Skip to main content

All first year undergraduates enjoyed a busy programme of academic and social activities

The College’s third and largest-ever Bridging Week took place just before the start of term when it welcomed its entire cohort of 139 first year undergraduate students to Lucy Cavendish for a programme of academic, academic-related and social activities designed to support transition to College and to the University of Cambridge.

The week began with a welcome from Lucy’s President, Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins, and the Senior Tutor Dr Jane Greatorex and then moved on to themed sessions including on essay writing, time management, well-being, academic skills and learning at Cambridge.

The students had the opportunity to experience a mini-supervision or meeting with their Director of Studies, as well as activities such as visiting their department, and a team-based task activity. Students were also encouraged to try out sporting activities at the Friday pop-up event, led by the University Sports Centre team who created a great atmosphere for the students and chatted about sports they might like to get involved with this year.

The new students found the week very valuable, with many reporting increased confidence, feeling of preparedness and excitement to begin study. They particularly valued the opportunity to make friends, ease nerves, and get settled in Cambridge in advance of term. Comments included:

“I feel a lot less anxious – Bridging Week really helped me settle in and feel more confident.”

“Everyone has been really helpful in answering questions and I liked the chance to meet people I am studying with. Really useful academically – and I enjoyed the social activities.”

“After Bridging, I now feel confident about how to make the most of my lectures and supervisions.”

“I can’t wait to get started!”

The College’s wonderful group of student helpers were on hand to meet new students and answer questions and the library acted as a busy hub for many activities.

College Librarian Suzanne Tonkin said: 

“I’ve already had contact with many of the students before they arrived, and our role as a hub during Bridging meant that students feel comfortable in the Library and now know us as familiar faces. It was great to see how the groups bonded as the week went on.”

The week concluded with a matriculation ceremony and photo and celebratory matriculation dinner for all of our new students to mark their commencement of study and becoming members of the College and University.

Group of undergraduates students - matriculation
Group of undergraduates students - matriculation

Bridging week is a keystone of the wider Lucy Cavendish programme of support for undergraduate students which includes offer-holder mentoring, pre-arrival Zoom Q&A sessions and meetings with the Student Finance Officer and continues throughout subsequent years at Cambridge, with our dedicated programmes for Careers, Enterprise, Academic skills, and Well-being. In addition, every student is part of a small tutorial group and has a dedicated Personal Tutor, as well as a Director of Studies who oversees academic progress.

Dr Poorna Mysoor, CTO and Director of Studies in Law said: 

“Bridging week was a great opportunity as a DoS for me to meet my students before they get into much more intense schedule as the term rolls on, and impart some of my excitement and enthusiasm for law as a subject. I also really got a sense of the kind of teaching style they might find most helpful.”

We continue to develop the programme and have taken careful note of feedback to build on the success of this years’ week.

The co-ordinator of Bridging Week Dr Annette Mahon said:

 “It's always a pleasure to welcome students to Cambridge but this year with our largest ever cohort of undergraduates and our first cohort as a mixed college has been very special. Bridging provides a supported transition to Cambridge and we are enormously grateful to all of the college departments as well as our team in the Student Office who've worked so hard to make the week a success.”

The Senior Tutor, Dr Jane Greatorex added:

 “I want to particularly acknowledge the generous support of our benefactors, for making it possible to provide this unique experience for our students. We look forward to welcoming an even bigger cohort in Michaelmas Term 2022.”

Bridging Week was made possible through the generosity of LucyGives 2020 Giving Week supporters.

Representative for Camcycle in College to explain more about safe cycling in Cambridge
Representative for Camcycle in College to explain more about safe cycling in Cambridge
Student Union's Garden party with live perfromance of a renown opera singer
Student Union's Garden party with live perfromance of a renown opera singer