It is a truth universally acknowledged that dating nowadays sucksMr Darcy and Lyme Park by Philip Halling (resized) /

I won’t lie to you – life is embarrassing. You accidentally end up sharing a household with your ex. You talk to the cute barista you’ve been chatting up all year and only afterwards realise your shirt was inside out. You dance on a table in Revs, shout “catch me!“, jump without checking if anyone’s taken you up on that offer and crush a very apologetic second year. You call your DoS “mum”. You call your mum your DoS. Shit happens.

When you’re covered in shame, sweat or – on one memorable occasion – bat droppings, it’s easy to curl into a ball. The more sane among you might suggest making better choices (like not trying to make tea by putting a teabag in your mouth and pouring boiling water down your throat because all your mugs need washing). Not me. I’ve got a revolutionary new way to be that weird, eye-catching idiot who resembles a rejected fictional character: be that fictional character. Just pick a genre and follow my guide to becoming the main character of your dreams (and getting away with as much cringe behaviour as you like).

“Judge Business School is Wonka’s Chocolate Factory waiting to happen”


Ever wondered if your housemates hate you? Let’s put those doubts to rest by ensuring they definitely do. Wake up every morning to the Disney-esque tunings of a flock of birds! Enter the kitchen with backing dancers! Ensure even the most mundane conversation has choreo! Judge Business School is Wonka’s Chocolate Factory waiting to happen. You never know, Castle Mound could be alive with the sound of music. A-five, six, seven, eight!

Period drama

It is a truth universally acknowledged that dating nowadays sucks. Would Mr Darcy ghost you after the third date? Would Anthony Bridgerton join Hinge? Would Heathcliff use the word situationship? Actually, they probably would. Point is, if you’ve been lacking in romantics recently, turn to the Romantics. Pick your best puffy shirt or drop your decolletage as low as you dare. Write long letters that arrive at convenient plot points. Become enmeshed in tedious love triangles. Most importantly, head to Grantchester Meadows, lurk in the reeds of the Cam and aim to emerge from the river in front of a crowd of eligible bachelors and swooning ladies. Plus, Legionnaires Disease really helps with that Romantic pallor.

“Easter terms are the perfect time to unspool the ol’ sanity in pursuit of excellence”

Coming of age

You’ve seen the iconic scene in Perks of Being a Wallflower: our ingénue rises from the car sunroof, arms outstretched like she’s flying; David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ carries us triumphantly to the credits. Now imagine that scene in Cambridge. You don’t have a car so it’ll have to be a Voi scooter and they’re quite tricky to ride with your arms outstretched so you’ll need to be clever about this. If that doesn’t take your fancy, why not give yourself the iconic 2000s makeover? Just remove those pesky glasses, blast some Sixpence None the Richer and make sure you’re always at the top of some stairs in case you need to make a conveniently placed Freddie Prinze Jnr. drool.

Psychological thriller

Every day, I thank the tripos gods that rankings are no longer published outside Senate House. Except, that is, when I consider the academic rivalries we’ve been robbed of. Picture the I, Tonya-ing that could’ve been if only you and your tripos competitor knew the result of your three-year rivalry would be there in black and white (Magdalena, if you’re reading this, I would never). While I might not be Black Swan anytime soon, Easter terms are the perfect time to unspool the ol’ sanity in pursuit of excellence. When revising gets you down, stop trying for perfection and get Lynchian instead. Combat exam misery by re-enacting Misery. Remember that Sidge girl who took the last vegan croissant? Pull an Amy Dunne and frame her for murder. Or how about marking May Week with a slew of murders (and gourmet dishes) à la Hannibal Lecter?



Mountain View

RIP Saturday night TV

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo! In the Revs smoking area, that’s where. Cambridge has played glitzy backdrop to romances like Maurice and The Theory of Everything. Now, it’s your time to get that cinematic snog. Date an Engling to be compared to a summer’s day (my DMs are open). Lie on King’s Parade and dare scholars on bikes to run you over like you’re Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. All I’m saying is Leo wouldn’t have died if that door had been a punt.


Cambridge was founded in 1209. It’s not exactly futuristic. Sure, there’s West Hub but it is to sci-fi what Red Dwarf is to, well, sci-fi. But that doesn’t mean you can’t Blade Run your way to a better term (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Princess Leia buns on Sidge). Find your best black wraparound sunglasses, a floor-length leather coat and accessorise with a destroyed home planet. Robocop might be a bit ambitious for us weedy academic types but surely there’s a Cambridge alternative. Robodweeb? Robo-academic-burnout? Robo-cried-in-Mainsburys-for-the-third time-this-week?