All I want for Christmas… is to be back in Cambridge

Negotiating the festive thrills of the holiday isn’t as easy as it may seem, as Anna Feest found out.

Anna Feest

Trying to balance doing work and enjoying yourself over the holiday can be a difficult processInstagram: @camdiary

We may all crave to go home for Christmas, but the holidays aren't always as thrilling as we hope, and as I brutally found out...

Week 1

The first week of the holidays actually creeps in before term reaches its desperately awaited end. But instead of flopping out on the sofa at home, I’m instead having to prop-up my hungover self up to receive my DoS’ review of the term, which is peppered with snarky remarks about how little of the work I actually did. And very little more is done over the next few days, especially with obligatory boogying to be doing.

The final Wednesday Cindies is justly honoured, the ceremony complete by getting with someone I’m going to almost instantly regret getting with. Fast forward to the next morning and we’re all nursing hangovers in front of an audience of bulging suitcases. Then there are the endless Facebook uploads. Do I need to see the post Van of Life pics? No. Will I look through albums of near strangers’ smoking area photos? Of course! After all, what else is there to do for entertainment other than gaze obsessively at the beige fields surrounding my house in the middle of nowhere. Home sweet home.

Week 2

Ah, sleep. A glorious activity I don’t practice enough - or rather didn’t during term. But give me a few days off from responsibility and I’m already on four naps a day. That is until I have to face that this is, perhaps, exactly the last thing I should be investing 50% of my time into.

“Did I feel more festive at Bridgemas? Hard to say. It almost feels like a dream now - or a nightmare.”

The other 50% I spend refreshing my emails and Camfess as though I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms. One way to curb those Cambridge cravings - actually do some work. So begins a trek into town, followed by spending my entire student loan on the parking fees.

I end up sitting at a table with another Cambridge student, proving that there really is no escape. All of my other friends go out on extravagant excursions before spamming the group chat moist messages. Me and my home friends? We make PowerPoints on our last three months and present them over mulled wine.

Week 3

Christmas Day makes its triumphant arrival, as does my youngest sister at a frankly inhumane 7am. In all fairness, she does bring the coffee I am now fiercely hooked on after enduring a Cambridge term.

Did I feel more festive at Bridgemas? Hard to say. It almost feels like a dream now - or a nightmare. Christmas dinner is incomparably better than college Christmas formal, but the company admittedly is somewhat less raucous. We play the standard family games which end about five days later.


Mountain View

Enduring Bridgemas when you're Cambridge's biggest Scrooge

We have now reached the weird part. The bit in which time ceases to exist. The bit where you look the table at family gatherings I realise you can only identify a quarter of everyone there. A *questionable* night out at my town’s one and only, even more questionable, club livens the week up. I rock up the next day at a family friend’s house who, despite knowing me as a baby, has never quite seen me produce the quantity of vomit I managed in my hungover state. Happy Christmas.

Week 4

Week 4 begins with New Year’s Eve and the countdown to midnight. Or more importantly, the countdown to Cambridge! The new decade doesn’t feel like an oncoming bus exactly, but the realisation that I now have one week to fit in four weeks of work certainly does. A degree in procrastination is attempted first, but the steady stream of Camfesses seems to have dried up and the only emails I’m getting are reminding me of deadlines. Or tax reimbursements. In my last few shifts at work I calculate how many hours would fund a term of Cindies tickets or my college bill (5.8 or 182.9, for the record).

The three inches of dust on my unopened books must eventually be scraped off. The reading must begin. But two hours in and I've already gone for a stress walk and searched the house for the last of the Ferrero Rochers. Do I really need to go back? But then I buy my Grandma Groove ticket and my fate is sealed. And secretly, I cannot wait.