Here’s everything Cambridge students miss about the pre-Covid days

Seven things students are dreaming about for their post lockdown life


While we are all stuck at home, it is hard to remember the mythical time before Covid-19. It was full of mischief and magic, as well as some cringey moments. Most pressingly, I asked students about their most missed Cambridge pastimes.

1. Lecture hall drama

So maybe I don’t miss the early morning cycle… (Image Credits: Harriet Wadey)

Okay sure, being able to attend lectures in your pyjamas and watch your lectures on double time is fun, but being in a room with a hundred other people had its advantages. Not least of all in providing crush opportunities, with a Girton student saying “I miss making eye contact with my crush in the lecture hall”, which is honestly just such a mood – seeing their blurry face on a Zoom call just isn’t the same.

Even if the thought of being in a room with over 100 people is enough to break us out in a cold sweat these days, and they were 100 per cent the cause of the dreaded freshers’ flu, they were also kinda fun. We could catch up with friends, and find out how that girl we overhead last week got on with her hair dyeing. It almost made it worth the early mornings and sweaty cycles, almost.

2. Seeing everyone and their college mum in the Gardies queue

I made it to Gardies’ wall of fame! If by wall of fame you mean the wall of slightly too drunk Cambridge students… (Image Credits: Harriet Wadey)

Cambridge student Tom said: “I miss coming out of a club and walking straight to Gardies.” Honestly, what we wouldn’t give to be back in that cramped shop arguing with our friends who wanted to go to Van of Life, and asking for one of those free lollipops with our kebabs.

Another great thing about Gardies was the sheer variety of Cambridge students, from the blackout drunks devouring burgers, to the couples who look like they are on romantic dates. The whole experience has been severely missed – there truly is a cheesy chip shaped hole in our hearts.

3. Cambridge’s iconic clubs (RIP Cindies)

Missing the *tunes (Image Credits: Vivian Chin)

We miss everything about clubbing at this point, even the slightly rubbish parts like being shoved about on Vinyl’s dancefloor, or being walked in on in the bathrooms which for some reason NEVER have locks.

We even miss having to convince the bouncers about our sobriety and arguing about whether a Cam card is a good enough form of ID (it 100 per cent should be by the way – it even has our date of birth on!)

Meanwhile, the idea that we used to kiss random strangers at clubs while only knowing their college (and that is on a good day) feels stomach-churning in this new germ conscious culture. Despite this, it was very entertaining and provided some quality entertainment in the debriefs the mornings after.

4. The chaotic day after…

My hungover state of denial (Image Credits: Harriet Wadey)

‘The day after’ is something that many students are missing. We can’t wait to watch my friend rush into lectures 10 minutes late in last night’s clothes, or wake up with a fuzzy memory and be horrified when the night’s events all coming flooding back.

Oh to be congregating in the kitchen with my friends, all a bit hungover, as we drink tea and discuss the gossip of the night before. It is a rite of passage at university, and we can’t wait to relive it!

5. King’s Parade: The king of all catch-up spots!

The only picture I have on King’s Parade that doesn’t have a random tourist photo-bomber (Image Credits: Harriet Wadey)

It was annoying trying to navigate around pedestrians when you can barely stay upright on a bike. However, student Vivian told me “the idea of King’s Parade being empty is pretty upsetting.”

Truly, sitting there with a coffee watching everyone bustling about was a great cure for academic burnout, as well as being the number one social spot for catching up with quite literally anyone and everyone. The retirement bench in our home town just doesn’t cut it.

6. Our very own Hogwarts Great Hall

Nothing like a Christmas formal! (Image Credits: Harriet Wadey)

This needs no explanation. Getting all dressed up with your friends and going down to the dining hall was amazing. How have we survived this long without it? Trying to do penny dropping without getting caught by the porters and trading bread rolls were added bonuses. These days, we’ve swapped sharing bread rolls to passing around hand sanitizer and it just doesn’t hit the same.

Ahh those were the days (Image Credit: Author’s own screenshot from Camfess)

7. Going to the library without suffocating

The library: a place of productivity and academic rigour (Image Credit: Vivian Chin)

Leila told The Tab that what she misses the most is “going to the library without having to wear my mask and sit two metres away from anyone else.” Whilst very little work was ever done, sitting with your friends or eavesdropping on random people’s conversations was the best distraction from your deadline in two hours. Don’t even get us started on the pains of having to *book* a library space.

We are all dreaming of our post-Covid life, but don’t worry – we will be crying in club toilets and jostling for a seat on King’s Parade before you know it! 

Featured image credit: Harriet Wadey and author’s own screenshot from Camfess

Related stories recommended by this author:

• Disposable cameras, indisposable memories: Looking back on Michaelmas through rose-tinted lenses

• Eleven films to vicariously relive Cambridge through during lockdown

• We emailed 200 Cambridge students to find out their favourite moment from Michaelmas 2020