Cambridge terms are intense, overwhelming, and exhausting… but at least they’re short. Lectures finished for the term on Wednesday, and I’m heading home in a week’s time. Okay, so I have three supervisions still to get through (and work to do for two of them), and I’m helping with interviews next week, so it’s not like I’ve got nothing to do, but things are slightly more chilled out now.
This won’t be a long post because my wrist problems have seriously flared up in the last couple of days and I can’t be bothered to dictate it, but I’ve been thinking a bit about this term compared to my first term last year. It’s definitely been different, but there have also been similarities.
This year got off to a better start: I didn’t have to deal with settling in to a new town, adjusting to university life, or making new friends. As a result, the first half of term went pretty well. I was even ahead with my work some of the time.
I didn’t cry as much as last year, but I did sleep more. I slept a LOT. I had a nasty bout of homesickness in the middle of term; Mother Person came to visit me, which helped, but it was still a bit rough.
I was eating gluten-free, which meant I had to pay a lot more for food, and spend more time cooking. Thankfully, my accommodation this year has an oven, so I was able to branch out a bit from pasta and rice. This was a bit of a drag, though, as it meant I couldn’t just eat toast when I was in a rush.
I wasn’t taking Old Norse, so there was a lot less translation to do — and for a while, I was actually on top of Old Irish translation. That all went downhill halfway through the term, but y’know, I was doing okay for a while there.
I changed my hair colour twice — from blue to purple and then from purple to green.
I auditioned for the ballet show and got a role! Last year I was a ‘Merry Maid’ in Coppelia; this year I’m to be one of Tybalt’s henchmen in Romeo & Juliet (understudying Tybalt, as I understand it).
My wisdom teeth started coming through, with all the pain and frustration that entails. I’ve got three of them in various stages of appearance at the moment, and I suddenly understand why babies cry so much while teething.
I just about got through NaNoWriMo, but I’d have to say that I’ve written much less this term than I did this time last year, probably because I’ve had more other stuff to write, and because my wrists have been problematic.
I was irreverent about my essays. (I wrote a truly excellent review of Lancelot.)
I also turned my essays into memes. Because reasons.
I watched a fair amount of Netflix: I rewatched all of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, worked through Jessica Jones in just over 24 hours, am two seasons into Gossip Girl after less than a fortnight, watched a handful of episodes of Merlin when I was meant to be writing an essay on Chretien de Troyes (since it was technically relevant) and rewatched some of Dance Academy. I also kept relatively up-to-date with Doctor Who (I think it’s been a good series this time, any thoughts?).
I got obsessed with yet another musical about American history. Last year it was Newsies. This year it’s Hamilton. It’s ridiculously catchy.
I bought more books than I should have done given the amount of shelf space I have at home (none).
I was part of the ASNaC 2015 Yule Play! Last year, I filmed it, but I wasn’t actually part of it. This year, though, I took part in a few of the sketches. When it’s up on YouTube, I’ll send you a link.
Talking of YouTube, I got off to a good start with this year’s Insider Cam series, but it fizzled out partway through term, as is to be expected when the workload really sets in. Still, I answered a fair number of questions on Tumblr about Cambridge, Newnham, and the like.
It’s been a mixed term, as they all are. There’ve been moments where things have been going well and I’ve thought, “Yes, I can do this, I can be happy here.” There have also been moments when things haven’t been going quite so well, and I’ve wondered whether I really made the best choice for me in coming here. I don’t have answers to these questions.
Now as the term draws to a close I’m exhausted and ready to go home, though I know that my long essay and my dissertation first draft await me there. Last night, I fell asleep fully clothed at 10pm, and slept through the night until nearly 9:30am. It wasn’t what I’d planned, but it was probably good for me. (Though now that it’s nearly lunchtime, I should probably change out of yesterday’s clothes.)
Oops, I said this wasn’t going to be a long post. Somehow it was anyway. I’ll leave my reflections here, and if anyone wants to tell me about their term or whatever, feel free to do so in the comments!