Image of Florence

Blog by: Florence

Hong Kong. Studying Law. Read more

Preparing for May Week and May Balls

My first may ball of the year is the Emmanuel College May ball. It’s going to be held on the night of June 14th 2015, and I’m looking forward to it.

What students usually do beforehand is prepare for the ball. Usually girls go dress shopping with their friends, but this year I chose to buy my gown online through retail outlets, which offer much more choice. The guys usually go into town and shop for suits and shoes. In fact, today the town was packed full of students on the hunt for the perfect bow tie!

I’m also going to the Murray Edwards garden party tomorrow. Garden parties are events held on the gardens of a college, where drinks and food is served. Usually there are also bouncy castles, entertainment and music, and it goes on for most of the afternoon. It should be a fun event, and it’s one of my first garden parties this year so I’m really excited!

It’s time to get ready and enjoy May week for the second time.

Posted in Uncategorized

My exam experience

I’m going to write a bit about my experience with the exam this year. I had quite a tough time this year as I had four exams and over eight topics to revise for, just so that I could answer the essay questions adequately. For the Geography tripos, we had to answer two essays in each exam, making it a total of eight essays in the whole of the exam duration. For my first one I found that it wasn’t as good as I thought as the questions didn’t come up before! It’s always a shock to see some new questions that has not been asked in the past questions, or if it’s something that you haven’t quite revised for!

Also, I found that I was coping with stress better than last year. I spent more time going through my notes but in a more productive way. I think I also managed to spend a bit of time doing extra reading which is really important in essay writing. It’s definitely not as bad as I thought it would be, though this is me telling you in hindsight!

Apart from that, the exam period was rather quiet. The library was full everyday, but as soon as everyone was done, it was all over. I’m enjoying the Cambridge sunshine right now, and the weather’s lovely. Time for a punt!

Posted in Uncategorized

Exams in cambridge

Exam term just ended and I found it quite hectic. Second year is always the hardest year because of the sheer amount of work you have to do in order to keep up, plus there’s the dissertation coming up in the summer so my summer holidays are fully occupied! I found these few tips useful for coping with exam stress, so hope it is useful!

  1. Eat well- definitely get breakfast and lots of protein, which helps your body stay awake and energised. I always eat a nice yogurt and banana before exams which helps a lot!
  2. Try to calm down- trust me, I always have sleeping problems before exams but I’ve learned to calm down and drink some tea before bed to keep myself relaxed. It’s important to get at least 7 hours of sleep before each exam, especially if they’re in the morning!
  3. Motivate yourself- whether it is by thinking about the holidays, or by writing post-it notes on your wall, it is important to keep reminding yourself that you can do it.
  4. Revise early- a month in advance is usually a good idea, especially if you have more than 2-3 topics to revise for in detail! Remember it is better to be safe than sorry!


Posted in Uncategorized

Cambridge Union Bicentenary Ball

Let me introduce you to an aspect of Cambridge that’s definitely one of my highlights of my two years here. Cambridge has a lot to offer in terms of activities outside of work, and this is one of them. Founded in 1815, the Cambridge Union is the oldest debating society in the world, and the most famous society at the University of Cambridge. I joined as a member and do not regret it at all. Many famous speakers such as Stephen Fry, Quentin Blake and other political figures have visited the union at some point and given a speech. It is a fantastic society that provides lots of food for thought for those interested in current affairs, political matters, debates and more.

The union also hosts a series of events and entertainments for students during term time. For their 200th anniversary, the Union hosted a bicentenary ball on February of 2015. I’m going to talk a little about my experience as an avid ball-goer of the event!

Firstly, this is not your usual party in that it is a formal, black-tie event. Guests were required to dress up in formal ball gowns and bow ties, which meant that this special ball was quite glamorous and fancy. The Union was also lit up and fully utilised, unlike its previous balls where only 2 or 3 rooms were used. This time, all of the historical union building was open to use, which meant that the ball covered enough to keep everyone busy throughout the night.

The food was decent- doughnuts, sweets, fudge, meringues, burgers, you name it, you got it. It was more decadent than the usual food from May Balls, because this was a special event after all. The music was good, although the ball was interrupted by an unexpected fire alarm somewhere between the main acts.

Overall, I enjoyed the evening a lot. It was a historical night, after all, it’s only once that the Union gets to be 200 years old!

