Daisy Brown

It’s the last day of Freshers'  Week, and you’re sitting on the floor of your bedroom, eating toast, and having a hysterical meltdown to your mum on the phone about how you should have gone to Warwick instead. Admittedly this is not your finest moment. However, never fear – it’s yourself at the end of first year writing to tell you that it works out alright in the end! But let’s be honest; it could only really have gone up from that point.

Let’s start with your degree. So far you’ve read ten pages of Leviathan, already had a complete nightmare because you’ve absolutely no idea what it’s on about, and have decided that this means that you aren’t smart enough to be at Cambridge. This was, in hindsight, a massive overreaction as it turns out that barely anyone understood what that book was on about. I’m still not quite sure to be honest. Although you really don’t think it at the time, you actually end up really enjoying your degree this year. You wanted to study politics to be able to alleviate inequality in the world, and everything you have studied this year only makes you more passionate about the issues close to your heart. It’s not all reading the obscure thoughts of white men! So, trust me, and stop worrying – you will enjoy your degree. Although, with the benefit of hindsight, you really shouldn’t have taken that psychology paper; you vastly overestimated your level of scientific knowledge there. But you’re enthusiastic, so that’s what matters right?

"Despite everything you thought, you’ll have a great time. You’ll make amazing memories, meet so many great friends and learn more than you ever thought you could."

But enough about the degree – let’s talk about your social life! In Freshers' Week, your only real clubbing experience in Cambridge has been a Friday Fez trip after matriculation dinner (during which you only discovered what a guinea fowl is whilst actually eating it.) Based on this one, very sweaty trip out, you have completely denounced Cambridge nights out, deciding that they are all completely awful, and that you will never have a good night out here. However, you’ll be surprised to learn that by the end of first year, you’ll be desperate for another night out in Cambridge. Whether it’s completely ruining your dignity at Sunday Life or drinking far too many VK cocktails at a bop (the most interesting combination this year being Pimm’s, orange VK and chocolate tonic), you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make a state of yourself, so don’t worry too much about that. To your disappointment, you do end up spending a lot of time in Fez though – you even have the loyalty app now! Just don’t go out on a Wednesday – trust me.

Daisy Brown

As you get deeper into this breakdown, you’ve also managed to convince yourself, based on a couple of awkward Freshers' Week experiences when you felt too intimidated to have a proper conversation with people, that you’ll not make any friends here.  Due to your tendency to be a massive drama queen, this was possibly the worst assumption you could have made. I won’t dwell too much on this – but you will make friends. You’ll have a lot of fun together, and you’ll be so glad that you met them. However, the shared love of Mainsbury’s mean you will waste quite a bit of time there (your record is five trips in one day). But that’s the only downside, a downside for your work – there’s no downsides to the friendships.


Mountain View

Growing up with grief

I know that you’re scared. You’re scared that this isn’t the place for you because you didn’t go to 'the right school', because you think you’re not smart enough to be here and think that you’ll just never quite fit in here. Those seemed like valid concerns at the time – but looking back a year later, I couldn’t have been more wrong. This certainly won’t be your last overly emotional breakdown (we never stop being a drama queen), but instead of being alone in your bedroom on the phone to your mum, you’ll be sitting on the floor of a friends room with Jaffa Cakes – turns out they really do make everything better. You will sit in the library sometimes and feel as though you aren’t smart enough – but then somebody will make you laugh, and it won’t seem quite so important anymore.        

So, stop worrying. Despite everything you thought, you’ll have a great time. You’ll make amazing memories, meet so many great friends and learn more than you ever thought you could. Hang on – you can only go up from here. And trust me, you’ll be so glad you didn’t go to Warwick.