Societies are a great way to meet people. Whether you’re sporty, arty, serious, funny or simply transcend categorisation, there’ll be a society to suit your tastes. Societies’ fairs take place in Freshers’ week, in both town and Girton, where societies will try and bribe you to join with free sweets, pens and any available bits of tat. For a flavour of the broad range of societies, ranging from Whiskey to Kickboxing to Irish Dancing, take a look at the Societies Directory on the CUSU website: www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/societies/directory/
As Girton boasts both an indoor pool and sports pitches on the college grounds there is ample opportunity to get involved in sports, whatever you’re into the college probably has a team for it. At the Girton Freshers’ fair there’ll be a chance to sign up to some of the organised college sports. The University teams offer a chance to play at a far more competitive standard; making it to the first team makes you a “Cambridge Blue”.
Cambridge has a huge drama scene with a dedicated Amateur Dramatic Club theatre (the ADC) as well as theatre spaces dotted around the town and in colleges. With alumni such as actors; Sir Ian McKellen, Tilda Swinton, and Emma Thompson, comedians; Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Sacha Baron Cohen, David Mitchell and playwrights like Christopher Marlowe this is a quite a place to get involved! Girton’s Amateur Dramatic society (GADS) puts on plays most terms and is always looking for fresh talent – from actors to directors to stage managers and technicians.
Girton is famous (or infamous) for its formal on a Thursday evening, and are a full, silver-service, by candlelight. It’s a formal dinner, complete with short Latin grace, and is usually followed by a trip to the bar. As you can imagine, it’s a unique Cambridge experience. Formal halls go on sale one week in advance on Upay and are extremely popular, often selling out quickly.
Ents & Undergrounds
Generally each college holds a few Ents (or Bops as less cool Colleges call them) a term – and of course Girton Ents are a good way of bringing a great night with college friends right to your doorstep! Equally, “undergrounds” in the bar give some great nights just down the stairs. Make sure you bring your fancy dress, as these are generally themed and it’s great fun to dress up!
Most of the clubs in Cambridge tend to play cheesy music, but always provide a good night out. The main student nights are Sunday (try Fez or Lola Lo – Cambridge’s answer to Mahiki), Tuesday (Cindies, ultimate cheese) and Thursday (Life). Life is also extremely popular on Sundays, as is Cindies on Wednesdays. If all this seems a bit mainstream, try ragamuffin venue Kambar for something a bit more alternative. It‟s probably worth mentioning at this point that Cindies is actually called Ballare, and Life is actually called The Place… they changed their names a few years ago but everyone likes to stick with the original names. If you’d rather avoid the clubs, other colleges also run their own nights – check out the cellars at Clare and King’s for a night of drum ‘n’ bass or dubstep.
There are also plenty of pubs if that’s more your thing – some especially decent ones if you‟re up for exploring the areas less frequented by bike-less central-college students! Cambridge has 3 cinemas – Vue, Cineworld and the Arts Picturehouse. And when it comes to plays (the ADC theatre always has something going on), concerts, and talks, Cambridge is spoilt for choice. Varsity and TCS (the student papers) have weekly listings of all these, but check out the streams of adverts and posters which litter railings all around the city too for some gems.
May Week & Girton Spring Ball
The biggest social events of the year occur in May Week – a week, which in keeping with Cambridge’s disdain for making much sense, is in June – after all exams have finished. It’s a week of garden parties, the infamous May Balls and relaxation. May Balls are incredible events of 1,500-odd guests enjoying fine food, drink and dodgems (…just the tip of the iceberg really…) for one ridiculous night and morning – it ends at 6am. More incredibly it’s entirely student planned, organised and run!
Girton holds its own Ball in the Spring every second year at the end of Lent term. The last was in 2014.