Student Blog

Exams on the horizon!

29 Apr 2015 | Rachel | Courses, Student Life, Studying

You hear a lot of things about the third term of the year at Cambridge… its actual name is Easter Term, but it may as well be called Exam Term, the library becomes your second home, the May Ball and Garden Party schedule at the end of it makes it all worthwhile… It’s only week 1 of term and all of those are panning out to be true!

It does start to get sunny at this time of year...
It does start to get sunny at this time of year…

I had a busy Easter break – I stayed in college for 2 weeks longer than everyone else, since I was doing Downing’s Telephone Campaign. Most colleges run one, and we ring up alumni to fill them in on activities going on in college, get their feedback on events they’ve attended and the alumni publications they receive, and ask for support for a range of projects, from new accommodation, to the Boat Club to the College’s Travel Fund that gives grants to students who wish to travel abroad as part of their studies. It was a really fun couple of weeks, and the opportunity to speak to so many alumni in such a short space of time was amazing. Hearing what they’ve all got up to since leaving Downing (and hearing that so many of them stay in touch long after graduating!) was very exciting for a first year like me!

I then had a couple of weeks at home before my next holiday opportunity – I spent a week working in London on the Civil Service’s Fast Stream internship for first year university students. This was a really fantastic experience – or experiences: from standing on the roof of the Treasury, to attending a talk in the room where Winston Churchill gave his speech on VE Day, to talking with the Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office… they’d managed pack so much into one week. It was great to get a taste of so much across the Civil Service, especially in such an exciting time in the run-up to a general election.

A great view!
A great view!

I met people from the Insolvency Service, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Transport, HM Treasury, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Health, HM Revenue & Customs – just to name a few! I would highly recommend the scheme to anyone who is interested in government, or anyone who wants to know what work goes in to shaping our everyday lives. The Civil Service run schemes for first and second years, and then have a very successful (and of course, a very competitive) graduate scheme – something to consider for the future!

Now I’m back in college and it’s been a busy first week – I’ve had lectures, and have my last two supervision essays on the go (one on biodiversity, and one on urban geographies). We had a field trip to the River Cam near Saffron Walden in preparation for our physical geography coursework that’s due in a few weeks, and I’m in a play for two nights this week too – and then not to mention actual revision for the exams… This next month is going to be intense, but it’s nice to know that summer is getting nearer every day!

If you’re interested in finding out about what day-to-day life of a Cambridge student is like, search #CambTweet on Twitter, and follow our accounts – follow @CambTweetGeog for more insights into my life as a Geography student!


Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm a third year geographer and I went to a state comprehensive school in northwest London, and I now live in Hertfordshire. I studied Geography, English Literature and Japanese at A Level. In my free time I enjoy foreign language music and films, learning other languages, going to the gym and (trying to) dance!