We know who you really are based on the university you go to
Literally just a list of very well-observed stereotypes
Hello. Here we are again. The people who told you what Made In Chelsea character your uni was, what Harry Potter character your uni was, what Olympic sport your uni was, even what uni your uni was. We’ve had some fun times with university stereotypes, but we’ve never really got to the heart of the matter.
Quite simply, what does your choice of university say about your personality. How much of it makes up who you really are? Well, glad you asked.
You are allergic to vowels, and you’re either quite political or really like surfing. Never both.
You like to pretend you’re at the University of Cambridge, but we all know it’s lies. No one will believe that Anglia is a college. Unlike Brookes students, who can get away with saying “oh I go to university in Oxford” and hope they won’t be found out, everyone knows you’re not at the proper place – because Anglia Ruskin advertises everywhere. With this in mind, you’re a lot more grounded than Oxbridge or Brookes – and there’s nothing wrong with knowing your place.
Someone in your family, or a family friend, went to Aston – you wouldn’t have considered it otherwise. Now you’re playing on astroturf on the footie third team, you spend your days bantering with the lads at the Gosta and there’s no better night for you than one spent sharking at Snobs.
You’re just a dynamite geezer, and yes, you like a beer.
Bath is one of those unis that sounds far more impressive when you first hear it at sixth form. You think, it’s close to Bristol, it’s a lovely city, how bad can it be? And the answer is, not that bad. Yes, everywhere shuts at 2am, and yes all the clubs are in a basement, but everyone is blonde, tanned, pleasantly vacant and spends a lot of time outdoors. You’re quietly confident and unashamedly uni, you don’t see anything wrong with three lax practises a day or a pint of snakebite at the union. You’re classically posh with a name like Milly, Livvy or Hattie and you don’t mind not standing out.
You’re reasonably intelligent but chronically safe, and that’s why you picked Birmingham. Decent uni, decent rankings, decent city, but there’s nothing very stand out about Birmingham or the people who go there? Don’t worry (you’re probably worrying now), you’ll graduate with a 2:1 and get a decent job and probably have a decent amount of Twitter followers. But you know that whenever you tell people you went to Birmingham they’ll politely nod and you’ll shrug in a self-deprecating way and you’ll both know you tolerated three years of absolute boredom.
You either got here through clearing, or you’re just rebelling against your painfully wealthy parents. It’s a phase which will pass when you finally get picked up by Made in Chelsea.
You’re more fun and more artsy than Sussex and your graduation will be much, much more flamboyant.
You’ve left the haven of your cushy London private school behind and can’t wait to shake off the silken tassels of posh life. You’re buying homeless people clothes and slipping into a dirty slang ridden new accent. Bucket hat on and clutching your can of Red Stripe in Lakota, your mate Quentin firmly grasps your shoulder and says “you having a good night man?”, and in that moment, you feel cool for the first time in your life. You smile beatifically back at Quentin and tell him you love him and that you’re honestly so glad you didn’t get into Oxford.
It’s nice to be surrounded by people as intelligent as you for a change. You’ve gone your whole life around average minds but now you’re at a place where you can finally start to change the world. You’re going to walk into any job after uni and you know it. This doesn’t stop you stressing out 24/7 about work though. Part of you would like to have a normal uni experience like all of your home friends but you know you’re getting the best education possible and you won’t stop being so self-congratulatory about it. Despite apprehensions about becoming a posho you secretly have got really into going to all the balls, bops and formals. Don’t worry, nobody will tell anyone once you graduate, get to London and tell everyone that it’s not even that elitist at Cambridge anymore.
Normal. A pretty good word for people at Cardiff. Bit of IMG sport, bit of MD at CYNT. In cricketing terms you’re an all-rounder. Feel free to get a bit more into one than another, no one cares, because they’re all just as normal as you.
Something must have gone wrong: not only did you have to go to uni in Kent, but you didn’t even get to go to Kent Uni. It’s either that, or your parents live nearby and you’re lazy.
Central University of London
Why is everything so expensive in this city. Why is it so hard to find shit. There’s too many people. You work in a pub.
Hopefully you’re studying a marketing degree as this is the best place for it. They’ve managed to sell you a uni with a posh name that sounds kind of impressive but now you’re living in Leicester for three years.
