Overheard at UCL: the good, the bad and the bloody disgusting

Didn’t think anyone heard you talking about your mansion in Surrey, well think again my friend

As we welcome in a new year of Oxbridge rejects, overpriced pints and incredibly disorganised uni departments, it is with such sweet sorrow that we must bid farewell to the likes of Ministry and Loop, who, for many precious years, have been providing us with some golden statements from some very questionable characters.

It is almost a rite of passage as a fresher to be bombarded in the queue by rich UCL students telling you about their home counties mansion or ketty SOAS students preaching about psychedelics being an art form when all you wanted was another double vodka coke and a glass of water for your mate who peaked too early. And while this, unfortunately, can no longer take place on those rogue nights out, we can still be blessed with some anonymous campus antics in the form of overheards.

So what better way is there to honour our dearest UCL this year than with some of the greatest overheards of all time? From finessed traffic cones to boarding school tales, this London uni has seen it all, and while Miss Rona has stolen many an opportunity, she cannot take stupid student decisions away from us, and thus the essence of UCL prevails:

“I didn’t vote in the General Election, but if I had I would’ve voted Tory.”

Here we have the classic “I’m not political” Tory, who is only “not political” because literally nothing, ever, could endanger his trust fund and second home in the Alps. Therefore, he could not give less of a shit about the things that actually matter, and is very happy to follow in daddy’s footsteps and be a middle-of-the-road Tory for the rest of his days.

Just go back to boarding school to sing Jerusalem with your friends

*while pouring herself vodka* “Yeah, I think I got a concussion at Scala last night. We’re going to Fabric tonight.”

Sadly, everyone will meet one girl like this, who physically cannot restrain herself from missing a single night out because the fomo that ensues will be more way more painful than the concussion she got last night. So she goes to Fabric, only to probably end up somewhere halfway across east London in a Queen Mary student’s bed at 4am with no idea how to get home, and with no memory of the night, she desperately wanted to remember.

I cannot take another conversation starting ‘God, I blacked out so hard last night’ we know sweetie you have done it every night this week x

“I’ve literally never been to my Thursday 9am lecture.”

We have all said these exact words. For those poor, poor souls who do not understand this overheard, I will elaborate. Loop, our incredibly trashy yet beloved sports night, takes place on a Wednesday, meaning that any lecture before 11 am on a Thursday should be straight-up criminal. I sincerely miss setting an alarm for 8 when you stumble in at 4, fully knowing that there is no way in hell that you will be sober in 4 hours time ready for that chem lecture.

Try being a real Loop legend and staying in the club till close and making that 9 am, it’s only for the elite

“I’m not sure what I took last night… it was something to do with horse tranquiliser?”

There’s always one innocent and/or international student who is yet to discover the wonders of British drug culture, so when they eventually give in to peer pressure, it will set off a long chain of events ending with pure crackhead energy by third year. Little do you know that as soon as you enlighten them that they have in fact just taken ketamine, they will be going on ket benders bi-weekly for the rest of their student career.

Sorry nobody cares that you have had your Effy moment, this is not Skins this is university

“I practically touched bums with Bran Stark.”

Isaac Hempstead-Wright going to UCL was big drama for about 2 weeks last year but I think this might be a bit far. Yes, you may have been in very close proximity to the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, but is this claim really necessary? He probably only wanted his seat back in the silent area of the Student Centre before you stole it and told all your friends about your close encounter with Bran Stark.

“The BT tower is the North Star that guides us home.”

Again, words that have been uttered by every fresher trying to make their way through the maze of roads on the way back from Loop, refusing to get an Uber because the walk back is the best part. We are very fond of our BT tower, mainly because it is almost guaranteed that as long as you can see it somewhere in the sky, home can’t be very far away – even after 15 Jagerbombs and a random hook-up you’re dragging home with you.

FYI Fix You by Coldplay was written about that big boi there and at least 25 people will tell you that in Freshers week

“The traffic cone was a gift they can’t get rid of it!!”

Please, for the love of God, STOP collecting traffic cones and putting them in random kitchens. It is not a substitute for a personality. It will eventually not be funny and just straight annoying instead. The novelty will wear off, and everyone will realise that the traffic cone that has been living in the corner and fondly named Steven just isn’t what they envisioned for their second year flat.

Extra lad points for a sign as well?

“If UCL was a person he’d have massive big dick energy. He’s a sexy man.”

I must say that I have to agree with this one. Between the regal-looking main building and Cruciform to Jezza Bentham being the icon of the century, it is safe to say that if UCL was a person, he’d be a 6 foot 5 hunk of a man ready to sweep you off your feet and then be slightly disappointing in the actual relationship. BDE nonetheless.

