Dear Cambridge student, you are not a bot

We have free will!


Amidst an ever-growing avalanche of supo deadlines, extracurriculars, applications and other commitments, it’s no wonder most of us need strict routines to cope with the workload. However, there are so many little things we can do to relieve the stress, which for whatever reason we have been programmed against even thinking about. I believe we have a lot to learn from how people at other unis live their student lives. Don’t let the Cambridge brain rot settle in too deep.

It’s ok to not give in every single essay

I don’t endorse doing this every week, but sometimes it’s just not happening. Do you know how much easier it is to make a plan when you’re certain you’re not going to write up the essay for it? Now your weekend is substantially more free and you’ve still got notes and something to talk about in the supo. You won’t get a detention and it will not hold you back from graduating.

(Please) Call in sick

(Image Credits: Salma Salifu)

Do not die for uni. Whether you’re fighting a cold, cramps or Lolacoasted a bit too close to the sun, if you know going to that lecture is over-exerting yourself…don’t? We don’t get certificates for 100 per cent attendance anymore, and they’re not gonna call your mum. It’s pretty shocking how we’ve normalised feeling guilty for skipping lectures when we’re ill, when my friends at other unis will happily skip a lecture for bottomless brunch. We want to hear your coughing as much as you want to be there. Ask a friend for their notes and go back to bed.

Also… go to lectures?!

I once got advised by an alumnus that it’s pretty fun to just show up to lectures outside of your subject for vibes. I imagine astrophysics would go straight through me, but crashing a History or HSPS lecture is definitely on the bucket list. Whether you listen and learn or spend the whole time stalking Camfess, max out your tuition fees and relish in learning for the sake of learning.

(Image Credits: Salma Salifu)

Don’t let grumpy porters crush your child-like wonder. If you have a supervision at another college, they will not call the feds on you if you have a little wander around. Formal/brunch swaps and bar study sessions are really nice ways to gauge the vibe of other colleges and max out the Cambridge experience, and people appreciate invites!

Just get out

Give yourself a field trip (Image Credits: Salma Salifu)

Eight-week terms appear deceptively short, and it’s easy to feel guilty about getting away when we’re not here for that long anyways. But  in order to stay sane, it’s got to be done. This is probably a toss-up between toxic productivity culture and the extortionate price of train tickets, but even a day trip or night away in another city does wonders if going home isn’t realistic. Hell will freeze over before colleges start rigidly enforcing “keeping term”.


Petty one, sorry. Maybe I’m just used to London dangercrossing, but if you can see a clear road ahead of you, why stay still? We’re better than this. Don’t let machines evolve you out of common sense. Jaywalking is literally not a crime in the UK.

Take the networking cap off sometimes

Yes, you are here to meet amazing like-minded people who could one day help you out with professional favours. But it’s also not your main job day to day.

There is nothing more soul-destroying than meeting someone and having them immediately ask to be Instagram mutuals during an extremely shallow and brief interaction. Later on, LinkedIn recommends their account to you and you realise they have 500+ connections and actually post on there. You know exactly what their game is.

I promise it is infinitely better to nurture friendships with people you genuinely enjoy spending time with, because nine times out of 10 that chit-chat in Lola’s bathroom will lead to just another silent IG story viewer rather than a treasured collaborator.

Let’s all be real.

Feature Image Credits: Salma Salifu

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