There comes a point in every term when it all becomes a bit much. You’re bored with people complaining about their work, you can’t stop complaining about your own work, and the prospect of another swap is making you feel nauseous. It is at this moment that you consider the unthinkable – taking a break from Cambridge (I don’t know if the scientists can actually do this, but we’ll run with it). On your voyage away from the bubble, you have several options for a Cambridge detox.
The first port of call for many, home has the enticing call of free food, familiarity, and a mattress more than 2 inches thick. If it’s a short enough visit that your parents won’t miss that empty nest, they will hopefully baby you while you recover from your last essay crisis. Plus you get to see your pets, which is a bonus in anyone’s book. However, be wary of extended stays, which will either drive you and your parents insane, or else make you remember how hard living away is; two nights max.
For the social butterflies among you, treading the floorboards of Fez gets a bit tiresome, and the allure of visiting friends in Birmingham or London is obvious. Far superior nightlife while reunited with your home friends means visiting other unis is a great shout, but be warned: their comparative workload will crush every ounce of spirit you once had, and the trip may make you reconsider your life choices.
Cheaper and quicker than a 5 hour train journey to Durham (£100? Really??), all around Cambridge are day trips, from cycling to Granchester to visiting the Cambridge Botanic Garden, there are many ways to escape the strained silence of the UL without having to lose half your week, and even London is just 45 minutes away by train.
If all else fails, and you find yourself unable to spare the time to escape fully, you can always try and get some freedom within Cambridge; a trip to Girton, touring the endless number of museums in Cambridge, a day-long nap, or binge TV watching are all ways to zone out and de-stress. At the end of it all, returning to reality can be an unpleasant bump back down to Earth, but equally unnerving can be the dreaded ‘fomo’ and niggling thought that maybe you should probably be doing that essay after all; just try not to time your break in the middle of week 5, or the de-stressing you worked to achieve may have all been for nothing…