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Cambridge Uni Unwrapped

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I can only judge where I stayed, at Fitzwilliam College, just one of the 29 colleges.
Fitz is a modern extension, one of the smaller and less affluent colleges, with the last estimated value at forty seven million pounds, only.
Everybody I spoke to felt their college was the best, and expressed a strong sense of identity and fraternal security.
There is a pecking order between students, but based on age, campus and subject, as at any university anyway.
I was worried I wouldn't fit in at Cambridge, but I found the university has so many colleges to cater for such diversity, that anybody can fit in.
The only people who, unsurprisingly, seem out of place are those who aren't eager to learn.
It's crucial that people considering Cambridge need to understand that applying around October time is one thing, then applying yourself to get the grades (at least) is quite another.
Cambridge students work hard.
If you want to become a Cambridge student, you have to be prepared to work hard.
I accompanied an English undergraduate at my time there, who explained that English students are reputed for idleness, and are consequently demeaned by the medics, the theologists, the engineers, (who only rest thanks to Sabbath).
He did little to dispel this status: he arrived late to breakfast, excused himself from lectures due to pint related duties, and consistently opted for daytime television.
But I realised by the closing stages of my trip that beyond the disjointed farce was a diligent student.
The pub appointments were to discuss future articles for TCS ('The Cambridge Student' magazine); the rough mornings due to through-the-night reading.
Under the scattered clothing and CDs in his bedroom were stacks of pre 19th century literature.
On the second day I attended his supervision, a one-to-one discussion about the students work and progress, taking place once a week.
I was inspired by the energy of student-tutor debate, lulled by the sweet scent of incense in the tutor's digs.
As well as strong academic and sensitive personal support, Cambridge has something else.
I was overwhelmed the moment I stepped inside the central library, (which happens to hold every book ever published in the UK).
I'm sure the same would happen to others when they step inside Kings College chapel, an extravagant expanse of intricate architecture, or Emmanuel College gardens, where the gentle chirping of birds echoed harmoniously around medieval walls.
Overkill? I know, but being there and embracing the surroundings impels this upright posture.
This must be why so many discover their aspiration in life at Cambridge University.
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