A Conversation for Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK
James Casey Started conversation Dec 21, 2000
I feel duty-bound as a former Girtonian to mention this college, if only because all those who've never been there dismiss it. When I was applying, I got a welcoming letter from someone at the college, saying how he'd never, throughout his time there, wanted to be anywhere else.
I was actually applying to Clare, but Girton was my second choice, and came through when I failed to get into the first choice (they actually had about one place to offer due to deferred entries - well that's my excuse anyway ).
Girton is three miles out from town, up the only hill in Cambridge. And once you've got over this (think of what the cycling does for your thighs) then there's no barrier left.
It has the best community spirit in Cambridge. This is simply because it's isolated, so people tend to make friends with people in their college first, in preference to those on their course.
It also has long, winding corridors. A mixture of old (it was built about 100 years ago) and new. Houses a little away from the main building if you don't want to be in college all your time there. A modern complex called Wolfson Court which is about 15 mins walk from the centre of town - and is also renowned as having the best canteen in Cambridge.
I managed to avoid getting caught up in tribalism pretty much throughout my three years - spending most of them in town, acting and the like (oh, working, yeah...), but two years on from graduation I'm still in regular touch (meeting every week) with around 20 or so of my contemporaries.
You can get by without it if you're not in it, but once you're in, you wonder how the others manage.
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