10 things they don’t tell you on the Cambridge prospectus

A few things to make you feel less under fresh-ure as a Cam newbie


Happy Results Day, year 13s. To all Cambridge offer holders, I hope it has gone well, or at least the way you hope it to go. If it has, and you have met your Cambridge offer then what better to do than celebrate, glass of whatever tipple takes your fancy in hand, by re-reading your prospectus? Well, not your real prospectus, but rather one written by a student, telling you everything you REALLY need to know about life in Cam. 

Here is a definitive list of everything you actually need to know as an incoming Fresher. 

The nightlife is actually really good 

Contrary to popular opinion, going out in Cambridge is actually really good fun. It is a unique experience, one that I presume you can only really get in Cam. There are two main nights out: Wednesday Revs and Sunday Lola’s (maybe the occasional Friday Mash if you’re feeling particularly adventurous). Both of these nights are frequented by regulars, whose commitment to the Cam clubbing scene is zero to none. By going out, you will inevitably accumulate a lot of random acquaintances who you will only ever see in Mainsbury’s or at Rumboogie. It’s good fun, trust me. 

Off on one of our first nights out (Image credits: Lucy Pugh)

Crushbridge and Camfess are your best friends 

Despite being an app made for an arguably less technologically-advanced generation, it, ironically, took me a while to wrap my head around using Facebook. But Mark Zuckerberg’s app seems to have a stronghold over Cambridge students. Once you realise that FB is not too mums-y, you must keep up to date with Camfess and Crushbridge, the two iconic Cambridge pages. Camfess has everything from discussions about serious issues to the Greggs-Pret, North-South divide (arguably a serious issue in itself). Crushbridge also gives you something to add to your Cam bucket list, getting a post of admiration on this FB page has been top of mine since I discovered it existed. 

Finding a work/life balance is tricky 

Watching people on TikTok getting up at 5am and having their life, seemingly, in order is one of my favourite things to do. I aspire to be like one of these organisational queens. However, some things are just not realistic or healthy, and striking the balance between working hard and having fun is difficult. Whilst you may strive to be one of these TikTok super-humans, life at Cambridge is hard, and there’s a lot of work, so being realistic about what you can cope with is key. Without a doubt, work hard, but make sure you are taking care of yourself at the same time. 

One of my many work Bereals (Image credits: Freya John)

Jack’s Gelato is one of the keys to happiness

There are two Jack’s Gelato branches in Cambridge, one on All Saints Passage (near St. John’s college) and the other Bene’t Street (next to Corpus Christi college). The amazing prices combined with the fantastic flavours make Jack’s the most student friendly place in Cam. And I’m definitely not just saying this because I want them to give me a lifetime supply of their salted oreo ice cream…

Jack’s Gelato>>> (Image credits: author’s own screenshot via @camfess)

The porters aren’t actually that strict 

 To dispel all rumours and stories you may have heard, most porters are the loveliest and kindest people you’ll meet in Cambridge. They’re always there to help and I’ve found they’re always be there for a chat too.  

Exercise helps your uni work 

Yes, you may be striving for that 46 hour week, or whatever, but the intensity of work is aways best broken up with some exercise. In fact, the worst thing you can do is neglect your physical and mental health by trading it for a supo essay that you’ll have forgotten about in a week. Do your work, of course, but ensure you get some exercise in: whether that be in your college gym, out on the running trails in Grantchester or with your sports team. 

The most endorphin inducing work break (image credits: Freya John)

College brunch is the best meal of the week

One thing I have missed over the summer break is the hash browns at brunch on a Saturday morning. I can’t get enough of them, and you will soon realise that queuing for your college’s brunch is so worth it. The majority of brunches are super cheap and delicious. I would recommend trying out a few college brunches over your time (my favourite so far have definitely been Trinity and John’s). 

(Photo credits: Freya John)

May week is in June 

Clive James’ book May Week was in June, taught me that the highly anticipated ‘May Week’ is actually, at face value, a complete lie. May Week, is actually the period in June after exams finish when all the May Balls (also in June) take place. Despite its deceptive name, it is the best time of the year and something that you should look forward to. 

A May Week highlight (Image credits: Camille Phelps)

Classic May Week (Image credits: author’s own screenshot via @camfess)

It’s really difficult to go out and not bump into someone you know

Being such a small city, it’s incredibly hard to just pop to Mainsbury’s (The biggest Sainsbury’s in the centre of town) or go to the UL (aka the University Library) without seeing that girl whose ear you blabbed your life’s secrets to in Revs the night before, or that boy who you accidentally spilled ketchup on at brunch that one time. If I’m honest, it’s actually a good thing. Seeing people you’ve embarrassed yourself in front of often makes you stop sweating the small stuff and living life to the fullest.  Alternatively, it means that you get to chat to people and socialise a lot even when you only meant to go to M&S for 10 minutes. 

You should write for The Cambridge Tab

(This really speaks for itself, it is the best paper in Cambridge). Sign up to become a writer here!

So, incoming freshers, I hope you have read your second, more informal prospectus carefully. 

Congratulations to all of you who have met your offers and see you in October!

Featured image credits: Camille Phelps

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