Alex King, 20 from Bristol, studies History at King’s, and we asked him a few questions before he begins his second year back in the Bridge.
Why did you apply to King’s all those months ago?
The college seemed to have the best of both worlds: it is grand, central, and beautiful; but also friendly and welcoming.
Now you’ve done a year here, what would you say is the best thing about King’s?
King’s has something for everyone. King’s students come from all types of backgrounds: from all types of schools; from all over the world. This eclecticism lends the college to diversity. King’s is therefore politically and socially liberal, meaning anyone can come here and feel at home, and find people to get along with.
What’s a common misconception about King’s?
Looks can be deceiving; King’s is certainly architecturally magnificent, but in terms of student numbers it is not a massive college. It has one of the highest ratios of academics to students out of all of the Cambridge colleges, so we are provided with excellent academic supervision, as well as unparalleled pastoral support. Every student is inspired, whilst feeling comfortable in their own skin. This I came to appreciate on my first day at Cambridge. I had become a small fish in an immense ocean, but the college was there to help me settle in. All of the freshers were interested in who I was and what I was studying, and the older students made me feel at home. We met some of the most senior academics in the college who were all too keen to make us feel a part of the community.
Many prospective students worry that there’s not a lot of time for things outside of study, what would you tell them?
King’s pushed me academically, but it also encouraged me to get stuck in with extra-curricular activities, and to move out of my comfort zone. I continued with activities I had done in school such as rugby, but I began to get involved in new societies and groups. The college has a fantastic student union, as well as a ‘King’s Politics’ forum, where students can see prominent public figures give their opinions on issues. Last year these issues ranged from faith-schools, to humanitarian aid. Whether you’re interested in sports or politics, in singing or University Challenge, King’s has something to offer you. And, as if this didn’t clinch it, the college boasts the King’s Affair, our end-of-year event, which showcases top musical acts and the most creative visuals in Cambridge.
What would you tell someone who was thinking of applying to King’s?
Go for it. King’s is, in essence, wonderful. It guarantees that its students thrive in their work. Its strength, however, lies in its ability to create down-to-earth and confident individuals, who appreciate important things beyond academia. I will always count myself lucky for having the privilege of coming here.