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I feel alienated at university because of my social class... watch

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    Hey there's a TLDR at the bottom. Basically, I'm in my second year at university now and I feel like dropping out, I'm going to explain why and I'll probably think about it over the summer holidays but, let me tell you why first.

    I grew up in a fairly working class area and although my family have recently come into money that's through hard work and dedication, despite this I still consider myself to be working or working-middle class. I'm currently at one of the best universities in the country (don't want to say which one) and studying a course I loved at the beginning. However, I'm having doubts over the validity and nature of the subject recently and experiencing a sort of existential crisis with it.

    During my first year I didn't make any friends and I couldn't figure out why - I did everything I was supposed to: I was positive, went to societies and sports clubs, wasn't desperate, went out as often as I could etc. Eventually my flatmates started bullying me and I was left with no friends.
    I thought there was something inately wrong with me (despite the fact that I had no problems making friends before). In Janurary I went to counselling and in Februrary I was diagnosed with depresssion for various reasons - including the lack of friends.

    At counselling we discussed various reasons why I might not have friends and things to counter that: I have a long tounge and often mumble so I got speech therapy; I sometimes interrupted people so I stopped that and let them talk more, I became less self centered, I learnt to read peoples body language etc. Yet there was still something missing.

    In my second year I moved in with a guy I met at a society who I was a little bit close with, although he was in his final year. I started to make friends, although it's a slow process obviously. However, all my flat mates this year are insanely middle class (parents pay for everything, one of them owns a range rover and a boat) and I just don't fit in. We just have completely different personalities about most things and we're starting to clash.
    Anyway I've noticed that although I do have several friends who are middle class, most "typical" people at my university (who's parents are relatively well off) dislike me.

    However, I've gotten on really well and instantly clicked with every single other working class person I've met and become close friends quite quickly. Also, my two jobs I had were working class jobs and I got on really well with my colleagues and the local working class people living in the city. Finally, when I went to visit my friend who goes to one of the worst universities if you look at league tables (don't want to say which one), I also instantly clicked with everyone I met there (although that might be because I met them through my mate).

    I don't want to be deterministic but, I think my lack of friends at university is due to my class background. I was wondering if anyone else who is at a relatively good university (Oxbridge, LSE, Bristol, Durham, UCL, ICL etc.) and is also working class or consider themselves to be working class has noticed this? And what anyone else has to comment on this (P.S. There have been some sociological studies done on these kinds of things but, I cba to post them now because I'm tired)

    TLDR: I didn't make any friends during my first year of Uni and I often clash with my well-off middle class housemates. I get on really well with all the working class people I've met at uni and I'm wondering if my class background prevents me from making close relationships.

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    Did I ... write this?

    My uni isn't a 'top' uni, but my course attracts people from quite well-off backgrounds, including a substantial number of public school educated people, and whilst I am capable of getting along with them, when they discuss trips to the theatre and nights on 'the lash' (that is actually a quote, and I'm aware it also could come from that awful video) it's a very different world to the one I come from.

    Like you, my family have a lot more money now so we live on a nice road in a nice place ... but I don't forget that I grew up in the east end of London with an unemployed mother and a father who laid telephone lines. I'm a bit of a mixture between more capable than one side of my family and luckier in the age I grew up in than the other side so I'm the first chance my family has to go 'up' in the world, but I certainly hope I never lose my grip of the real world.

    Yeah, it makes a difference. Like I say, they're not horrible people, but I don't understand the circumstances they grew up in and they don't understand mine. Our lives are and have been very different, we can't really connect.

    (Obviously not everyone on my course is like that ... but, like you again, I get on better with them. We understand each other more.)
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Did I ... write this?
    No I'm pretty sure it was me... I think.... I am quite tired.... Hmmm
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    Do you mind me asking: are you quite obviously working class, or making yourself so? I tended to find that the few class clashes I had with people were either because I took them personally when I should have just brushed them off or gently pointed out the offense, or because I was quite emphatic about being working class, which people took as an invitation for debate.

    Do you really think people can tell what class you are? Obviously it's just one uni and yours might be different but I found at Oxford, unless you're obviously from Eton or obviously from a council estate, or you go out of your way to make your class known, there's no way of telling. Even with the "obviously from Eton/council estate", quite often you're likely to get it wrong, in my experience
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    No I'm pretty sure it was me... I think.... I am quite tired.... Hmmm


    Just updated my post - I'm just quite surprised how familiar it sounds.
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Do you mind me asking: are you quite obviously working class, or making yourself so? I tended to find that the few class clashes I had with people were either because I took them personally when I should have just brushed them off or gently pointed out the offense, or because I was quite emphatic about being working class, which people took as an invitation for debate.

