We ask one of our students about their current day, studying for the Cambridge Medicine & Veterinary Sciences Tripos:
A typical day for me perfectly sums up what is so unique about Cambridge. My day starts with a 9am lecture, where I am taught by world class, highly influential professors and researchers. At Cambridge we do not simply learn the basics of clinical practice- we learn medicine in depth, from the intricate biochemistry of our bodily systems, building up to a level of anatomy only surgeons would be expected to know. As I am in my third year now, I get to choose exactly what subject and modules I take, which has really allowed me to explore my interest in cognitive neuroscience. The content we are being taught now is so up to date with current research, in fact a lot of what is discussed stems from evidence published only this year or last!
After my lectures, I usually head to the lab where I will work on my research project, which is looking into ion channels and neurons. Again, here I work with Professors and doctors who have redefined fields and have a vast array of publications. This can seem intimidating initially, but in reality everyone couldn’t be more supportive and helpful. We really are simply pushed and allowed to explore science for ourselves, rather than being simply instructed or mocked.
In the late afternoon, I will try to dedicate time for making lecture notes, but often I have other extracurricular responsibilities! For example, I am the publicity officer for my College’s students’ union, so I may have to create my weekly bulletin emails or attend meetings. I am also the Social Secretary for a University-wide Society, so I spend a lot of time planning events and contacting venues and companies. Extra-curricular activities are another part of Cambridge life that I think makes every day here special, I don’t think any other university could offer such a wide range of clubs, societies and teams- there truly is something here for everyone, no matter what the interest may be.
At the end of the day, I will return to my accommodation which has a large shared kitchen, and I usually cook, eat and unwind with friends. The collegiate system works so well in this respect, everyone makes friends outside their course so easily and it creates a really friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Not only that, but the fact at Cambridge we are guaranteed accommodation for all three years makes such the difference, as we can live in the city centre for reduced rates and never have to worry about landlords.
Some days, we will head out at night (as Cambridge students do have a normal social life, contrary to some applicants’ worries!), or go out for nicer formal dinners. But if not, I will head to bed, do some reading and try to get an early night ready for the next day ahead!”