June has arrived, the purple wisteria is blooming, and final exams are over. Cambridge students celebrate the end of Exam term with many traditions including May Balls and the famous Cardboard Box Boat Race. Thousands of people come to watch this entertaining competition on the River Cam where the different colleges compete for three coveted titles: the fastest cardboard boat, the longest to remain afloat, and the most creatively decorated (and satirical) boat. Each winner receives a cardboard trophy, a bottle of Prosecco, and most importantly, bragging rights for an entire year!
College May Balls, held in mid-June and attended by students, professors, staff, alumni, and College Fellows, are a much-loved Cambridge tradition. Most colleges host themed parties that last all night, and at 5am, students gather in the main courtyards for the “survivors photo.” However, my housemates and I decided to jump in the Cam after changing out of our finery for a refreshing swim.
My academic year here is now complete, and I ponder how much I’ve learned during the last ten months. I’ve made new friends, established new professional relationships, gained a deeper understanding of UK politics, history, and culture, and the biological sciences — and learned how good English food really is despite its reputation. I am thankful to everyone from Pitt and Cambridge who supported me, and I am excited to share these experiences with my family and friends. I look forward to hosting my Cambridge friends when they visit the USA.
Hinc lucen et pocula sacra!
Hail to Pitt!