7 key things I’ve learnt since arriving in Cambridge

Xanthe Fuller 18 October 2014

With a whole 10 days of being a student at Cambridge under my belt I’m ready to drop some wisdom and bust some myths. Right. So. Here are a few things that I have realised that we must all just come to accept:

1- There is a particular moment where you feel like a real Cambridge student. Whether it’s on a cycle along King’s Parade when you have photo bombed every tourist’s photo, or when your kitchen breaks into a polemic debate about Nigel Farage.

2- The vocabulary: ‘Bop’ is word that, on the first day, I was not at all keen to say… However, a week in, you are completely at ease with the vernacular. ‘Plodge’ is the same, but you just learn to embrace it.

3- If you were lucky, you were a big fish in a little pond at school, but here, it’s an ocean. You go about your business, thinking that you are still an average, perhaps slightly bigger than average, goldfish, when BAM! A school of colossal salmon saunters past and you realise that you are merely a lowly minnow who is not quite as good at the clarinet as she thought…

If only I could be that big fish again… Image Credit: Ben + Sam

4- No matter how hard you try to be a domestic god/goddess and cook all of the recipes from that student cookbook that your aunt sent you, it is clear, a week in, that it is not going to happen. Instead you will laugh at the fact you even contemplated self-catering when you wander into hall after a freezing cycle back from lectures.

5- Another element of student life that is often discussed, but not really explained, is student finance. One moment you look at your bank account, see your college loan has come through, and feel like your college’s answer to Roman Abramovich, and then, two days later, you really can’t afford that tub of hummus in your Sainsbury’s basket.

My yacht… oops I mean Roman Abramovich's yacht  Image Credit: George Papapostolou

6- You may well have chosen to join The Union and for many reasons, it seems like the perfect thing to have done. It has so many things to offer: Intellectually stimulating, wonderful debating, Robert Downey jr, Zumba, interesting discussions, Robert Downey jr, Yoga, Freshers’ ball, Robert Downey jr. I’m sure you get the general gist.

7- That ‘one person’ who is good at everything, extremely conscientious and still good fun has already come out of the woodwork. You want to be friends with them partially because you want share in their celestial glow of wonderfulness but also because you would be very grateful if they could lend you some of their work ethic, yes please, thank you very much.

I’m sure that once I have been here a little longer I will be certain that I want to revise some of these fresher’s gems. For now however, I hope that you, like me, just accept them and go with it.