You’re not glad you didn’t go to Oxbridge, you’re just bitter and lazy
If you had come here, your article might have made sense.
I’d like to start this article by apologising. Its coherence, I suspect, is likely to confuse a lot of the people it is addressing.
A few days ago an article was published on the Tab National entitled “I’m glad I didn’t go to Oxbridge” where the author laid out a series of reasons why they are pleased they went to another university. To give you a sense of the level of delusion involved in this particularly bitter piece of drivel, here is a paragraph from it:
‘How are you going to throw yourself into musical pursuits, delve into poetry and writing, set up the society of your dreams, get a skill based job in that fancy cocktail bar, and develop yourself politically all while having a social life if you’re trapped in the library writing about dead Greek scholars every waking moment?”
I’d like to remind the author and the vast group of slouches that he represents, of something. Oxbridge is still better for all of those ‘co-curricular’ activities. Where better to develop yourself politically than listening live to top political figures in the chamber of the Oxford or Cambridge Union? T.S. Eliot, Shelley, Sylvia Plath and John Milton all managed to delve into their writing without too much trouble. Clean Bandit, also, seem to have thrown themselves quite a way into ‘musical pursuits’.
If you want a skills-based job, do a fucking apprenticeship and don’t waste tax-payers money on lectures you won’t even go to. Student loans exist so that young people can focus on their degrees without having to work a waiting job at night to stay afloat. They’re subsidised by the government and they’re not there to give you the chance to spend three years trying out all 15 different strains of Moroccan weed and making Soundcloud mixes.
Another classic line from the article is this: “Oxbridge will teach you how to work in high-intensity employment, but it won’t teach you how to be a successful human being.”
People often say this and they’re unbelievably wrong. Going to Oxbridge doesn’t mean you have to go and earn loads of money or work in a ‘high-intensity environment’ (whatever that means). It does, however, actually give you the option to do so. On your standard comedy panel show, about half of the participants will have done History or English at Oxbridge. They will likely have decided against working in the City because they wanted to pursue their careers in drama and comedy. But they had the option. That’s the difference.
By saying that Oxbridge only produces people ready for ‘high-intensity employment’, what you’re effectively admitting is that we are, as is indeed true, better at getting things done than other students. We arrive smarter and more effective and our rigorous academic schedule compared to your ‘essay-a-term’ approach only widens the gap. If being good at doing things doesn’t constitute being successful, which I admit it doesn’t for everyone, then what does?
From what I can understand from your perspective, success is derived from some masturbatory notion of inner richness, within which idleness constitutes achievement. Again, that’s completely fine. It is, as always, completely okay to be contrived and lazy. Just don’t pretend that getting out of bed at four in the afternoon and going to Motion every week is some kind of fulfilling craftsmanship. What you wanted to get out of University more than anything else is clearly a few good nights out. Don’t criticise Oxbridge students for wanting something more. The workload that you describe as ‘horrendous’ is just a normal working week for adults in this country. We aren’t the people living in a bubble, you are.
I’ve tried to show why you Cambridge and Oxford are objectively better than the other universities in this country but I don’t expect you to understand. In the end, it’s much better that you think you had a choice, and that you’re enjoying Bristol a lot more anyway (or even that enjoyment is what it’s about).
If any of the words above confuse you, here is a link to something called a dictionary that will help you to understand them. It comes from Oxford. Odd that.