Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to a buy college gown before arrival?
No, it’s not necessary – there’s one waiting for you to buy when you arrive. The purchase will be placed on your college bill, which is paid mid-term (and includes accommodation charges). If you want to buy one anyway, online or second-hand perhaps, look for Queens’ College Cambridge Undergraduate Gown. You will need one for matriculation!
Is it possible to drive into college when moving in?
Yes, on move-in and move-out dates, you are allowed to drive into college for 30 minutes maximum. You cannot keep your car in college for a longer period unless you have special permission.
Can we stay in college over holidays?
Yes, you can. Either you can pay for excess residency day by day (around £30 per night), or you can go on a quarterly scheme, which is about 20% above termly fee.
Can people come and stay over in my room?
Yes, you can have one guest over for up to 4 days. College offers futons and bedding with sheets upon request with residency. Due to fire safety, these guests need to be checked in with the porters. If you want to host a get-together, you can have up to 10 people in your room (anymore than this is considered a party).
What if I am not able to balance out work and social work? What if I am not able to keep up with my work? What if I am not good enough?
First of all, you are all here for a reason. The admissions officers know very well why they picked you in the first place. If you are one of the students who had missed their offers and still got in, you are in because they saw something in you. None of you is filling in a quota, none of you is here by default. This University and this college do not have to do that.
Second, we are not going to sugar-coat anything for you. At first, your studies might seem very tough. Whether you are a gap year student or coming right after high school, the transition is not easy. But don’t worry. Everyone goes through this and you can do it. You need to figure out how to work here, and you will have every help available to you. Subjects contacts will fill you in on how your specific subject works and what you can expect, your Supervisors and DOSs, as well as Academic Tutors, are here to help you. Do not forget, that even if you start struggling it doesn’t mean you’re failing. You are at a difficult university so it might happen. But there is always a way.
Am I going to find friends?
Absolutely! There are so many great opportunities to meet new people and it all starts in Freshers’ Week. We strongly recommend you go to as many events as you can, and at some point, you will surely find someone you click with. Another great way of meeting friends is joining clubs and societies. You do not need to strive for the seemingly most popular one. Find what you enjoy and you will find likely-minded people.
We can all feel a bit lonely sometime but no worries, it is absolutely normal. Don’t forget that there is always someone to talk to, should it be the professional welfare team, or your JCR officers.
What if I don’t drink and I don’t like clubbing?
It might seem like you have no life at Uni if you don’t go out and you don’t drink. That is not the case. Yes, going out does belong to many students’ life, but that does not mean that you have to do it too. There is so much more to do than just go clubbing! Check out Cambridge theatres, go to a talk, chill with friends in college over some board games… But if you decide to go out, worry not, Cambridge clubs are nothing like you have seen before. They are very relaxed and friendly, and especially, so laid back you could go in your PJs and no one would care.
What is the “Freshers’ Flu”?
The infamous Freshers’ Flu is often connected to clubbing and drinking and could therefore indicate just a Freshers’-Week long hangover. However, even non-drinking people often “catch” it as it is mostly caused by a lack of sleep and way too many Freshers’-events biscuits. In the intense Cambridge environment, it can then stretch to weeks. So, one advice is, get a lot of sleep prior to coming and don’t sacrifice it in Freshers’ Week. There is a lot of fun things to do, but your health is more important!
Are there many people with gap years? Am I going to fit in if I am older? Am I able to get back to work?
You will sure find out that people come to Uni at very different points in their lives. Gap year is a big trend, also different countries have different scholar systems so different aged people come in. You might be pleased to find out, that 65 people in your year group are aged 19-21. Queens’ has a very interconnected community and people are friends across years and subjects, so you will for sure have someone similar to you. In terms of academic worries, the transition is tough for everyone. It might take you some time to get used to a working schedule again, but it will come back easier than you think! Again, remember that there is always someone to help you should you need it.
How do I deal with money?
Money can be an issue for many students. This will be the first time for many of you to take care and manage your own life. It is good to be aware of how much money you have at your disposal, and pay attention to what you’re spending. Schedule ahead when you have to pay your college bill and how much that will cost you. Before you purchase something, ask yourself if you truly need it. There are also many phone apps to help you plan and keep track of your expenses.
There are many ways of student support. Do not forget to check out Student Finance and Cambridge Bursary if any programme applies to you. The Financial Office, as well as the Tutors and Welfare Team, can help you find alternative resources and well as give you advice on budgeting.
Although Uni is not going to be your cheapest experience, it is manageable. You just need to stay in charge.
Is it possible to stay healthy at Uni?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be mainly about your self-control.
It will seem so easy to just go for a meal in the buttery three times a day, and then later get chips in the bar, but it will not only get expensive, but also unhealthy. Buttery always has a salad bar so there are healthier options and you don’t have to cook. But on the other hand, cooking can be a great way to relax and keep control of what you eat. Sainsbury’s, M&S and the market often have great deals on healthy food, so check it out!
In terms of exercise, there should be a time all of you could spare for that. Again, it is just about how you plan your time and set your priorities. Maybe leave out Netflix before bed and go for a run in the afternoon instead.
I am afraid to be away from home. What do I do?
University is indeed a whole new life which might seem intimidating. But it has to happen at some point, right? What we recommend is getting some pictures to have in your room. Staying in touch with your family and friends is really important but don’t over-do it! You need to get settled into the new environment and being constantly hooked somewhere else won’t help.
Everyone feels homesick at some point but trust us, when you will go home later you will miss Queens’ as your second home.