As a Cambridge Student, your first interaction with other members of the University tends to be through the College Parent system. Though this may sound odd, it is Cambridge’s system of assigning each newcomer with a set of parents, who are second year students there to provide academic and social support.
However, this was unfortunately not what occurred in my case. Apart from recieving a letter at the start of term, my interaction with my adopted parents was limited, which paled in comparison with friends who had what one might call an “overbearing parent”, where the line between college parent and literal parent becomes blurry at best.
Cambridge’s 4-day ‘freshers week’ was a patchwork of college and university run events which included pastoral care from the University as well as student run, social events. I have gathered from school friends that at other universities, Fresher’s week tends to have its foundations in heavy drinking. However, at Cambridge, events which would usually be alcohol-centric, such as pub golf, were instead tailored to encourage participation from non-drinkers, with a ‘soft drink scorecard’. Granted, my friends found this fairly amusing, but it is testament to the inclusivity of Cambridge’s fresher’s experience.