Cambridge colleges as Taylor Swift albums

Not every college can be 1989 (Taylor’s Version)


As a CUTSAS (Cambridge University Taylor Swift Appreciation Society, in case you’ve been living under a rock) committee member, I often think about which era my friends and I are in. So, I thought I’d use my expertise and assign each Cambridge college a Taylor Swift album. I am not Taylor herself, I am a “false god”, so you don’t have to take this list as gospel.

Taylor Swift (Debut) – Peterhouse, Wolfson College, Hughes Hall, Clare Hall

Taylor Swift released her self-titled debut in 2006, making it her oldest album. With Peterhouse being the first Cambridge college, it makes sense to assign them with her first album. Since Wolfson is a mature college, I’m sure some students will remember the release of debut, (I was two years old so unfortunately cannot). Hughes Hall and Clare Hall are also Debut for similar reasons. This album has some of the best Taylor songs, like cult-classic Picture to Burn, and singles Our Song and Teardrops on My Guitar. Maybe when we get Taylor Swift (Taylor’s Version), everyone will appreciate the album more, as well as these colleges.

Fearless (TV) – Homerton College, Fitzwilliam, St Edmund’s

Homerton seems to be dominating all the Cambridge societies (as they should), and that walk into town (and Sidge and all other faculties) makes them pretty fearless in my mind. As a hill dweller, this reason seems pretty apt for Fitzwilliam and St Eddie’s too! With St Edmund’s being the site of Pride & Prejudice (Taylor’s Version), it makes sense to give them the album featuring Love Story. Other than Fitz also begins with an F (ignoring folklore right now), I can’t tell you why else I’ve given them Fearless.

Speak Now (TV) – Christ’s, Caius, St John’s

I didn’t want to be “Mean” in this article, so I’ve given Speak Now (TV) to Christ’s, Caius and John’s. Sparks did fly at the end of John’s May Ball with their firework display and since Christ’s is always topping the Tompkins Table, it makes sense to give them Taylor’s first entirely self-written album. And perhaps a bit rogue, but Caius is known for its medics, it means that their future patients will “Long Live”.

Sparks Fly near Bridge of Sighs (Image credits: Jessica Spearman)

Red (TV) – Robinson, Jesus, Magdalene

I think the red brick of Robinson is enough reason for being Red (Taylor’s Version). And I’d say that Magdalene is also pretty red too. And Jesus too (plus their college crest is fairly red too). Red (TV) has some of the most upbeat, happy, pop songs, despite it being known as a sad girl, autumnal album. Robinson bops reflect this upbeat and happy side of Red, and with Jesus May Ball being known as the Freshers’ May Ball, it’s clear that this college shows the fun, upbeat side of Red (Taylor’s Version).

1989 (TV) – Emmanuel, Clare, Pembroke

Welcome to Cambridge! It’s been waiting for you. I’m drunk with jealousy because Emmanuel and Clare have pretty fun bars. Emmanuel is known for having the cheapest drinks, and the bar itself is cool, which means it deserves the title of 1989 (Taylor’s Version). Clare Cellars never go out of style; from hosting different events to being a pretty sick bar, it deserves to be 1989 (TV). And with Pembroke Players being one of the more known drama groups, the theatrics of Blank Space also warrant it as a 1989 (TV) college.

Reputation – Trinity, King’s, Downing

Downing lawyers, Trinmos, and King’s affair: perhaps some of the biggest reputations on the Cambridge campus! All of these colleges seem intimidating, either from the architecture of the college, or the students. Everyone knows King’s because it’s the college used for photos of Cambridge, and the wealth of Trinity is echoed by everyone, student or not. But the other side of Reputation is the fact it’s a love album: Gorgeous, King of My Heart, and New Year’s Day. Despite the big reputation of these colleges, they are still very lovely.

Big reputation of Trinity (Image credits: Jessica Spearman)

Lover – Murray Edwards, Sidney Sussex, Lucy Cavendish

Selfishly, I have assigned my favourite album (at the moment, because it changes every two days), to my own college: But for good reason! Medwards is the friendliest college and it makes sense to give it Lover for this reason (and The Man embodies the feelings of most Medwardians). Do I think all these colleges are perhaps overlooked for certain reasons, like how Lover is overlooked for having Me!, You Need to Calm Down and I Forgot That You Existed? Yes. Is Sidney overlooked and only known as being opposite Sainsbury’s? Yes. Is Lucy Cav overlooked for being up the hill? Yes. All of these colleges are so friendly, with most of my closest friends coming from any of the three. So I think all the colleges deserve some love, and they get Taylor’s first self-owned album.

Folklore – Catz, Darwin College, Newnham

If Newnham doesn’t give off folklore energy, I don’t know what does. From the gorgeous grounds and libraries to the friendly students, Newnham seems like a comfort place and, in a similar way, folklore is a comfort album (wild, I know). And if your cages aren’t mental, but take the shape of railings in front of your college, you may be at Catz. And the backs of Darwin make me want to listen to the lakes on repeat, making it the perfect example of folklore.

Evermore – Corpus Christi, Trinity Hall, Queens’ College

The Corpus Clock is truly a gold rush, and the college itself is such a beautiful one, that I wonder “what must it be like” to be that beautiful. Evermore is often overshadowed by its older sister, folklore, and that’s how I imagine Trinity Hall feels about its name given the big reputation of Trinity. I would have eternal “happiness” if I could just walk around Queen’s all day, listening to Evermore in “Grey November”.

Corpus looking golden (Image credits: Jessica Spearman)

Midnights – Churchill, Girton, Selwyn

By the time Churchill students have walked up the hill and walked even further to Girton, it will be midnight. Girton students, once you’ve walked past the other hill colleges, “You’re On Your Own, Kid”. The religious imagery of the 3am track, Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve, means the chapel of Selwyn gives it Midnights. As the most recent original album, it has slightly been overlooked since the release of Speak Now and 1989 Taylor’s Version, and similarly, these colleges have been overlooked for different reasons, despite being pretty cool colleges.

Feature image credits: Jessica Spearman and Taylor Swift on YouTube

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