'What we all really want, what we truly desire in life, is a Crushbridge'Emily Lawson-Todd with permission for Varsity

What, you may ask, is a Cambridge student’s biggest aspiration? Could it be getting a first in their exams? Securing that competitive internship? Gaining the respect of their supervisors? Receiving a Nobel Prize? While I can’t speak for everyone, I knor the majority of us view these as minor achievements in comparison to our one true goal. What we all really want, what we truly desire in life, is to have a Crushbridge written about us.

As soon as I discovered the famed Facebook page in Freshers’ Week, I made it my mission to become one of these mysterious crushees. I dreamt of the day someone would tag me in the comments of a somewhat accurate description of my shoes that day followed by a bad pickup line. A girl can only wish for such an honour. I trawled through the posts daily looking for some tenuous link that could verify me as the poster’s muse. Maybe my hair looks neon pink in a certain light? Maybe they mistook my smudged mascara for cool graphic eyeliner? Who’s to know?

“What we all really want, what we truly desire in life, is a Crushbridge written about us”

Despite my efforts in manifesting a secret admirer, I’m currently at the end of my second year in Cambridge and am still waiting. As such, this term I have decided to take a more active approach to the challenge.

The first step in my three-point-plan to receive a Crushbridge involves a review of the literature. I conducted thematic analyses to determine the commonly mentioned reasons for posting. With the results of this analysis, I could then assume the circumstances under which Crushbridges are most likely to occur. Step two of the plan was to take the top five most likely circumstances and recreate them, assuming that doing all of them would give me the highest likelihood of gaining at least one Crushbridge post dedicated to me.

“Despite my efforts in manifesting a secret admirer, I’m currently at the end of my second year in Cambridge and still waiting”

The plan proved rather difficult. Much to my displeasure, revision took precedence over my quest for a Crushbridge. Even more upsetting was the fact that revision is fundamentally an unflattering look on me. All I want to do is delicately leaf through a book in a coffee shop, but instead I am doomed to be hunched over a desk, muttering to myself as I attempt to discern what exactly paideia is. Nevertheless, I had to make my dream a reality.

Be colourful

Colourful clothing and accessories seemed to be a surefire way to get noticed. Crocs seem particularly prevalent along with fun hair colours; which is unfortunate, since I have neither Crocs nor the guts to dye my hair. Looking in my wardrobe, it occurred to me that I barely venture outside the realms of green, brown and white. Maybe this is where I was going wrong! After searching around the bottom of my drawers, I found the brightest outfit I owned, ready to stand out in the crowd. Or should I say the library. My plan was somewhat foiled when I failed to leave college that day, my poor outfit hidden at a desk.

Go to Waterstones Cafe

I’m not much of a coffee shop girl. Don’t get me wrong, I am partial to peppermint tea and a sweet treat. It’s the productivity part that trips me up. Studying in a coffee shop is my nightmare. I get distracted by the food, and then the conversations, and then food again, and by the time I leave, my laptop has been dead for two hours and I have spent close to £30. Despite this, Waterstone’s Cafe appears to be a hub for Crushbridge submissions so I had to go.

As a Waterstones newbie, I ended up squished into a corner table where I fell more on the side of 'fairytale haggard witch' mysterious than my preferred 'I like to read' mysterious. On reflection, I think daily cafe visits would be more effective, however, I’m not sure my degree nor bank account can handle that commitment.

Go to Sainsbury’s

For some reason, a commonly mentioned location in Crushbridge submissions is Sainsbury’s. One Crushbridge specifically referred to someone’s “cool vibe” – which I’m afraid I don’t possess while buying my meal deal. As such, I decided to put on my coolest outfit (90s style skirt trousers – skousers?) and waltz into the shop in search of revision snacks. Regrettably, halfway through strutting down the aisles of Sainsbury’s, I realised they didn’t sell the energy drink I wanted and so I had to waltz down the road to Tesco’s.


While I’m no extrovert, I’m pretty good at smiling at people, so this felt like an easy task. As I walked around Cambridge, I realised where I had been going wrong: I have a demographic. While I do smile at strangers a lot, it is exclusively directed at the elderly, who presumably do not engage in Crushbridge. Smiling at strangers under 40 proved a little more difficult and honestly? Less rewarding.

Be in a play

This one makes a lot of sense since actors are literally the centre of attention. While I am a theatre girl, I am definitely not an actor. Nowadays, I am much happier in prod team roles. Unhelpfully, they don’t give me much to work with, re: Crushbridge opportunities. Since performing in a show is not a feasible option right now, I did my best to immerse myself in theatre, and saw two of the best student written plays I have ever seen (shoutout to Penelope Quadrangle and The Blues). Not to fall back into my old theatre reviewer ways, but I’m fairly certain these were wasted trips as far as Crushbridge goes since no one could take their eyes off the shows.


Mountain View

A Rev-elation on Downing Street

With step one and two complete, all that’s left is step three. Having been tagged in a Crushbridge post, I would make some witty reply and probably frame the screenshot. Except, as of writing this, step three is still on-going. My Facebook notifications remain sadly Crushbridgeless. “But how! Where did you go wrong?” I hear you ask. Dry your tears, dear readers. Due to the obstacle of exams, I have not been fully committed to my mission and I have made a rather half-hearted attempt. Paired with the fact I have seen all of five people this week, it is unsurprising my quest has failed. But fear not, I will never stop trying! Crushbridge or no Crushbridge, this was a fun journey – and who knows, maybe I’ll find my colourful, cafe-loving, cool vibes self in third year.