A day in the life at Cambridge University: Matt Coombes

A day in the life at Cambridge University: Matt Coombes

October 21, 2019 13 By Stanley Isaacs


Everyone comes to Uni and actually, you
start calling your mam and dad more but not because I miss you
but it’s sort of, like… …so if I put this in the oven or if I put this on the hob like, how long do I put it on for? Or… …what colours can I
put in the wash together? There’s a part of you where, yes,
you’re further away home, but… Everyone’s in the same boat You’ve a quick family in college and outside of college
on your course and, yeah, I think it should never
be a thing that puts people off: a fear of being away from home It’s actually 230 miles between
Cambridge and Newcastle I know it from the sat-nav but it doesn’t feel like
that distance at all I love spending time
with my parents I love spending time
with my friends from home But also my friends from home
are at different universities and actually that’s one of the
benefits of being in Cambridge that… …it’s actually quite connected. So if you’re an hour
away from London I can get straight back
to home if need be I can get to Manchester, Liverpool… and that’s just one of the
benefits of being a student and being in student life You just get this freedom and also there’s just so much going on I’m in the library during the day but then when it’s after
lecture, after supervisions I’m thinking about where I’m
gonna go with my friends Thinking about sports
practice, or theatre practice or whatever show you
want to go see So it’s just so busy that actually… I don’t even think
about, like, home as much But one thing in Cambridge which people
don’t really know about before coming is that it’s sort of
strict eight-week terms It’s actually such a benefit knowing you’re only gonna be paying
for your room for eight weeks and not only is your rent only
paid for eight weeks Cambridge colleges subsidise
their rents quite considerably I pay £95 for my room and this is all subsidised by you
not being in college afterwards and there’s no need for you
to be in college otherwise and actually I found that whilst I do get a
little bit of the Cambridge bursary that I don’t find myself needing
to ask my parents for any money and I can live within
my student loan because you’re only
paying for 8 weeks and actually… once you’ve got a bike
you’re not for public transport You’re not paying for the Tube
or the bus in and out of town You’re very quick — in and out I mean even at Homerton
we’re the furthest out and it’s only a 10 minute cycle if that So I’m usually in
town most days But mainly for lectures
and supervisions Lectures are just
a really good way just to get an overview
of a topic It’s usually by people who are
writing the textbooks in your field I also have about three to four
hours of supervisions every week That’s a great way to discuss anything
that you’ve been interested in the lecture or to build upon any struggles that
you’re coming across in the reading and it’s also just a great
way to meet classmates and other students and just
bounce some ideas around. Work, work, work, work. (laugh) Some people have to get up
like 7am, start at 8am finish for lunch at 12pm,
start again at 1pm and then finished by 6pm and
that’s them done for the day and that’s totally fine! I like to have a little bit more
flexibility, if I need a lie-in if I’m getting worn out,
then I’ll have the lie-in, just work a little bit later on And some people are
just total night owls, who’ll probably start at, like, 4pm and then
work into the earlier hours of the morning It doesn’t work for everyone but it’s just one of the benefits
of being independent with study life I just get bored of sitting in [the same]
location day, after day, after day I can’t be sitting at the same desk It’s just… …oh, it’s just awful to be sat there
surrounded by the same books I find that just even having a
different window to look out of, when I’m stuck in a question
or stuck in a bit of text just a different view
helps to clear my mind and even just taking a
different route to a library or just coming back a
different way from a library and just changing it up, can just
make a bit more interesting So I like to go for the
Pomodoro Technique: that 25 minutes on,
five minutes off because then I can just tell
myself it’s only 25 minutes’ work, Just breaking it down
into that 25 minutes it seems a lot more
manageable than thinking: Oh, I’ve got four
hours of work ahead! 25 minutes, is easy,
it’s doable, that’s usually how I step into work. Homerton comes into its
own during summer and it’s a hot spot in summer but it sort of lacks in other
months, if I’m totally honest We just have so
much space here and when it’s all
nice and sunny when the trees are
sort of blooming it’s such a pretty space to be That’s when friends
love to come visit We have the tennis courts, just that open space
just to really enjoy, without sort of that invasion
or view from the public It’s just private space
all for students to use And also it’s a little
bit further out but it’s got all of its amenities It’s got its Sainsbury’s,
its Tesco, its cinema almost exclusive to Homerton You’ve got so much
to choose from, just to do anything with your
day here at Cambridge Whether you’re having a heavy
study day, a light study day or just a day off and you just got this huge
variation to do what you want how you want to live it and you’ve got 3 years
to do all that variation, experience it all,
test it all out, work out what’s right for you and that’s why I love
being here at Cambridge