Upgrade from Lout to Lord, or deteriorate from Duke to Devvo, with 10 top tips from The Tab’s resident lads.
Cambridge is predominantly bourgeois. Faced with the burden of being decidedly middle class, and thoroughly boring, you are now at a cross-roads in your life where you have two choices: poshing it up, or roughing it down. For those 36% of freshers who thought they wouldn’t be posh enough for Cambridge, follow The Tab’s 5 easy steps to social improvement, and pretend you always felt as accustomed to discussing Kant over some Darjeeling in an oak-paneled set of rooms. Alternatively, dig out a little niche for yourself as the resident working class hero, replete with all the spite and insecurity that a state education instils in you about coming to Cambridge.
FROM LOUT TO LORD
1. The clothing
The true aristocracy only shop at tailors. Jack Wills is to tailors what Greggs is to Patisserie Valerie. Scour Jermyn Street in London and take a trip to “Welsh and Schweffries” or “New and Blingwood”. Immediately purchase two pairs of brown suede loafers. Trash one pair, and name these your ‘lash boots’, which you will now happily vomit on regardless of their hundred pound price tag. Always wear beige chinos or cords (keep a ‘snazzy’ crimson pair in reserve). Jumpers must be cashmere, and carefully sewn-in name tapes are obligatory if you really want to maintain the air of boarding school bliss. A Barbour with spent shotgun cartridges and pheasant feathers in its pockets can be added. Purchase a gold signet ring. Guffaw.
2. The company
Only speak to people of higher social standing – they are particularly easy to spot, as they will be wearing pretty much the same outfit as you, flopping their hair around, toting a double-barrelled surname, and pouting at regular intervals. By no means associate with anyone of ethnic origin, unless they happen to be an exiled prince of a rebellious African state. Obviously leave your crass regional accent behind you.
3. The PSC (Public School Circuit)
All posh people know each other, hence the Pitt club exists. This is so they can get together and talk about buggery, bashing gypsies and generally have some bloody good larks. When two posh people meet they embark on the ‘name game’. Just keep spouting names of people who went to public school and pretend you ‘adore’ them. The more people you are mutually acquainted with, the better. Always keep a bottle of Moet in your fridge, get a table at Hidden Rooms and take up rugby at John’s.
Let Tatler guide thee on thy lofty quest…
4. The complete disrespect for other people’s property
Given that money is no object, a properly educated lad or lady will borrow their friend’s items without even thinking about asking. And then sew a name tape in it.
5. The icing on the patisserie:
Immediately change course to History of Art (because you want to work out just how much the family collection is worth) or Land Economy (need to know the basics to run the estate yah). And don’t forget GY ’08, mate.
FROM CHARMING TO CHAV
1. The clothing
Trackie bottoms are de rigueur. But steer clear of stash, and ‘joggers’ from Jack Wills. Stick to the Lonsdale and you won’t go far wrong. If someone does make you take off the trackies, and you have to wear a suit for some up itself Cambridge event, accessorise appropriately so that you look like a footballer in court. Breeches, big pink tie, coupled with an air of guilty unease. Display insane levels of raw, seething hatred for anyone wearing chinos.
2. The company
Make sure you have at least one fight in Fresher’s week. Begin by shouting ‘cunt’ at someone as they walk past, and then go mental when they dare to look back. Spend the rest of the walk home berating whoever you’re with for not backing you up, and reiterate that back on the streets at home, the only way your crew survived was by sticking together. Make friends with any black people you meet; most people in Cambridge are a bit scared of them, guaranteeing you an instant rep.
3. The State School Circuit (SSC)
Talk about your ‘state school in South Manchester’ a lot, and go on about the nutters at your old school as if they were your best mates, even though you were probably inside working when they were sitting on top of the science block throwing tiles at the teacher’s car park. Constantly suggest going to Spoons, for breakfast, dinner and a night out. A can of lager is compulsory for social events; matriculation, formal hall, drinks with the master. STOP PLAYING RUGBY.
From now on, Devvo is your homeboy.
4. The complete disrespect for other people’s personal property
This stems not from a lack of respect, but out of proper working class anger. Even if the only job your dad has ever lost was his paper round, go on about it like it tore the family apart, and pushed you all into abject poverty.
5. The icing on the pasty:
Have a grossly overstated bike lock. A real fuck-off steel chain thing. It is a very subtle tool for making you seem more working class. The size of the lock equates to how valuable the bike is to you; so stick a massive lock on a ridiculously shit bike. In addition, appear to be able to handle the bike lock as a weapon, wrapping it menacingly around your fist.