Another (calendar) year, another term completed at Cambridge. I don’t know whether this is just me (upon consulting with my friends I have reason to believe that yes, this is just me!) but I’ve found Michaelmas this year to be my best/most enjoyable term so far in my stint at Cambridge. Obviously as a Second Year I only have three other terms to compare it to but I just generally found that I’ve enjoyed myself a lot more these past 8 weeks.
I think I found a better work-life balance between my academic studies and my extra-curricular nonsense, but I also think that the actual material that I was studying was more interesting, better taught and more applicable. Second Year marks a significant change for me since now I’m living in a college-owned house as opposed to actually in a room within the confines of the college site. As a result I seemed to strike a more healthy lifestyle seeing as I had my friends and housemates literally next door and socialising was so much more natural.
I managed to get involved a bit with the CUADC/Footlights Pantomime for the first time and still managed to dabble a little in other theatre productions here and there. I setup the TEDxCambridgeUniversity website from scratch after a data loss and managed to juggle being the head of Technology & Security for Fitz’s Winter Ball. Unfortunately there was a problem with my iPhone battery and Apple had it in for repair so I didn’t manage to take any pictures but luckily someone else at my college is a Vlogger and posted a video about it.
All in all, I’ve found my experience of a Cambridge second year first term to be pretty incredible. But what about those that come back after the Summer Vacation and find that things aren’t as great for them? I suspect one of the reasons that I can get on agreeably with the Cambridge academic system is because I am a very optimistic person, and that I’m able to remain quite emotionally-detached from my work; not that I don’t spot the bad aspects of the system, it’s just that in the science departments, faculties and administrative schools they tend to be very big on peer-review of their own lectures, supervisions and teaching classes. When I chat to my friends about how they are getting on with term, it’s clear that some other faculties don’t do this – I suppose it just come down to science versus humanities and the intrinsic differences in the teaching system between the two. Certainly I’ve heard some interesting stories from the English department this term…