The UCL guide to being a covert Oxbridge reject 

Lucy Reade

1. Only tell people four of the Universities you applied to on UCAS: During the conversational hell that is Freshers Week, one icebreaker you’re bound to hear is, “Which other universities did you apply to?”. It’s very important that you only mention four universities, and imply that UCL was your top choice. Because it definitely was. Don’t be deterred by the fact that literally no one only puts four options, because this definitely won’t draw attention to the fact that you’re conveniently leaving a punt shaped hole in your UCAS application. 

2. Constantly talk about how much of a good time you’re having (compared to your friends at Oxbridge): When you and your friends are out having a drink on a Monday or Tuesday night, remember to say something along the lines of: “Well, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do THIS if I was at Cambridge!” “Did you know all my friends who got into Oxford have to go to the library every night?”. This will 100% create the impression that you are not at all bitter, and that the ability to have a lukewarm pint in Phineas or having to sit on those weird sofas outside the Huntley, is definitely better than whatever ball they’re off to this week.

3. Take loads of photos of the most picturesque spots on UCL campus to put on your Instagram: So what, if they live in a building with cloisters and rose gardens? We have the portico. Oh, they’ve posted a picture of their ornate library built in 1492 with stained glass windows. Retaliate by posting… the portico. 

4. Clubs and societies: Make use of all the prestigious clubs and societies – The Cheese Grater, for example – that you most definitely would not have time to join if you were at Oxbridge, and relish in how well renowned they are! I mean, whoever heard of the Cambridge Footlights?

5. Assure your fellow UCL students that, actually, you’ve only ever wanted to come to London: Look, you only applied to those universities to see if you’d get in/ your mum made you/ for a laugh (pick any of the above options, or mix and match if you like). Literally nothing about their idyllic cobbled streets, towering spires, or academic prestige ever really appealed to you. No, where you actually wanted to be, was in an overpriced basement flat in zone 3, inhaling smog and counting how many beheaded rats you spot on the tube each day. But you’re here now, and though you may have thought you’d have to lie to your Oxbridge mates about how good of a time you’re having, you’ve actually found it’s pretty fucking amazing, and that there actually is no place you’d rather be.