Exam era: Reasons to be optimistic in Cambridge’s Easter term

Easter is a unique term for lots of reasons outside of exams

Returning for Easter term after having few impending deadlines and a grand total of zero lectures over the holiday can be a little daunting. You’re launched back into exams or coursework, you have far too many emails in your inbox for a poor little Cambridge student and you realise you got a bit enthusiastic with agreeing to catch up with people and you’ve somehow triple booked yourself.

At the start of term the distant fantasy of May week isn’t enough to keep you motivated, so I’d like to remind everyone that Easter term definitely has its perks!

Sunny England

Not a phrase you hear often, unless it’s for one hour on a random April day before it proceeds to snow, hail and rain (and deter anyone from leaving the house unprepared for the climates of multiple different continents). Only one third of your time at the university is spent in this weather; try to appreciate it while you can, even if all that amounts to is studying somewhere with large windows.

I’ll just take a little nap…

For most subjects, there’s no lectures, or reduced lectures – that means no 9ams on Saturday (my condolences that they happened in the first place) and no waking up in the dark (unless you’re a r*wer). This means more lie-ins and more sunlight. Often we take for granted the longer daylight hours of summer, but leaving for and returning from the library in the dark will be a less common occurrence.

You must have fun. You have no choice.

The university seems to be trying to prop up our ailing spirits, resulting in a sleuth of pre-organised events to force you to leave your room and be a human being (rather than a Cambridge student). At the start of term societies tend to cram in events as exams towards the end of term make it hard to host things, so you can be guaranteed at least a few weeks of bog-standard Cambridge schedule.

Post-exams is also packed, and throughout term formals will continue alongside the society events, though these decrease around exams. This is literally the only term where you won’t feel cold at formal because a gown is just the right amount of flimsy to keep you cool in late spring-summer.

You knew I’d be talking about this, so I won’t linger, but May Week gives you a set date to look forward to – a week of college-endorsed partying after the pain of exams is made even sweeter by the fact that college finally released you from your library (mine has no windows, we’re running out of air… help).

All I do is eat formal bread roll and cry

College knows that you haven’t had human contact in a week

Burnt out in ways you didn’t know were possible? Yeah, I knew I’d hit a new low when I procrastinated watching Netflix because I was so exhausted.

Social events, hobbies and responding to the family group chat are insurmountable tasks when you’ve been awake since 6am and have been periodically falling asleep in Costa, waking up to the guy on the table next to you commenting on the fact you appear to be repeating your endocrine system flashcards in your sleep.

But fear not! There are plenty of organised welfare events held across the university, so you don’t need to organise anything with people equally as exasperated as you. Easter term definitely has a lot of structure and traditions (C-Sunday, Bumps, garden parties) so you already have pre-made dates in your diary to keep you and your friends from not seeing each other all term.

This also stops you having to reach out to people to make plans – the plans are already sorted (and often paid for) – so you can’t flake.

At least Cam looks gorgeous in the sun

Cambridge perks

Since we’re all suffering from success (I was a different person when I got my offer – I am now worse) we might as well reap the benefits of this gorgeous university during term. That means studying outside in the sun, eating lunch with your friends in the college grounds between study sessions and making notes in the warmth with your windows open.

Equally, you can look tranquil and put-together reading a book on King’s Parade or Parker’s Piece (the tourists don’t know it’s 800 pages of reading you should’ve done in Michaelmas last year). Sitting by the river Cam with your revision makes it significantly easier to romanticise, I find.

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