Oxbridge rejects – same lack of personality, just didn’t get in. Don’t kid yourselves, the college system doesn’t mean you’re any better.
Despite it being a beautiful city, with culture up to your eyeballs, everyone is bloody miserable because of the oppressive students’ union. It’s also very cold, there will be a lot of girls in knitted scarves with a starbucks.
You play sport. Your daddy takes you on expensive holidays. You have long flowing hair if you’re a girl and rock a top knot if you’re a guy. You don’t mind that the clubs are shit because the campus is so shiny and well groomed, just like you.
You love the safe sex ball but never have safe sex because you’re so unay.
You were initially a bit bummed out that despite getting into Exeter uni you were going to be even further away from civilisation. However, after a few weeks you get really into surfing and the Facebook photos of you in a wetsuit start cropping up. So what if you don’t have an identical group club photo with all of your mates, you have the unique experience of spending your university life clad in synthetic rubber and shivering in the Atlantic ocean.
You don’t complain about the cold ’cause Dave will call you a pussy and he already shaved your eyebrow off for failing at OddsOn. You like pints and deep fried mars bars.
Drugs are cool, you’re cool, all your mates are cool. You work in a pop up restaurant in Shoreditch to fund your coke habit but if you’re really short on money mummy and daddy will sort you out, one day you’ll be able to monetize your creative process, hopefully.
You went to Oaklands or Barnfield college, you buy your polo shirts in the Galleria or the Arndale and you spend your evenings in The Forum or Batchwood.
The Forum or Batchwood. What did you do to deserve this?
You hate the NUS. You have to deal with people taking the mick out of going to university in Hull 24/7 when it’s pretty much just like every other uni town.
Very few females here. The boys are all nerds, but that’s okay because you’ll be building our future. The SU is the cheapest place to get a pint in London (probably) but you’re not gonna pull there.
You wear more fake-tan than uni of and you drink more than uni of, but you still get the prestige of making fun of Liverpool Hope. You’ll probably become a teacher of something like Drama or English. You’ve nailed it tbh.
You literally spun a globe, pointed at a place and committed to spending three whole years of your life there.
Nestled in the middle of nowhere with one club, and one chicken-burger receptacle, if you make the decision to trek all the way to Kent uni you have to be good at making the most of things. Well done you.
You care about the major issues in the world, and you’re damn well going to chain yourself to the fences outside the Houses of Parliament until the politicians and the bigwigs listen.
But first you’re going to go and get smashed at Walkabout. What? It’s a Wednesday.
Kingston is so far from London that you might as well have gone to a uni that was a bit more picturesque instead of spending three years in what is essentially a naff suburban town. Going to The Tun followed by Pryzm is possibly the most unay night in the country. You’re probably just doing an art foundation, though, so you’ll be able to escape after a year.
Lancaster is ranked ridiculously high in league tables but people assume it’s shit just because they’ve never heard of it and it’s not in the Russell Group. You’re obviously book smart but why are you at uni here when your grades were good enough to go somewhere else? The campus is huge and miles away from anywhere, even town is a trek. Nights out in Sugarhouse makes the pilgrimage just about worth it.
The cliché of what the students here are like is so strong that it’s become an adjective within itself. As in, when you call someone “so Leeds” when they post their sixth consecutive cover photo with glitter around their eyes drinking Red Stripe.
But the thing is, going to Leeds is so much more than topknots and ketamine. Firstly, there’s your presumable sporting prowess – that came from a childhood of rugby or hockey in the home counties. Then there’s your gorgeous hair: seriously, everyone in Hyde Park has beautiful, tumbling locks, even if they do go days without washing it.
Last but not least, of course, is your ability to party. Whether you’re surrounded by balloons in a Headingley house party, desperately failing to hail a cab from outside Canal Mills or stumbling home from a night on Call Lane, you’re definitely at your best at five in the morning.
Of course, Beckett are even better at partying than Leeds. Have you seen the Pryzm dancefloor on a Friday night, or the inside of the Briggate McDonald’s on a Saturday morning? It’s absolute carnage, and the Beckett lot thrive in it.
