Clare College Cambridge

Moriyo Aiyeola

I remember before I arrived for my first year, Cambridge seemed so intimidating. But I had heard so much about how Clare is a truly down to earth and incredibly friendly environment to study and live which set me at ease. Since starting out in my very first term, this has turned out to be so true and with some of the best accommodation in all of Cambridge, I have felt very much at home and truly comfortable. Clare has the distinct mix of having that traditional look of a Cambridge college but it feels very progressive, has a great social atmosphere and is more laid back. I knew I did not want to go somewhere where I felt heavily pressurised in my academics but instead I have felt more challenged and encouraged. With all first years living as a community in Memorial Court, this allows you to form close friendships very quickly. Especially as a History Student, you are also a stone’s throw away from the University Library, the college library and literally a four minute walk to the History faculty building where all your lectures are. It just makes everything that much more accessible to really help you make the most of your degree.

I remember my interview day being such as blur and being incredibly nervous. However it is important to realise that you will never be able to completely prepare yourself for the day as the questions are not necessarily asked to test you on your knowledge but how you think about History. Be your own self and read around beyond your curriculum on subjects related to your A-Levels and your own personal interests. It would probably also give you the edge to read a little on historical practice to help you discuss how History has been produced over time or might be produced going forward. Most importantly, enjoy it and try and approach it like a relaxed discussion. Although it will be hard not to, try not to make assumptions about how it might have gone because it is so hard to judge how others might see you – just stay positive!

I knew I wanted to come to Cambridge and get involved in much more than just my degree and make the most of being at university. While the work is more demanding than at most other universities there is definitely time to do things that you enjoy. Clare being centrally located means it is a lot easier to access the city centre where most societies are but the college itself is home to so many different college based societies and is so facilitating. For example, I am on the University’s Athletics team and have benefitted greatly from Clare’s generous grants that allow me to participate in sport without the worry or burden of a huge cost to do so.  I have also enjoyed getting involved in college life by being the Black, Minority and Ethnic Officer for Clare’s union of students where I work to promote the issues faced by ethnic minority students, improve access and diversity and promote discussion.

There is honestly so much to get involved in beyond your studies at Clare as well as have some down time and you will feel well looked after when you are here. I encourage you to apply and wish you the best of luck!