Don’t let KCL’s rivalry with UCL lose you any new friends!
After spending a year living in London, I can quite safely say London is a melting pot of culture. A metropolis full of language, art and entertainment, which in my opinion makes it the most dynamic and diverse city in the world. But despite the diversity and dynamism of the City, stereotypes still persist. Surprisingly, I’m not referring to race, ethnicity, sexuality or even religious affiliations, but believe it or not, stereotypes based on your university.
Yes, this sounds bizarre, but across the University of London. there are certain preconceived notions that we hold towards our fellow University of London brothers and sisters. Here at King’s, LSE is just a stone’s throw away and the rivalry is fierce. Those of us at ‘Cool King’s’ generally see our LSE friends as overworked, antisocial bookworms. Meanwhile, those ‘Imperialites’ are the social outcasts who are really not interested in much else apart from quantum physics and socialize only amongst themselves safely in their coveted SW7 postcode – God forbid venturing anywhere near Chancery Lane, that’s solely for KCL folk! As for SOAS, it’s purely for the hipster, arty type, oh and by the way, they’re all communists, so steer clear.
Now, of course, I do not agree with or believe any of these stereotypes, but it is interesting to explore the reasons why they even exist in the first place. Surely, you would expect some form of solidarity amongst University of London students instead of division?
Well, it seems the Internet does nothing but perpetuate these stereotypes. Simply taking five minutes of your time to surf through social sites like the infamous Student Room, the rivalry and unfounded stereotypes are rife. Kings is often referred to as the (and I quote) ‘Strand Polytechnic’.
However, it is important not to take such ideas seriously. From my experience I can safely say such rivalry and stereotypes are purely used lightheartedly, as a form of banter. If anything, it appears students enjoy poking fun at other London students, not out of malice, but simply in the name of a ‘good laugh’.
Indeed, considering in London we lack the campus life 90% of other universities enjoy, such ‘banter’ actually brings us together, as it creates common ground allowing us to touch base with each other, albeit lightly insulting.
To all the freshers who are new to KCL, I really encourage you to look past ridiculous stereotypes and socialise with students from all the different universities in London. If you are in an Intercollegiate Hall, make the most of it. If you aren’t, make the most of your friends who are. Your university experience will be worth so much more if you simply broaden your horizons, and venture out to socialise with those from other universities in London. But, just a quick word of warning, make sure you don’t get converted to Marxism by one of those loonies from SOAS; I warned you first.