The college family is a true Cambridge institution. Each year students may propose to one another, forming couples who will adopt children at the beginning of the new academic year. This gives ´freshers´ a chance to interact with second year students as soon as they arrive. At Lucy, your two ´mums´ might well tell you all of the tips and tricks of Cambridge life, or simply be two friendly faces around college. Maybe you could ask them if they know any shortcuts into town, where to get a bike or how they plan their weeks. They have one year of Cambridge life on you, so make the most of their wisdom. Equally, you may find that your fellow first year siblings become your new best friends after having spent SU arranged family activities with them, such as college brunches or formals. Whatever the level of commitment in your college family, it is a fun way of meeting people outside of your year or subject.
Left out socially
The Student Union exists with the expressed purpose of creating a welcoming college community at Lucy Cavendish. If you do feel left out, then you might want to talk to a welfare officer in confidence.
Another initiative the SU runs is the chocolate drop box. It was created as a way of letting people know that you are thinking about them, even if you don't know them well enough or don't feel comfortable approaching them. If you think someone might be struggling but don't know how to tell them, then sending them a chocolate and a card is a good option. Telling a tutor about it is also a something you might do. Equally, if you are the one feeling left out then you may find speaking to them helpful. They are there to listen to any concerns you may have outside of your academic life. (http://www.lucy-cav.cam.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/staff/ ).
Culture shock and meeting friends from home
The British food and climate, having to speak English every day and feeling like the social codes are lost on you – these may all be problems for an international student. Luckily, there are ways of easing the culture shock. Lucy Cavendish College is a good place to start. As one of the most international college communities, we have a history of arranging everything from language swaps to international potluck dinners. These events will be put on the term card and advertised on Facebook. However, you can always get in touch with the SU International officer (tab to her profile on page) to suggest activities or to ask for pointers outside of these events.
The wider university community is also a source of international events. Not least the many country-specific societies ( https://www.cusu.co.uk/groups?group_type=club-society-672&group_cat=international&search ). If you want to meet other students from your home country they are where to turn. They will often have events to celebrate traditions from home, host formal dinners, mingles or parties. Their umbrella body is the autonomous Cambridge University Students´ Union international campaign (https://www.cusu.co.uk/icusu ), who see to the needs of the international student body at the university.
Ethnic and sexual minority
Being an ethnic or sexual minority you might be looking for support at university, or just a community to socialise with. There are plenty of places to turn.
Starting with support for ethnic minorities, the SU has its own BME officer. You may turn to her for questions or suggestions regarding college activities and support. The Cambridge University Students´ Union BME campaign (https://www.cusu.co.uk/the-black-and-minority-ethnic-campaign ) are also there to cater to your needs. They are an autonomous body of CUSU, who provide support and campaign for the visibility and rights of ethnic minority students of Cambridge. You may also find them on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CambridgeBME/ ). Take a look at the CUSU list of societies for other BME initiatives: https://www.cusu.co.uk/groups
The support and community for sexual minorities has two main sources: the college and the university. The SU LGBT+ officer will be able to listen to concerns or suggest activities run by the college. The Lucy Cavendish LBGT+ Facebook page may also be of interest: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1035325976508137/ The Cambridge University Students´ Union runs its own LBGT+ campaign (https://www.cusu.co.uk/the-lgbt-campaign ). They support and represent the community, but also host a lot of social events and have their own family scheme where new LBGT+ students at Cambridge may be assigned ´parents´ at the beginning of the year. They regularly update their events on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lgbtcusu/ This (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2202197406/) is also a good Facebook page to have a look at.