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VOTE NOW: Which is the most try-hard uni in the country?

That puffa doesn’t hide the fact you went to boarding school, Manchester

There are two things that uni leaves you with – a lot of debt and a life skill in masterfully pretending to be a different person. Everyone knows uni is a breeding ground for try-hards.

But what no one talks about is that every uni is guilty of trying to be something it’s not. Manchester is constantly trying to shake off its Surrey roots and mask them in Fila and tinted glasses. Warwick still thinks "Woxbridge" is a concept that exists outside of its tragic campus. And why does Cardiff keep kidding itself that it’s a real uni?

If there’s one thing for certain, it’s some unis are more try-hard than others. So it’s time to vote for the biggest try-hard uni of all:


Parents who have paid off their mortgage – check. Second home in Cornwall – check. Public school background – check. Tory voting parents – check. Come to uni, look dishevelled all the time and cover up your Conservative core by campaigning for the Green Party and claiming you hate fossil fuels – check. Bristol students are just a big fucking web of lies. Oh and don't forget the glitter – the perfect replacement for a personality.

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If only everyone at York would just shut up about their collegiate system, you’re all still boring and ridiculously desperate to prove otherwise. You don’t know why you chose York but now you’re here and need to at least make an effort to show your mates from home that your uni is half as wild as theirs.

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The whole “guys take us seriously, we’re actually in the Russell Group too” joke is sweet but it’s wearing thin. Cardiff’s only in the Russell Group because they needed a token Welsh uni, and Swansea or Bangor are only slightly worse than Cardiff itself. They try so hard to come across as intellectual, when really all they’re good for is strawpeedo-ing VKs and chanting.

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You’re all made of money, you don’t need to dress in clothes which look like family hand-me-downs from four generations back.


Why are you talking about “lengs” and “the ends” and calling yourself a roadman when you're Dad is probably the earl of somewhere. That language doesn’t match your lolling public school tongue. You spend literally so much time on Depop to look individual but you are all wearing the same Adidas three stripes. It might as well be a uniform.

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“Oh what, this? Oh yeah I like, haven’t slept or had time to wash my hair the past five days cos like I’ve just been in this crazy K-hole with some squatters who are like taking over my house but it’s totally cool, so like i just haven’t had chance to change out of my red puffa, Strongbow Dark Fruit-stained Hilfiger crop top and jeans cos like I’ve just been on a mad one.”

We get it, you like nights out and cocaine.

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Anyone who feels the need to wear glitter, a multi-coloured unitard and alien buns for a pint down at the pub needs to reevaluate their whole existence.

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Oooh look at my tote bag, look at my pret coffee, and loooong fashionable coat. Why is it that once King’s students move to London they feel the need to aggressively present an effortlessly London cool vibe? Please stop.


Look, it’s obvious everyone who went to Edinburgh wanted to go to St Andrews, but instead you’ve ended up here and therefore have to do everything in your will power to act like you didn’t want to go to St Andrews all along.

You’ll go to Creme Soda and Rascals, pretending to be totally normal and at a totally normal uni, drinking house vodka and coke rapping whilst along to Drake, when really all you want to do is cosy up next to a log fire, drinking bourbon in a thick woollen jumper.

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You must have tried so hard in your A-levels to get into Cambridge and now you’re trying just as hard at your degree. Cambridge students are really in your face about the fact they try hard. They want you to know it, to make you feel guilty and worthless. They are also desperate to appear cooler than Oxford and in trying to prove it, lose any last shred of cool.

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Actually, I think it might be nice if you made a bit more effort?


We get it, you smoke weed, only eat organic, gluten-free, vegan food and only buy your clothes from ethically made companies. An example of the most try-hard thing they’ll say might be: “Weed cures cancer, it is good for the soul”.

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That Baywatch thing in Oceana is genuinely the most try-hard "uuunnnaaayyyy" thing ever.

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You chose Durham on merit, not because you didn’t get into those two other unis that we won’t name. You’ll spend the next three years compensating for settling on Durham and seeing who has the biggest siggy ring out of your group of ridiculously middle class friends.

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It’s impossible to tell what they’re trying hard for because they have no identity.

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Exeter students are already fairly posh, but they’ve decided to make sure everyone knows exactly how posh they really are. Wearing your leavers’ hoodie from your expensive public school around campus and getting ubers everywhere is about as try-hard as it comes.

If you’re in TP in your sports kit, it may seem like you’re so dgaf, not trying hard at all. When in reality you’re trying really, really hard to show everyone how fucking sporty you are. “Wow I’m so sporty I just hopped off the bus from an away game and came STRAIGHT to TP because I would never miss out on a Wednesday night with my team”. If you’re wearing shin pads on the dancefloor you’re definitely getting something wrong.

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You wake up in the morning thinking about sport and don’t stop til you go to bed and then dream about sport. It’s a never ending cycle of sport. This is despite the fact you’re in the rugby third team.

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St Andrews

Making up for the fact you’re not in the Russell Group by going on and on about how old and prestigious St Andrews is doesn’t make it a better uni. Yes, Kate and Wills met there, but have you married a prince yet? Well, have you? Bet you wish you’d gone to a uni town with a train station now.


Up against Leeds and Manchester, Sheffield desperately tries to be as cool as their northern counterparts. And to do this, they think it’s a good idea to go to a club dressed in full school uniform, chug 'rainbow pints' and sip on drinks with dumb names like Mangotastic. They’ll try so, so hard but end up being as lame as Cardiff or Nottingham in their quest for an identity.

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Royal Holloway

Living their lives as if they’re in an episode of Gossip Girl, the RHUL girls will stir shit for breakfast to work their way to the top. Always rocking the flashiest European fashion, they just don’t think the effortless look works.


Warwick is try hard in many ways. Firstly, it’s forever trying to be Oxbridge, when it’s just not.

But most bizarrely, everyone at Warwick knows the nightlife is absolutely dead, yet for some reason everyone there will keep trying to tell you how much the nightlife scene has changed in the last two years.

Now vote for the uni you think is the most try-hard: