"[First year] ended with the perfect send-off: our very own May Ball..."Photo courtesy of Sorcha Keenan

This article was initially written for the University-wide yearbook, which invites students from each college to write about their experiences at Cambridge. Given the recent circumstances, it has been adapted for publication in Varsity.

Our three years at Cambridge have somehow come to an end. Not just at Cambridge though, but at, and with, Jesus. Though it was sudden, and we still haven’t quite processed that we won’t be coming back for our final term, we are so fortunate to have had (almost) three years in such an amazing college.

Love Letters to Cambridge

These are tough and uncertain times for us all, and a lot of us are left with little closure. Varsity are launching this series to give a platform to students reflecting on the parts of Cambridge they'll miss the most, and to gain some closure through writing. Just email our Features team with a 150-word pitch with your idea!

Our college is certainly a hidden gem, helped by the lack of tourists willing to walk an extra ten metres from the centre of town. With its spacious grounds, beautiful accommodation and friendly atmosphere, there really is no other place to choose (especially if you were pooled!).

At least, it certainly was a hidden gem three years ago. Luckily, we managed to discover its secret status as the best Cambridge college just before application numbers doubled due to the new buildings and, of course, its newly found YouTube fame.

Let’s be honest, half of us wouldn’t have made it if we had applied a year later, so this should be cause for much celebration. That, alongside the fact that we’re graduating just before hall goes under renovation and is out of action for two years. Some would say we finessed the system. Others would argue that it’s reflective of the intelligence, as well as the wit and all-around greatness, of our year.

From the moment we watched our loved ones drive away, first year flew by. Freshers Week kicked off with the highlight of everyone’s calendar – a Hawaiian themed bop, an unforgettable experience. Little did we know just how integral bops would become for the social fabric of Jesus College (#keepfridaysfree). Matriculation dinner welcomed us into the scene of formal dining and set our expectations very high for formal dinners throughout the rest of the year. From then on, we were first introduced to students showing off their musical talent in our beautiful chapel while we all relaxed on bean bags at Blues & Chill, the JCSU bar quiz and, of course, meticulously planned house parties.

"[Second year] as we made the big leap to moving into our very own houses"Photo courtesy of Sorcha Keenan

We soon learnt that our fears extended beyond supervisions, but also involved balancing 2 AM kitchen conversations with 9 AM lectures the following morning, with a few sporting fixtures in between. Before we knew it, Bridgemas formal tickets had sold out and our first year at Cambridge had finished. It ended with the perfect send-off: our very own May Ball, where other freshers had a chance to see our beautiful college first-hand after begging their ‘best friends’ for tickets all year.

Our middle year, much like the middle age of life, brought with it some new frustrations: more work, children and dissatisfaction with our marriages. This did not sway us, as we made the big leap to moving into our very own houses (depending on your luck in the ballot). Jesus-Jesus Varsity allowed us to travel to Oxford to show them that not only are we the best athletes, nor just the best University, but, and most importantly, the best Jesus.

“No matter what any of us have planned for the future, the time we have all spent together will be with us forever.”

Halfway Hall came as a shock to us all, and it was hard to believe that we were already racing through our amazing time here. By this point, our year had started to establish itself on the University stage, whether as Blues on the pitch, actors on a stage or musicians at a concert. Come exam term, we were all well-trained at ‘claiming’ booths in Jesus library and ‘revising’ out on Chapel Court grass in the sunshine.

With the arrival of our wonderful new Master, Sonita Alleyne, Jesus embarked on a positive, new chapter of its history, just as we prepared to do the same. We still continued to excel in sport, winning Jesus Varsity again (in case our superiority wasn’t already clear enough).

However, change was certainly in the air. The annual commemorative John Hughes Arts Festival moved location, bringing it back to the heart of college. Building works commenced, just as the foundations of our friendships became unbreakable. Caff brunches, Roost Café delicacies, ‘exotic’ new cocktails at JBar, camaraderie with the porters: these are all part of our home.


Mountain View

Pressing pause on Cambridge

No matter what any of us have planned for the future, the time we have all spent together will be with us forever. While we may be leaving before we ever had a chance to say goodbye, we will never truly have left. For as long as we are unable to sit on the horse in First Court, we will always be Jesuans at heart.

Despite what may be happening, we will always be the luckiest year at Jesus college for the incredibly kind, caring and supportive community that we embraced in our time here. Nothing can take away from the once in a lifetime experience we have all had as a year group.

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