Does anyone actually care about university rivalries?
Your dad doesn’t work for my dad
It’s Monday night and your flatmate persuaded you to turn Narcos off and join her on a night out. You’re already regretting it as you stand, semi-frozen, in the never-ending queue. In an admirable effort to pass the time, the group of blokes behind you make a quip about how long you’ve been waiting in your direction and tell you what uni they’re from.
Great, they’re from King’s you think to yourself, as you look timidly towards your mates. “Oooooooh!” one of your pals pipes up, “We’re from UCL!”.
A few awkward moments ensue before you collectively realise nobody actually gives a shit and you’re all united by one common interest: a simple desire to have a good night.
And why would you care? You’re clearly more intelligent if you go to Sheffield, you’re clearly more fun if you go to Hallam. You’re clearly going to get a better job graduating from Leeds, you’re clearly going to have a better three years going to Beckett. It’s brute fact and doesn’t require awkward confrontation.
I suppose a little rivalry is nice when it comes to the boat race, rugby is great too, but unless it’s a big sporting match, I don’t care if you “bleed green”, whether you’re at Exeter or Edinburgh – varsity is overblown and pointless.
Also, sorry if I’m not all riled up because the Trent twos beat the Nott firsts at Korfball.
Chanting and messing around and being obnoxious when you’re smashed can be a lot of fun. You shouldn’t be afraid to be passionate about your uni. But what gets me is how in to it people actually get – do they seriously care that much about which uni they go to? Let’s be honest, we picked our university because it was the sunniest on open day anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, a few fire YikYaks are great and telling your Grandma how well your uni did in the latest world rankings is nice. But why do we need to have this awkwardness when we meet people from rival institutions? Neither of you care, but you feel like you should because everyone else claims to, despite the fact they don’t either.
And if you’re going to take the piss, at least be original. “Your Dad works for my Dad” makes you look like more of a bellend than anyone at a poly ever will. Screaming “I’d rather be a poly than a cunt”, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There’s never an excuse for shit chat.
Genuine arguments unfold on WhatsApp groups up and down the country about which city has the best night life, which uni has the most attractive girls and who can get the cheapest pint. We get it, you can get some cheap trebles in Newcastle, stop going on about it.
University is exactly the same wherever you go. Leeds isn’t really any different to Manchester, Liverpool is pretty similar to Sheffield and Oxford is definitely the same as Cambridge. I think we all know deep down, but for some reason we kid ourselves we’re at the best university in the world. It’s hugely coincidental, don’t you think, that all your mates have ended up at the “perfect” university for them?
Except it’s not coincidental, your school teachers were right when they told you “you’ll be happy wherever you end up” after you got a C in January’s Chemistry mock. So why the unnecessary hostility? It’s an awful excuse for Tommy Testosterone and his cretin mates to start on you in a club, or a cringe effort to make everyone laugh by telling someone else how dumb they are.
University is the best three years of your life, and it probably will be wherever you chose to study – perhaps with the exception of Chester – so let’s stop trying to put the each others down, have another beer and enjoy ourselves.