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A Valencian to-do list

Alexa Segal has written a handy to-do list for new grads in Pembroke

  • Take advantage of the amazingness that is the GP:

Alexa 2The GP is a magical place: tea, coffee, friends, warmth, biscuits; you can have it all! However, I have made an executive decision that the wrapper of all biscuit packages, specifically chocolate digestives, need to be relabelled; “Proceed with caution.” Why, one may ask? One is never enough. I have learned a very important lesson, and while I don’t follow it, I need to remember that biscuits are abundant-in the GP, the supermarket, and England!

  • Essay #1 has been submitted:

In American universities, it is common to be graded frequently, with a variety of graded coursework, presentations, and exams. Therefore, I find it a bit weird to have not turned in any school work. I have worked hard but have no grades to show for it; so far in my course, we have only had one exam and one essay. Learning that I only had one essay due for the entirety of the term, I realised how much attention, time, (and tears) I would have to put into this essay to do well. Let me just tell you-I have never been more excited to submit an essay in my life.

  • Tried mine pies (and decided I am not a fan):

People in Cambridge get hype about mince pies-a specialty pie eaten as Christmas dessert. I have decided that after a few drinks, a mince pie or two is palatable (out of necessity), but other than that, not my favourite treat. Brits should stick to their meat pies and let the Americans do the sweet kinds!

  •  Drank one (or ten) too many drinks at formal dinners

Another lesson I have learned from these last few months at Pembroke is that as with the biscuits and mince pies, there is always a reason to have a drink, and on BA formal dinner nights, there is no reason not to…until you remember you have class the next morning! Case and point; formal dinner is delicious but takes some getting used to because it feels like a dream, and BYOB should really be BYOBASI “Bring Your Own Bottle And Some Ibuprofen.”

  • Understand the Pembroke ‘lingo’

One of the steepest learning curves has been understanding the Pembroke/Cambridge lingo, and I think I have done it! “I’ll meet you at the porter’s lodge, and we can go to the GP and maybe have a drink at the pubboard” suddenly makes SO much sense!

  • Dissertation topics galore

Now that I have completed the first term of my time here at Cambridge, I must think about my dissertation topic. While I am looking forward to getting the time to delve into a subject I am passionate about, I find that the time is FLYING!

  • Varsity weekend-GO Light blue!

Now that I have picked up on some the logo (see above point), I finally understand what “Varsity” weekend is, and I am excited! I love a chance to be competitive and spirited, and now that my allegiance is with Cambridge, I am looking forward to cheering them on! I am also now a team member of the Panthers, one of Cambridge’s Basketball teams, so I will have my chance to play against Oxford as well. Fingers crossed that we will win!

  • May Ball, Garden Parties? (whatever they are)

I have heard A LOT about the upcoming Garden parties and the May Balls (that I am informed take place in June). To me, it sounds like prom for academics, so I am excited to see what the fuss is about. So far, I have heard that I will experience great food, plenty of booze, and a fun-filled evening of dancing!

  • My future…post Pembroke…

I wouldn’t say that I am necessarily looking forward to this, but it is something I keep thinking about; what happens after I graduate? My one-year masters course finishes on the 31st of July, and then what? It feels like I have every opportunity in the world, and some days I feel like I don’t; some days I want to do one thing, the next day I have a new idea. If anyone can help me out with this dilemma, I would be forever grateful.

Well, until next time!


AlexaAlexa Segal is a graduate student studying Public Health and Epidemiology at Pembroke College and plans to work in the world of healthcare policy in the future. A Philadelphia native, Alexa serves her fellow Valencians as Events Officer for the Graduate Parlour. When not planning events, you can find her on the basketball court, as she represents Cambridge University on the Woman’s Basketball team. When Alexa isn’t in class, studying, on the court, or planning events, she is most likely eating biscuits, rallying for LGBT rights, watching Obama and Biden BFF YouTube videos, or drinking a G+T.

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