History is a great course to study at Sidney, not only because of the great teaching staff, but also because of the close-knit community of historians here. Sidney’s History Society – “Confrat” - has several meetings a term, so you will get to know historians in other years as well as your own really quickly. Sidney is a small College (right in the centre of Cambridge which is so useful) with a really friendly community. In first year you’ll live with other freshers in one of three sites across College and soon get to know everyone.
In terms of the History course itself, you will do three papers in your first year (one paper a term) and will attend the lecture courses for these, as well as those for Historical Argument and Practice (HAP). Lectures are Monday to Friday, usually in the morning or early afternoon, in the History faculty at the Sidgwick Site. This is a 5-10 minute easy cycle, or 15 minute walk from College across town. The Seeley (History) Library is also at the faculty, as well as other subjects’ libraries in Sidgwick, which you can also use, so you can split your time between studying in College or in faculty.
Each week, you’ll have a supervision for which you'll have to submit an essay, and a HAP class with your Director of Studies (DoS) and the other Sidney historians in your year. Both are a great chance to ask any questions or queries that you have – don’t be afraid to ask, as although supervisors may seem scary, they really do want you to learn and do your best. Our DoSes really do secure us great supervisors; generally, you will end up with a mix of Sidney-based ones, and those from other Colleges. It is as well likely that, no matter which papers you have chosen to do, there will be another Sidney historian studying them, or has studied them before.
Aside from academia, there is so much you can get involved with at Sidney and at the University of Cambridge. From College clubs and societies, to University wide ones, there will be something for everyone. I was involved in netball, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, HummSoc (the University Hummus society), and Assassins’ Guild last year, just to name a few! It’s a great time to try something new and to meet new people. However, life at Cambridge can be busy and hectic, and you really don’t need to fill every spare minute of time with an extracurricular activity; sometimes just chilling in the JCR, bar, gardens, or in someone’s room and watching a movie or chatting is the best way to unwind. Formal hall is also another fun way to spend an evening, and a great part of College life!