Welcome to St Edmund’s College. From today you become members of our community of scholars, for life. Your time at St Edmund’s is an opportunity. We hope you will make the most of all that the college offers. As you arrive, you may feel lonely. You may feel that you are an imposter, allowed in by accident. Most of the time, even the staff feel like that too. But look around you.
The new faces around College are excited but anxious about their time in Cambridge. By the end of term, they will be your neighbours and friends. Fellow travellers on your academic journey. Many of them will become friends for life. As you settle in, pace yourself, look after yourself and your new friends. Are you eating, resting enough and are you drinking enough…water.
Your tutor is here to make sure that you flourish. They can help you to navigate University systems. For example, if you have a disability and need extra time in exams, speak to your tutor. Or, when you need support in an application for travel funding, speak to your tutor. Your tutor can also direct you towards specialised support provided by the University like the language centre. If you are taken ill and need an extension for your essay, speak to your tutor.
In no time at all we will be together again standing in the Senate House for your graduation. So, while you have the chance, explore every academic opportunity. But, when the sun shines, perhaps take a picnic to Grantchester Meadows or punt along the river. When I was a PhD student, my supervisor believed that Fitzbillies’ sticky buns had magic powers. Perhaps that’s why I’m still here all this time later.
Dr Judith Bunbury