English undergraduate Keri McIntyre discusses the friendly environment she enjoys at Fitzwilliam College.
How do you feel about the celebration of 40 years of women at Fitz?
I think it’s an important milestone in the College’s development. 40 years seems like such a short time - my parents were born before women were allowed in here - but ultimately this anniversary represents the leaps in social progress that have been made in recent times. It feels like the world is slowly catching up to where it should be in terms of gender equality.
Do you have any advice for prospective undergraduate students?
Don’t assume that any aspect of your identity or circumstances will rule you out of coming to Cambridge. The University, while old, generally has a modern attitude towards accessibility. This is especially true of Fitz College.
Has anything surprised you about Cambridge? Have you faced any challenges?
I was surprised by how friendly and helpful the academic staff are. I was expecting to be intimidated. In reality, you’re spoken to as an equal, and all of the supervisors are more than willing to answer questions or help with things that you don’t understand.
What else do you do apart from your subject in Cambridge?
I enjoy cooking, playing piano, and painting. I am also involved in the Tabletop Games Society, the Neurological Society, Biological Society, and the Law society.
Why did you choose Cambridge? What made you choose Fitzwilliam?
I chose Cambridge partly because it was a childhood ambition to come here, since several people I admire (e.g. Stephen Fry, Alan Turing) had been students here. The structure of my course also attracted me - the focus on small-group supervisions and the chronological teaching of time periods suits my learning style well.
I chose Fitzwilliam College after coming here on a study day with my sixth form. The friendliness of the environment struck me - it didn’t feel nearly as imposing and stuffy as I’d been fearing. The gardens are also beautiful, and provide a calm space to walk around between classes.