Seven things I HAVEN’T missed about Cambridge

From wet bike seats to obnoxious conversations, here is everything I hate about Cambridge


Don’t get me wrong. I love Cambridge. I love my course, my college and my friends. I feel blessed that I get to spend three years of my life living here and have spent lockdown itching to get back. However, the grass is always greener on the other side, and you have to admit Cambridge does have its downsides. Some are worse than others, but these are my personal top seven. Be warned,  some of these are enough to make you transfer to Oxford!

1. The wet bike seat

Wet bum, lookin’ glum

Ok, I know this is small, but it’s a constant source of irritation in my life at Cambridge. Gingerly wiping down the bike seat with my sleeve DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It just means that when I get to Sainsbury’s (Eddington as I’m a Girtonian), I have a soggy sleeve and look like I’ve wet myself. It is terrible and definitely deserves the number one space on this list.

2. The weather

When the cold starts to take hold

I don’t know what it is about Cambridge, but it’s in its own little bubble of bad weather. Why is it always raining? Always. Without fail when you set off for your one in-person supo, the clouds open. You arrive drenched and half in tears. There was always bad weather at home, but somehow it’s worse here. And it always seems to get worse just when you step out of college.

3. The dreaded essay crisis

Falling asleep. – essay is weak

Every week I say I won’t let it happen, and every week it does. It’s that 24 hours before a deadline that is so traumatic you spend the rest of the week recovering. It isn’t fun working late into the night and feeling like you aren’t even writing sentences anymore! You don’t even have the time to proofread, so it is sent off with a prayer that the book title hasn’t been misspelt. Then you wake up the next day relieved and tired until you realise you have to start all over again.

4. Not enough sleep

I know this is not just a Cambridge thing, but it is definitely worse here. Whether it’s work, a friend’s meltdown, a household gathering, or a ridiculously noisy cleaner, sleep is not on the table. You can make great memories when staying up late, but it does mean that for two months you are perpetually exhausted. Every time I go home, I sleep for at least 15 hours. It’s crazy and probably very unhealthy!

5.When Fitzbillies is full

I am sure you will know the joy of meeting a friend at Fitzbillies. The smell of coffee and the promise of a Chelsea bun are amazing. However, it is soul-destroying when you can’t find a seat! You contemplate walking to the one on Bridge Street but always conclude that you are too lazy. You wander around aimlessly and end up just sitting on King’s Parade feeling hungry and miserable.

6. Obnoxious conversations

The wine is pouring, but I’m snoring

You don’t have to look far to find these in Cambridge! If you want some examples, look no further than Overhead At Cambridge or Camfess. We all have that one acquaintance who won’t stop talking about Russian poetry or the values of Heterodox economics. It’s not even the patronisation,  just the sheer boredom. I hate to think that these people are seen as the stereotypical Cambridge students when it just isn’t true.

7. The Wi-Fi

Enough said.

So, there you go! Considering these are some of the worst things, I think Cambridge is pretty great. I can cope with a wet bike seat if it means getting a seat at Fitzbillies, however infrequently.

All image credits: Harriet Wadey