Out of the box: How to make intercollegiate friends

Freya Sanders 2 February 2015

Other species of Cambridge student can be intimidating, or simply perplexing. But it can be useful to mingle with them: they can provide floors to sleep on in unfamiliar territory of the university, and a different insight into our great – yet fragmented – institution. So if you’re looking to expand some horizons, here are some tips:  


Lectures may be boring and irrelevant, but when handled right they can be the social event of your week. Arts students: choose wisely. A midday lecture is more likely to be full of people you can relate to than a 9 a.m. The more intimate faculty lectures are more likely to foster relations than those in the Lecture Block. Once you’re in there, position yourself centrally, strategically drop a pen, and as the eyes of all are upon you, nonchalantly log on to Facebook so everyone can see that you’re so over this education lark and probably a really fun person. Just whatever you do, don’t speak – no one wants to be friends with that person who extends the torture by a minute because they wanted to ask a question.


Where else can you find long lines of weary students united by their need for sustenance and the horror of chipping further into their overdraft? What could be a better recipe for eternal friendship? There are many opportunities for attachment: comment on people’s tea preferences, scan your nectar card in a sensual way, or bond over niche foodstuffs. It’s like that Christmas song with the line, “you forgot cranberries too?” – if you both like Quorn sausage rolls or seaweed, it’s clearly a sign.  

The Hill

If you go to a central college and want to bridge the gap and make friends with people over the river, try cycling up Castle Hill. There is an indefinable solidarity amongst students who stand on their pedals and go all out, puffing and panting, to reach the summit. Once your breath returns, express your triumph with a perfectly constructed yet meaningless truism, and Bob’s your uncle. Or your new best friend.

RAG Blind Date

What are the chances of two people with ostensibly nothing in common, thrown together through fate and charity, actually becoming romantically attached? Very slim. However, RAG Blind Date is a golden opportunity to form a new BFFL. So use it.


As in, the club – although the condition of existence is a good context in which to find friends as well. Life, above and beyond other clubs, is particularly likely to enhance platonic affection. The questionable stickiness and interesting odour brings people together through a shared sense of revulsion.


Over 50% of colleges are represented in the TCS team. We bond over late nights, technological fails, and exorbitant amounts of cookies. Who wouldn’t want to get in on that?