Why people at central colleges are just better

Go to a modern college? Have to cycle to lectures? CLIVE HUNTER-JONES thinks you are scum.

admissions colleges Corpus Fitz girton johns King's magdelene murray edwards Pembroke pooled rivalry Robinson Selwyn Trinity

My dad once said to me, “all people are basically the same, and so you should treat them all equally.”

But my dad is an idiot, because that’s patent bollocks.

People are different. It may not be fair, but they just are. People have measurably varying skills, physical abilities, and intelligence. Equality for equality’s sake is meaningless lefty pap, spewed out by naïve undergrads who’d much rather listen to Alt-J than actually help someone. So why should we pretend that there isn’t an intellectual hierarchy?

The Cambridge application process is as rigorous and powerful a test of intellect as we’ll probably ever experience, and it already separates those who get into Cambridge from those who don’t. Every student in Cambridge takes some degree of pride in being a cantab, and nurturing that glow of deserved superiority, so why should Cambridge itself be exempt from any kind of stratification?

They're getting firsts. So yes, they are better than you.

They’re getting firsts. So yes, they are better than you.

It is fact that candidates who aren’t as strong get pooled to the less popular colleges, whilst a few candidates with lower self-esteem apply directly to the less popular colleges.

And there’s a reason certain colleges are less popular; they are unarguably shitter. They’re far out of town, they’re comparatively poor, they have disgusting architecture, no reputation, varying facilities, and of course some are single sex, which is a different issue but it’s the 21st century; nobody wants to spend the most exciting years of their life in a nunnery.

Of course everyone feels a staunch loyalty to their own college, that’s a natural tribal defense mechanism to make yourself feel better about your now-unalterable fate. But let’s be fucking objective, people. There are self-evidently decent colleges, like my own, and then there are self-evidently shit colleges.

Trinity. Scientifically proven to be better than you, 100% of the time.

Trinity. Scientifically proven to be better than you, 100% of the time.

Decent colleges are just better; they are older, nicer, richer, larger, better situated and have a larger and higher-quality pool of fellows to draw upon. And we should stop pretending that there isn’t a divide between the type of person who got into a decent college, and the type of person who got into a shit college.

Because those at decent colleges are just naturally going to be superior; decent colleges get the strongest applicants because of their reputations and because to visiting sixth formers they look better; sixth formers are unbiased and simply go for the best colleges. And so those who end up at shit colleges are inevitably second-tier; it’s still Cambridge second tier, but it’s second tier nonetheless.

Of course there are doubtless exceptions, but I can’t think of many. If you fucked up in the interview then I don’t care how clever you normally are, you’re inferior to someone who didn’t fuck up at the interview. If your AS grades were mediocre because you went to a shit school, then firstly you should have just tried harder, A-levels are piss easy and everyone knows it, and secondly if you were smarter you’d have got your parents to let you apply for a scholarship at a private school.

Imagine: a bit of effort and you could have been living the dream at John’s.

If you go to a shit college you should just accept your own inferiority and move on. Keep on trying hard and making waves at the Union and the ADC, it’s cute.

An inferiority complex is a motivating tool; I’m sure Girtonites work all the harder because a Johnian laughed at them outside Fez. (Not that it helps them on the Tompkins table – again, how can people deny that students at decent colleges aren’t better when they consistently get better results; it’s right there in black and white.)

And if you go to a decent college…  quit the polite bullshit and be proud of where you’ve got to. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of nice people at modern colleges, and some of my best friends were pooled. But we’re better and we shouldn’t have to hide it.