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Student snobbishness?(146 Posts)
I was just wondering if anyone else has had their children complain of snobbish course mates? DS goes to a place full of very very privileged students, many of whom from the most famous boarding schools.
He finds many to be quite snobbish. He says that he seems to think that people think him a bit thick and instantly to be working class as he is from Scotland. They also assume as he is not from London that equally he must be dirt poor and only got into said university for access reasons. They also think that as he went to a Gaelic state school, then he must once more be not worth their time.
What DH finds funny (who is from the sort of background as those in complaint), is that many of them are second generation immigrants with parents who've done well, but now see themselves as the English gentleman sort.
For the note of it, being working class is great (my mum was), but I am putting it like this as it's a definite looking down ones nose for it.
1) Why does your son care so much what other people think of him? Help him to work on his self esteem rather than listen to the opinions of relative strangers who are of no importance to him.
2) Being a 'second generation immigrant' rather than an 'English gentleman', as you put it, does not mean that your parents have only done well after moving to the U.K. Other parts of the world, including, arguably especially, Africa and Asia have a class system and strong social hierarchy.
These children probably have parents who are from upper and upper middle class backgrounds in their original countries. Countries where the English public school system was forcibly imported and then embraced by the local elites, hence the fact that these people sent their children to well know U.K. public schools when they emigrated.
Your post reads as if you think because they are immigrants they have only had money for five minutes. That is a flawed assumption
That’s an awful lot of thinking.
Have you considered inverted snobbery?
Can’t say our daughter has experienced this. Her friends are lovely young people.
DS goes to a place full of very very privileged students, many of whom from the most famous boarding schools.
He doesn't you know. There is no university where privately educated students are in the majority, let alone those from Eton et al.
So why is he seeking those people out?
Perhaps it's because he studies Classics?
Your husband really says that about second Gen immigrants? That’s deeply unpleasant.
The Uni in question may be Durham which has one of the highest percentage of privately educated students. independent schools in London have a significant number of second generation immigrants and their wealth goes back many generations.
If he's studying classics he won't have more than 5 hours a week with these students and there are so many opportunities to make other friends.
What's he REALLY trying to tell you?
Jano69 is correct. I went to Durham. I'm from London. I went to private school. My parents are West African immigrants. Our privileged background goes back generations.
I'm the third generation in my family to go to boarding school and to university. In fact Durham is considered rather average for my lot ha ha ha (I loved it there though!) My grandfather was at Oxford.
OP your husband's comments about second generation immigrants sound ignorant and envious.
Sorry op but I think your own comments about second gem immigrants is not going to go down well here and will completely derail the thread, but FWIW my sister experienced similar. She said it was mainly confined to her course though; there was a contingent of privately-educated girls who only stuck together and in her words ‘looked down their noses’ at the rest of them! Luckily my sister didn’t give a flying fig
and is now a hot shot speacialist in the profession but she did note that it existed and it was a divisive attitude.
Doesn't Bristol have a reputation for having a higher than average percentage of privately educated students as well?
My DHs cousin went there. She ended up with the poshest friends despite going to a rough as fuck comprehensive, they loved her stories about working in McDonalds. To be fair she did have rich parents, just very left wing.
It sounds as though your family is going out of its way to be offended. Although the social mix at these universities doesn't reflect wider society, there are still plenty of state school kids there. Your son just needs to seek out people he likes regardless of their background. Snobbishness works both ways. Also, your husband's comments sound a bit racist.
Here is an article with the statistics on private school students in U.K. unis. As a previous poster said, there is no uni where private school students dominate the numbers.
I don't think talking about OPs comments on second gen immigrants "derails" the thread because it was a significant part of OPs objection to these 'snobby' students. It sounded like "How dare children from immigrant stock be snobby to a real Brit like my child."
You are married to a snob by the sounds of it so perhaps that makes them easier to spot for you and your DS
I’ve taught at one of these kind of universities. There are plenty of perfectly ‘normal’ people as well, even if the obnoxiously posh ones* are louder and more noticeable than anyone else. He just needs to ignore the obnoxious ones and find people he does actually like.
* Not all the students from very privileged backgrounds fall into this category. Most of them are perfectly nice young adults.
Why does he care - don't most kids at Uni seek out 'their own tribe ' so to speak as in friends they gel with .
I wrote a long detailed reply then deleted it when I realised the details were too outing - a lot of them I turn into funny stories when I'm telling people in real life how I met my DH. But I wanted to say your son is not imagining it; these astonishingly snobby people exist and congregate together at certain universities. I didn't believe it until I met them either - it's like some of them come from another planet!
Anyway after the first semester I found my people outside uni and was very happy. But unsurprisingly I am not in touch with anyone from my course and while I did well academically I will always regret allowing those people to intimidate me into not taking advantage of any of the extracurricular, career-boosting, networking type stuff that universities like the one I went to (not Oxbridge) are supposed to be good for.
My DS is at Exeter and hasn't noticed this at all. He is also a 3rd generation immigrant
If it was my son of tell him to grow a thicker skin. There are all sorts in the world. Focus on people who share values whatever their background.
All bar one of DS's nine flatmates in halls (including him - a third generation immigrant) were privately educated. Nothing snobby about any of them. They all seem to be pleasant individuals.
I am sorry if other students have been unpleasant to your son.
I am sure last year in at least one of my sons' halls (at Bristol) that hall had a lor of private school pupils although I hope like my sons they are happy to mix with anyone.
If students think people are working class becauyse they are from Scotland that is really silly. What about the Edinburgh private schools etc? Scotland and N England (where I am from and went to (private) school with a few people with titles not that it matters) have people of all classes just as London does too.
Your son may just need to seek out the right people as whatever their class or colour some people are awful and some are nice in life. If he is bright as a button and quick with ideas and has lots of interesting things to say I would be surprised if anyone worth talking to had a problem with his accent. You can usually work out who is clever fairly quickly just through chatting and the things they say and their general knowledge.
Some teenagers are very extreme in views and see things in black and white and always will do. It's why they go off to fight for ISIS or to be an ISIS bride etc. It is just a time of extreme emotions etc so it is bound to be for some of them not their best time until hormones settle down and they grow up a bit. I gave my sons only one instruction for university which was to be kind to everyone. it is that chance to mix with lots of different people that is such a good thing and to move out of home for those at university. My mother always told the story of having 20 college friends (she went to a residential teacher training college) squashing into her mother's 2 up and 2 down little rented house near Sunderland and they all had a great time on those visits.
even in universities with a high ratio of public school types there will be loads of normal people too. your DS just hasn't found his tribe yet. he needs to widen his range of social activities till he finds where the down-to-earth fun and friendly non-snobs hang out.