Posted in Uncategorized

Artistic events at Cambridge University

I’m a huge fan of art and the creative scene, and Cambridge University offers students a variety of art-related events that occur throughout the year. Two events marked the highlight of the term- one was the ‘Love art after dark’ event held by Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam museum, and the second one was Arcsoc’s Cabaret event at the Cambridge Union building. I’m going to talk about Arcsoc Cabaret in this post so I can share some interesting details about the wonderfully unique event.

I was lucky enough to get tickets for the Architecture society’s Cabaret event for last week. This is an annual fancy-dress music and art party at the Union building, and it went on from 9pm to early in the morning. Architecture students are known for their sense of creativity and style, so I had good expectations for this event. After a short queue, I entered the building and was pleasantly surprised at the decorations that the architecture students have put in place. Balloons and glitter was everywhere, and one room was decorated with foil spread on the floor.

The theme was “Saturate”, which meant that everyone went to the event dressed up as colourful as they can. I went dressed as a cup of lemonade, and all of my friends had a great time.

Highlights include the life drawing, where models posed for students to draw, the dance floor in the union debating chamber which was lit up and colourful, and of course, the fancy-dresses that everyone had on. It’s not always that Cambridge students get to celebrate the end of an essay or supervision with this much colour!


Posted in Uncategorized

Fitzwilliam College Winter Ball- Review

REVIEW: It’s always exciting when your own college hosts a large-scaled event like a ball, and Fitzwilliam’s Winter Ball was no exception. My college held it’s biennial winter ball on December 4th on a cold night. Even though the cold was kicking in, the activities on offer kept everyone busy, filled and everyone had lots of fun.

To start off, the entertainments were great. There was a spinning wheel that lit up the college, and provided a dizzy, exhilarating ride where one could see the college in all its glory. The Grove was used for casinos, and there was a silent disco which was enjoyable despite running out of headphones for a while. Other creative entertainments include a piñata every hour, shisha, massage, henna and a photo-wall for those keen on experiencing it all.

Food was innovative and plentiful- I tried a ‘wild’ Kangaroo burger and had bannoffee pizza, which were two things that I have never tasted before. The Food team made sure that supplies didn’t run out until the early hours of the day, and there were doughnuts, burgers, hotdogs, cupcakes as well as three chocolate fountains on offer. Drinks were plentiful as there was a cocktail bar which served up delicious mixes, and shots were available in various rooms, if you knew where to find them.

The highlights of the evening has to be two things: 1) The Hoosiers headlined the Winter Ball and performed an extra long set in the auditorium, where the crowds went wild. 2) Roller skating rink- I could not have imagined that Fitzwilliam’s dining hall would be transformed into a disco skating rink equipped with funky music and colourful skates. The queues, however, were long for this particular activity so that was a hit and miss in terms of time.

Overall, the college was well lit up, decorated well and I have to say, I’m impressed with the college’s ball which kept us entertained, fed and cheerful until the early hours of the day.

SCORE: 4/5

Posted in Uncategorized

5 things you must do during Freshers Week

I’m no longer a fresher! It feels odd typing this sentence out, because I am no longer a wide-eyed, fresh-faced first year student. I’m now a second year, looking forward to starting a brand new term in Cambridge. It’s not as exciting as before, but seeing as I am a year wiser, here are 5 things that incoming students (yes, you!) simply must do during the incredible 4 days of freshers week.

1. Make friends with the person next to you- it goes without saying that Freshers week is the best time to meet new people. Be it the person you’re walking next to, or the student looking lost in college, or the girl sitting next to you in the buttery- everyone’s friendly and open to chatting. So don’t be shy!

2. Go to pub crawls – even if you don’t want to drink, it’s a must to join in your college’s pub crawl during your first few days in Cambridge. You get to meet new friends, chat over a pint, socialise with students from other colleges, and best of all, visit all of the most traditional pubs in Cambridge at once.

3. Go punting- Cambridge isn’t Cambridge without punts, so join in on punting tours that occur during your first few days in town. The International Cambridge Students Union (ICUSU), for example, offers both day and night punting trips for freshers.

4. Tour around Cambridge- enjoy the natural scenery and the picturesque landscape that will be your home for the next 3 or 4 years. Colleges usually have second year students that will show you around town and take you on walking tours to the best spots in Cambridge. So don’t miss out on this chance to do a little sightseeing.

5. Freshers’ Fair -Societies and hobbies are key parts of life in Cambridge. Remember to visit the Freshers Fair, where many societies will be showcasing their term cards, event plans and telling you all about what’s on offer. There’s also many freebies like pizza, pens and chocolate up for grabs, so don’t miss out.

