We have all had it, that moment when we realise someone has given us the ‘ick’. The ick phenomenon has slowly infiltrated every conversation about dating over the past couple of years. Arguably, using the term ick describes not just losing interest in someone. An ick evokes a toe curl and a stomach churn when you remember your ex-flame’s post on Ticketbridge desperately looking for a Rumboogie ticket. I have taken the liberty to discover what Cambridge students find particularly icky about their college family and lovers (don’t worry I am also repulsed at my use of the term lover).

“Are we the ickiest students of them all?”

I took to my DMs to see what makes Cantabs skin crawl en masse, and the results were as you would expect. At number one was, ‘being a Cambridge student’, which has made me consider — are we the ickiest students of them all? Identity crisis aside, I have happily jotted down some amber flags that could warn you that you are about to get the ick.


Coming in hot amongst the most mentioned was Greta Thunberg’s environmental arch-nemesis — vapes. Now I am personally very much here for a person emulating being breast-fed by sucking on a Watermelon Ice Elf Bar. Is there anything more poetic than trying to see your date through a cloud of Blue Razz? Absolutely not. Ironically the vapour might cloud both your sight and judgement about your soon-to-be ex.

Mentioning A-Level results

A new proposed drinking game for Freshers’ Week this year has to be taking a shot every time someone asks you what your A-Level results were. For those coming to the end of their Tripos or for a postgraduate student (due to the amount of alcohol consumed in their degree), attempting to remember your UMS points from an A-Level module is a laughable task. A kind reminder to incoming freshers, we are all studying at this university — so naturally we all had to do relatively well in our A-Levels to achieve the offer in the first place.

Mullets and moustaches

I am going to be honest, I am very much on board with the ‘I look like I could have flown a Spitfire’ moustache. However, in combination with a mullet, the look is perhaps a little excessive. Preferably some moderation is needed, and those sporting both should maybe take a trip to Mr Polito’s Barbershop to fix their look accordingly. Although, in retrospect, perhaps a mullet does allow for something to hold onto…


There is perhaps a shared horror when you receive the notification from Facebook awarding you with a Camfess top follower badge. However, is there anything particularly worse than seeing the same people comment below every, single, Camfess post; especially if you are romantically involved with them. There could be something heartwarming about an excessively earnest Camfess response — however, I would urge these responders to seek out the Kindbridge page instead.

The STEM grandiosity complex


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I can personally vouch for a STEM man post-coitally telling me that, “he has more degrees than I will ever have”, so I am au fait with people at this university having an abundant grandiosity complex. It really isn’t a hot look, or endearing, if you are overtly snobby about the fact you know what a covalent bond is — you largely just come across as quite out of touch. As an aside, if you are a grad med student — you do not need to remind everyone you come into contact with that you are on “the most competitive course in Cambridge”. The frantic look in your eyes and the smell of fear makes it clear enough to us humanities students as it is.

I will happily accept that I have probably given a vast swathe of people the ick by even attempting to write this piece — but next time you encounter a STEM student with a mullet vaping in the smoking area of Revs, don’t say I didn’t warn you that you might get the ick…