Just because I’m called Tarquin doesn’t mean I’m posh

I’m actually from Hull


My name is Tarquin Ringsteen-Spruce. You may think I’m one of them posh, tweed wearing bastards who snorts cocaine on the regular. In actual fact, I am just an ordinary lad from a deprived area of Hull (yes there are areas of Hull which aren’t deprived).

I’m trying to pursue a dream of becoming a big-time director by studying Media at Royal Holloway University. I’m not a fucking Tory, I don’t want the NHS to be privatised and I certainly don’t believe in a neo-liberalist approach to the economy. “Daddy” doesn’t drive a Range Rover; he fishes cod from the north sea. “Mummy” doesn’t stay at home walking the labradors; she cleans the Humber Bridge.

I am fed up of being judged by name. Yes it’s Tarquin. Yes my surname is double barrelled. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have to work hard to get into Royal Holloway, or that daddy pays for all my tuition. In my house, we struggled to put food on the table. I’ve taken two years out so I could get enough money together to be able to come to university. If anything you should be giving me respect, not treating me like a piece of shit on your shoe.

My mum cleans that

My mum cleans that

The closest i'll ever get to going abroad

The closest I’ll ever get to going abroad

My school was shit. I am one of five people at my school to get an offer from a university. Only three of us actually met the offer, and only two of us considered it to be financially feasible to take on such hefty tuition fees. I’m all for variety but you know what, I’d love to be called John Smith. Just your average lad who loves a flat beer. I used to wish my parents had never named me Tarquin, but when life gives you lemons what’s the use in being bitter, and I realised the ones who should be embarrassed are the people who made my school-life a living hell.

During my two years out I worked in a garage and they all told me to get my daddy to fix me up with a job in the bank, which I found very upsetting.  It was not just my workmates who judged me, but at school I was subject to bullying, so much so I tried to tell people my name was Steve, but I was always found out when the teacher read the register and everyone would laugh at my name.  The only time my name almost worked in my favour was when I briefly dated a girl, Tottie, but I’m fairly sure she dumped me when she realised my family was poor.

On the other hand, you could be like my mate from Founders, Shaquille Amokkinburd, who is often assumed to be from a state school and struggling to get by, but actually he’s a fucking baller who went to Eton. People buy him drinks because they think he’s poor for fuck’s sake. When we leave university he will be able to join daddy’s business and earn £200k plus because he was born privileged. I was born underprivileged but take all the negative aspects of being privileged.

Say NO to name bias

Say NO to name bias

Now you could say the experience of two people won’t change your general approach to names, as they’re often indicative of someone’s background. However, there are a large minority of people for which this does not apply – name based prejudice cannot and will not be accepted. University is all about meeting new people and mixing with people from different backgrounds, not holding on to your prejudices and judgements.  Until people change, I shall continue battling to change the mindsets of small-minded bigots so I can finally live a normal life. If you believe names are a judge of character then you’re really no better than Katie Hopkins. And I’m sure you’d much rather side with Ringsteen-Spruce than Hopkins.