Freshers’ five days and assorted fun for Cambridge freshers

Not your average freshers week…

From frantically googling “matriculate” to the adrenaline rush of sprinting away from drinking societies, you won’t be having an average freshers’.

We compared experiences with students from other universities, and here are the weirdest things you should know about Cambridge freshers’ week:

On the fifth day of freshers, Cambridge gave to me…a lecture

My Bristolian friends had two weeks of hangovers, introductory talks, and in one case a good few trips home (don’t do this) before they ever put their mind to their degrees.

Meanwhile, I arrived in Cambridge on October 2nd. On the morning of October 6th I got back into my room at 4am. I awoke fresh and ready four hours later ready for the first lecture of the year: Introduction To The History of the State I (or similar. Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t paying attention).

Get used to it, babe (image credits: Ruby Cline)

Mash? More like Marxist theory

If you think that having to sit in a lecture theatre half-asleep less than a week into meeting your new city is bad, you then might just have to actually do something about the information projected into your still-ringing eardrums.

This depends on your course. For ours, essay 1 was emailed within three days of move-in. It was due the next week.

My biggest and only tip here is to remind yourself that you are small and you are tired, and your supervisors probably know it. They’ll be kind to you! Maybe.

It took a whole two weeks for my to-do list to look like this (image credits: Ruby Cline)

See you matricu-later!

Put away your jeans-and-a-nice-top because your freshers’ will have fancier things on the agenda.

MATRICULATION: aka. “Matric” to the knobs who have an older sibling already at the uni. Formally, it’s the process by which you’re enrolled into the uni. It’s even more fancy than it sounds. You’ll put a gown on, sign a book, and even get a dinner in the process. Congrats! You’re a Cantab now. Welcome to your new life, don’t bother making it count.

We were very happy to matriculate. Can’t get rid of us now! (image credits: Ruby Cline)

A formal affair

Speaking of fancy evening occasions, Cambridge really can be the hub of the poshest and sometimes most ridiculous events any university could possibly hold. There’s a reason you’ll be cashing out for a gown on day 1.

Three course dinners and 500-year-old rooms accompanied with a lot of wine (often free!), Cambridge life, and freshers’ week is no exception.

Matriculation will likely be the fanciest event of your freshers’ week but it’s worth having a spare shirt in the cupboard for the rest of term.

Never quite get used to the gowns (image credits: Ruby Cline)

Taking silliness really VERY seriously

There’s something about throwing thousands of extremely competitive young people who are used to being the best at everything they do into the same swollen city which makes everything suddenly very serious.

You were a theatre kid? Now you’re part of the ADC and you will never escape eight-hour production days and personalised Facebook profile logos. Did tennis once a week? Now you’re an international competitor with a £40 jacket to complete the look.

Once in a blue Camfess, we’re self aware (screenshot via Camfess)

So yes, your new supervisors will know that you’re hungover. And yes, you’ll be having your breakfast-of-shame in a hall fit for a king with portraits of the old Masters staring down at you.

That’s Cambridge freshers for you!

Feature image credits: Ruby Cline

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