Mayhem is the name of the game, and it’s where Beckett beat Uni hands down every time. Whether you’re obliterating a weedy Surrey boy on the rugby field, bolting a pint at four times the speed of a BA-studying nerd or just punching a sanctimonious twat in the face in the queue to Mission because you didn’t like his accent, one thing’s for sure: no-one’s picking a fight with Beckett.
If there was an award for just really getting involved, keeping your chin up, getting yourself to parties even when you don’t really know the host, that award would go to Leeds Trinity. “There are loads of students in Leeds” someone is saying. “Uni of, Becket…” “Don’t forget Trinity!” Thank you for being the everyman, thank you for always trying your best.
“Elite but not elitist’ – the slogan of Leicester uni is proudly displayed all over town. It’s the line that you’ll tell everyone from home over a pint at Christmas. But deep down you know the truth. You know that your first choice was Exeter or literally anywhere else, you know you’re not elite. But at the end of the day, Leicester in 2016 is one of best places to be in the UK and you’re not too bothered about anyone else. You’re happy with Jason Derulo at Republic every couple of weeks, you’re not trying to be flashy or impress anyone, you’re just here for a good time.
Ever since that Inbetweeners joke (you know the one) you’ve had to put up with a lot of shit for going to Lincoln. But you know what, fuck that. What does Will from The Inbetweeners know? He’s a briefcase wanker (which people from Lincoln probably still find funny) and Lincoln is not a shithole.
Lincoln is a nice city, and the clubs are nice, and the people are nice and yeah, everything’s nice. Lincoln students know they’re not going to be anyone’s first choice for the big nights out, for the sought after degrees, for anything really, and they’re fine with that. They’re just here to have a bloody nice time.
And the cathedral is lovely tbf.
You wear a lot of fake tan and get pissed all the time.
Top in the league tables for appropriateness of name. As in, you can only hope that things will get before for you after you graduate.
You’re from somewhere at least a bit near London, can’t really be arsed to move away for uni and didn’t have the grades to get in anywhere else. Literally nowhere else would take you.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Full of tropical cunts.
If you’re not in the Olympics, you’ve gone to the wrong place. All you brought to uni with you was 15 tracksuits and two pairs of trainers. You’re reasonably sociable but don’t care that Loughborough’s nightlife is weak as you probably have a game tomorrow and need an early night.
You’re clever but don’t get the recognition that Oxbridge students get. This is because you are socially inept and prefer numbers to people. You’re going to earn shed loads of money in the future though so you don’t really care.
Manchester is the evil twin of Man Met. They’re both fun, but people at Man Met are less bothered about what people think of them and more absorbed with having a good time. They’ll go harder on nights out, put less effort into wearing brands that nobody’s heard of and will probably laugh a lot more too. The girls will get more dressed up for nights out, and have a bit more of a northern vibe to them.
By their final year, the Manchester student will have perfected the art of appearing effortless. There’s no such thing as ‘dressed up’ in Fallowfield – they’ll wear the same outfit to the Ali G as they would to the Warehouse Project. After arriving from their private school in London, they ditched their branded clothes for a closet full of second-hand sportswear (Umbro, Le-Coq sportif or some obscure one they hope you’ve never heard of) and swap their heels for a grubby pair of trainers. They’ll sit on the grass with a fair trade coffee (they boycotted Starbucks after reading week) and discuss philosophy, social injustice, techno and the sad decline of house parties.
New College of Humanities
Your friends made fun of you for going to private school but now you’ve gone to a private university and committed social suicide.
La la la, I live in Jesmond, la la la, my house has an Aga, la la la, Swingers.
When you tell people where Northampton is you say it’s near Cambridge even though it’s equally near both Coventry and Milton Keynes. It’s surrounded by decent unis, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Loughborough, but for some reason you ended up in Northampton. Why?
Trebles, Birds, The Sesh, Clubbing, Birds, Football, Coats are for pussies, Birds, Birds.
Going to Nottingham is a series of painful realisations. The realisation that you’re not quite smart enough to get into Oxbridge is swiftly followed by the one that you’re actually going to have to live in the East Midlands. But you know what, for all the stick Nottingham gets, all the edgy comparisons it’s left out of, all the jokes about how boring it is, if you go there, chances are you’ll be perfectly balanced. Fun, but not doing ket at 4am on a Thursday. Smart, but not a bookish wanker. Basically just a normal, but pretty decent human being.
