Eight ways to say you go to Cambridge, without actually saying it

Any mention of Toope and your cover is blown

We have all been there. You desperately want to let someone know that you actually (by some miracle) got  into Cambridge, but you don’t want to come across as bragging. Don’t worry! Here are eight ways to subtly let them know that you are at the best university in the world and loving it (suck it O*ford).

1. ‘Dating me is like a Cambridge Term’

As Louise Harris sings, by the fifth week of the Cambridge term, you are “completely burnt out” and “emotionally destroyed.” And (unfortunately for us), she couldn’t be more right!

Anyone is bound to spot you if you mention the bizarre structure of the Cambridge eight week term. Not only are we crammed with enough assignments to last us a lifetime and there’s absolutely no such thing as a 9-5 working day, but also Week 5 blues is a regular and devastating occurrence.

“But you have long vacations, so it’s OK,” we hear them cry- wrong! We have a normal length uni holiday, and then we have two weeks when all of our friends have gone back to their universities we are frantically attempting the copious amount of work set before the start of term. Wow, we really just let those half-term holidays at secondary school pass us by (miss her, just want her back x).

My last Week 5 blues included a bad hair dye, a breakdown and a long nap (Image Credits: Vivian Chin)

2. Supo, Plodge, Mathmo, Mainsbury’s, DoS, NatSci, Hall, Sidge, Pidge…

As upset as Grammarly is with my subheading, this is probably one of the easiest tells that someone is a Cambridge student. We confidently use nonsense words and provide no clarification. This is a constant thing that happens whether we are talking to home friends, supervisors or the nice old lady that we met in the street and happened to ask us which university we went to. You name it; we’ve probably got another confusing Cambridge nickname for it.

3. To be portered or not to be portered

Not only do we live on corridors with supervisors, but we also have glorified receptionists instead of security. As well as that, we turn it into a verb!

To be portered. DEFINITION: Revenge has been taken by someone annoyed about your 4 am sing-along to Mr Brightside. Grumpy middle-aged people with jangly keys arrive to tell you off, leaving you feeling like you are fourteen again. Definitely a highlight of the Cambridge experience.

But in all fairness most porters are lovely and I wouldn’t want to accept a cup of tea at 3 am by anyone else!

Taken seconds before we were ‘portered’ – not how I wanted to meet the porter I’d been crushing on (Image Credit: Connor Doyle)

4. Toope. Enough said.

No other uni students will ever understand the love we have for Toope. He is a beacon of stability and hope in these trying times. Despite his barely comprehensible emails, we all still have a crush on him. From the tweets, to the Camfesses, to the Tab TV TikToks, to the impressively creative memes, it’s clear that our love for Toope is universal (however confused our home friends are about it!).

An interesting theory but definitely true (Image Credit: Author’s own screenshot from Camfess)

5. ‘My biggest achievement at Cambridge was that one time I cycled over Organism Bridge without stopping’

Despite the Girton cycling jokes, nearly everyone in Cambridge has a bike or can steal one from someone they vaguely know when needed. You will regularly see students carrying helmets (unless they think they are too cool) to supervision, and awkwardly shoving them under their seats. It’s the staple Cambridge accessory.

Nothing is worse than the hurried cycle when you are late, and you arrive drenched in sweat, or worse when you make the mistake of wearing your non-cycle proof jeans, which rip on the way into town. Now that gives you some unexpected breeziness when you’re walking down King’s Parade.

I cannot describe how much I hate cycling (Image Credit: Vivian Chin)

6. ‘I basically go to Hogwarts’

We have it all—a great hall with a room full of candles. We wear witchy gowns and basically live on the Hogwarts movie set. And I mean, I know the dreaded Oxf*rd have formals too, but frankly, we do it better. Even the considerable number of us who live in crumbling 1950s buildings or ugly new builds know how to formal.

I also have it on good authority that “anyone looks 10 times more attractive in a gown.” So, you’ve got a hot date? Make sure you’re wearing your gown, even if it is to Jack’s Gelato at 2 p.m. on a Sunday.

Me just chilling with a gown and a few empty bottles (Image Credits: Rachel Armitage)

7. ‘Have a Holly Jolly Bridgemas’

Bridgemas? ‘Tis the damn season! Every Cambridge student gets unbelievably obsessed with the otherwise unimportant 25th November. It’s the perfect excuse to listen to Christmas music all of November and is definitely a quintessential Cambridge University thing.

Christmas jumpers are mandatory (Image Credits: Harriet Wadey)

8. ‘Eww they go to John’s?’

I don’t know how admissions manage it, but everyone here is the embodiment of their college- and I love it! You ask someone their college, and you feel like you know their life story.

Another Cambridge trait that definitely doesn’t happen at other halls of residence is that we are all in love with our colleges. We all spend hours scrolling down those Camfesses only to thoroughly disapprove of the type of pasta that a random person has decided our college embodies. I mean, come on, I’m definitely not tagliatelle, right?

Oh, and don’t get me started on the college stash. Only the tourists wear University hoodies. REAL Cambridge people know that it is imperative to have the college cufflinks, teddy bear and jigsaw puzzle to get over the imposter syndrome. It’s fashion darling.


Yep the jokes about Girton get old, but I do love that movie, so I’ll take it (Image Credit: Author’s own screenshot from Camfess)

So there you have it. A foolproof way to con anyone into thinking you go to Cambridge- or a guide for how to avoid ridicule in your hometown. Maybe even some of these tips will help you finally get that Crushbridge that we all know you truly want and deserve. Come on; we’re rooting for you. 

Feature Image: Beatrice Wadey, screenshot from Camfess

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