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    (Original post by Helenia)
    In my experience (as a neutral Midlands-er), northerners spend far more time and effort worrying about being stigmatised and judging "posh" southerners, than southerners do in return. Apart from a few jokes about polar bears and so on (which are easily outweighed by all the posh/unfriendly/wimpy southerner stereotype jokes) it's really not something to be too concerned about. If I'd been worried about which colleges had more Shropshire people, I'd probably never have gone!

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    Yes, but is completely understandable for the OP to ask whether she'd find it difficult to fit in when you hear these things so often (example, the two most recent post on overheard at Oxford are about northerners), why you responded as if she was being ludicrous I don't understand at all :confused:


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    (Original post by tooambitious)
    Yes, but is completely understandable for the OP to ask whether she'd find it difficult to fit in when you hear these things so often (example, the two most recent post on overheard at Oxford are about northerners), why you responded as if she was being ludicrous I don't understand at all :confused:


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    Because the stereotypes are ludicrous - very few people really fit either of them. And the more people realise that and just get to know other students regardless of where they came from, the less they will have to worry about it. Going in with a chip on your shoulder and being paranoid that people will judge you for your origin is going to cause far more problems than just getting on with life. As for "never having been north of London," I'd bet there are similar numbers proudly saying they've never been south of Sheffield/Manchester/wherever - like any of it matters.

    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi yeah I am aware of that, of course, I want to make new friends when I go to university and many of those will be form the south I am sure. What I mean when I talk of southerners and northerners is that some people I have spoken to feel that living in certain areas of the north can put you at a disadvantage in comparison to some people who live, say, in more privileged areas. I wanted to check to see if this was a case and to see whether or not there are a lot of people from the north at Oxbridge. But, as you can see, people who have replied to me have helped to ease those worries
    What sort of "disadvantage?" Sure, there will be people who are better off than you. They may come from the south, they may not. Does that actually matter? Not really. Most people are just as nervous starting at a new place not knowing anyone, and very, very few people are going to judge you based on your geographical (or social!) origin.

    Oh, and thanks for the neg.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Because the stereotypes are ludicrous - very few people really fit either of them. And the more people realise that and just get to know other students regardless of where they came from, the less they will have to worry about it. Going in with a chip on your shoulder and being paranoid that people will judge you for your origin is going to cause far more problems than just getting on with life. As for "never having been north of London," I'd bet there are similar numbers proudly saying they've never been south of Sheffield/Manchester/wherever - like any of it matters.
    I understand that, what I take umbrage with is the way you chose to make your point, no need to try to make the OP feel like an idiot :rolleyes:


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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Because the stereotypes are ludicrous - very few people really fit either of them. And the more people realise that and just get to know other students regardless of where they came from, the less they will have to worry about it. Going in with a chip on your shoulder and being paranoid that people will judge you for your origin is going to cause far more problems than just getting on with life. As for "never having been north of London," I'd bet there are similar numbers proudly saying they've never been south of Sheffield/Manchester/wherever - like any of it matters.

    What sort of "disadvantage?" Sure, there will be people who are better off than you. They may come from the south, they may not. Does that actually matter? Not really. Most people are just as nervous starting at a new place not knowing anyone, and very, very few people are going to judge you based on your geographical (or social!) origin.

    Oh, and thanks for the neg.
    Everything you've said is true, but I think it is understandable that people have stereotyped views of Oxford (or Cambridge) that are based on misinformed comments, TV/movie images, books, etc. Outside of college visits and things like TSR, it can be difficult to get accurate views of life here if you go to a school without a tradition of Oxbridge entry and access to current students who went to your school to chat through any apprehensions. TSR is a useful place for this type of 'cutting across stereotypes'. The idea of class exclusivity runs deep and it is not unreasonable that people worry about fitting in. Of course, lots of people worry about fitting in anyway, regardless of class and location! :rolleyes:
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    There are definitely labels attached to both the north and the south, the majority of which are wrong, you're right... but I do agree with you, I need to not worry about it because it'll just hold me back.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Because the stereotypes are ludicrous - very few people really fit either of them. And the more people realise that and just get to know other students regardless of where they came from, the less they will have to worry about it. Going in with a chip on your shoulder and being paranoid that people will judge you for your origin is going to cause far more problems than just getting on with life. As for "never having been north of London," I'd bet there are similar numbers proudly saying they've never been south of Sheffield/Manchester/wherever - like any of it matters.


    What sort of "disadvantage?" Sure, there will be people who are better off than you. They may come from the south, they may not. Does that actually matter? Not really. Most people are just as nervous starting at a new place not knowing anyone, and very, very few people are going to judge you based on your geographical (or social!) origin.