You are just so much fun. You’re the sort of person who has thoroughly dedicated themselves to the art of the sesh. For the vast majority of your nights, alcohol will be more than enough, albeit an absolute shit load of it. Every night at Trent is like a grown up school disco. But instead of a school hall, with a capri sun and S club 7, it’s Ocean, with a VK and S club 7. Probably also fingering. People at Trent don’t care about any other unis, let alone Nottingham, they’re just having too much fun, always.
Deutsche Bank training ladder here I come.
Are you a promoter? You’re probably a promoter.
You had a troubled childhood so you moved to Cornwall where no one will ever find you again.
Chances are you’re Irish. Chances are you’re a culchie. Chances are you came to the big city to try student life but not so much that you can’t go home at the weekends so mammy can do your washing and cook you enough food for the week ahead (you’ll bring it back on that really subtle shuttle bus which parks outside the Lanyon Building on Sunday nights – you know the one). Your cold Palestine St house hosts endless renditions of Wagon Wheel and your sofa is always outside. No matter your gender, you probably own, somewhere in the depths of your wardrobe, no matter how much you try to hide it, an O’Neills hoodie, Canterbury bottoms and maybe a Boojum addict you wear to bed ironically. You don’t get it when friends from other unis talk about going to London after graduation. Why the fuck would you want to leave?
Well, either all of that or you’re English, paying less fees, having more fun than all of your mates at other unis – but yeah, still slightly bemused and completely unable to decipher a Ballymena accent.
Pints, Jaeger, Pints, Wkd, Jaeger, Snakebite, Pints. You’re not stupid but you didn’t get in anywhere else.
Royal Agricultural College
You’re all mental. You spent your youth smashing as many drugs as you could to stave off the boredom in between driving tractors and now that you’ve got to uni you’ve got a whole bunch of equally mental young farmers egging you on to get even more loose. You’re going to inherit a ton of land one day and be sorted so you don’t really have to do anything. Just sit around getting fucked up, waiting for your parents to die.
Royal College of Music
I got distinction Grade 8 in year 11 #motivation. Yes I can play Baker Street. Yes I’ve seen Amadeus. No you can’t touch my flute. No its not a conservatoire. Stop trying to touch my flute.
You are female.
Royal Veterinary College
We get it, you like animals.
Convincing yourself that you’re at a real uni, you discuss cultured things like books and photographs. When you venture into Manchester, mostly because you have told everyone at home that you’ve gone to Manchester uni and have to prove it, you get the piss taken out of you and probably get beaten up by someone from Man Met.
Yes, on paper, Sheffield may not be the most exciting place to go to uni. No, you probably won’t know anyone from Sheffield that got more fun after they went there. But what you can say about people from Sheffield is that they are bloody consistent. Consistently in the upper middle of the league tables, they sit comfortably in clothes that would be best described as ‘safe’. They are Topman if Topman was a uni.
Often city universities feel lumbered with their polytechnic cousin (seriously, ask a Leeds student about Beckett), but for you it’s the other way around. To say Sheffield students are so boring, Hallam students really know how to go hard: even if what constitutes hard is being able to carry four VKs in each hand through the Popworld dancefloor.
You have your whole life planned out already. You have age-based targets that you WILL hit. Why else would you pick such a specific university?
You thought this was a Christian youth camp and are bummed out because you would have had more fun if you went to one.
It was your second choice but you’re making the most of it. At least there’s a beach. Edinburgh can’t be that great it must be so much colder up there. There’s still places to drink. At least there’s a beach.
You’re really rich and probably don’t need to get a job, or a degree. You play a lot of golf and talk about how Kate and Wills went to your uni. The girls probably think they’re the next Kate. If you don’t have good ball wear, you’re not going to survive.
You’re not at Edinburgh. You’re not at Glasgow. You’re not even at Strathclyde. You’re in the middle of nowhere, where nothing can hear you but the trees – and you’re a bit of an oddball, so you like it like that.
A mutual hate for the Glasgow Uni Wanker brings everyone together in a warm snuggly blanket. No matter what people say, they’re proud to be there and they don’t care what people think. At least they’re not Caley.
