University of Cambridge Freshers Megathread 2016

University Navigation

Announcements Posted on
How helpful is our apprenticeship zone? Have your say with our short survey 02-12-2016
Admissions Testing Service Exams Discussion Rules - Please read before posting! 02-11-2016
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Serine Soul)
    Will I be able to fit everything I need into a fairly large suitcase and holdall or am I being a bit too optimistic?
    I had that question earlier...I have no idea how Im going to transport my stuff to the college with the cobbled roads cus I was estimating 2 large bags+backpack
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    What societies can you tell us about?
    Will I survive without caffeine (I will be a maths student)?
    What can you tell me about Magdalene college?
    What items do freshers often forget to bring?
    What do I need to know about supervisions?

    Thank you very much
    Yes you can survive without caffeine, I personally had energy drinks/coffee to get some work done if I had a deadline the next day.

    Kitchen towels are an essential that are forgotten

    Supervisions: Depends on what supervisor you get, young supervisors tend to be very enthusiastic (PhD students) and tend to be the most useful in terms of learning new ideas and concepts not necessarily covered in lectures. Older supervisors, I find, tend to be more consistent and understand tripos a hell of a lot better. Just remember to hand in work on time or it just wont get marked, also try to pick a partner you will work well with.

    I don't know much about Magdelene other than its name gets mispronounced a lot
    Offline

    2
    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    Clothes yes, other stuff will be a challenge unless you want to be buying lots of stuff when you get there.
    Thanks, I do have a long list of things I'll be taking so maybe I'll have to add some more bags...

    I just want to avoid awkward train journeys
    (Original post by camaieu)
    If you could, it would be so helpful - you'll likely have to move out over the vacations, and unless you're an international student, you'll not be able to store anything. You're gone for a term, not for the rest of your life - there's no point bringing lots of summer clothes for October - December!
    Yeah, that's why I was thinking of having as minimal luggage as I can.

    What if there's a sudden heatwave in the middle of November? :lol:
    Offline

    2
    (Original post by EnglishMuon)
    I had that question earlier...I have no idea how Im going to transport my stuff to the college with the cobbled roads cus I was estimating 2 large bags+backpack
    Buy an airport trolley
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    .
    So are supervision partners chosen? I thought they were allocated (atleast for maths anyway). Cus that was one of my main concerns as my grades don't look very good as I did my exams without help for learning difficulties- I was worried they would misjudge my ability/ way of thinking so I would be paired with someone who I don't work as well with. Maybe this is a stupid question but its been on my mind for a while :/
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Serine Soul)
    Buy an airport trolley
    lol i should post it and pick it up there to save the embarrassment of walking through the street with it all.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 16Characters....)
    Hi. I also got in for maths. What college are you at? And no, it's not just you worrying about falling behind. :-)
    I'm going to Murray Edwards. It looks really nice from the website. I've spent most of my school years at mixed school though so hopefully I can socialise with Fitzwilliam and Churchill people. What college are you going to?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by camaieu)
    - Societies: There are. So. Many. Chances are, your college JCR committee members will take you all along to the Freshers Fair at Kelsey Kerridge, where reps from the societies will ply you with chocolate and pizza to join their society. If you visit this website, you should be able to find the current societies.*https://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/societies/directory/

    - You can definitely survive without coffee. I'm unashamedly so addicted to coffee that I end up having to go to the hygienist more often than I ought to because my teeth get stained! Don't feel pressured into staying up all night working because it seems as though everyone else is, or because you ought to!*

    - I don't know much about Magdalene. I think they do formals every night though. I went once and wasn't particularly impressed, I'm afraid!

    - *Oh, good question. Definitely bring stationery and stuff with you - at the start of term, it's a nightmare in Staples and Ryman's with thousands of students migrating on them! Also, practical stuff, such as your passport, other forms of ID, student loan documents (in case you need to ring them at uni and all your correspondance has been sent to your home address), and your bank details (card, chequebook, account number, etc etc). Paracetamol, plasters and other simple first aid things - you'll be everyone's friend Also, bring along something reasonably smart. You'll likely need it for matriculation and formal halls, if you choose to go to any!

    - Supervisions vary sooooo much from subject to subject. But the basic concept is probably pretty similar to your interview set-up. You'll probably have one or two other supervision partners, and for each supervision, you'll complete work (essay, problem questions etc.) and you'll discuss it, along with, potentially, covering new material.
    Thanks for the reply

    What can you tell us about specific societies that we wouldn't find out on their websites (if they have one)? E.g. I've heard that the Christian society is quite... evangelical? fundamentalist? Are the sports societies pretty serious, or also for novices?

