As an international student or a fresher, November is all about getting settled. Not in the sense of buying new furniture or home goods, no that is what you already should have done in September. The autumn is about settling into the city, finding your feet as a student and making Cambridge your new home.
You are finally not getting lost when it starts to get dark outside because every house looks alike. No – now you know the quickest routes and like a real Cambridge person you race your bike through them. You also know where to get the best beer in your surroundings and to be honest that is a skill you are voluntarily trying to improve by trying out new bars and pubs every now and then. Blue Moon, The White Swan. The Tram or 196 on Mill Road are definitely worth checking out.
I imagine you have also started exploring more of the town and surrounding areas; less like a tourist, more like a native. Checking out cute little shops, going on tours around the city and trying canoeing instead of punting should be on your to-do list of being a new resident. Also the days of awkward small talk are counted. You have probably started to bond more with your colleagues and flat mates, either getting to know them over a late night chat about “god and the world” or a sneaky round of “never have I ever”.
You see, you have already done the baby steps. But why talking small when you can go big? London probably already called and you enjoyed visiting the City of City’s and its tons of attractions. But it is not just London. Also places like Ely, Grantchester and maybe even Oxford seem to be worth the visit. Remember to travel in groups though. It is safer, way more fun and also cheaper because of group discount programs from railway companies and as students we always appreciate discounts. You can get these discounts with your NUS card, which you can purchase with your Books Plus card!
But where am I going with that? The essence of this article is to courage you as a student and new resident of Cambridge to make the most of your stay here. It might seem like a contradiction but actually exploring can help one feel more settled. If my ongoing rhetoric did not sound familiar to you, be brave and start checking these things of your list. Time is passing by quickly. And the winter waits for no one. So get out there now, before it is too cold and you are glued to the couch!
By Laura Vogel
8th November 2017
Image Credit: Laura Vogel