Thursday, 18 December 2014

Uni update - I'm still around to tell the story

From the comfort of my home, I can now say I've survived my first term at Cambridge. Mind you, they're intense 2 month little suckers that drain the will to live out of you but I wouldn't trade the memories and experience for all the sleep in the world.

Okay then, shall we start chronologically and then I'll try and coherently word my opinions at the end? Right, let's begin on the 3rd of October, a fine sunny day in London...

Have I packed enough? We had to rent a mini van to carry all my stuff up....I'm blaming it on books, that grey dotted one is just books. Despite my ear to ear grin, I was really nervous and I sort of had second thoughts - Would I like Cambridge? Will I be happy? How was I going to cope with my anxiety away from home?

 It was a long 2 hour journey but we made it there. I signed a bunch of papers, some of them along the lines of 'You promise to work to the best of your abilities...'. I guess I am bound by contract to study now. 

Everyone will tell you their college is the best and there are probably lots of reasons to back it up other than mob mentality/ defence mechanism psychology but no matter what people tell you, St John's College really is the best. I mean who else gets to stroll through Tudor and Gothic courts with grand archways, 12th century chapel and huge greens/playing fields? I'll tell you, only Johnians. And tourists but that's rather shortlived. I've made a vow to myself to always look up when I'm walking around college and really appreciate how lucky I am to be where I am.

St John's college

Walk to lectures 

St John's College bridge of sighs
Bridge of Sighs

Punting in Cambridge
Punting - not for the faint hearted

The accomodation for first year undergrads is mainly in Cripps, the modern building from the first photo in this post. You'll hear many jokes at its' expense but what the haters don't know is the hotel standard of the rooms inside. Wooden floors, large windows (no draughts though), most of them with their own modern en suite, spacious wardrobe...what more can you want? My room is almost an appartment with a small hallway, living room/ desk space, en suite and a separate's a dream of a room and I have really grown to love it despite the landscaping work waking me up in the morning.

View from my room
The town itself is very small and bohemian. On one hand, Sainsbury's a 5 minute walk away but on the other it's hard to escape 'the bubble'. There could be an economic crisis, crimes against humanity and natural disasters and we still wouldn't hear of them from our heads burried in mounds of books. Thank goodness London is only a 45 minute train ride...and the station a mere stroll away.

Traditional girly Sunday brunch at Stickybeaks cafe.

Rose Crescent, one of the oldest medieval streets
Bikes - the only sane alternative to walking
Most hipsterish cafe, Indigo, next to a favorite haunt of mine (get the pun?)
King's Chapel


Fitzbillies cafe, Cambridge
Lovely place for your 5 o'clock sugar fix. Try their Chelsea buns, pictured below!

Fitzwilliam Museum
Fitzwilliam Museum, if you feel like escaping into a dutch landscape from the 17th century
Cambridge marketplace square, where I get my fruit and veg from 

OUR FAVORITE ITALIAN CREW HANGOUT - best Italian paninis ever. And the thick hot chocolate...can't even.

View over St John's, Trinity, Clare, Trinity Hall and King's colleges from John's Chapel Tower.
In college, life is pretty sweet. There's a lot of ropes to get the hang of and the scheduling of lessons and supervisions was very stresful but there's also fun to be had, like formal hall with fancy food, Harry Potter gowns and pennying (putting 1 p coins in people's drinks means you have to down it, or 5 p in someone's desert means they have to eat it without cutlery). There's also hanging out in the kitchen with my lovely lovely neighbours and either having a 2 am essay crisis talk, boy talk/ meltdown or just a plain good time putting makeup on yo' husband (college husband that is). 

Christmas cookies baked by the ever so talented Mina 

Final thoughts on last term? Uni in general?

It really has been a whirlwind. From being thrown out of any comfort zone imaginable to meeting amazing people, being dragged in substandard clubs ("I hate 'Life'!" is a common phrase), Sainsbury dilemmas over basic's vodka or wine, way too many 4 am essays, Nutella pancakes and midnight gym sessions...Cambridge is what you make of it and at first I was scared I'd have no social life but I think I spent more time socialising than I did doing work. Not to say I didn't (hope my supervisor isn't reading this), in fact I love my course and even if I do have the odd existential crisis over grammar and what-am-I-doing-with-my-life inner monologues, there's always someone to listen or help. There's still a lot of work I need to do on myself with getting over anxiety of the many kinds I have and there's also lots of things I want to take up, like piano and dance. But so far, I'm excited and curious and also dreading that Italian test scheduled for the beginning of term...Cambridge isn't all play and no work, you know.


  1. So interesting to read about your uni experience so far, especially as I've just finished my first term at Manchester uni and it appears I had exactly the same worries as questions as you did at the start! I presume you have exams coming up this month, so best of luck and I hope you continue to enjoy university :)


    1. Heei, it's so nice to hear from you and know that you're doing well! I think most people do, you feel like you'll be the only one diying of anxiety but everyone is in the same boat. I do languages and we don't have exams now thankfully but everyone around me does so I'm still studing as if I do. Good luck to you too!

  2. a very happy greek4 January 2015 at 22:11

    Got the mention. Result!

    1. Thought you'd see it at one point haha. Now get off my blog :P

    2. a scheming greek5 January 2015 at 17:39

      This is just the beginning...

    3. I'll see to it that it's the end.. sounds so omnious.


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