Freshers week is short and sweet, so enjoy the ride and relax!

Posted in Uncategorized

Trinity May Ball

May Week is the highlight of the student experience at Cambridge- it’s a week of garden parties, food, drinks and may balls.

So what exactly are may balls?

May balls are large, lavish events held at the end of each academic year to celebrate the end of exams. The dress code is often Black or White tie, and many of the colleges in Cambridge hold different May Balls at varying dates. These parties are usually themed and feature unlimited drinks, endless entertainment and several large, famous music headliners who perform on stages in the beautiful college lawns.

This year, I was fortunate enough to go to the Trinity College May Ball. It was an outstanding event requiring Black Tie, although many of the men donned on their caps, canes and White Tie outfits. The food was great- burgers, paella, oysters, champagne and almost anything you would want to have. As for entertainment, Lawson was the main headliner, although I missed most of their performance because I was too busy getting my hair done in the salon in one of the rooms.

Trinity was really well decorated and lit up, adding an elegant touch to the already impressive architecture of the college. I particularly enjoyed the flying swings and the bumper cars on offer in the Trinity backs- I think I must have ridden the swings at least 5 times that evening. The highlight of my night was the punting on the River Cam at 4 a.m. at night- it was getting cold but it was lovely to enjoy the river in the early hours of the morning whilst relaxing with friends.

I took a lot of amazing pictures and had a great time at the Trinity May Ball! It’s definitely a great way to wrap up the end of my first year at Cambridge.


Posted in Uncategorized

Exam Season

Easter term is perhaps the most intensive term in Cambridge. Everyone has exams, and apart from having to juggle your own subject’s modules, you have to learn to balance your time well, squeeze in a few sessions with friends and learn to cope with all the revision… I’ve gone through my notes, and so far it’s looking alright. Many of my friends have exams spread over several days or weeks, but for me, it’s all happening within two days. First year is always nerve-racking, because you don’t know what to expect and you don’t know what the exams in Cambridge are like. Many of the tripos have an extensive history and traditions- did you know that the results for the Mathematical Tripos are dropped down a balcony from the Senate House after it is released?

The only thing that is keeping me motivated is May Week, where I’ll be going to the Trinity May Ball with a few friends. I have heard great things about the ball and May week in general, and apparently one of the May Balls will be inviting a special celebrity guest!

Posted in Uncategorized

How to choose a course for Cambridge University

Many of you are probably struggling to decide what to study at university. How should you pick one subject amidst so many possible choices?  It is often difficult to change majors after entering university. Therefore before picking a subject, it is vital to discuss and think carefully about what are your likes, dislikes and interests. Here are some advice on how to choose a course that you will hopefully enjoy for the next three or four years.

1. A-level subjects

Look closely at the A-level (or equivalent) subjects you are currently taking in school. What subjects are you good at? Which subject do you enjoy most? Picking a subject to study at university can be easy if you have a particular A-level subject that you enjoy most, found the material interesting or excel in. Your A-level years are a good time to explore which subjects you personally enjoy and want to pursue.

2. Your interests

What subjects interest you outside of school? Sometimes, the areas that stimulate you or matter to you are not the ones you can find in an A-level curriculum. An example is the study of Law – if you are interested in the legal aspects of society, or find the court cases in the newspapers more fascinating than the entertainment pages, then perhaps pursuing further studies in Law is a good choice. Picking a subject from your interests means that you can talk about it in the interview easily too.

3. Your future career

Whilst many students still ponder about their future career options, some of you will already have a strong idea of what you want to be when you graduate from university. Most students who pursue Medicine or Law go on to become doctors or lawyers, and this makes sense because the training you will receive at university is often job-specific and technical. If you have a clear aim of what you want to be after graduating, then picking a subject should be relatively hassel-free.

4. An entirely new subject

Cambridge University offers many courses that you probably will not have come across before. Courses like Human Social and Political Sciences (HSPS), Linguistics, Asian and Middle Eastern studies and Land Economy are unique to Cambridge and may be something you have never even considered applying for. These courses are often a combination of many different, but inter-related fields of study. For example, Land Economists at Cambridge study a mixture of Law, Geography and Economics, as well as other modules that they can opt for in the latter years.

By researching carefully about these unfamiliar and new subjects before applying, you can get a clearer idea of what you want to do at university. All the information you need is available online!

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , ,