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University of Cambridge is nothing without its students

We need to give ourselves more credit; University of Cambridge is nothing without us


Intimidatingly for us students, we are often reminded that Cambridge is an elite institution. The university has produced 121 Nobel prize winners and 47 heads of state. There are also constant reminders of academic excellence with alumni including Stephen Hawking and Isaac Newton and groundbreaking research being conducted every year.

The above can make you feel very small and insignificant when studying at Cambridge. But that is not the case at all! We are the heart and soul of this strange place and it would be nothing without us.

Communities created through students’ hard work

The incredible communities created in Cambridge are a result of students’ hard work. It pains me to say, as I don’t want to praise the cult, but the best example of this is the rowing teams. Tight-knit communities and friendships are created by hardworking students who help organise the efficient running of these clubs. People who have never rowed in their life before Cambridge will have a bumper crowd to come watch them, making these events very special. This is evident throughout all the different sports clubs, where students will run sessions in the sports people love and social events that bring communities closer and make the Cambridge experience a lot more enjoyable.

(Image credits: Molly Doran)

These communities are not just sports-based. The hard work of students creates communities around other interests people may share. The Cambridge University Labour Club does a brilliant job of bringing together like-minded people at regular social events, with Pints and Policy being a particularly popular event. On top of this, The Cambridge Tab is student-run and would not function without the hard work of editors and senior editors. There are countless examples of societies creating these cherished communities, but to name a few: MEDSOC, Cambridge University Geography Society and international societies. Students and students alone make societies what they are.

Incredible initiatives created by students

Students are regularly working hard to improve the world they live in and Cambridge as a city. Societies such as Embrace Cambridge do incredible things for the city. This is a student-led initiative helping to tackle the huge problem of homelessness in Cambridge. Hardworking students have collaborated with charities and led fundraising events in order to tackle the problem.

(Image Credits: author’s own screenshot from @EmbraceCambridge)

Another example of this is ‘Let’s Get Men Talking’, which is a society in Homerton. This society aims to reduce the stigma around men’s mental health and tackle the problem of toxic masculinity which was addressed in collaboration with the Homerton Feminist Society, who also do incredible work.

(Image credits: Sasha Grantham)

Students are actively making the university – and the world they live in – a better place through the examples above and countless others.

Students creating needed change

Unfortunately, there remains a lot of problems within Cambridge regarding racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism. Students do a remarkable job of trying to address these issues through initiatives. Protesting against the invitation of transphobic speakers such as Helen Joyce is an example of how student-led initiatives create student solidarity and a push for progression away from bigotry that plagues the university at times. These incredible efforts from students make the university a much better place.

Therefore, although this university can be a very intimidating place, I think it is very important to remind ourselves that we are the heart and soul of Cambridge.