    Have you ever had problems with the supervision? E.g. supervision partner who didn't fit well with you?

    (Original post by vincrows)
    Extension cord for multiple sockets (like 4), preferably with surge protection.

    Compact drying rack for laundry. You can use tumble dryer to dry washing, of course, but ithe cost will build up over weeks.
    Lots of hangers for your clothes. A wardrobe in your room would probably have a few hangers inside but probably you need more and they're very useful for drying clothes, etc. too.

    A box of cereal to keep in your room, in case you overslept (you're bound to one day) and have no time to go to the college buttery to have breakfast before you dash off to a morning lecture. It will give you the minimum sustainance until lunchtime.
    (If you don't regularly keep your own milk in a gyp fridge, 'borrow' someone's temporary and apologise later with replacement milk. )

    Suppose you'll be using your mobile as an alarm, extra alarm o'clock (or two) is always a good idea to strategically place well away from your bed to force you to wake up AND get up, so that you won't have to resort to your emergency cereal & steal somebody else's milk too often.
    Thanks

    An extension cord is definitely something I would have forgotten, and the drying rack.

    I usually get up around 5am... would this be possible to keep up at Cambridge (or is it unrealistic, given late nights out)?

    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    Yes you can survive without caffeine, I personally had energy drinks/coffee to get some work done if I had a deadline the next day.

    Kitchen towels are an essential that are forgotten

    Supervisions: Depends on what supervisor you get, young supervisors tend to be very enthusiastic (PhD students) and tend to be the most useful in terms of learning new ideas and concepts not necessarily covered in lectures. Older supervisors, I find, tend to be more consistent and understand tripos a hell of a lot better. Just remember to hand in work on time or it just wont get marked, also try to pick a partner you will work well with.

    I don't know much about Magdelene other than its name gets mispronounced a lot
    Thank you

    How necessary is rote learning for doing well for the Tripos (or specifically, the Maths Tripos, if its too different)? Are there some courses that you were forced to take in order to scrape a 1st/2:1?
    Offline

    2
    (Original post by EnglishMuon)
    lol i should post it and pick it up there to save the embarrassment of walking through the street with it all.
    It's the busiest and most touristy area too :rofl:
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Serine Soul)
    Don't worry, I'm pretty scared that I'll be sitting in my room 24-7 crying over words I don't understand. It's a common feeling and remember that pretty much everyone is on the same boat.

    Congrats for making it!
    Thanks, for some reason I've got it into my head that only aliens go to Cambridge and that somehow they chose me by accident. It's so nice to know I'm not the only scared person haha
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    A few questions for any NatSci people:
    - How much (if any) further reading or Maths practice is needed before arriving?
    - How much guidance do the DOSes give you if you are unsure about modules?
    - Is it true the first year really the worst year in terms of workload?

    Also, just in general, would you recommend bringing fancy dress stuff for the first term too?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Thank you

    How necessary is rote learning for doing well for the Tripos (or specifically, the Maths Tripos, if its too different)? Are there some courses that you were forced to take in order to scrape a 1st/2:1?
    No problem

    Hmm, you definitely need Tripos practice and a hell of a lot of it. Since you have done STEP you will be used to the style of Tripos. I started Tripos in michaelmas and did them consistently throughout the year, with more and more towards exam term (1-3 papers a day during exam term). Although once you have the hang of the style of tripos there isn't much more benefit to doing another exam paper over say going through the course again and problem sheets. All doing more Tripos will do is introduce you to new ways of phrasing a question; something that is done differently each year so there is next to no element of 'Smashing out past papers' to get good. You actually have to learn the content thoroughly to access the paper fully; something you are already used to with STEP, so I wouldn't worry about it.

    Nope. I got a safe 1st in first year with consistent scores across my modules.
    Sorry I can't be of much help since I'm not a mathmo
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PhysicsIP2016)
    A few questions for any NatSci people:
    - How much (if any) further reading or Maths practice is needed before arriving?
    - How much guidance do the DOSes give you if you are unsure about modules?
    - Is it true the first year really the worst year in terms of workload?

    Also, just in general, would you recommend bringing fancy dress stuff for the first term too?
    None is needed, but personally I went through perhaps a half to three quarters of the maths content during the summer which allowed me to focus less on maths. Taking maths B is also an option you should have in your mind, it makes you a better mathematician (for the sciences - stating this to avoid triggering mathmos lmao). Yes it's faster and it is taught in a more fluent style, but you will get a hell of a lot more out of it. You can easily drop down to A if you're not comfortable with it.

