays and how often they’ve just had to go out, it's hard not to be a little resentful knowing full well that, although you love Cambridge and would never dream of swapping, you will never have that 20% work and 80% fun balance that they have.
Whilst the Cambridge honeymoon period may be over, all is not lost. We have returned to great friends, a beautiful city and an occasionally alright nightlife (woo). So let's make the best of our 80% work 20% fun lifestyle, and make Lent term one to remember.