Dear freshers: Week five is secretly a good thing

It might seem soul-suckingly miserable but I promise there’s a silver lining!


As a fresher, you’ve probably feared the arrival of week five blues since you got here – I know I did. You’ve heard stories of world-collapsing-in-on-you, entire-existence-is-futile essay crises and missed deadlines. You’ve also probably just survived the first few days of week five – congrats! Maybe it’s been awful for you so far, or maybe it’s been ok and actually fairly manageable. Either way, week five can be a blessing in disguise for any Cambridge fresher.

Accomplishing week five reminds me I’m a literal go

I will admit – there can be certain weeks here where it feels like every paper has essays due on the same day and you’re not quite sure if you would be able to finish all your work even if you spent 24 hours a day doing it. Whilst it’s true that this feeling can sometimes arise in week five, there is a silver lining to this. Simply enough, you will get through it. That post-essay-crisis high has you walking on air, feeling like the true academic weapon you really are.

A real life representation of me as an academic god (Image credit: Antonella Gemmoni)

Week five, even if it does live up to its menacing reputation, shows you that you can get through the worst Cambridge can throw at you. For any fresher who’s heard horror stories about workloads and contact hours, you don’t have to let your imagination run away from you anymore – you know exactly how hard it can get, and you know exactly how to get through it. So consider yourself newly-graduated from the week five workload and officially inaugurated (or matriculated) into the survivors’ club!

Welcome to the club

Which brings me onto the next silver lining – after surviving week five, I claim that you’re no longer just a silly fresher. Yes, you’re still silly, and yes, you’re still a fresher, but you’ve got some edge to you now. After I emerged from week five last year, I felt like I’d gone through a rite of passage: Like I had more of a right to call myself a Cambridge student, to view myself as part of the community.

Essay crisis hugs xoxo (Image credit: Antonella Gemmoni)

If you’re a fresher feeling a bit like an outsider, then week five could be the pivotal moment of bonding for you. You can finally relate to second and third years talking about their week five experiences and feel like your own week five war stories have credibility.


You aren’t a Cambridge student unless you have a pic of King’s backs in your camera roll (Image credit: Antonella Gemmoni)

Week five is basically a celebration, especially for freshers. If you’re through week five, you’re basically through term. You’ve survived – maybe you’ve even thrived – and that, silly little freshers, is an achievement. Now that you’ve emerged from the week five bunker and are basking in week six glory, you’re officially one of us!

Welcome to the club xx

Feature image credit: Antonella Gemmoni

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