The desperate dash for uni romance

This city offers a wealth of love-finding opportunities that don’t always pan out as planned, writes Anna Feest

Anna Feest

The last option is Ticketbridgeflickr

One of my friends once described my love life as a ‘meme.’ Based on the evidence, they weren’t wrong: a few hilarious incidents with roommates who came back earlier than expected, many questionable decisions, and a habit of ‘wrong place, wrong time’ with just about everything.

Some people just seem to have it all sorted out, with couples walking together hand in hand, disgusting the rest of us lowly singles with their superior, loved-up smugness. How do they do it? Is it some sort of secret club I haven’t got the tap on the shoulder for? Does it come with a certain number of Crushbridge submissions?

“...these shining beacons of hope are proof of the often-hidden, romantic souls of Cambridge students.”

I’ve made my attempts at a simple, in-college relationship. On the surface, it seems feasible: there’s always that one couple who have been together since freshers, the few who are just hooking-up, and the two who have somehow kept it really quiet. But why not me? It should be perfect – nice and close, mutual friends, brunch together. That is unless it all gets a bit complicated, the college gossip goes wild and there’s no way of avoiding them. If it works for you, well done. But if it doesn’t, trust me, it’s horrific.

Out of college, there are other options to find your perfect match. There you are, finishing up an essay and someone comes by who grabs your attention. It could be in a library, Newnham Café, or walking across the grass on Sidgwick (probably not Downing Site or West Cambridge because there are too many STEM students actually concentrating on their work). A few lingering looks, a faint smile, and then, based on my experience, you’ll most likely never see them again.

However, let’s not forget the Camfess or Crushbridge that could come out of this. Forget Tinder – these shining beacons of hope are proof of the often-hidden, romantic souls of Cambridge students. Let’s be honest, we’re all desperately looking out for a submission that maybe – just maybe – applies to us, even though the author is anonymous and unless it’s particularly specific, you’ll never know for sure. It must have worked for someone, or these little love letters would surely have dried up a long time ago. “I’m gonna wear my new coat to Sidgwick and I’d better get a Crushbridge for it” is something I have genuinely heard, and the primal need to be noticed really does serve as an incentive to change out of the trackies and hoody, even if it’s just for a trip to Sainsburys. Imagine: “to the girl with all the dairy milk...” Little do they know, it’s all for me while watching Netflix alone.


Mountain View

Considering Crushbridge: is there room for romance in Cambridge?

Crushbridge may be a debatable replacement for Tinder, but RAG Blind Date takes it to the next level. The joy, though, comes from filling out the forms (best to do each other’s and accept the roasting) and then receiving the new ones back to analyse and thoroughly stalk on Facebook over brunch. RAG, you may not yet have found me my one true love (although there’s still hope), but the laughs we had were worth it.

Once you accept that none of these work – or maybe that’s just me – the last option is to get on Ticketbridge, sell your first-born for a ticket and head out to Cindies. This could lead to some fairy-tale, Hollywood scene in which your eyes lock across the ballroom and you meet in the middle under the crystal chandelier. In reality, however, it’s a sweaty, darkly lit room surrounded by drunk students singing along to Mr Brightside. Still, your eyes have indeed met – a few choice dance moves later and it’s about to go somewhere. If you’re really classy, you’ll even move it along to the smoking area. But, ultimately the next morning when the hard reality, natural lighting and hangover hits, you’ll regret your choices, have to hop back on Ticketbridge searching for your dignity (and the rest of your belongings), and realise that you’re going to be seeing them absolutely everywhere for the next three years. Perfect.