The Other Place

Fun Fact! “Cambridge” was named after a bridge that went over the River Cam. And yet despite how unoriginal their school name is, the people of Cambridge still think they’re better than everyone else.
June 8, 2016

Early this morning we set off for Cambridge University. Founded in 1209, Cambridge University is one of England’s oldest and highest-achieving universities. About 22,000 students attend Cambridge, which is less than half the size of Michigan State’s student body.

Cambridge University grounds.

I was surprised to learn that the two universities have a lot in common. Although Michigan State has a larger focus on sports, both Cambridge and Michigan State have huge rivalries. Michigan State’s largest rival is the University of Michigan. One cannot be a fan of both MSU and U of M; it’s basically a sin. Similarly, someone that goes to Cambridge cannot even speak the words “Oxford University” on campus.

People used to hang toilet seats on those towers. Then Cambridge ruined the fun and put up spikes.

This rivalry is really funny to me, seeing as all of Cambridge’s original students had come from Oxford when the school was shut down temporarily in protest as a result of the hangings of two Oxford men for being responsible for the death of a woman. I guess the rivalry sparks from Oxford and Cambridge being the first two universities in the English-speaking world. While Michigan State and the University of Michigan don’t quite reach back that far in history, the reason for our rivalry is that we are the two main universities in Michigan. I guess no matter how old the school rivalry, it will always come down to territorial predominance.

Cambridge’s campus is nothing less than breathtaking. Because the university is so ancient, the buildings all reflect the old architectural styles that aren’t found in many of Michigan State’s buildings. Michigan State was founded in 1855, a whopping 646 years after Cambridge was founded. This makes North Campus seem like new construction. Regardless, if there’s one thing I learned today, it’s that although Cambridge is beautiful and filled with history, I’d take being a Spartan over going to Cambridge any day.

msu seal.png

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