The challenge is on.
It might seem absurd right now, but one day you will no longer be a student at the University of Cambridge. I know, I know. Iâ€™ll give you the requisite minute to process that.
Better? Good. So there I was, watching the sub-standard, illegally-downloaded third series of Gossip Girl, and all of a sudden Dan and that girl who used to be Lizzie McGuire but is now apparently Danâ€™s girlfriend and Vanessa the â€˜alternative oneâ€™ are chatting about this list of things that everyone should have done before they left â€˜collegeâ€™. And from this unexpected fount of inspiration, I decided to write a Cambridge-applicable one. (Mine is threesome-free. Spoiler alert).
Everyone has their own â€˜university experienceâ€™ (to parrot any trite Freshersâ€˜ Handbook), but there are certain things you should/will invariably have done by the time you leave here. Have a look at The Tab Ten and get on it. Your days are numbered and the challenge has been set.
1. Roly-polys across one of the sacrosanct lawns. If youâ€™re really daring, Iâ€™d recommend Kingâ€™s for square footage kudos. If a roly-poly is beyond you, a sausage roll will suffice (though it is a hell of a lot slower). About mid-way across, a porter (read: specially-trained sniper) will try and take you out. Just shut your eyes and use those thighs.
2. The Kingâ€™s Wall game. Perfect entertainment of an afternoon. Get some tinnies in and perch on the wall, observing (and possibly heckling) those who pass across your eyeline. It is guaranteed you will see some oddballs. Itâ€™s Cambridge.
3. Attend a supervision on no hours sleep. Bonus points for managing to say something. Drooling on your own sleeve/choking on said drool in a semi-comatose state does not count as speech.
4. Hit the town on a Saturday night. We tend to stick to student-friendly Wednesday Cindies and Sunday Fez, but you have to try it at least once. Welcome to a horrible alternate reality. Ever watched Booze Britain, that morbidly fascinating fly-on-the-wall documentary of the dregs of society vomiting Bacardi Breezers all over their shoes? Booze Britain hits Cambridge every Saturday night, its stars gravitating towards Spoons like intoxicated bees round a honey pot where drinks are absurdly cheap. Guaranteed fun night out if you remember not to introduce yourself with, â€˜so, what college do you go to?â€™
5. Visit the Mahal. I know, I know, the drinking societyâ€™s establishment of choice has had enough publicity on The Tab (Iâ€™m expecting meal coupons any day now as a thank you) but really, the anarchy has to be seen to be believed. Some of the rugby boys have finally done something that merits an outright ban – reckon you can top them? Itâ€™s on.
6. Eat something that expired a long time ago. If itâ€™s chunky and didnâ€™t start that way, again, extra kudos.
7. Sleep somewhere strange. Not someone elseâ€™s bed, thatâ€™s boring and wonâ€™t make a good anecdote for the kids in twenty-years time when youâ€™re trying – against all odds – to prove that you were once mad, bad and dangerous to know and your wifeâ€™s shooting you daggers for A. admitting you had a sex life before her and B. telling the kids about it. Market Square would be quite an entertaining one; under a table at McDonaldâ€™s another. Get inventive.
8. Supersize Me. The Van way: live off Life/Death for a week. As the end of term nears and work eases up while money dribbles out of your palm at a concerning rate, this might well be unavoidable.
9. Acquire an item of crockery from every college. All colleges waste – sorry, spend – money adorning every plate and cup in the premises with their college logo. Go on a Formal Crawl and aim to get one from every college by the time you graduate. Gowns hide a myriad of sins.
10. Fall in the Cam. Whether in a freak punting accident or in a post-May Ball intoxicated state, falling in the Cam once is enough to make you realise that contrary to what those picturesque postcards in Kingâ€™s News might suggest, itâ€™s actually quite unpleasant and make sure you definitely donâ€™t do it again. However, eminently worth it for the anecdote-status.)