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Students overlayed over a picture of Cambridge University

This tweet sums up how brutal Oxbridge freshers have it compared to other unis

On their first day at uni, one Cambridge Professor said: ‘You don’t have time to be unwell here’

Oxbridge students are sharing some of the things they were told by Professors during their first year and it sums up just how intense it is compared to other unis.

In a post on Twitter, Cambridge law grad Lucy said on her first day at Cambridge, her tutor told them: “You don’t have time to be unwell here.”

At other Russell Group universities, first year is seen as easy breezy with “first year doesn’t count” repeated every time you miss a lecture. For most students, it is just a chance to go out every night without having to worry about uni work.

But during first year at Oxbridge, hangovers are not an option and students are thrown in at the deep end and told they don’t even have time to get ill.


The tweet was in reply to a post on what the first thing University of California Berkeley students are told on arriving at uni on how to divide their time. It suggested 11.5 hours a day should be spent studying.

At Oxbridge, terms are only eight weeks long, compared to other unis where terms are between 10 and 12 weeks. This means that whilst they are shorter, they are a lot more intense. Students need 40 per cent in their assessments to pass into their second year of study.

Rather than classes or seminars, at Oxford students have “tutorials”, and at Cambridge they have “supervisions”. These are essentially only two to three students at once and therefore much more intense and harder to pretend when you haven’t done the work.

Oxbridge students are also forbidden from having part time jobs whilst they study. During term time, the universities are clear that “students are expected not to work during term-time” due to the intense nature of the courses.

Another Oxford student said that during his first term at St Edmund Hall College, Oxford his stats tutor told the class: “They’re called vacations not holidays, because you vacate your room to work somewhere else. But do take Christmas day off.”

Oxford PhD student Junia was also told this same piece of advice during their Oxford Freshers’ Week.

Another Cambridge student said that in their second week at Cambridge their Director of Studies asked if they could “delay your identity crisis until Christmas” after going to them with “all the classism I was facing”.

Recently, The Tab also reported that in a bizarre post on Instagram, The University of Oxford advised students to “make sure your friends are in your debt”.

The post, which is an advice reel on maintaining a friendship, was posted on the university’s Instagram account on International Friendship Day and was written by Oxford Psychology Professor Robin Dunbar. The caption reads: “From spending time with your friend to laughing lots with them, Prof Robin Dunbar reveals his tips for maintaining a friendship.”

The full piece of advice reads: “Be generous with your time, love and money – always make sure your friends are in your debt.”

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