Worried about feeling like a chav or a fraud at uni

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Anonymous #1
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I've just seen this tiktok about how chavs have been replaced with other styles, and saw a comment about how you can 'spot one even if they're forcing a style' and it has made me quite paranoid as I'm from the North East and I'm going to a London russell group this year. I am from a good countryside area and my secondary school was aspirational, but I am also aware that I am nowhere near wealthy and that at university I will meet people whose upbringings are incomparable to anyone I've ever met. I expect that my North East perception of what 'chavvy' looks like is different to an upper middle class home counties one. I am not particularly judgmental about this kind of thing, this is instead a fear of the unknown. In my current environment I do not have to worry about this, but as uni approaches I'm finding myself becoming more and more concerned about my voice, clothes, makeup etc. I do not think I look like a chav, but I don't know if other people will.
My worry with my image is my fake tan and makeup habits. I fake tan consistently. I am of Mediterranean descent with dark features so in my head it looks clean and natural, but I wonder if it looks a different way to others. I also have started worrying about how I dress as, as I've said, I'm oblivious to what real poshpeopleunderstand to be common. I also worry that people's image of me will be impacted when I tell them that I'm from Yorkshire, and that they will think I was dragged up or a fake.
I am a massive loser for worrying about this and I'm concerned that I'm on a trajectory to becoming Mrs Slocombe if I do feel threatened at uni. A few months ago I didn't care about this stuff and thought that caring is a sign of simple-mindedness. I wish I could just accept that I maybe never will be able to fit in with people of a certain background, but I just hate the idea of being shackled by factors that are out of my control. A lot of my insecurity here can probably be attributed to how being sophisticated and well-educated has accidentally become a large part of my self-worth over the years, as I have struggled with cripplingly low self esteem since primary school but have often received compliments about how I talk and how I present myself. These compliments have probably shaped my whole sense in fashion and driven my academic discipline, but only because they were ideals to aspire to and I did not think of them in terms of financial or regional background. I was not running away from an image or my circumstances, but I feel like my decisions are starting to become driven by fear rather than preference.
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CletusYeetus
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Top tip: Don't worry about what people think of you, no matter what you do, there will be people who smile and people who frown. Just do whatever you want and you'll find others who think likewise.
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JGLM
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I've just seen this tiktok about how chavs have been replaced with other styles, and saw a comment about how you can 'spot one even if they're forcing a style' and it has made me quite paranoid as I'm from the North East and I'm going to a London russell group this year. I am from a good countryside area and my secondary school was aspirational, but I am also aware that I am nowhere near wealthy and that at university I will meet people whose upbringings are incomparable to anyone I've ever met. I expect that my North East perception of what 'chavvy' looks like is different to an upper middle class home counties one. I am not particularly judgmental about this kind of thing, this is instead a fear of the unknown. In my current environment I do not have to worry about this, but as uni approaches I'm finding myself becoming more and more concerned about my voice, clothes, makeup etc. I do not think I look like a chav, but I don't know if other people will.
My worry with my image is my fake tan and makeup habits. I fake tan consistently. I am of Mediterranean descent with dark features so in my head it looks clean and natural, but I wonder if it looks a different way to others. I also have started worrying about how I dress as, as I've said, I'm oblivious to what real poshpeopleunderstand to be common. I also worry that people's image of me will be impacted when I tell them that I'm from Yorkshire, and that they will think I was dragged up or a fake.
I am a massive loser for worrying about this and I'm concerned that I'm on a trajectory to becoming Mrs Slocombe if I do feel threatened at uni. A few months ago I didn't care about this stuff and thought that caring is a sign of simple-mindedness. I wish I could just accept that I maybe never will be able to fit in with people of a certain background, but I just hate the idea of being shackled by factors that are out of my control. A lot of my insecurity here can probably be attributed to how being sophisticated and well-educated has accidentally become a large part of my self-worth over the years, as I have struggled with cripplingly low self esteem since primary school but have often received compliments about how I talk and how I present myself. These compliments have probably shaped my whole sense in fashion and driven my academic discipline, but only because they were ideals to aspire to and I did not think of them in terms of financial or regional background. I was not running away from an image or my circumstances, but I feel like my decisions are starting to become driven by fear rather than preference.
I think you’ll be fine. Plenty of people from different backgrounds go to each uni. I myself don’t judge people at all based on how they look, and a person’s wealth means nothing to me. Which uni are you going to out of interest? I’ll be going to Imperial next academic year
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by CletusYeetus)
Top tip: Don't worry about what people think of you, no matter what you do, there will be people who smile and people who frown. Just do whatever you want and you'll find others who think likewise.
Thank you for reminding me. I'm probably just suffering from lockdown neuroses and this kind of simple reassurance helps
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Asha_m
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Don't worry, the 'chav' has evolved to a 'roadman' and most people in London fear them.
It depends on where in London you're heading. Many people from the east and south of the city can't talk **** about you financially, since they're probably in the same boat.
Be proud of your heritage and your birthplace!
Last edited by Asha_m; 1 month ago
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TasteLikeChicken
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My first answer would be 'don't worry what others think of you'. But that isn't helpful.

I don't think anyone who is at a RG uni will be considered a 'chav'. I highly doubt you speak or dress in the way a 'chav' does. Trust me, I am from a pretty working class area, I have had my fair share of run-ins with them. As long as you're polite, speak coherently and clearly and show that you're diligent in your studies, I don't see how you can be seen as a chav. If it's any consolation, I am a working-class, Pakistani guy at a fairly 'white' uni in the South (originally from Midlands). My accent is pretty Brummie, which isn't intellectual at all and I'm not particularly well-spoken for a PhD student. No one has judged me, and I would fit the 'chav'/'roadman' stereotype far more than you would. Will there be snobs? Of course. But that shouldn't deter you, you won't want to associate with them anyway. I'm certain you'll be fine.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by JGLM)
I think you’ll be fine. Plenty of people from different backgrounds go to each uni. I myself don’t judge people at all based on how they look, and a person’s wealth means nothing to me. Which uni are you going to out of interest? I’ll be going to Imperial next academic year
I'm either going ucl or kcl. I go to London a lot but I'm under the impression that London RGs themselves are more elitist than other good unis (apart from Durham LOL)
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ROTL94
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You're worried that a bunch of middle class ******s will think you're a chav because you're working class and at university? Well, that's their own problem and you worked harder than they did to get in there, so you can use that knowledge as a comfort.
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EconomicsStud3nt
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You are going to London. I think you’re forgetting or straight up confused about the demographics. It’s the most diverse part of the country, the number of working class people is not little
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JGLM
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I'm either going ucl or kcl. I go to London a lot but I'm under the impression that London RGs themselves are more elitist than other good unis (apart from Durham LOL)
I think it’s likely that you will meet a lot of judgy people but there are just as many who aren’t. I wouldn’t worry about it.
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