    Do you really think people can tell what class you are? Obviously it's just one uni and yours might be different but I found at Oxford, unless you're obviously from Eton or obviously from a council estate, or you go out of your way to make your class known, there's no way of telling. Even with the "obviously from Eton/council estate", quite often you're likely to get it wrong, in my experience
    They aren't class classes but cultural clashes over how to do things. Put downs over my intelligence because, their "middle class" way of doing certain things is percieved as better than my way (cba to go into examples atm)
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Hey there's a TLDR at the bottom. Basically, I'm in my second year at university now and I feel like dropping out, I'm going to explain why and I'll probably think about it over the summer holidays but, let me tell you why first.

    I grew up in a fairly working class area and although my family have recently come into money that's through hard work and dedication, despite this I still consider myself to be working or working-middle class. I'm currently at one of the best universities in the country (don't want to say which one) and studying a course I loved at the beginning. However, I'm having doubts over the validity and nature of the subject recently and experiencing a sort of existential crisis with it.

    During my first year I didn't make any friends and I couldn't figure out why - I did everything I was supposed to: I was positive, went to societies and sports clubs, wasn't desperate, went out as often as I could etc. Eventually my flatmates started bullying me and I was left with no friends.
    I thought there was something inately wrong with me (despite the fact that I had no problems making friends before). In Janurary I went to counselling and in Februrary I was diagnosed with depresssion for various reasons - including the lack of friends.

    At counselling we discussed various reasons why I might not have friends and things to counter that: I have a long tounge and often mumble so I got speech therapy; I sometimes interrupted people so I stopped that and let them talk more, I became less self centered, I learnt to read peoples body language etc. Yet there was still something missing.

    In my second year I moved in with a guy I met at a society who I was a little bit close with, although he was in his final year. I started to make friends, although it's a slow process obviously. However, all my flat mates this year are insanely middle class (parents pay for everything, one of them owns a range rover and a boat) and I just don't fit in. We just have completely different personalities about most things and we're starting to clash.
    Anyway I've noticed that although I do have several friends who are middle class, most "typical" people at my university (who's parents are relatively well off) dislike me.

    However, I've gotten on really well and instantly clicked with every single other working class person I've met and become close friends quite quickly. Also, my two jobs I had were working class jobs and I got on really well with my colleagues and the local working class people living in the city. Finally, when I went to visit my friend who goes to one of the worst universities if you look at league tables (don't want to say which one), I also instantly clicked with everyone I met there (although that might be because I met them through my mate).

    I don't want to be deterministic but, I think my lack of friends at university is due to my class background. I was wondering if anyone else who is at a relatively good university (Oxbridge, LSE, Bristol, Durham, UCL, ICL etc.) and is also working class or consider themselves to be working class has noticed this? And what anyone else has to comment on this (P.S. There have been some sociological studies done on these kinds of things but, I cba to post them now because I'm tired)

    TLDR: I didn't make any friends during my first year of Uni and I often clash with my well-off middle class housemates. I get on really well with all the working class people I've met at uni and I'm wondering if my class background prevents me from making close relationships.

    Cheers

    Thanks
    I don't wish to be rude, but I want to ask you...do you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder about being working class?

    I'm middle class, and I have poorer friends, and richer friends. However, I've found a lot of people have personally been very rude to me, because "You're a f**king stuck up Tory, I hope daddy's credit card runs out and you fall flat on your arse. Posh prick" etc. Obviously that offends me, so I tend to reply with similar comments that are more relevant to them. These comments have been made to me when I've just opened my mouth and said something slightly intelligent, or they've seen some of the things I have. I even got called a 'rah' on here for wearing Jack Wills lol. :rolleyes:

    I'm not saying this is the case with you, but I've always found inverse snobbery to be far worse. However, I have at times (and still am) a bit oblivious to some of the difficulties of poorer people, it's not intentional though! So maybe these middle class people don't mean to upset you?

    I'm not trying to be offensive, but maybe lose the "I'm working class I won't fit in" thought system, and you might find it a lot better. As I've said, I have friends from working, middle, and upper classes, and we get on alright.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    They aren't class classes but cultural clashes over how to do things. Put downs over my intelligence because, their "middle class" way of doing certain things is percieved as better than my way (cba to go into examples atm)
    What I mean is, a) is it actually obvious to people what class you are and b) are these digs meant as a dig at your class, or is it just ignorance? Coz there was a huge difference between the time my friend was talking about being "poor" :rolleyes:, forgetting who he was sitting next to, and the time he implied that people who study Latin are plebs, knowing that it wasn't something I'd been able to do. The first was him just being ignorant/unfortunate, the second was him actually calling me a pleb but just the coward's way. Are they just saying they think your way is wrong or is there the very explicit implication that you're working class and wouldn't know what the best way is?

    I'm not saying that this is all in your head or anything but it's just worth standing back a moment and assessing whether people have any idea of your class in the first place. The only reason anyone knew mine was because I made a point of it, which gave one person occasional ammo against me.

    Examples would actually be more helpful both for you and for us, really. How are strangers over the Internet meant to be able to help you, otherwise?
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    (Original post by .Ali.)
    I don't wish to be rude, but I want to ask you...do you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder about being working class?

