Student Technology: The Elite and The Embarrassing

Is your laptop more Apple or gone-off banana?

Before university, your choice of laptop wasn’t really a big deal, your phone was just for playing games during free periods and a “tablet” was something you took when you were ill. 

Fast forward three years in higher educations and how the tables have turned. A very skilled cat burglar could rake up probably around £1.5 million worth of technology from just a sweep around the first floor in Hallward. But there would also be a pile of barely functioning laptops and crappy phones that he would toss aside.

The fact of the matter is, students are divided by their ranking of how many stars Which? gave their technology devices; The Elite and The Embarassing. The Elite are always looking for the next upgrade and are baffled when things aren’t touch screen.

The Embarrassing throw The Elite glowering envious glances whilst wondering how the HELL they can afford all this stuff when they can barely scrape by on a £10 food budget.


Fitting in like a boss

Fitting in like a boss

It’s hard to imagine that people actually did degrees without laptops and the internet; how did they make up a fake bibliography without a Wikipedia page? How on Earth did they procrastinate without endless sources of animals being tickled (try slow loris being tickled, you won’t regret it.)  But now well into the 21st century, we all have one. But where’s the divide?


Nothing tops a Macbook. It is the technological metaphor that says ‘I used both my student discount and Daddy’s credit card in order to get this bad boy and look like I have my shit together.’

The Macbook confuses the  The Embarrassing (“urm, how to you copy and paste if there’s no right-click button?”) and to disguise their envy they will loudly and frequently declare that Apple are just corporate machines that rip people off. They are not kidding anyone.


Their laptop doesn’t belong to any one recognizable brand but instead sounds like a dodgy Japanese car company; favourites include Compaq, Lenovo and, God forbid, Packard Bell. Often victims of verbal and physical violence, these embarrassing laptops like to crash JUST as you’re trying to log in to Turnitin.

The Elite are also confused by these relics and ask why they are so heavy. Whilst their slim silver model takes up no room on a library table, The Embarrassing heffer means that everyone around you will probably leave because of your fat laptop.  True story.


Photo aided by my fancy photo editor app.

Photo aided by my fancy photo editor app.

Subject to “dips in the Ocean”, endless swipes  on Tinder and a phonebook full of strangers you met in Freshers week and never spoke to again, a student’s phone is their lifeline. So you should probably invest in a good one, right?

The Elite 

You guessed, adding to the Apple Orchard, The Elite are permanently attached to their beloved iPhone. That is, until the next model comes out and they discard their old one for one exactly the same except is has a higher number in its name.

iPhones for students are, in reality, a bad idea. No matter how tame they may be, most of The Elite’s iPhones will bear the marks of a night out that ended badly. But still, a smartphone with a smashed screen is better than than not being seen with one.

The Embarrassing 

Goodbye, Crapberry

Goodbye, Crapberry

Nokias and Blackberrys are like the cool kids trying to fit in when really, they never ever work. Scarily, not  having a smartphone can seriously damage your social life and knowledge on dead celebrities.

“Did you see that massive argument on Facebook?!”

“No, I was out, why happened??”

“Oh  yeah I forgot your phone is a useless brick. Don’t worry not important. So sad about David Attenborough though don’t you think?”

“Wait, WHAT?!”

Don’t worry, he’s not actually dead. But if he was, The Embarrassing would have no idea…


Kindle is always on top

Kindle is always on top

University wouldn’t be university without luxuriously sifting through dusty volumes, right? Wrong, we have technology for that too now.

The Elite 

With no Apple to turn to, The Elite panic and turn to the other giant global marketplace; Amazon. With a product named ‘Kindle Fire’, the Elite like the assurance of the book burning technology and also a friendly American lady on the “Amazon Assist” that they can flirt with, no strings attached.


The Embarrassing 

Time to do things the old-fashioned way. While everyone gets out their Kindles and Tablets in seminars, The Embarrassing draw out their battered second-hand copy of the text with a air of shame.

However, for once The Embarrassing triumph over The Elite. Turning to a specific page is easy and in your seminar tutor’s eyes, you are golden.