The top 10 best decisions I made as a Cambridge fresher 

I couldn’t get my degree right, but here are some things I like to think I did correctly this year…


As my first year at the University of Cambridge approaches its end, I thought it would be only right to compile a list of my top 10 best decisions (10 choices which I am documenting to pretend that I didn’t make any idiotic and stupid decisions). Because what is The Tab if not for its lists, eh?

The Varsity Trip

This was hands down the best trip I have ever been on. The nights out were feral, the morning debriefs were both harrowing and hilarious, oh, the skiing was good fun too. I went with a group of very new friends, as the trip was in December, and we instantly bonded. The friendships made on this trip have only become stronger, as we wreaked havoc in Cafe Snesko, danced to Tinie Tempah and ate our body weight in raclette. I would definitely recommend this trip even if you can’t already ski, it’s a chance to meet new people and tear up both the pistes of Val Thorens and its bars, clubs and the bizarrely brilliant sports hall in which all events seem to be held.

Skiing in Val Thorens (Image credits: Freya John)

Bar 360 (Image Credits: Freya John)

Joining the Union

Despite never having done any debating and lacking strong political opinions, joining the Union was one of my best decisions. Not only has it so far given me the opportunity to listen to various debates, from many points of view on an eclectic mix of topics, but also the balls and events it hosts are great. Going to listen to debates has become a weekly activity and it has definitely made me a more opinionated person.

Girls take on the Union Ball (Image Credits: Kitty Henderson)

Varsity week(b)ender

Heading down to south west London with half of Oxbridge resulted in one of the loosest and most entertaining weekends of the year. We spent two days learning why Cambridge is a million times better than O*ford as we watched the Varsity rugby matches as well as the esteemed boat race. These sporting events were followed by two of the funniest nights out I’ve ever had. The first being in the Clapham Grand and the second in Margot Robbie’s favourite club, Infernos. My friends and I spent most of the weekend cheering on Cambridge, drinking and dancing.

The varsity match GDBO! (Image Credits: Freya John)


Joining sports teams and keeping fit was one of my better decisions. With a hectic and full-on work life, doing sport can be a brilliant way to relieve stress, whilst simultaneously keeping healthy and boosting your social life, by making friends through sport. No matter what level you compete or play at, whether it’s for your college or for the university, you can meet so many great people through sport, especially in years above, and form intercollegiate friendships, a great thing to have especially when you want to see if Trinity is actually worth the hype or if a John’s ent is as great as people say.

St. John’s/ King’s football (Image Credits: Kitty Henderson)

Eating in the buttery

My neglect of cooking may seem incredibly lazy; however, eating in your college’s buttery (or whatever you call it) can be one of the best ways to interact socially, maintain sanity and take a break from the piles and piles of work. Buttery food also ensures that you have varied food groups in your diet and are not just living off pasta like many uni students have the tendency to do.

Dinner together (Image Credits: Issy Davey)

Embracing Cambridge tradition

Whilst people may think that wearing gowns is the height of snobbery, or that shouting ‘GDBO’ at the rugby is embarrassing, embracing Cambridge life and its quirks is undoubtedly one of the best things to do. If you accept Cambridge’s traditions and its differences, falling in love with the city, the environment and everything about it is inevitable.

Formal hall (Image Credits: Freya John)

Writing down funny stories

It was maybe at the beginning of Lent when my friends and I started to write down the hilarities of nights out and the exciting and funny things that happen to us as we go about our daily lives in Cambridge. Now, looking back on what a year it has been, I am so thankful we wrote it all down. By the end of our time at Cambridge, we will, hopefully, have accumulated pages and pages of great stories, legendary tales of our inebriated escapades in Lola’s that one day we will tell our children (maybe not every story, though).

Having BeReal

Having only missed one day of BeReal this year, a frustrating gap in my BeReal timeline, I now have a big album of what I was doing every day. In some ways, it’s reassuring, for a great multitude of pictures of me in the UL with my laptop do remind me that I did actually work this year. However, at the same time, there are some that show me all the fun and the adventures that I had.

Image Credits: Freya John


As shown in the Daily Mail, C-Sunday is a day of general madness in Cambridge, before exams start. And, despite the impending end-of-year exams, heading down to Jesus Green is one of the funnest things you can do. It’s a surreal experience. Even if you don’t like drinking, just being on the Green with the whole of Cambridge is pretty cool and extremely fun, something you have to try at least once.

Not caring what people think of me

The last thing that I think everyone should remember is that in a city as small as Cambridge, people are quick to judge and form impressions, I think we’re all guilty of it in some respects. It’s hard, but by being yourself and having few cares, the Cambridge life (a phrase I use to describe the arduous hours of work mixed with fun and feral adventures) becomes much more enjoyable and easier.

Who cares if you don’t dress like a Sidge girly? Who cares if you get something completely wrong in a supo? Who cares if you look bad in that photo from Revs? Make the decision to care about important things like your happiness, rather than what others think.

John’s at night (Image Credits: Freya John)

Featured Image Credits: Camille Phelps

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