Although Sidney’s main entrance is located on one of Cambridge’s most central, bustling, and well-trodden streets, when you come through the front gate the noise fades behind the high walls. Sidney has its own whirring rhythm.
Students and Fellows alike enjoy sitting in our beautiful gardens during the summer; visitors are always surprised at how spacious and tranquil they are (unless there’s a garden party on of course!).
One of the things I like best about Sidney is the size of its community, and the effect this has on the College environment. The place is small enough that you’re able to get to know everyone in your own sub-community, as well as many members of the College staff, including the Porters, the gardeners, and the front of house team in the catering department.
Students recognise everyone in their year group, and as for the Fellows, we constantly have opportunities to meet, both formally and informally, and to discuss our research and work across subject areas.
I was worried I’d feel a bit lost or isolated joining the College as a Research Fellow, since my job entails me working on my own (sitting with books, or writing on my computer) for large parts of the day. But it’s been the opposite: I’ve felt so supported since I arrived.
I have been given opportunities to develop my teaching, to present my research to colleagues, to contribute to the College’s admissions, outreach and access work, to become involved (as all Fellows are) in the governance of College, and to approach more senior colleagues for help and guidance with navigating academic life.