Freshers’ Bucket List: Part IV

Freya Sanders 6 November 2014

After the success of the TCS Bucket List published last Easter Term, the team at The Cambridge Student has produced a bigger, better and more beautiful edition, especially for Freshers of 2014. Go forth, new Cantabs, and enjoy this city.

61. Get some stash
Stash is any item of clothing that declares the fact that you were in this or that society during your youthful years  at university. In years to come, when you see your children and grandchildren wearing your chess club tshirt, or the boatie hoodie you stole from your ex, you can hold your head high and harp on about the good old days.

TCS stash: the ultimate in cool

62. Go on the Varsity Ski Trip
The biggest ski trip around, each year 2000 Oxbridge students get a corner of the alps all to themselves for a week. Predictably, it's massive amounts of fun, for beginners and experts alike. This year's destination was announced exclusively by TCS last term as Tignes. If you've missed out on a spot this year, join the mailing list to keep on top of details about next year's trip.

63. Text a toastie
Most college Christian Societies run the text-a-toastie scheme at least once a year. It involves texting your preferred flavour to the CU, and they'll turn up at your door with a toastie, and answers to all your theological questions.

64. Climb Castle Hill (as in the actual mound)
The closest thing we have to an actual hill in Cambridge lies behind The Castle pub, on Castle Street. Tragically, the castle is no more, but the mound offers nice views, especially on Bonfire Nightt – although it's not a very well-kept secret.

65. Cycle up Castle Hill (as in the road)
There's a reason why those at hill colleges tend to have well-defined quads.

66. Celebrate with a pint at the Castle (as in the pub)
The haunt of Magdalene and Fitzwilliam College Chapel Choirs, and the source of some of the best burgers in Cambridge, The Castle is a slightly expensive but entirely excellent spot. Who needs a real castle anyway?

Cambridge's castle is nothing like this.

67. Learn to play an instrument
Cambridge is full of musical people, who probably wouldn't mind giving you a lesson in exchange for a few custard creams and perhaps a peppermint tea. Alternatively, the brave may opt to teach themselves. Whichever option you select, check out your college's practice room facilities: whipping out a French Horn in your room may distress your corridor pals intensely. 

68. Sneak into a May Ball
There are loads of obstacles to getting into the most coveted May Balls: the hefty price tag; the months of sucking up to friends at a specific college. But – not that TCS endorses it – these obstacles can be overcome with a little devilry, and anything from strong biceps to a Spider-Man costume.

69. Wear a Trinity porter’s hat
Most colleges don’t bother with it anymore, but, ever traditional, Trinity retains the bowler hat as a fundamental part of its porter uniform. Ask nicely and one of the fellows at the lodge might just let you try one on, although you may need to come up with a totally feasible excuse. So start plotting.

70. Go to a free lunchtime concert at Kettle's Yard
Halfway up the hill, Kettle's Yard is an enchanting, peaceful art gallery; you can spend hours reading in the quirky house, but head that way one Friday to be dazzled by your fellow students' terrifying talents.

71. Keep an illicit fish in your room
Sometimes, in the darkest hours of Week Five, you'll need a friend close at hand to listen to all your woes without offering one mite of irritatingly helpful advice (such as 'skip Cindie's this week' or 'stop spending your student loan on peanut butter). It may help to have an aquatic pal stored under your bed for just such occasions. Or it may not.

Bruce will love you when no one else does.

72. Go and see some A Capella
Cambridge is full of organised nerds. It is therefore a haven for 'organised nerd singing' – the definition of A Capella music given by Pitch Perfect's heartthrob Jesse. The uni-wide A Capella group 'Cadenza' can be found at every other May Ball, while many colleges have their own – excellent – troupes: The Gentlemen of John's, The Girtones; Fitz has two: Fitz Barbershop and The Fitz Sirens. And if you find yourself in The Other Place at an opportune moment, look up Out of the Blue, the all-male A Capella troupe that reached worldwide fame with their classy charity cover of 'Hips don't lie'. 

73. Cross every bridge in Cambridge 
In total, there are 24, so it's a sunny afternoon's work. Heading beyond Chesterton without a map may seem risky, but never fear: if you stick close enough to the river, there'll always be a handy boatie to help out. 

74. Sing karaoke at Sesame
This murky joint on Hills Road is special for neither its decor, nor its food; but it's the best place in Cambridge to violently unleash your emotions after a long day and bottle of wine. Extra points if you sing 'Angels'.

75. Go to a lecture on a subject you don't study
Ever wondered what exactly Land Economy is; missing A level History; want to know what all those medics are moaning about? As a Cambridge student, you're perfectly welcome to attend any lecture on any subject for the rest of your life. Just don't expect to understand it all.

76. Go to Paris…in term time
From Cambridge station, it takes a mere 45 minutes to reach London's St. Pancras, from which the world is your oyster. So if, one week, you feel your essay would particularly benefit from a long weekend in France's splendid capital, tip that work-life balance, up sticks, and take a couple of trains.

Two trains away from bliss

77. Go to the Footlights panto
Massively popular with townies and gownies alike, the ADC's take on the greatest of British Christmas traditions usually sells out around now, so book your tickets here! This year's production has an enormously promising cast and production team, so it's likely to be a corker. To read reviews of last year's show, click here.

78. Volunteer with Streetbite
There are a significant number of charities in Cambridge aimed at helping the homeless; Streetbite is one of he easiest to get involved with: you can sign up for shifts as and when you have time, and volunteer as little or as much as you like. Find out more by visiting the website.

79. Ask a question after a Union debate
Ever fancied making Katie Hopkins' upper lip sweat, or David Hasselhoff tremble under the weight of your wit? Take the plunge and be that person who puts a big name on the spot.

80. Cycle along King's Parade in a gown
Don't pretend that you didn't have such a vision in mind when you applied. 


A full list of the essential Cambridge experiences will be printed in the paper shortly. Pin it to your wall and keep track of the mad times you have here.

If you do anything utterly outrageous in your quest for Bucket List completion – or have an awesome idea for experiences to add to the list – drop us a line #TCSBucketList.

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Photos: Freya Sanders; Mari Smith; CeloPics; Moyan Brenn