    Oh, and thanks for the neg.
    Hi, right for a start, I do agree with you, there's no point in just worrying about it, because it can hold me back, and other people who have commented have helped to get rid of some worries. However, I live in a slightly rougher area of the north, and it is said that that may not work in your favour when applying. I'm not saying that it's going to overtly affect me, but there is a stigma. And the neg was due to the fact that, as someone has already pointed out, your comment did sort of make me out to be an idiot and was a little bit condescending. But other than that, I do agree with you.
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    (Original post by tooambitious)
    Let's not pretend there's no stigma attached to being from the north.
    For real?! That is not something i've ever come across or even heard of

    (Original post by tooambitious)
    (example, the two most recent post on overheard at Oxford are about northerners)
    Which ones are they? The only ones i can see are one saying someone hasn't been north of London (a dig at untravelled southerners, if anything), and a person who calls another group dumb (in this case, southerners) before being stupid themselves (the geography having nothing to do with the joke...)

    If you insist this stigma exists then fair enough, but literally this is complete news to me.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    For real?! That is not something i've ever come across or even heard of

    Which ones are they? The only ones i can see are one saying someone hasn't been north of London (a dig at untravelled southerners, if anything), and a person who calls another group dumb (in this case, southerners) before being stupid themselves (the geography having nothing to do with the joke...)

    If you insist this stigma exists then fair enough, but literally this is complete news to me.
    It's really the comments on that first one 'that's as far north as you need to go' etc.
    Then the second one, 'i hate it when southerners think northerners are inferior' owtte hints at what the OP was afraid of.

    When I first moved to London (from one of the 'poshest' parts of the north, and OP says shes coming from a 'rough part') it really, really pissed me off. It's probably just banter but I can completely understand why someone, who might not know anyone at Oxford might be worried (or any university in the south tbh). I think the same is true for southerners going to university up north though, I dlont think it's one way.

    I agree with what everyone has said that it probably isn't a big deal, but what I didn't like was the suggestion that someone would be stupid to even ask (that's what this site is for ffs) about it.
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    (Original post by tooambitious)
    It's really the comments on that first one 'that's as far north as you need to go' etc.
    Then the second one, 'i hate it when southerners think northerners are inferior' owtte hints at what the OP was afraid of.

    When I first moved to London (from one of the 'poshest' parts of the north, and OP says shes coming from a 'rough part') it really, really pissed me off. It's probably just banter but I can completely understand why someone, who might not know anyone at Oxford might be worried (or any university in the south tbh). I think the same is true for southerners going to university up north though, I dlont think it's one way.

    I agree with what everyone has said that it probably isn't a big deal, but what I didn't like was the suggestion that someone would be stupid to even ask (that's what this site is for ffs) about it.
    TBF there is a bit of a difference between what one might describe as the 'London attitude' - looking down on 'provincials' from North of Watford Gap - and the culture of Oxbridge. At least, that's my experience. I really don't think there's some kind of smug superior condescension to the North operating amongst the cabal of Oxford tutors and their acolytes, the superior Students of the South. Hopefully we are a little more open-minded. Anyway, it would be pretty stupid and counter-intellectual to try to maintain such an attitude, given the abundant evidence of brainy people in many fields who hail from above the River Trent.
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi, right for a start, I do agree with you, there's no point in just worrying about it, because it can hold me back, and other people who have commented have helped to get rid of some worries. However, I live in a slightly rougher area of the north, and it is said that that may not work in your favour when applying. I'm not saying that it's going to overtly affect me, but there is a stigma. And the neg was due to the fact that, as someone has already pointed out, your comment did sort of make me out to be an idiot and was a little bit condescending. But other than that, I do agree with you.
    Tone does not convey very well sometimes - I wasn't suggesting you're an idiot, rather that it was not something to tie yourself up in knots over too much.

    You seem to be asking two separate questions now: 1) Will my chances of admission be adversely affected by being from a "rougher" area of the north? and 2) Will I struggle to fit in at university because I am from a "rougher" area of the north? The answer to both is no, but for different reasons.

    Admissions tutors are aware of your school background, particularly at Cambridge via the SAQ (not sure if Oxford have a similar questionnaire) and so if you have performed exceptionally well compared with your peers at a less good school, you will be more impressive than someone who has got similar grades in a school where everyone gets AAA. They are not interested in social or geographical background - they want bright, dedicated students who they will enjoy teaching and who will do well. They really don't care if you come from the worst council estate in the country if you can engage with them and answer their questions.