[Scene: your first day at Sussex]
“Hi there mate, I’m Gideon. I’ve just got back from trekking around Nepal. My interests include social justice, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and weaving my own garments from hemp.
“Yes, I live in a townhouse in Islington, why is that relevant?”
Masochistic and self-pitying, why else would you go to university in Wales? At least people who go to Cardiff can argue that they go to a reasonable uni.
You are impossibly fashionable (obviously) and you go to a lot of parties where everyone is very mean but also fabulous. Also during fashion week you have a full blown annual nervous breakdown. It’s worth it of course.
You live in London and couldn’t bare to move away. There’s just nowhere else like it in the world. Why would you want to leave? Where would you go? Now that you’ve arrived at uni you can finally express yourself properly around all your new equally cool mates. You’ve all got creative side hustles going on and you won’t stop banging on about how great it is to go to uni right in the centre of London. You know the city like no-one else. You laugh to yourself while scrolling through Facebook at all your basic home mates who are so unay it’s unbearable. You just can’t help it if you’re better than everyone else can you.
It felt like the left-field choice and you were pretty smug about it, but you soon realised that nobody cares about Norwich and it’s hard to get there. That said, it fits your Manic Pixie Dream Girl vibes: UEA is a journal from Cath Kidston, it’s a decorated wheelbarrow on a warm summer’s day. It’s cutesy, it’s twee, it’s incredibly harmless, the Cloud Dog of universities.
Well, until you give it a few Jagerbombs at the LCR on a Tuesday. Then it turns into an angry, hissing, aggressive creature, not too dissimilar to the geese which attack you if you go to near to a lake.
Yeah, people from Queen’s can make those jokes about colouring in all they want, but they’ll never know the joy of a beach house – well, kind of a beach house – in Portstewart. So what if you don’t have an SU? You don’t need one, you’ve got the Anchor. Even if you’re at Jordanstown, you’re living the life (kind of) a Queen’s student – even if it means a longer commute from a shit house in the Holylands. And you’re not stupid, or lazy, it’s just ridiculous to do any work before third year – it’s the only one that counts.
Basically, the UU student is the tracksuited, platform heel wearing, more optimistic and probably more fun cousin of the Queen’s student. If you keep partying hard enough nobody will ever be able to tell you your degree in Health and Social Care isn’t as good.
You’re cooler than a Bristol student.
You spend more time sitting outside on the wall by the entrance than actually studying. Why do you do that? No-one ever goes in or out of the building, you all just sit outside. Not even in groups chatting, not going on a cigarette break. You just sit there. Can it really be that bad?
You went here to do PPE because you heard it was just as good as Oxford and the place to go if you’re going to be Prime Minister. Nobody warned you that it’s fucking boring and you’ll have to live in Leamington Spa.
Let’s face it, if you go to York you’re boring and that’s the way you like it. You’re so boring that you chose York because of it’s collegiac system. You are the dictionary definition of dull and university is wasted on you. You weren’t intelligent enough to get into one of the really good unis, and you weren’t cool enough to go somewhere like Leeds or Manchester. You love Kuda, and Salvo and Fibbers and can’t believe how unimpressed your mates from home are when they come to visit. Everyone on Hes East has stacks of cash to be able to pay for those ensuite rooms. College rivalries are tragically an actual thing. Everyone loves talking about geese as well and we think that the fact that they adorn our campus is something to be proud of. It’s not.
York St John
All of the posh people from down south went to ‘Uni of’ and won’t stop acting like they’re the queen and you’re the sorry people. It doesn’t matter though as one of the requirements to get into ‘Uni of’ is that you have to fugly as hell. All the attractive people seem to go to YSJ. YSJ students have more fun, your nights out are better and always ram-packed. Your campus is better as well as it’s right in the middle of town. It’s so much better getting a slightly worse degree if it means that you don’t come out of uni being a fully-formed dickhead.
Contributions from Daisy Bernard, Grace Vielma, Bella Eckert, Josh Kaplan, Bobby Palmer, Jonny Long, Annabel Murphy and Conrad Young.
Illustrations by Bobby Palmer and Daisy Bernard.