“We had a shared bath in my boarding house and Hugo would always sit in it for the banter.”

I can’t read this sentence without hearing an Upper Received Pronunciation accent and the word ‘yah’ every 2 sentences. However much we mock boarding schools, the stories that come from them are unheard of compared to our shit state school in the Midlands, so we all gather around with gaping expressions and listen to the rich boy tell tales of sneaking out to get drunk in the common room or boys being dared to lick each other’s balls. He always finishes it with ‘it wasn’t gay though, just banter’, almost like it cancels out the fact that hundreds of sexualities were suppressed in the making of these boarding schoolboys. It definitely was gay, Peter.

Someone say posh boyRus?

“I forgot my ID but I do have my student card and a photo of my birth certificate – please let me in.”

The sinking feeling of reaching into your pocket and realising that you have left your precious learner’s driving license at home is one that could make any student tear up. You’re suddenly faced with a dilemma – trekking home for half an hour just to return with your ID, losing an hour of precious raving time, or begging your way in. There’s no way you’re not getting in this club tonight, so you buckle up and decide to negotiate. You try to make best friends with the bouncer, walk in a straight line so they can see that you definitely have not just chugged a whole bottle of wine on your way here, and dig around for anything that can prove you’re over 18. Sometimes, you will be successful, and the feeling of pure achievement is unparalleled, but other days they’ll tell you to fuck off, and you retreat to your room to be sad and drunk on your own.

Never try reasoning with a bouncer, recipe for disaster and disappointment rolled into one

“I’m a slut for the Great Portland Street Tesco bakery.”

In the great battle for the best Tesco around campus, only two things can be known for sure. Firstly, the Warren Street 24 hour Tesco is the saving grace we never knew that we needed when it was brutally ripped away from us for half the year. Second, the Great Portland Street Tesco, while being a dark horse, has the best selection of baked goods you could imagine. I, too, am a slut for that bakery.

“When we had a maid she ironed our bedsheets for us.”

I have so many questions here. Who, in this day and age, has a maid?? And why would you iron?? Bedsheets?? UCL’s community of the elite never cease to amaze me, and while this is somewhat wholesome (if you’re next in line to the throne overseas), I just want to know how this ever came up in conversation. Do international students walk around campus blurting out these statements uncontrollably? I need to witness it.

Oh good lord, the wellies

“Guys I’m not coming to uni this week there was a mouse in my room.”

Undeniably said in either Campbell House or Arthur Tattersall, by at least 10 people every year. In between the boiler constantly breaking and infestations of rats settling down in the stairwells, these halls are known for their questionable living conditions, and I am honestly not surprised that students would prefer to lock themselves in their room for a week than face the outside world. Either that or being scared of rodents is a very easy excuse to get out of a whole week of lectures.

Not sure many UCL kitchens look like that?

“I’d be a better woman if I’d never walked through Ice Wharf’s doors.”

For the Camden dwellers, this one should hit hard. One of the only places in the vicinity with pints at less than £6, this Spoons is a favourite haunt of UCL students, and as such, has seen many a blacked-out mess. Until recently, when we were allowed to stick around till midnight, the night would go from a chilled one at Spoons to a whole-scale adventure, usually resulting in ending up at the Elephants Head until 2 am. Spoiler: if you end up here, there’s no turning back. Don’t. Go.

Its impossible not to take it too far

“Can’t believe I didn’t get the chance to go to Mykonos this summer.”

Cry me a river, Cordy (probably short for Cordelia). Covid may have resulted in a worldwide pandemic and hundreds of thousands of deaths, but clearly the real tragedy is the loss of your annual trip to Greece.

Bless, no beach bars to capture those thirst traps for insta

“Writing music is the same as acting, you have to create a character. It’s an art form.”

Definitely said at 1 am during a shit house party somewhere in Holloway, by the hardcore arty boy who is practically pinning you down on the sofa to listen to him chat shit about his DJ career. Carries his decks to every gathering and plugs his ‘professional’ Instagram page at every opportunity, always under the impression that someone in the room cares. He will finish uni, realise that he is actually awful at writing music and making abstract art, and make a complete u-turn to become an accountant instead. Smile and nod, and they might just go away.

When will you accept that hitting shuffle on the discography of Fisher does not make you a qualified DJ?

“Eton or Harrow?”

Shall we just say let’s eat the rich?

Spot the posh boy…


Well, here we have it, the stereotypes that will most likely provide the roadmap to your life at UCL. Some things never change, and among them is the comical state of affairs of UCL students. As a new year begins, the overheards will only get bigger and better, and I, for one, can’t wait for a part 2.