    Guidance is there when necessary, your DoS will typically be available via E-Mail about 95% of the time; if you email your DoS, I'm confident you will get an email back by the next day.

    I just finished first year and have talked to second years, it is harsh in terms of the breadth, people who take materials science are the ones who complain the most. I think it is a myth, however, the work load itself in terms of problem sheets and the number of lectures are extremely similar. IAs have grace in the sense that a lot of the content is already known. The only difficulty, I say, is the breadth of knowledge you're expected to know by exam term.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Protoxylic)
    None is needed, but personally I went through perhaps a half to three quarters of the maths content during the summer which allowed me to focus less on maths. Taking maths B is also an option you should have in your mind, it makes you a better mathematician (for the sciences - stating this to avoid triggering mathmos lmao). Yes it's faster and it is taught in a more fluent style, but you will get a hell of a lot more out of it. You can easily drop down to A if you're not comfortable with it.

    Guidance is there when necessary, your DoS will typically be available via E-Mail about 95% of the time; if you email your DoS, I'm confident you will get an email back by the next day.

    I just finished first year and have talked to second years, it is harsh in terms of the breadth, people who take materials science are the ones who complain the most. I think it is a myth, however, the work load itself in terms of problem sheets and the number of lectures are extremely similar. IAs have grace in the sense that a lot of the content is already known. The only difficulty, I say, is the breadth of knowledge you're expected to know by exam term.
    Ah okay, thank you so much! One last question, what resources did you use to go through the maths content? Is there a specific website or book that you used?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by EnglishMuon)
    So are supervision partners chosen? I thought they were allocated (atleast for maths anyway). Cus that was one of my main concerns as my grades don't look very good as I did my exams without help for learning difficulties- I was worried they would misjudge my ability/ way of thinking so I would be paired with someone who I don't work as well with. Maybe this is a stupid question but its been on my mind for a while :/
    Depends upon the supervisor, but in my experience the supervisor will usually request certain people at a certain time – though usually you can swap times/partners with coursemates if you wish, such as if you have a clash (generally of the timetabling variety rather than a feud!).

    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    What can you tell us about specific societies that we wouldn't find out on their websites (if they have one)? E.g. I've heard that the Christian society is quite... evangelical? fundamentalist? Are the sports societies pretty serious, or also for novices?
    Welsh Soc is the best.

    Not sure whether that is true about the Christian Union – none of the people who are involved I would describe as fundamentalist, and whilst they are obviously religious they are hardly evangelical, other than when promoting society events (i.e. just like any other society).

    I'm the wrong person to comment upon sport but I think the more popular the sport the more serious the society (but the more likely there will be a second or third team that is more relaxed / suitable for novices).

    Have you ever had problems with the supervision? E.g. supervision partner who didn't fit well with you?
    Honestly no, some supervisors are better than others, but all MMLers are lovely (no sarcasm).

    I usually get up around 5am... would this be possible to keep up at Cambridge (or is it unrealistic, given late nights out)?
    If you're spending until 3am on the Cindies dancefloor then you are crazy to get up at 5. (And before we go down the mathmo stereotypes route, on both occasions that I have gone to CIndies I have gone in a group including mathmos. )

    If you're having an early night most nights it is doable, but I still think you're bonkers.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PhysicsIP2016)
    Ah okay, thank you so much! One last question, what resources did you use to go through the maths content? Is there a specific website or book that you used?
    Mainly MIT open courseware and the recommended textbooks
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Serine Soul)
    It's the busiest and most touristy area too :rofl:
    aha yea! is ur college Newnham?
    Offline

    2
    (Original post by EnglishMuon)
    aha yea! is ur college Newnham?
    Yeah I could probably walk around it in my PJs because it's quiet there
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by EnglishMuon)
    So are supervision partners chosen? I thought they were allocated (atleast for maths anyway). Cus that was one of my main concerns as my grades don't look very good as I did my exams without help for learning difficulties- I was worried they would misjudge my ability/ way of thinking so I would be paired with someone who I don't work as well with. Maybe this is a stupid question but its been on my mind for a while :/
    can u remind me how S1S doesn't look very good? xxx
    Online

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nestkitt)
    I'm going to Murray Edwards. It looks really nice from the website. I've spent most of my school years at mixed school though so hopefully I can socialise with Fitzwilliam and Churchill people. What college are you going to?
    Nice :-) I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to socialise with students from other colleges. Despite the nerves, are you excited?

    I am going to St John's.
 
 
 
Write a reply… Reply
Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: November 26, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Today on TSR
Poll
Would you rather have...?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.