Darwin College is unusual
March 16, 2007, 3:31 pm
Filed under: england

A couple of years ago my friend Lorisa introduced me to Darwin College in Cambridge. Given my initial experience of Cambridge was almost entirely through associations with Darwin College, my view of the university and city was warped.

I’ve learnt that Darwin is exceptional – many other colleges and facilities typify the pomp and self-importance you’d expect.

Now, I live close to Darwin College, which often results in me ending up at the bar around closing time. Running into characters like this is not unusual in Darwin bar late at night.

Darwin is a more progressive college… so progressive it’s the first place I’ve ever been to a 90’s party (80’s is like, so 20 years ago).


2 Comments so far
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That is certainly quite an amusing picture of Darwin. It must have been taken years ago, because as I am student there now (2007-08), the place looks nothing like it anymore.
I agree with the review that Darwin is unusual compared to the other colleges. This is good and bad depending on what you expect from your Cambridge experience. If you expect the typical Cambridge, Darwin is NOT it. Darwin has no money, could care less for their students, terrible facilities (except maybe a nice selection of punts and a mini garden/island), and purely seems to be in the operation to make money. There is no history, no tradition, but plenty of the stuck up judgmental attitude.
I remember fondly looking upon my Cambridge experience on arriving. Darwin was my first impression and things have gone downhill since. I remember signing in, getting welcome information, and then being told for the first time that I have accommodation and would owe a hefty fee every week to pay for it. Fine, the fee wasn’t huge by Cambridge standards, but it is quite a shock when you arrive having not been told about it at all, much less knowing if you’d have accommodation or not. Planning is not a strong suit here, or Cambridge for that matter. Reason and logic somehow escaped this town even though the university has existed 800 years. Impressive. This leads nicely into the Dean experience. Supposedly this person is here to help, someone to help smooth out your experience in Cambridge. Well I learned this was a farce when I sat in front of him and witnessed him laughing in my face when I asked for funding. Very supportive. Let’s just say that certainly colored my Darwin experience.
The characters in the picture seem to be having fun. I admit the bar is a fun place to be, assuming you can deal with the judgmental people. I have never run into people dressed up unless there is a themed party, which happens perhaps three times a year. WHOA…quite the party place eh? Ha.
In the end, the point of this post is to simply say…”think twice about Darwin. Think twice about Cambridge.” Don’t get sucked in by the hype, job experience, personality make much more of a difference and impact than where you went to university when looking for a job. Ask any recruiter…

Comment by Dirt

Well, you might be disappointed to hear that I took this photo around the time I wrote that entry, so March 2007… only last academic year. I may have been slightly exaggerating when I say running into characters like these is common at Darwin… but I would argue it’s more common at Darwin than other colleges in Cambridge. As for the criticisms of Cambridge generally, I’m going to stay out of that altogether.

Comment by cobi

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