Why would you go to Oxbridge when you could go to UEA?

You can keep your black tie dinners and your boat race: I’d rather be in Norwich

For years we’ve all put up with being put down by Oxbridge. They top the league tables every year. They’re steeped in centuries worth of history. They get all the top professors lecturing there. They even got Kanye.

But have Oxbridge undergrads ever seen Swifty Shake It Off on campus? Have they gone on a wheelbarrow bar crawl across the city? Could they even fantasise about catching a rabbit?

You may well have Hogwarts-esque feasts and classy balls, but the truth is, we’d rather get trashed at Mantra, binge eat Tesco Value rich tea biscuits, and hopelessly imagine ourselves as the next Greg James.

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This was my view from Suffolk Terrace. Not so ugly after all

Our concrete campus is beautiful. In fact, our Ziggurats are so iconic they made it onto the album cover of “Computers and Blues” by The Streets. They’re surrounded by stunning nature, they’re at the heart of campus and they were also deemed the second best university halls in the UK by the National Student Housing Survey.

Oxbridge didn’t even make it into the top ten.

Some might dismiss our beloved Ziggurats because they’re ugly. They think they look shabby and run down. This is the exact reason why Oxbridge fails miserably when compared to UEA.

Here, we don’t judge people because of what their house looks like. What Oxbridge fanboys fail to understand is the Ziggurats aren’t important because of what they look like, but are important because of what happens in them.

During my year living in Suffolk Terrace, I lived with thirteen people all from different walks of life and social backgrounds. I learned not to judge people from where they came from, what social class they were or how big their houses were. I respected and admired all the people I met.

At UEA we’re open-minded enough to realise these people weren’t wasting their time at university. No matter where you have come from, what university you attend or what accommodation you live in, everyone who works hard, has ambition and is intelligent deserves a place at university and is able to go on to have a successful job.

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This is our idea of black tie

The jobs as bosses aren’t just reserved for the filthy rich Oxbridge students, they’re for the nice folk in the Ziggurats.

Apparently, the only crisis at Oxford is deciding whether to make students wear their posh clothes to exams or not. At UEA, we couldn’t care less about what students wear to their exams. We’re too busy solving more important issues, like sexual harassment and the availability of transgender toilets.

And yes, maybe it’s easier to get into UEA. We don’t have to sit hard interviews and our grades aren’t quite as ridiculously high. But since when could you tell everything about a person from what’s written on a piece of paper?

You will not even be considered for Oxbridge unless you get straight As and A*s at school. You could be the most intelligent person in the world, but if you mess up on one exam – for whatever reason – then there’s no place for you at Oxbridge. UEA doesn’t judge us by some letter on a piece of paper. The grades can be tough (three As in my case), but they’re not the be all and end all.

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We’ve got our own celebs

UEA alumni include three Man Booker Prize nominees, eleven Costa Book Award winners, two Caine Award winners, a Nobel Prize winner, a king, countless actors, directors and comedians, a Time Lord and heartthrob Greg James. Clearly none of them “wasted their time” in Norwich.

UEA is better than Oxbridge because we don’t rely on the reputation of our university to succeed. We rely on our own hard work, ambition and intelligence to build our own reputations. (And yes there are intelligent people outside of Oxbridge).

We don’t need the safety net of the ancient history of our university. We push forward and improve our university ourselves.

Oxbridge toffs might think we’re all jealous of them and their fancy halls. We’re not. UEA scored sixth in the student satisfaction levels. Oxbridge didn’t make the top ten.

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So Oxbridge – here’s a few tips from us if you want to be more satisfied with your university life.

Lighten up a bit. Stop playing childish games of “my uni is bigger and better than yours”. Don’t be so materialistic and stop worrying about how rich and prestigious you are.

You can keep your internationally-known boat race and we’ll keep our locally-known wheel-barrow race. I wouldn’t swap the best years of my life at UEA for anything, and definitely not for a degree from Oxbridge. Say what you want but we all know UEA is wonderful.

 

 

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