"So, despite the sense of loss we may all understandably be feeling right now, there is much to be proud of, and our time at Fitz will stay with us forever."Photo courtesy of Beth Hibbert

The phrase ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ permeates the undergraduate experience at Fitzwilliam College. And yet, for many of us, the abrupt end to our Cambridge experience has come as no less of a shock. However, whilst these last few weeks may have been dominated by an overwhelming sense of uncertainty, they have also provided for a period of introspection, in which all the things which make this college so great, and which make it so hard to say goodbye, have become even clearer. 

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!

It is no coincidence that Fitz has a reputation for being one of Cambridge’s friendliest colleges; whilst architecturally it may appear cold and imposing, the people at the heart of its close-knit community are warm and welcoming. It is a place with a distinct lack of hierarchy, where you can find yourself eating pancakes with the Master on a Sunday morning, or counting amongst your closest friends those from other year groups. It is a place where you tell yourself you are only popping into the cafe for five minutes but end up staying for the whole day, and where Wednesday cindies tickets sell out quicker than Glastonbury – in 19 seconds to be precise! 

But for us finalists of Fitzwilliam – arguably one of the closest year groups the college has ever seen – the last three years have served as some of the most formative of our lives. Never ones to shy away from socialisation, our freshers week began in true Fitz fashion with the dreaded ‘speed friending’, a house ‘party’ featuring a cardboard cutout of Pitbull and movement en masse down Castle Hill to Sunday Life: a tradition which continues to this day. 

"...we soon found ourselves singing at the top of our lungs (and very out of tune) at Fitzmas, attending countless birthday formals, and (again) moving en masse to Jesus May Ball."Photo courtesy of Poppy Blackshaw

And who could forget the culmination of it all: Fitz Up Look Sharp. Who would have guessed that, in the years to follow, this bi-annual event would get messier and messier, and that we would revel in recounting the dramas of the night before? After grappling with 9am lectures, supervisions, and the lack of ovens in E and F block, we soon found ourselves singing at the top of our lungs (and very out of tune) at Fitzmas, attending countless birthday formals, and (again) moving en masse to Jesus May Ball. 

Our second year brought with it new challenges, but also a newfound sense of independence as we scrambled out to college houses littered across the Huntington and Oxford Road. A firm reminder from our Head Porter that these houses were strictly not to be used for house parties appeared to have the opposite effect. The newly elected Fitz JCR made waves throughout college, whether it be in regard to the scholars ballot or laundry reform. It was the year in which many of us came into our own, fell in love, became sporting heroes, performers or incredible academics and cemented life long friendships. We saw college transformed into an ‘exhibition’ for the Winter Ball, and we said goodbye to the legendary Nicky Padfield, as she stepped down as College Master. 


READ MORE

Mountain View

The Easter term that never was

The start of our final year brought with it a renewed sense of determination, new commitments to going out less and spending more time in the Olisa (a vow which likely only lasted for a week at most), and a very-nearly-successful RON presidential campaign. Thousands more hash browns were consumed at brunch, our billy pride continued to grow, and Fitz bops (in an endearing way) remained completely and utterly tragic. 

Whilst in the coming days and weeks we might feel inclined to focus on the final term that never was, now, more than ever, it is important to not lose sight of those wonderful moments that made the last two and a half years so memorable: the roar of the Fitz Firm as it cheered its team on to yet another cuppers victory, those endless summer evenings spent on the Grove lawn, and even those 2am Olisa Library crises. 

So, despite the sense of loss we may all understandably be feeling right now, there is much to be proud of, and our time at Fitz will stay with us forever. Although the time has now come to say our goodbyes to so many talented and intelligent people, these will be short lived, for there is no doubt we will come flocking back for the many Winter Balls and Reunion Weekends to come. After all, whilst, to the rest of Cambridge, Fitz may be no more than the little college on top of the hill, to us it will always be home.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the following information and support is available:

Sponsored links

Partner links