Beating the blues: How to cope with returning to Cambridge

Anna Bradley 19 January 2016

As the Christmas tree on my desk sheds its last unwatered needle, and I realise that the toes of my Chocolate Santa are all that remain, with a sigh, I recognise that, a) I’m going to have to hand in the essay ambiguously due “at some point over Christmas” and, b) I’m soon going to have to start washing my own pants again. This is the harsh reality of the return to Cambridge. I am convinced that the Gregorian calendar is organised so that Week 5 and January could not coincide. Luckily, in my time here, I’ve learnt a few tricks to ease the transition from blanket-bound sofacocoon to fully functioning student.

Firstly, in Cambridge, my walls are covered with tickets, cards and photos of all the people I love. This reminds me that, even though I’m nearly out of Bourbons and have three overdue essays, this time next Wednesday I could be in Cindies damaging my vocal chords.

A common New Year’s resolution is to give up caffeine, however somehow sticking pins in my eyes sounds more appealing.

Similarlly, curling up to relax with a book and a super-green smoothie doesn’t feel as comforting as a cup of tea. However, having people over for coffee is the ultimate pick me up – not to mention good motivation to bin the collection of pizza boxes now listed as a protected site of ecological interest. ‘Curling up with a book’ is a phrase that needs clarification. It does not mean grabbing the library’s only copy of Essential Cell Biology, retreating under the nearest table and assuming the foetal position until you lose any concept of time. Instead, with the help of some industrialgrade cleaning products, you can remove decades of dust from the college’s fiction section and finally read something you don’t need to be well versed in obscure references to understand.

If fictional realms aren’t enough to escape the ‘Bubble’, jump on a train and head to Shepreth Wildlife Park, where you can envy the sleep-rich lifestyle of the oh-sofuzzy red pandas, amongst other amazing animals such as tigers and otters.

My philosophy involves a mix of seeing the right people – that means coffee meetings with your dissertation supervisor do not count – and taking the right amount of time to do everything. Sometimes, your essay will just have to wait an extra half hour whilst you and your best friend watch a compilation of the ‘best voles of 2015’.