How to prep for Cambridge after results day

Congrats! …now what?


You did it! You’re a star with all your A*s. Forget the congratulatory messages though – what the hell do you do now?

Let’s start with the most important part…

1. Go out and celebrate!

First of all, you deserve it. But more importantly, Cambridge students know how to party, so you’d better get practising.

We’re a work-hard, play-hard kind of group with some weird quirks. Where else will you be expected to gown up before your meals?

Maybe start “pennying” your friends to get the hang of it all (putting a penny in somebody’s glass means they have to down it. If you’re a spectacular enough student, perhaps you can “engineer penny”: find a way to fold a penny so it fits into a bottle which your unfortunate peer will have to chug in its entirety).

The kind of photos that get taken after pennying (image credits: Ruby Cline)

This being said, I have one vital warning. Don’t buy freshers’ club tickets. Buy wristbands / tickets from your new JCR or social secretaries but DO NOT buy from anywhere else. I guarantee that “Thursday Big Bang Mega-lution Freshers’ Fest” won’t be selling out anytime soon.

2. Make a packing list

Cambridge loves a planner, and planners love Cambridge. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re the kind of person who likes to spreadsheet their socks before they go in the dryer, so make sure you get your Cam-specific packing list right.

Find out whether your college has hobs in their first-year accommodation. I wish I was joking but some poor students invest in a good saucepan just to find it completely useless when they reach their “kitchen” and find out that the college has decided that students simply don’t need a hob. Why cook yourself nutritious meals when you could be eating the scrunched-up balls of paper with all your wrong answers scribbled across them?

Other things you don’t need:

  • your A-Level notes (unless you want to flex them at pres and immediately become the most hated person in the room)
  • pretty stationery (think about how many pens you could realistically use during one lecture, and then think about the looks you’ll get when all your fineliners crash down the lecture theatre stairs)
  • a picnic blanket (it’s October babe)
  • a load of non-academic books (bring a few comfort reads and maybe a novel you’d like to get through, but you honestly will have very little time for reading)
  • academic books (don’t buy your books. Cambridge will have them somewhere in some library. You just need to trust iDiscover)

No matter how many books you can think of, the UL has more (image credits: Ruby Cline)

3. Make a new Facebook account.

Facebook? Are we throwing it back to 2012? I’m not totally sure why, but Cambridge seems to do everything on Facebook.

Societies you want to join will hold your application to their private page hostage. Your JCR will communicate via Messenger. Your ability to procrastinate will hinge on new posts on Camfess (Cambridge confessions page; recently reported by people who don’t know how to have fun).

One of the best things I did was make a new Facebook account which had no family or home friends anywhere near it. I could post, repost, like and click “Interested” on uninteresting events to my heart’s delight, without concern or shame for the notifications my mates might be getting.

Imagine missing out on this top-quality content (screenshot from Facebook)

4. Check if you’ve had your meningitis vaccine.

There’s no joke to add to this, I just feel really strongly about it. Please don’t get meningitis. And if any one of you children gives me meningitis I will haunt you for the rest of your Cambridge career.

5. Apologise to your immune system.

Meningitis isn’t the only disease you’ll be fighting. Freshers’ flu is real and it will get you.

Consider some form of snotty, headachey, scratchy, fever-y illness to be in your near future and stock up. Here’s what I’d recommend having to hand for freshers’ week:

  • Ibuprofen (don’t take paracetamol when you’re drinking)
  • Vitamin C tablets / gummies
  • Pepto Bismol (to use in extreme hangover, I’m-seeing-my-DoS-in-eleven-minutes kind of situations)
  • Plasters
  • Flu tablets / sachets

Sometimes a Monday night A&E trip is needed (image credit: Ruby Cline)

6. Celebrate…again…and again…

Go on, you’ve made half a packing list and you’ve even read the first three pages of an incredibly dense pre-reading you got sent in May. You deserve a break.

See you in October!

Feature image credits: Ruby Cline

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