If you’re not from London, you’re no-one

And it doesn’t count if you’re from Surrey, Slough or Essex but tell people you’re ‘basically’ from London


You may well have have been brought up on a country estate, spending your weekends shooting pheasant. Or perhaps you’re a very proud Northerner and that’s great for you, don’t get me wrong.

However, growing up in our nation’s capital is truly special and gives you an all-round better youth, moulding you into an all-round better person.

Street smarts 

Growing up in London, unlike in smaller towns and villages around the country, requires certain street smarts.

While in a smaller city or town, you might be used to losing your wallet or phone on a night out and there being a fairly high chance that some kind soul will find your lost possessions and hand them in. This lulls you into a false sense of security that the world is full of good people who won’t take your iPhone if they find it on the bar floor.

The real world is, in fact, full of arseholes, and growing up in London means that you learn and accept this very early on. You learn how to look after your stuff, and most importantly yourself, from a very early age.

You also learn some simple facts, like taking a taxi is an unnecessary luxury reserved for tourists and millionaires, and how to walk home without being a walking target. This involves not waving your expensive phone around and perfecting the art of putting your earphones in, hood up, and walking with the kind of conviction which clearly screams “don’t fucking talk to me”.

You’re over the hype

OK, so you can never really fully get over how awesome London is, that’s a given. But of course you don’t think something is quite as exciting as others do when you grew up with it.

School prom on the Thames

School trips to the British Museum and weekend shopping trips to Oxford Street (which you quickly realise is the place where dreams go to die) when you’re younger mean that you don’t feel the need to do any of the touristy stuff and you have the good judgement to not go anywhere near Leicester Square. Ever.

Consequently, you’re free to explore the many other lesser-known wonders the city has to offer, and you’re free to do so without the aide of a Boris Bike.

When it’s time to work, it’ll probably be in London

When you finish uni and enter the Real World, having your family home in the very city where 90% of grad jobs are situated is cause for a lot of smugness. You don’t have to take a three-hour train into the city for every single interview, and you can take on that morally bankrupt unpaid internship if it comes to it.

Maybe moving back home after uni isn’t ideal after three or four years of the freedom of living with mates, but hear me out: when you have maxed-out overdrafts in three different bank accounts and an ever-present student loan looming over your head, living rent-free for a year or two while earning some money doesn’t seem like such a terrible option.

With only a slightly longer commute to work than you would have had you moved to Brixton, Shoreditch or Clapham like every other graduate, you’re saving yourself around £200 a week, and you aren’t living in squalor for that hefty sum.

Besides, you’ll have plenty of friends to crash with in Zone 2, and after a couple of years you’ll hopefully save enough dosh to join them.

You’ve already had some pretty good life experience 

What I’m trying to get at here is that growing up in London, more so than in many other (not all, of course) parts of the UK, you grow up with people from all different races, religions and walks of life.

This invariably does help to mould those who grow up in multicultural and diverse surroundings into being tolerant and open minded, wonderful members of society.

You’re also in the political centre of the country, and whatever particular issue you feel passionate about is most likely to be tackled in London, meaning you can get stuck right in if you’re so inclined and do it all before the age of 18.

The best first taste of nightlife possible

Forget having to celebrate your 18th birthday in the local Phoenix Nights-type pub or your only option being going to questionable regional clubs. Of course, there are very questionable clubs in London (God help you if you’ve ever been to Moonlighting), but they’re easy to avoid as there are literally hundreds of other clubs, bars and pubs to choose from.

Simply put, London undeniably has the absolute best night life of any other city in the UK, down to variety and huge array of different people you meet: students, suits, tourists, and many more.

From the off, you’re already used to jumping on the tube or a night bus to get from bar to bar on a night out, and this just means that you’ll meet even more interesting people and squeeze even more sneaky drinking in on the way, saving you some money at the bar.

You know how to do things on the cheap

The joys of London nightlife come with a price however, and a very high one at that. Having to deal with that from the beginning means that, unless you went to school with anyone from the cast of Made In Chelsea, you have no choice but to learn how to have a good time on the cheap.

It is possible to pay less than a fiver for a drink and less than a tenner for a decent dinner in London, you just have to know where to look. And growing up in the capital, you know where that is.

It usually involves not going out anywhere near Mayfair, any Yates’ or any “Irish” pubs, and discreetly chugging some very ropey pre-drinks on the tube.

Either way, once you’ve sussed it out in London, you can pretty much do anything.