    As for other students, while you might get a few jokes, unless you really let them get to you it's not an issue at all. Plus I'm sure you can give as good as you get! If you are going to get upset with people saying "why would you want to go north of London?" then yeah, you might get annoyed, but people aren't actually going to hate you. From my own experience, when I used to say I came from Shropshire, most people's response was "where's that then?" I would have to explain it's kind of between Birmingham (cue lots of bad Brummie accents) and Wales (sheep-shagger jokes). The southerners would say "Oh, that's up north" and the northerners would say "Oh, that's way down south," - the idea that there might be some kind of "Midlands" region was lost on many. But once that was out of the way, it was never an issue. The ginger jokes, the medic jokes and the boatie jokes kind of overwhelmed anything location based.
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi everyone.. I'm new here so please be nice?
    I'm currently thinking about applying to Oxford and Cambridge to do either English or History and I was wondering if any current students could give me the low down on what life at either university is like?

    Firstly, is it as scary/intimidating as the reputation suggests?

    Also I'm from the North.. will I be outnumbered by Southerners and find it difficult to fit in?

    And, for either uni, can people suggest nice, friendly colleges that I should consider? What's the accommodation, food, social life like? I'm also really into drama and kayaking so do I need to look for a college that has those societies or are there things that are Uni wide?

    Sorry for the horrendous amount of questions!!!
    Thank you!!
    Slight bump - I'm from the North and doing Engineering at Cambridge - if you have any questions feel free to quote me or PM me.

    It is intimidating at first but you quickly get used to it most people are really really friendly, and they don't care where you're from. Yes there's a bit of (friendly!) banter (i.e. I get the mick taken out of me for the way I say things, and vice versa) but nothing deliberately nasty.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Tone does not convey very well sometimes - I wasn't suggesting you're an idiot, rather that it was not something to tie yourself up in knots over too much.

    You seem to be asking two separate questions now: 1) Will my chances of admission be adversely affected by being from a "rougher" area of the north? and 2) Will I struggle to fit in at university because I am from a "rougher" area of the north? The answer to both is no, but for different reasons.

    Admissions tutors are aware of your school background, particularly at Cambridge via the SAQ (not sure if Oxford have a similar questionnaire) and so if you have performed exceptionally well compared with your peers at a less good school, you will be more impressive than someone who has got similar grades in a school where everyone gets AAA. They are not interested in social or geographical background - they want bright, dedicated students who they will enjoy teaching and who will do well. They really don't care if you come from the worst council estate in the country if you can engage with them and answer their questions.

    As for other students, while you might get a few jokes, unless you really let them get to you it's not an issue at all. Plus I'm sure you can give as good as you get! If you are going to get upset with people saying "why would you want to go north of London?" then yeah, you might get annoyed, but people aren't actually going to hate you. From my own experience, when I used to say I came from Shropshire, most people's response was "where's that then?" I would have to explain it's kind of between Birmingham (cue lots of bad Brummie accents) and Wales (sheep-shagger jokes). The southerners would say "Oh, that's up north" and the northerners would say "Oh, that's way down south," - the idea that there might be some kind of "Midlands" region was lost on many. But once that was out of the way, it was never an issue. The ginger jokes, the medic jokes and the boatie jokes kind of overwhelmed anything location based.
    Yeah I understand that tone is hard to tell on the computer, in which case I apologise. But no I completely understand where you're coming from. I do have my worries about it, but they're probably just hollow worries and I'm pretty sure it's the same everywhere really. But yeah I think I could deal with a few jokes
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    (Original post by wibletg)
    Slight bump - I'm from the North and doing Engineering at Cambridge - if you have any questions feel free to quote me or PM me.

    It is intimidating at first but you quickly get used to it most people are really really friendly, and they don't care where you're from. Yes there's a bit of (friendly!) banter (i.e. I get the mick taken out of me for the way I say things, and vice versa) but nothing deliberately nasty.
    Hi great thanks!! What was it like settling into Cambridge? Is it quite easy to fit in or does it take a while to get used to? And what's the interview process like? Obviously it's the big IF when it comes to interviews, but was it quite relaxed?
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    (Original post by TheatreVoice)
    Hi great thanks!! What was it like settling into Cambridge? Is it quite easy to fit in or does it take a while to get used to? And what's the interview process like? Obviously it's the big IF when it comes to interviews, but was it quite relaxed?
    It doesn't take that long in the grand scheme of things - a couple of weeks and you start to see who you might get on well with but no more than it did starting something like Sixth Form or College

    The interview process depends on how you personally react to stress - yes you get stretched and challenged but in all cases they try to ensure you're as calm as you can possibly be I was very nervous but they DO take that in to account when making decisions.
 
 
 
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