    I'm middle class, and I have poorer friends, and richer friends. However, I've found a lot of people have personally been very rude to me, because "You're a f**king stuck up Tory, I hope daddy's credit card runs out and you fall flat on your arse. Posh prick" etc. Obviously that offends me, so I tend to reply with similar comments that are more relevant to them. These comments have been made to me when I've just opened my mouth and said something slightly intelligent, or they've seen some of the things I have. I even got called a 'rah' on here for wearing Jack Wills lol. :rolleyes:

    I'm not saying this is the case with you, but I've always found inverse snobbery to be far worse. However, I have at times (and still am) a bit oblivious to some of the difficulties of poorer people, it's not intentional though! So maybe these middle class people don't mean to upset you?

    I'm not trying to be offensive, but maybe lose the "I'm working class I won't fit in" thought system, and you might find it a lot better. As I've said, I have friends from working, middle, and upper classes, and we get on alright.
    You don't have that filter between your brain and your mouth (or fingers :p:), do you?
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    I went to an applicant open day the other day and noticed that a) I was the only one from London b) there were quite a few middle class kids c) i was the only black girl d)I could instantly tell that they were different too the type of people i would normally hang out with (everyone at the uni seemed to be the same type not in a bad way just different) and i hang out with a variety of different people. It did scare me a bit but i guess ill have to make the most of it.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    You don't have that filter between your brain and your mouth (or fingers :p:), do you?
    Haha, I do come across as a bit extreme on here sometimes, but when not talking about politics, I'm much less angry and authoritarian!
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    (Original post by .Ali.)
    Haha, I do come across as a bit extreme on here sometimes, but when not talking about politics, I'm much less angry and authoritarian!
    You just don't explain yourself properly which, when combined with your ignorance (I don't think you're being intentionally offensive, but you aren't aware of life as a 'poor' person), comes off very badly.
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    I'm not being mean but I am confused as to being what you perceive to be working class stops you from making friends with people of a different class ...?

    It's just you seem obsessed with being friends with people who are working class, yet in reality there's no actual reason why you can't be friends with people of different classes. Sorry, as I said I'm not being mean but I don't get it.
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    I do not wish to be rude, but perhaps it's not because of your social class but because of you? What person would want to be friends with the type who looks down on their social class anyways?

    Look, working class, middle class and upper class people all are fine together. What matters is not your background, but who you are. Sure, there are the types who act according to the stereotype - but they are in the minority.

    I do get the feeling from your post that you blame them and their background as opposed to the most likely problem which is probably yourself. To reiterate, who wants to be friends with someone who looks down on others because of their social class?

    This is 2010 where people nowadays don't let class affect who they form friendships with.

    Any further information on your situation? As that is my opinion. :yep:
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    I'm working class and I never had trouble at my uni which had a large proportion of middle-class students, that said I don't doubt it could be a problem and it was something I'd anticipated.
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    (Original post by .Ali.)
    I don't wish to be rude, but I want to ask you...do you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder about being working class?

    I'm middle class, and I have poorer friends, and richer friends. However, I've found a lot of people have personally been very rude to me, because "You're a f**king stuck up Tory, I hope daddy's credit card runs out and you fall flat on your arse. Posh prick" etc. Obviously that offends me, so I tend to reply with similar comments that are more relevant to them. These comments have been made to me when I've just opened my mouth and said something slightly intelligent, or they've seen some of the things I have. I even got called a 'rah' on here for wearing Jack Wills lol. :rolleyes:

    I'm not saying this is the case with you, but I've always found inverse snobbery to be far worse. However, I have at times (and still am) a bit oblivious to some of the difficulties of poorer people, it's not intentional though! So maybe these middle class people don't mean to upset you?

    I'm not trying to be offensive, but maybe lose the "I'm working class I won't fit in" thought system, and you might find it a lot better. As I've said, I have friends from working, middle, and upper classes, and we get on alright.
    with all due respect, you ARE a posh ****
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    we don't have classes where i am from. everyone is on the same level. just find someone who doesn't care about that sort of thing. start a classless society in your university. give it a rad name and have some fun!
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    Be the bigger person and don't let your 'class' get in the way. It seems like you're using your 'class' as an excuse to dislike people. Just forget it exists.
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    Don't blame your lack of social skills on your economic background.
    Even if it were true that that's what's causing it, not everyone will like you. You go to uni to study. I'm on my 2nd year at college and I only have 1 sort of..someone I talk to. I just don't have that much in common with those people.
    Unlike common belief. You don't make friends. You find them.
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    If you're not happy, make a change. They'll be plenty probably including your parents who will tell you to try to stick it out, that it's only for 2 more years etc. But at the end of the day, it's your happiness and your life. Take stock, talk it over rationally with people who you're close with and if you decide you're not happy, take responsibility and transfer/drop out.

    Just make sure it's not a kneejerk choice and make sure you have something sorted if you do drop out. I've done this twice and am all the better for it, I am 20 now and am applying this year but if I had applied on the back of two courses I eventually dropped out of, I know now I would've absolutely hated it.

    Also, people can be ********s, don't blame yourself.
 
 
 
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