Lucy Cavendish

Everything you are about to read has been written by current and recently graduated students at the University of Cambridge, to give you honest information about what it’s like to be a student at Cambridge.

Lucy Cavendish admits female students aged 21 and over. With only about 50 undergraduates admitted every year, and about 100 graduates, the college has a real community feel, and you quickly get to know most people’s faces. The college is tucked away from the city centre, but is easy walking or cycling distance to most departments, and we don’t have to deal with crowds of tourists surrounding the college. While we can’t offer the history and grandeur of some of Cambridge’s other colleges, we have lovely buildings and gardens (with grass you can walk and picnic on!), and you really do get the same academic experience as everyone else, and can be as independent or as involved in social events as you want - the fact that we’re a new, mature, female college definitely doesn’t make your student life any different, despite what people’s initial reactions might be.

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Lucy Cavendish

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    20 minute walk / 7 minute cycle to the sports centre
  • Gym
    Yes - open 6am - 10pm
  • Music Practice Rooms
    Yes - a ‘music and meditation pavillion’
  • Prayer spaces
    Yes - a ‘music and meditation pavilion’
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian: Every day, plus soup and salad bar
    Vegan: Some days
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Other dietary requirements: Very well catered for - info provided on the board in the servery
  • Theatre space
    No
  • Undergraduates / Year
    50

What is your favourite thing about Lucy Cavendish?

Laura
Laura
1st Year HSPS
Ida
Ida
1st Year HSPS

Laura: The best thing about Lucy Cav is the people here – the college community is so welcoming and it’s easy to find likeminded people, whoever you are and whatever your background! Everyone lives really close, so it’s great to be able to just message your friends when you want to have a break from work over a cup of tea, or spontaneous trips to the theatre!

Being in a mature college means you’re surrounded by people who have done other things with their lives before coming to Cambridge, so there’s no shortage of interesting stories. We are a truly diverse college, not just in terms of internationality, but life experience too. I knew from the first time I came to visit that this was a friendly and supportive place that I would be able to call a home away from home.

Ida: My favourite thing about Lucy Cavendish is the wide variety of stories you will find here. The students at Lucy Cavendish really are a unique collection of people. Even though many of us are only in our early 20’s, we have all lived inspiring lives outside of our studies in one way or another, and we come from all over the world. As a college, Lucy brings the pleasures of lush gardens, relaxed attitudes, a sense of freedom and magnificently friendly encounters (notably with our lovely librarians).

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Ellen
Ellen
1st Year English

Ellen: Lucy is undoubtedly the friendliest college in Cambridge with its relaxed and authentic atmosphere. There is always a welcoming face around college, from the students, to the porters, fellows and staff. The community is without boundaries and inclusive: friendships form across year-groups and subjects, fellows dine amongst the students at formal hall and you can walk on the grass to your heart’s content! The wonderfully international and diverse student body is vibrant, active, encouraging and engaging. The relaxed environment is supportive and enables students to reach their potential in their studies. There is also plenty of opportunity for fun, from bops to formal swaps with other colleges, movie nights in the common room and cultural events to celebrate the college’s diversity. The bonus of attending a mature college is that everyone has unique experiences and a fascinating story to tell.

What is the accommodation like?

Helena
Helena
1st Year Linguistics
Accomodation

Helena: Accommodation is offered for all students, for every year of your degree, and there’s a choice of ensuite, sets shared between 2 people, houses, or flats for families and couples. Every year there’s a room ballot for continuing students to choose their room, and it’s not based on results but is organised into ‘Tiers’ depending on your year and course of study. But this doesn’t affect your room choice much - I found out after arriving that Freshers are Tier 4, but I got my first choice of room type and rent band! From what I’ve heard, our accommodation is really good, plus since we’re a modern college you don’t get so much of the plumbing and heating problems that come with living in old buildings! Our rents are quite high, and something that gets discussed a lot at SU meetings, but we are allowed to stay in our rooms over the holidays, which is a massive benefit.

How good is the food?

Miz
Miz
Human, Social & Political Sciences, 2nd year

Miz: The kitchens are great – I thought all colleges had hobs, ovens and freezers but apparently it's a luxury!? (I didn't even realise this until I talked to friends from different colleges). I feel really lucky to be able to de-stress via cooking whenever I like. The food in hall is great too. They have great veggie options like Mac 'n' Cheese (with sundried tomatoes and spinach! Mmmm!), and the potatoes and soup and salad bar are awesome. The kitchen staff are also lovely!

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Stine
Stine
1st Year HSPS

Stine: Despite being a smaller college, Lucy has a number of clubs and societies. We have a running club for both experienced and less experienced runners, a successful and competitive boat club along with Hughes Hall, and a student newspaper that is supported and mentored by our college president Jackie Ashley who is also a journalist. We have a college choir, a weekly yoga class and a tonne of other stuff to get involved in. Plus the Student Union is super helpful and encouraging of anyone wanting to set up their own society or club within college. Undergraduates and graduates socialise a lot more than at other colleges. We have a student run bar that is open till midnight on the weekends, and we do bops (college parties) each term, usually with a theme – we’ve done everything from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to ‘Wear your country’. The college has weekly optional formals (three course, sit down dinners), which is a great way to meet other students over a meal, celebrate a special occasion and an excuse to wear our robes. This year we are arranging a June Ball in collaboration with another mature college, Hughes Hall, which is looking to be a really fun and exciting event that we are aiming to repeat every year. Overall the social scene at Lucy reflects the diversity of the college; we really try to have something for everyone!"

What welfare support is there?

Annie, Lucy Cavendish College, Theology, 1st year
Annie
Theology, 1st year

Annie: On the SU we have a welfare officer who runs drop-in sessions for people who want to chat about welfare issues. This year, our welfare officer has also organised Welfare evenings with mindfulness colouring, snacks and other relaxing activities to give us all a chance for some time out! Like other colleges, we have tutors (whose role is pastoral at Cambridge) who we can go to with welfare problems - my tutor books a table at dinner once a week, which is a nice informal way to check in with her.

What about your College would you change?

Annie, Lucy Cavendish College, Theology, 1st year
Annie
Theology, 1st year
Ida
Ida
1st Year HSPS

Annie: Barely anything - I would quite like to uproot the entire college and place it about 10 feet from my faculty, but that’s just because I’m lazy! Otherwise I think our SU is pretty good at changing college for the better. For example, they managed to persuade kitchen to run breakfast in the week and to stay open between breakfast and lunch so people can get snacks. The thing I genuinely would like to change is the decoration of the common room, but plans are already being made for that.

Ida: If I could change one thing, it would be the outward image of our college. Somehow people got the idea that Lucy is nothing more than angry old feminist cat ladies with bad exam results. In reality, most of us are young, charming, passionate and doing really great. We do fit in, but are also not afraid of standing out. That should count for something. A lot, actually.

What has been going on at Lucy Cavendish College?

- Recent Events -

June Event

Lucy Cavendish and Hughes Hall are hosting a joint 'June Event' this year and held a launch party at the Union Society to announce the theme - Paradise Lost!

Women's Week

Run by the Welfare and Women's Officers, including a 'mindfulness girls' night in', talks on intersectional feminism and blogging, and a workshop with the Royal Literary Fund.

Mini Conference

An International and Ethnic Minorities Student Mini Conference allowed students to present their research, with speeches from senior tutors and alumni, and tea and cakes.

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