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Overheard in Cambridge: Exam season edition

‘Maybe that’s why she spends so much time studying because no one has told her you just don’t have to’ and other pieces of great advice from Cambridge students


It’s June which marks the official beginning of the real spooky season, not Autumn, but exam season. With coursework, dissertations, and revision looming, we asked Cambridge students what they’ve overheard on campus.

Let’s see how you’ve all been faring:

Starting off strong, one student told us they heard someone wondering:

“Do you think more people at Cambridge go grey in their twenties than at other unis?”

Students appear to be operating on a manageable stress level.

“I’m a very stable person”, followed by laughter.

At a bar:

Person 1: “I should be working”

Person 2: “It’s Cambridge we should all be working.”

Very true. Something I thought to myself while writing up this article.

A re-occurring theme appears to be Cambridge students being unable to turn off:

Pulling laptop out in a crowded bar during Eurovision: “It never stops.”

“It’s 10pm there’s always work to be done.”

At a bar: “Hold on one sec I’m just sending an email.”

Leaving a college bar at 11pm: “Time to go to the library.”

Work is apparently always on the brain:

Person 1: “Pomodoro’s like the study method?”

Person 2: “No like the restaurant.”

However, some seem to be feeling the stress less than others:

“Maybe that’s why she spends so much time studying because no one has told her you just don’t have to.”

“I’m not revising I’m still vising. I haven’t watched half the lectures from last term for the first time yet.”

Who wants to bet these were said by first years? Though, to be honest, I am jealous of the attitude.

Image credits: Cass Kefford-Joyce

Many of you also wrote in to report on how the student population’s dating lives are going during this tumultuous time:

“Would you consider yourself a rizz god?”

With lines like that? Undoubtably.

With lines like that? Undoubtably.

“I’m finding her lack of work ethic a bit of a turn off to be honest.”

Relatable? Or just judgey?

Girl talking about re-dyeing her hair blonde:

Guy: “Oh I see so you’ve just internalised the Western beauty standard”

My deepest sympathies towards whoever is dating the men mentioned here.

Girl talking about how she’s such an exhibitionist in a bathroom stall at a college bar:

Maybe not the time or the place for that conversation.

Person 1: “You can’t be dirty on Instagram. It just doesn’t work. You have to do that on Snapchat.”

Person 2: “No face no case.”

Image credits: Cass Kefford-Joyce

We also heard a lot of quintessentially Cambridge culture things:

“Every student needs a grappling hook. To get back in your room when you forget your key at night.”

Wouldn’t that be a sight to see across a college courtyard?

“Cobblestones really cobblestoning.”

They sure are.

Group of students on a Friday night drunkenly shouting T.S. Eliot:

If you recognised the poetry as T.S. Elliot, you are just as culpable as them.

One person overheard a tale of a true aesthete:

“I know someone who broke their ankle falling down the stairs because they were admiring the crests in boots.”

Cambridge’s own breathtaking local art installation.

At Jack’s Gelato:

“Boys gotta have his cream”

We all need our Jack’s.

“I’m using up my one reference to the panopticon that I’m allowed per day.”

We have to wonder how out of control the panopticon talk must have been previously for this limit to have been introduced.

Image credits: Cass Kefford-Joyce

And an unfortunate dosage of elitism was also reported as part of Cambridge’s cultural repertoire:

Person 1: “Where?”

Person 2: “University of York”

Person 1: “Oh I mean not to be a snob but…”

At a pres:

“Never have I ever had sex in my daddy’s boat.”

Whose father doesn’t own a boat?”

This last term also sees college sports coming to a head, and students had these insightful remarks:

At a football match:

“More goths here than I was expecting.”

Would love to have seen the crowd at the game that lead to this comment.

“Libero position gave me a god complex.”

The unlimited power of versatility.

We leave you with a thought I’m sure we’ve all had while walking through the picturesque town centre:

“Everything here pales in comparison to an American highway.”