About our writer
Mark O’Brien is an undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, and studies Philosophy. A veteran Mentor of Cambridge Immerse 2016, he loved it so much he decided to take part again this year.
He will be spending his time this year making friends, practicing his punting technique, and inevitably debating why Cambridge is better than Oxford with students.
Tuesday 25th July 2017
Tuesday saw an end to the great British summer and the arrival of sun! For those students who were experiencing their first visit to England, they were shocked that we actually had weather aside from rain.
Students studying two subjects conjointly finally had the chance to get a taste for their second choice. Architecture students got to have a field trip around the town, while classes picked up pace and students began to go deeper into their respective subjects. Lunchtime saw some students exploring the vast grounds of Downing College and discovering more of the tasty treats that Cambridge has to offer.
Following afternoon lessons, we all decided to make the most of the sunny weather. The jam-packed sports afternoon was a very serious affair, with students adorning themselves with face paint and competitive tensions running high. The more active students let off some steam with an intense game of ultimate Frisbee, with some others quickly becoming adept at the traditional Cambridge sport of Croquet.
The rest of us enjoyed a guided tour of Cambridge, and heard about the endless list of quirky facts and stories around the historic Colleges. Mentees were particularly surprised by the mischievous activities of Cambridge students over the years, with the 1958 Senate House Roof Fiasco being a stand out highlight. In all, we covered about 14 different colleges, and the students gained a much needed grasp of the town’s geography.
The evening saw the mentor groups go on a ‘Swap.’ Swaps are generally held between sports societies between different colleges, but we each paired up with another mentor group. Families dispersed across the town to sample Cambridge cuisine from a wide variety of well-known restaurants; I’m told the mussels from Café Rouge went down particularly well!
A few of us were lucky enough to visit an ‘Escape Room’ after dinner. Groups of six were locked in a room and given 60 minutes to escape, solving a farrago of puzzles along the way. We ended up battling the end of the world, devious evil minds and Egyptian Tombs! Two groups escaped, but sadly one group couldn’t beat the clock! (I am fairly sure that they got out in the end, but I don’t want to make any promises…).
Other students took a Ghost Tour of Cambridge. Whilst some of the more boisterous students initially found it incredulous to the point of laughter, almost everybody got the chills when they discovered that their Cambridge accommodation is haunted!
Another day packed with a plethora of activities, learning and convivial friendships – things have got off to a good start!