A Conversation for Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK

Cambridge colleges

Post 1

42nd Hornet

Can anybody give me advice on which Cambridge college to apply to? I am currently considering Robinson and Maudlin (well if you're going to say it like that you might as well spell it the same way), but really haven't a clue what most are like.


Cambridge colleges

Post 2

kayzia

The best cambridge college for anyone really depends on who you are, and thus the answers to the following questions:

what sex are you?
what kind of school do you go to: public/private?
how good is that school compared with other public/private schools?
what subject?
deferred or post a-level entry?
a-level predictions?
how good is the school reference likely to be?
sporty?
responsibilities at school eg prefect etc?
are you trendy?
are you social?
are you lazy? ie don't want a 2 mile trudge to sainsburys
what other subjects are you doing at a-level?
how desperately do you want to go there?
how confident are you that you will get in?
how hard do you want to work?
do you like pressure?
do you need to be somewhere pretty?
do you want the place to have a reputation with future empoyers?
does the place need to have gardens?
do you need the sports field to be nearby?
do you need the faculty to be nearby?
do you want to live in college property for the full time?


i am sure there are others but the answers to those would tend to narrow it down.


Cambridge colleges

Post 3

urrgh-get-off

Peterhouse - always - every time.
Oh yeah baby.
It is the law.
They can kill and eat swans too - if that sort of thing gets you going anyway.


Cambridge colleges

Post 4

42nd Hornet

I'm female, from a public school (but quite a good one), want to do Nat Sci, doing biology, physics, chemistry and maths at A' Level and am predicted 4 As. I don't want deferred entry. I'm desperate to get in but quite confident, interested in some sports (esp. swimming), wouldn't want too much of a hike to the faculty and want to work quite hard (but not too hard). Prettiness doesn't really matter, and the college doesn't really have to have gardens. I'm not particularly social or 'trendy'but I don't want too much pressure to spend all my time doing work. I would like to live in college for the whole course.

That answers most of them, I think.


Cambridge colleges

Post 5

kayzia

I have thought long and hard about what your answers suggest and have managed to wheedle the choice down to 6, which is still a quarter of them, but it is a start. These are:

Corpus Christi
Emmanuel
St Catherine's
Jesus
Peterhouse
Gonville and Caius

My personal gut feeling would, for some reason better known to myself, be Jesus. Peterhouse would not be my personal choice, but I couldn't justifiably exclude it, so it is in there. This list does not necessarily mean that any of the other colleges definitely should have been excluded. The only basis, by which to whittle down colleges, I used was your answers, some of which may in actual fact be less important to you than I assumed. Anyway enough of the disclaimer. I hope this helps.


Cambridge colleges

Post 6

FatJon Slim

I'm at St. John's (the one just up from Trinity) and although we have a reputation for blowing our own trumpets (purely in a figurative sense), I would urge you to consider John's. It's big, friendly and does tend towards the NatSci side of things. Plus, our May Ball is the biggest and by all accouonts the best!
Just thought I'd add my twopenceworth.
If John's doesn't grab your fancy, Gonville is nice and so is Jesus. Peterhouse deserves a good slap around the face with a starched white glove for being reactionary, sexist and right-wing.
Good luck!


Cambridge colleges

Post 7

kayzia

i have to admit peterhouse is pretty tory (michael portillo - say no more) but if you are like that then it is pretty and some of the people there are normal.


Cambridge colleges

Post 8

FatJon Slim

True - it is pretty and some of them are normal. Sorry Peterhouse. smiley - sadface


Cambridge colleges

Post 9

Isildur

Hrhrmmm... From what I've seen, Peterhouse people tend to be small and duffle-coat ridden. I should know - i'm opposite them at Pembroke. Although that doesn't necessarily constitute a recommendation for Pembroke. My gut feeling is also for Jesus, for reasons unknown. Overall, in fact, I thoroughly endorse Kayzia's comments. so there.


Cambridge colleges

Post 10

kayzia

I have changed my mind about Peterhouse. It seems the normal people are suppressed by the Portillo majority and that also girls are doubly suppressed. I thought I should give it the benefit of the doubt, but sadly it has come to my attention that the evidence is beyond doubt. guilty they are. my normal person is tormented by the gangs of thatcherites. however as the original message suggests magdalene was being considered (which is equally unfriendly to women but worse academically overall) then it probably is a less popular college and thus, dare I say it, 'easier to get into'? however as for the other colleges there are very good reports about Caius.


Cambridge colleges

Post 11

42nd Hornet

Thanks. Peterhouse was pretty well crossed off my list anyway, as a friend in the upper sixth went down for an open day and said it was quite snobbish. I'm going to get myself down to some open days - probably Jesus and maybe Robinson or St. John's, so that should give me a better idea of what things are like.


Cambridge colleges

Post 12

kayzia

just in case this is any help at all, i thought i might just add why i dismissed robinson and st johns when drawing up the list. robinson, i rejected, because i have a friend from my school there who seems pretty similar to your description and is doing natsci, and from her experience it might not be the best place. her main problem with it is that it is quite a long (by cambridge standards) way out of the centre of the town ie at least 15 mins walk from the science faculty and thus quite isolated, which she felt quite badly in her first year. also if you take the college league tables for the past 4 years on average it was the third from last. however because of this and it being modern i suspect it is easier to get in to than say... st johns. johns i get the impression is pretty difficult to get into (especially because it is one of the famous ones). i know two people rejected last year, one of whom had an average of 100% for her subject a-level. it is incredibly beautiful though, good academically, great reputation and not incredibly hard graft. i hope that is useful.


Cambridge colleges

Post 13

FatJon Slim

While I would agree with many of the things you said about John's, I don't really think it's hard to get in as long as you realise what they're looking for. Compared to say Christ's, academic performance is not so vital (though clearly, it's still fairly important) - they like you to be able to offer something more. Sport is very big here, as is music (I am however a tone-deaf leper and have not even watched a frisbee game, let alone actually burned off any calories!). A MIX is what they want: my bag tends to be drama, film and the uni radio station. If you make it clear at the interview that extra-curricular events are just as important for you as work then that may swing it - that being said there do seem to be some rather gimpy freshers who hibernate in their rooms and only communicate by email: they're the ones who will get firsts. Come to an open day and if you want any more details about John's, feel free to email me on [email protected]


Cambridge colleges

Post 14

Sheepdan

I'm at Robinson, doing maths, and i'd highly recommend it.
It's no easier to get into than anywhere else, and the lower position in the league table doesn't affect _your_ particular grade - it's up to you how hard you work.
It may be further out from the centre than some colleges, but it's not exactly a long way to the centre. i can get to my lectures (new museum site) in under 10 mins. And it's a small price to pay for not having any tourists running round the college.
Plus we have one of the best college bars in cambridge, and very good food. (these being the important things!)
Whereever you end up though, you'll like it (i don't know anyone who dislikes their college), and no employer is going to discount you because you came from a 'less good' college - don't forget the lectures and exams are done at university level, so all the colleges get the same stuff.
I know loads of natscis at Robinson, there does seem to be a high proportion of them, so i don't know how your friend can feel 'isolated'.


Cambridge colleges

Post 15

42nd Hornet

I did end up applying to Robinson and I somehow managed to get an offer, despite saying in the interview that half plus half equals a quarter. I decided to do engineering instead of nat sci though.


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