ntil about two weeks ago, the Tipsy Vegan was one of my favourite places in central Cambridge Anika Goddard for Varsity

So you’ve emerged, blinking, from the artificial strobe lighting of your exam hall and into the sunlight of a post-exam existence? I’m lucky enough to have finished my exams already, giving me almost three weeks of delicious freedom in Cambridge. I spent my first evening hopping between pubs, exhausted but liberated. Then I woke up the next morning and wondered where my purpose in life had gone. Life suddenly felt as flat as the remnants of a sprayed bottle of prosecco.

Without the constant low-level hum that’s been playing in the back of my brain for the last three months—you have to revise, you have to revise—I had nothing to do. But it’s June, and we’ve all done too much thinking to interrogate the psychological complexities of why many of us bind our value and purpose to our degrees! Instead, if the post-exam or post-thesis-submission blues hit you, consider evicting them from your brainscape with one of the following fun activities.

“I don’t think anyone has ever gained welfare or relaxation by reading Moby Dick"

Activity One: attempt to spend time relaxing alone. This one’s a killer. With almost all my friends still examining away, I spent a gruelling eight or so hours on my own. Highlights of this time included a big shop at Aldi-near-the-river and a wander to Waterstones, where I picked up a copy of Moby Dick. This purchase really shows the somewhat dire mental state I was in; I don’t think anyone has ever gained welfare or relaxation by reading Moby Dick. But maybe the space to decompress was valuable.

Activity Two: go for a meal out and review it. On my second evening, my friend Megan and I went to the Tipsy Vegan on the quayside near Magdalene. Until about two weeks ago, the Tipsy Vegan was one of my favourite places in central Cambridge - they used to do sharing boards and a great range of mocktails alongside alcoholic drinks. Unfortunately, we found that they’d changed their menu for the worse; there are now far more expensive burger main courses and fewer exciting small plates. Because everything there is vegan, fears of cross-contamination and eating Halal aren’t a problem—and there are no peanuts in the kitchen. It’s worth mentioning though, that my friend’s concerns about whether there was alcohol in any of the food weren’t taken seriously. We had four small plates between us. The tostadas (£7) were delicious and easily divided between two; the bao buns (£9) were similarly tasty, if a bit expensive for something so small. The Mexican dip with tortilla chips (£4) could have been spicier but would make a great accompaniment to a group drinks occasion. Finally, the mushroom carpaccio (£5) was our biggest disappointment: a mushroom, pretending to be a thinly-sliced steak, on a bed of rocket. Tasty, it certainly was—£5 tasty, it was not. The drinks menu has also taken a hit, though my favourite cucumber spritz mocktail (pricey at £6.50) was still there. Overall, it felt like the options had changed for the worse, but we still had a great evening. 7/10: review speedrun complete.

“On Sunday, I gave a talk at Robinson Evensong on the question of ‘Was Jesus Woke?’”

Activity Three: try an activity which is academically invigorating and nothing to do with your degree. The next day, I went to a conference by the Temenos Academy in the Faculty of Divinity and had a lovely time listening to talks about beekeeping, the Wim Hof method and “semantic satiation”—an unlikely but strangely compelling combination. I was also introduced to Dr Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of “morphic resonance”, which some might say is a very persuasive form of pseudoscience. It was a great opportunity to listen to theories and perspectives which I wouldn’t ordinarily have the time or calmness to consider.

Activity Four: challenge yourself out of your comfort zone! On Sunday, I gave a talk at Robinson Evensong on the question of “Was Jesus Woke?“. Public speaking is something I enjoy but tend to talk myself out of doing, so delivering a talk on such a near-impossible question was a tough but rewarding experience. Also rewarding was the bar trip we made afterwards (Activity Five). The Robinson bar, like the rest of the college, will divide those who love red-brick from those who don’t, but I was a fan. They even seem to sell pizzas there, and we felt very adventurous being in a new bar rather than just traipsing back to the college bar or Spoons.


Mountain View

At breaking point? Alternative break spots around Sidgwick

Activity Five: New bars are great, but sometimes we all need the cheapest alcoholic outlet of them all: a trip to Spoons. Or better still, grab some G&T cans from Sainsbury’s and go drink by the river. On Monday, I shuttled between Town & Gown (two cocktails for £12) and everyone’s favourite British establishment, the Regal, with some very lovely people. Drinking en plein air, however, has my heart.

And now it’s Wednesday, and I’m on a train to Sheffield for Activity Six: visit a friend at another uni, since they all finished exams months ago. Get out of Cambridge! I felt the remaining stress and worry peel off in layers of tension as the train made its way through the fens.

Then there’s Activity Seven: go on a long walk; or put together an antipasti board with a friend; go charity shop dress-hunting; hire a punt; lie on your bed staring at the ceiling for three hours; go swim in the lido. Walk to Fen Ditton on your own or with someone you love. The point is—these are all just chaotic suggestions. There’s no “right” way to enjoy June, or deal with post-exam-purposelessness. And a massive congratulations —whether it’s your first or your last, no Cambridge Easter Term is easy to get through.