How to say you go to a Tory uni, without saying you go to a Tory uni
‘At 11pm on the dot, everyone burst into the chorus of Rule Britannia’
If you’re a UK uni student, you’ve almost certainly seen the “tell me you go to a Tory uni without telling me you go to a Tory uni” TikTok trend on your FYP.
It’s equal parts hilarious and tragic as students share the moments they realised they went to a uni that was full of people who wear flares, shop at Waitrose, drink port, and have double barrelled surnames.
So, The Tab asked UK uni students to tell us they go to a Tory uni without actually telling us they go to Tory uni. But be warned, their answers will make you laugh and despair in equal measure.
The school snobbery
Rebecca realised she went to a Tory uni in her first ever tutorial at uni. She said: “The tutor asked us to go round the room and introduce ourselves. So, everyone gives their name and the name of the boarding school then went to. I was mortified.”
Connor had a similar experience in a seminar discussion. He told us: “I was in a politics seminar and this private school kid said he wanted to get rid of grammar schools”. Oh, the irony.
The accents, names, and fashion
But it’s not just where people went to school that makes a uni Tory. Katie said: “I’m originally from the city I’m at uni in and growing up everyone always told me I had a posh accent. Now, at uni, everyone thinks I have a really stereotypical working-class accent.”
Posh names also have a similar effect. Josh told The Tab: “When the government announced the green list of countries people could go on holiday to, I didn’t realise Tristan de Cunha was an island in the South Atlantic. Instead, I wrongly thought it was the name of someone from my first year halls.”
Other than their posh names, how else can you identify if you go to a Tory uni? Well, Zaina said: “It has to be all the Canada Goose coats in the library for me.”
It’s all about who you know not what you know
You can also get a sense of the political leanings of people at your uni through dating apps. Grace told us: “I was bored on Hinge one day and found this seemingly normal – if slightly rah-looking – guy. I scrolled down on his profile and his bottom picture was him holding a dead rabbit and a shotgun! I screamed. The next day I was on Hinge again and saw a guy whose first pic was him in a red coat, on a horse, with hunting dogs. I’ve barely used Hinge since”.
Some have even matched with actual Tories. James told The Tab: “I matched with my (disgraced) former local MP on Grindr. I shouldn’t – especially as he’s a Tory – but he’s so hot!”
Something you learn at a Tory uni, is that life is about who you know not that you know. Well, Saffie told us a story that takes that to a whole new level. She said: “In second year, I lived with this girl who had an arrangement with the son of a wealthy London investment banker. They both had agreed that one day they’d probably marry each other (she was built like a supermodel and he was rich but punching looks-wise) but could essentially shag around now and have fun until they were both old and mature enough to settle down.”
People are very open about their posh hobbies
It’s not just the sons of investment bankers giving off big Tory vibes. Harry told us: “In first year, I joined the Trading and Investment Club. I was considering maybe going into banking after uni and didn’t realise the types of people who would be in it. The first party I went to was mental. It was in a penthouse in one of the poshest developments in the entire city and there were very expensive bottles of vodka just left out for people to drink as they pleased. The next year, the President of Trading and Investment Club was filmed plucking a pheasant in the courtyard in the middle of some of the first year halls – it didn’t surprise me one bit.”
Tories at uni need hobbies that aren’t just investment banking. Jo told The Tab: “I once heard someone say reeling is a life skill”. For those of you that aren’t well-versed in posh Scottish speak, reeling is a form of Highland dancing.
These Tory party supporters know how to party
But what happens when you take a Tory at uni out of their natural habitat? Anna told us: “I was at a uni club night in town and this girl I was with got really upset when everyone yelled the ‘fuck the government and fuck Boris’ bit in Vossi Bop by Stormy. When I first started, I didn’t think there were that many Tories at my uni but then I clocked its full of people that got rejected from the main ‘uni of’ in the city which is very Tory”.
So, what music does get played at a Tory uni? James said: “I once went on a date with this guy and ended up at his mate’s houseparty on Brexit night where at 11pm on the dot, everyone burst into the chorus of ‘Rule Britannia’. I then left about half an hour later to go clubbing with my actual friends and never saw him again.” Well, you can always rely on Tory unis to put the ‘party’ in ‘Brexit Party’.