10 things you MUST do in Cambridge before you graduate
From the mouths of Cambridge students themselves… But which ones haven’t you done yet?
With May Week upon us and the end of our time here in Cambridge for the year approaching, I, a humble second year, decided to draw up this list of things you absolutely *must* do in Cambridge before you graduate, as guided by our lovely Tab readers over on the Instagram – and if you haven’t done these things yet, you’re only missing out.
This one’s entirely self explanatory: punting is pretty much a direct synonym for the Cambridge experience. In fact, are you even a Cambridge student if you haven’t gone punting at least once before you graduate? I’d suggest you’re probably not.
Swim in the Cam
What better way to enjoy a hot summer’s afternoon than by catching something suspiciously resembling a tapeworm (or a cold) in the River Cam? Jokes and tapeworms aside, if you’re not lucky enough to be at Emma, Christ’s, or one of the other Colleges with a beautiful outdoor pool, taking a dip in the Cam down at Grantchester is the best way to keep cool in Cambridge post-exams.
Go to Ely
Ok, so… I haven’t done this yet, I’ll admit, but I’ve got a couple of years yet before I graduate (4-year courses rise up), so I promise I will at some point.
At any rate, The Tab’s charming Features Editor handily visited Ely Cathedral for us a few months ago and wrote an article about it, so you can check that out right here.
Watch some student theatre
In a handy recent poll on The Tab’s Instagram, I found out that 63% of Cambridge students have been to the ADC and/or Corpus Playroom before, which means for the other 37% of you, your time is ticking. Cambridge has a thriving and entirely remarkable student theatre scene, with countless plays of all different kinds on each week, and it would be a shame to miss out.
Watch May Bumps
Sure, Fen Ditton might be an hour’s walk away (and that hour in this heat definitely feels like longer – bring water!), but given Cambridge’s rowing-obsessed culture, you’ll definitely know somebody in at least one of the boats, and even if somehow you don’t, you can still go along to cheer on your College either way.
Bring a picnic, bring your mates, and cheer on the rowers as you take part in this key Cambridge tradition which has been alive for centuries.
Eat a Fitzbillies Chelsea Bun
This is a bit more of a rogue choice, I know – but what other café is more traditionally “Cambridge” than Fitzbillies? And which sweet snack is more iconic in this city than said cafe’s classic Chelsea bun? None, I’d say (apart from maybe Jack’s Gelato). Plus, although it’s always by far one of the most packed-out tourist hotspots in Cambridge, there are handily not one but two Fitzbillies cafes in Cambridge for you to choose from, should one of them prove too busy… There’s no excuse not to go.
Walk to Girton
Ah, Girton: the Cambridge College that’s not actually in Cambridge. I’ve concluded that the reason Girton gets so much hate on Camfess is because, well, the people hating have never actually seen it. So why not fix up all your false misconceptions and stereotypes by taking a long walk (or cycle) to the College on a sunny day this May Week to see it in all its glory.
Plus, if you’ve still got your doubts, check out this handy Lent Term Tab article by our former Ed-in-Chief about why being at a “far-away” Cambridge College is actually way better than Camfess would lead you to believe.
Go to the Fitzwilliam Museum
Not the most exciting thing on this list, for sure, but that fact seems to be the reason so many students forget to ever visit this great museum during their time here in Cambridge: 40% say they have never been on The Tab’s Insta. Well, here’s your invitation – one hungover morning this May Week, go take a look around the Fitzwilliam, and maybe learn something new (or just take some pretty pictures).
Go on a pub crawl
Whether you’re an avid clubber or not, the reason Cambridge was named the 8th best night out in the UK a few months ago wasn’t because of its nightclub scene: it was because of its vast selection of pubs. A pint in Cambridge isn’t cheap, but at some point during your time here be sure to check out the historical and sometimes overlooked pubs we have to offer in the City!
Go to a formal at a College that *isn’t* your own
It’s *way* too easy to just put “go to a formal” on this list: each College runs them several times a week, and you’ll probably find no problems rustling up some mates or supo partners in College to go to one whenever you fancy it. But the real test is to go to a formal (or lots of formals) at someone else’s College – that way, you can see how your own really stacks up in comparison to the others.
And that’s it! If you’re a third year about to leave Cambridge forever, get up out of your room and start ticking each of these things off your to-do list this week. It was hard to narrow the list down to just 10 things (there are some suspicious notable absences, we know), so maybe we’ll even be back with a part 2 sometime soon…
Feature image credits: Sianna King (left and right), Erin Visaya-Neville (centre)