A Cambridge term in Spotify playlists

A ready-made soundtrack for your term

For those, like me, whose primary form of procrastination is the creation of elaborate and specific Spotify playlists, the importance of a good soundtrack cannot be overstated.

I now possess at least fifty, weirdly similar, incredibly specific (and incredibly full of Taylor Swift) playlists.

But such breadth of musical choice can be intimidating so to make life easier for everyone I’ve decided to assign one of my favourite Spotify playlists to each week of a Cambridge term. Listen at your leisure.

Week 1: Fit Check 

It’s week 1. You’ve bought new clothes over the break…or just learnt how to do eyeliner. You’re already behind on lecture reading but you woke up half an hour early to do your hair.

You’ve managed to find a tote bag that isn’t book-store branded so you’re convinced you’re about to be the most unique-looking person in Cambridge.

This playlist is the perfect energy for you to stomp onto Sidge or Downing site in your Doc Martens and then just sit back and wait for those Crushbridges to roll in.

The Queens’ College elevator is the ideal place for a fit check (Image credit: Eleanor Vincent)

Week 2: Let me be light academic in peace

Okay, I don’t want to plug my own playlists but this is a good one. Week 2 is when reality starts to bite. To fend it off, listen to this playlist.

Remind yourself that Cambridge is a light academic fantasy and you’re here primarily for the aesthetic. The essay can wait, go bask in the sun outside Kings. Wear something cream.

Maybe make a TikTok of you and your friends looking studious in somewhere ludicrously gorgeous.

Week 3: Lofi Beats

It’s probably time to start working. I’m not trying to add to any stress and obviously, you’re mainly at uni for fun (that’s why we all went through interviews, right?).

But it is week three…time to go to at least one of your 9ams. If you don’t start now, it’s definitely never going to happen and you don’t want to be watching lectures over the summer. Open a book (or whatever STEM people do), pull up OneNote and ease yourself into work.

Week 4: White Noise

It’s week four. In the distance, you can see Week 5 looming menacingly over the horizon.

It’s enough to stress anyone out. Things are starting to get intense and your mind is constantly buzzing with new things to remember. All you need to get through it is a good sleep and some calming background noise. Let this playlist gently buzz you into the next week.

Time to snuggle up and rest (Image credit: Joe Barnes)

Week 5: screaming 

Truly the villain of the Cambridge term, Week five deserves appropriate accompaniment.

Not only do some of these songs truly capture the frenetic energy of a Cambridge term but they should hopefully allow you to let off enough frustrated energy to cope with week 5. I’m a big proponent of just screaming into a pillow when life just gets too much, listening to this playlist should hopefully have the same effect.

Week 6: pov: ur tired

The post-week 5 slump is renowned. There’s no longer really an excuse for why one piece of work is taking several days except general exhaustion. So give yourself a chance to rest, supervisors will (mostly) understand.

Week 7: punting playlist

Week 7! So close yet so far.

It’s time to take a temporary break from studying and embrace the lighter side of life. Go punting! Grab your friends and a big stick,  it’s time to take to the river. Blast some tunes and knock some tourists into the Cam (there is no bigger mood boost).

It’s punting time! (Image credit: Georgia Burr)

Week 8: the picnic list 

Ok yes. It will be too cold in week 8 of Michaelmas to have a picnic. I understand and appreciate that. However, it’s the end of term, you’re happy, you have free time for the first time in eight weeks.

Cultivate a picnic vibe, even if it’s on the floor of your gyp or the JCR sofas. This is a happy playlist, for a happy week.

Term-time can be intense and music is the best distraction. So, dive right into these playlists. 

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Feature image credits: Vedika Mandapati