I went to a Russell Group uni, but I wish I’d gone to a poly
After spending three years at a Russell Group university, I’ve come out with a 2:1, a job and very proud parents.
I went to the University of Liverpool – admittedly everyone’s second choice – and topped up my five contact hours with 10 hour days in the library, slaving over essays my tutors wouldn’t give me much guidance with, trying to get a first. But I can’t help be jealous of people who are lucky enough to scrape through their A Levels with BBC and go to second rate universities.
Why? The likes of Trent, John Moores and Oxford Brookes all have one thing in common: everyone is undeniably more fit and fun.
Red Bricks are full of people who went to private school or have the arrogance of someone who did, think people genuinely give a shit about their opinions and loudly proclaim their allegiance to Jeremy Corbyn, even though they’re from the Home Counties and have a second home somewhere in Devon. You’ll see grammar school boys morph into hipsters to give themselves a personality and insufferable daddy’s girls pioneer some worthy cause so they can “bulk up their CV” and bag a spot on a grad scheme.
There’s a reason I hated absolutely every university I looked at before filling in my UCAS. Nottingham was too pretentious, Durham was too posh and UCL didn’t even feel like a university. They have beautiful campuses and do pretty well in the league tables, but cut the bullshit and you’ll see everyone there is pretty boring. You’re just tricked into thinking they’re interesting because they bang on about all the extra curriculars they’re doing and all the drugs they’re taking.
Head over to somewhere like Nottingham Trent or Liverpool John Moores and it’s a whole different ball game. No “my Canada Goose is more expensive than yours”, just “when does predrinks start?” and “how many pints are you smashing?” There isn’t the same sense of self-worth, no mid-term personality crisis because it suddenly dawns on you how intolerable you are, just VKs and really, really good fancy dress themes.
Every Russell Group uni hates its rival. It’s not because they’re inferior – quite the opposite. Deep down, every uni of student knows the poly is having more fun, going out more, pulling more and making more out of their three years of freedom than any uni of student could. It takes a certain type of person to whip their tops off and whirl it round their heads whenever the Baywatch song comes on. Those people know the true value of university: to go out as much as possible and worry about everything else later.