Things you’ll experience at uni if you’re from the Midlands

Say you’re from Birmingham and leave it


At university, you meet people from all over the country. A handful of people from London, from Newcastle, from Manchester. Big cities, places you’ll recognise – and perhaps some smaller places you won’t. For those lucky few who call the North or the South home, you won’t need a compass, a dictionary and detailed map of the UK to explain where you live: the North or the South will suffice. If you’re a Midlander – it’s a whole other story.

‘Birmingham’ is your new home

You probably live in a niche little village somewhere, and after the first ten people you tell, you’ll realise that no one has heard of Malvern, or Shifnal, or Melton Mowbray. So you’ll move onto your nearest city: for Malvern, see Worcester; Shifnal, see Telford; Melton Mowbray, see Leicester. When no one recognises that – you might get some “oh, like the sauce?” responses with Worcester if you’re lucky – you’ll just fuck it and say “I live about X hours from Birmingham.”

You’ll spend a lot of time convincing people you aren’t inbred

Laurie Lee may have sketched a few unflattering caricatures in Cider With Rosie, suggesting a teensy weensy bit of inbreeding in Gloucestershire, but you can confirm that no, your parents are not related, and as a result, no, you are not inbred.

You’ll hear a wide range of accents and realise yours is pretty boring

Unless you’re a Brummy – which is undesirable due to everyone you meet screeching “you’re from BURRRRMINGEM?” in your face – you likely have a pretty standard English accent. Surrounded by streams of Mancunian, Scouse, Cockney, and Geordie… you’re going to start feeling a bit gutted that you were raised in a sheltered little cottage in Kettering with no exciting lingo anywhere. You’ll realise you’ve hit a new low when you start trying to casually imitate your mate from Essex after one too many shots.

You’ll feel scorned by both your Northerner and Southerner friends

Your Northerner friends don’t want you, you talk like you live in Surrey. Your Southerner friends likewise don’t want you, because you live north of Bath. You can’t even complain to your Midlander friends because you don’t have any. The Midlander is very elusive. You’ll be hard pushed to spot one outside of its natural habitat – aka north of the Knutsford services on the M6.

But then you’ll find a Midlander

They might live a solid two hours away from you, but who cares, you’re both from the Midlands, and they’re the first person you’ve met who’s heard of your town and suddenly you’re moved to the point of tears in the club’s smoking area because you’ve found one of your own. You won’t get their name or hear from them again, but it’ll be incredibly exciting at the time.

The idea that your uni friends haven’t ever been to Cadbury World is horrifying

But, what did you do for school trips? Where did you go for your seventh birthday? You’ve never had one of those chocolate shots? Does this constitute child neglect?

Its actually beaut in the midlands too

You’ll get oddly defensive over your home

Actually, the nightlife is amazing back home because you don’t have to pay £10 entry all the time and you’ve bumped into Kit Harington loads and basically everywhere is an official AONB and Shakespeare was born here too and hitting the Bull Ring is genuinely a great day out and don’t diss the Midlands. You don’t know why you find yourself getting so emotional over the place you pined to leave for the last eighteen years, with its ageing population and erratic bus services, but you’ve decided the only person allowed to hate on it is you.