Help! It's fresher's week but I hate going out...
Going out and getting smashed is, for many, a fundamental part of the fresher experience. But hitting the sesh multiple times a week isn’t everyone’s calling, and nowhere is this more understandable than in Cambridge, where all four clubs are indisputably crap. So if clubbing isn't your cup of tea/other non-alcoholic beverage, then here is a run-down of a few other evening activities on offer in Pembroke, from Week One to the end of term.
Pembroke’s JP and bar hasn’t exactly been a‘social hub’ for a some years, but thanks to a recent revamp over summer (and the excitement of freshers’ week, of course) more people will be milling around there than usual. Drinks are very decently priced (including non-alcoholic beverages), and include a few novelties such as college mead and port.
The freshers’ bop is always the best-attended of the year, and is good as a final ice-breaker after all the other events in freshers’ week. It’s a completely safe environment, being just a few steps from your room, and you’ll be surrounded by the new friends you’ve made, your college family and the on-duty JPC officers. There’s a welfare room, chlamydia testing and free contraception available, should you wish to avail yourself of these services. As well as being great fun (think massive house party vibes), the JP will get so steamy (literally and non-literally) that condensation collects on the walls.
The Pembroke Players (run by Pembroke students, unsurprisingly), normally have shows on every week, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved as a fresher, from being in the audience to writing the Freshers’ Panto, to acting in the freshers’ play. Keep an eye on their website and Facebook page for more info.
Cambridge pubs are notoriously expensive, so don’t go in expecting to buy a round for a massive group of friends. However, they’re wonderful places for conversation and getting to know people away from the, sometimes, claustrophobic environment of college.
One minute walk from front gate, rather pricey but has a lovely, cosy atmosphere.
Four minute walk, also rather pricey, gets very warm, and can be difficult to find a seat.
Ten-twelve minute walk, the most expensive pub in Cambridge but does excellent mulled cider and has a nice outdoor area with heaters.
Three minute walk from back gate, very cheap and a nice, familiar environment - but avoid on
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Other clubs and societies in college
Pembroke has a pretty eclectic range of clubs, meaning there is generally something on for everyone who feels like having a good night in. From board games club to darts to collaging, you can find everything on the JPC website and the Pembroke Exchange page on Facebook.
For example, last year saw the establishment of thevery welcome ‘Pie Society’ (members gather together to eat pies), as well as the ongoing success of much-loved ‘Collage Soc’ (literally just sitting around a table, making collages #wavey).
The Pembroke Politics Society (known as ‘Pem Pol’) is quite active in inviting interesting speakers in, and Master’s Seminars are always interesting to attend - last year saw guests such as Sir John Chilcot.
You’ll also see the beginnings this term of a college feminist society running safe-space meetings for women and non-binary students, and the newly active Pembroke History Society.
If excitement and entertainment aren't your forte, you could spend all night working in Pembroke’s 24-hour computer room and depriving yourself of healthy vitamin D, since it’s located underground in Foundress (some people genuinely do).
Alternatively, (and if you want to taste the wrath of other college’s porters) you could sneak into Downing’s library, open till 2am, or Corpus’s, which is open round the clock.
We are absolutely not endorsing or encouraging this behaviour, of course - there’s a reason Pembroke’s library shuts at midnight. Remember that you’re here to enjoy yourself and have fun, which means knowing when to put the books down and allowing yourself some leisure time.
Extensive as this list may seem, it is in no way exhaustive - Pembroke offers a myriad of sporting activities (croquet, anyone?), committee roles and more... Not to mention the hundreds of societies across the university.
Be assured that you can find a hundred better things to do then get trashed every Wednesday (although for the sake of balance, getting trashed is also quite fun), if you only take the time to look for them.
Charlotte Araya Moreland is a second year Historian and editor of Pembroke Street