If your uni absolutely, desperately had to be a 2020 meme, this is what it would be

Sorry but you can’t all be an environment so toxic

It’s been a year of bad vibes. Bad vibes, but good memes. I think that’s how the historians will remember it. When the banana bread faded from our memory, and Tiger King was just a ‘continue watching’ it was the memes that stayed with us.

Darker and more introspective than ever before, each and every super-huge meme that’s popped up seems to say something about our collective psyche during the pandemic. But as you break us up into smaller and smaller chunks, particular memes start to look particularly fitting. Break us down into uni-sized chunks, and there is in fact one meme that sums up 2020.

I don’t think I need to ramble any more before you figure out what’s going on. We’re taking one huge meme from 2020 and matching it to a British uni summed up perfectly by it.

Warwick – I am going to create an environment so toxic

Does this one need explaining?

Bristol – Always has been

Wait, it’s all Oxbridge rejects? Always has been.

Edinburgh – Gossip Girl

Everyone at Edinburgh likes to think they are in Gossip Girl, and are just as rich. But when it comes to getting down to essays, they’re rearranging letters until it makes enough sense to get past Turnitin.

York – The Robert Pattinson kitchen pic

Every York Uni party ends with you stuck in the kitchen with some boy who can’t really form proper sentences in front of girls and looks like this.

LSE and UCL – movie villain, actual villain

LSE gets all the hate but really UCL is the dodgy one. It’s the mummified philosopher for me.

Cardiff – Kim Kardashian’s cringe and elitist private island post

All the locals in Cathays wore masks even before the pandemic – to cope with the huge cloud of VK vapour that hangs over Cardiff SU, while the oblivious visiting population have a wonderful bit of fun.

Lincoln – Confused Jonathan Swan

You were precisely this confused when you looked at your UCAS on results day, realised you had put down somewhere called “Lincoln”, and had ballsed things up to the extent you actually had to go there.

Lancaster – Da Vinky

Silly and unserious. Da Vinky could be a Lancaster college and you wouldn’t blink an eye – Grizedale? Bowlands? Hepplethorp? Da Vinky?

Manchester – Ron in the car with bedraggled Daniel Radcliffe outside

“Manchester students” and “Manchester uni management” are interchangeable in this one. Sometimes it’s the senior management putting up fences around helpless students. Other times it’s student protestors demanding their rent back. So it goes.

Cambridge – Di Caprio in Django Unchained

This is basically your permanent expression when you gaze upon the rest of the world. Fittingly, it’s still a very normie meme.

Birmingham – Thank you for changing my life

I’m literally a clock tower.

Nottingham – I am once again asking for your financial support

Nottingham students are once again asking their mum for £10k to pay off a fine for partying.

Queen Mary – They don’t know

They don’t know I am actually in the Russell Group.

Exeter – I am never going to financially recover from this

The absolute most basic stage of lockdown was banana bread and Tiger King, so it’s only fitting that Exeter gets this title. Every Exeter student, after their seventh Pret of the week, pretends they will never financially recover from it. Except they’ll be fine.

Coventry – Mentally I’m here

Look at a picture of Coventry uni. That’s where you are mentally at this point in the year.


Literally all that’s running through your head when a mate from King’s starts listing all of their campuses.

Newcastle – I know a spot

Every Newcastle uni student thinks they’re unique, thinks they know a spot to take you. It’s always Blanc.

Sussex – Tom Nook memes

Sussex Uni is just like Animal Crossing, really. You think it’s going to be all, I don’t know, farming and hanging wall tapestries up. But there’s a sinister capitalistic undercurrent. Adam Tickell, Tom Nook, what’s the difference?

Liverpool – The Pope holding things up

The Pope holding up Dark Fruits. What could be more Liverpool?

Southampton – Sam Thompson/Zara Crying

It’s pretty emotional being somewhere as grotty as Southampton. “I can’t keep calling it Oceana,” say the gods of the clubbing scene. “You can, you can,” you wail back.

Sheffield – Nature is healing

When the boys who wear the denim jackets with sheepskin collars are back in West Street Live, singing along to Arctic Monkeys, nature will have healed

St Andrews – I took that personally

Every St Andrews student takes their Oxbridge rejection as seriously as Michael Jordan takes even the smallest slight. It fuels them. It’s their power.

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